• Clash of the Titans

    Clash of the Titans

    ½

    What an unimaginative mess. Charmless Characters, boring script, ugly design (That’s the best Isle Of The Dead they could come up with?)...and exactly zero suspense. Literally every square inch of it is computer generated to within an inch of its life.

  • Casino

    Casino

    ★★★★★

    Scorsese brought out the absolute best in these 3 stars. For once his indulgent decisions (St Matthew's Passion blaring through the surround speakers, voice-over narration, etc) support the story without drowning it. It's also just a drop dead gorgeous film.

  • The Irishman

    The Irishman

    ★★★

    Imagine Casino without Sharon Stone....

    or Goodfellas without Lorraine Bracco....

    and you have The Irishman.

    If it feels like this solid, entertaining crime saga is "missing something"...now you know.

  • Cape Fear

    Cape Fear

    ★★

    Jessica Lange and Juliette Lewis are heartbreakingly good in this.

    The film itself can be summed up by the movie poster: overworked.

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★

    Scorsese's achilles heel: voiceover narration and over-aggressive scores.

    It really cuts this film's impact for me.

    Still, I'm a junkie for NYC Is A Hellhole movies of the 70s. This is among the crown jewels.

  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★★

    Every few minutes there's a camera angle...or steady cam scene...or some little bits of business going on...and you're startled by how painstakingly all this was constructed. It's a beauty.

    Not as challenging or subversive as DePalma's other films of the period...it's a pretty audience-friendly ride. Lithgow is a deliciously good villain.

  • The Fury

    The Fury

    ★★★★

    Contains some of the best death scenes in horror history.

    Despite the tone deaf narrative and poor performances...it's a virtuoso piece of movie direction...supported by one of John Williams' most glorious scores.

  • The Black Dahlia

    The Black Dahlia

    ½

    Obtuse, indecipherable junk.

  • Body Double

    Body Double

    ★★★½

    Contains more "...did that really just happen?" moments than perhaps any film I've ever seen. The drill bit still shocks.

    I can never quite get around Craig Wasson's dopey performance...but the rest of the cast is aces.

  • Notorious

    Notorious

    ★★★★★

    The party sequence is ingenious, and possibly the Master’s most suspenseful set piece. This also has what is perhaps his most sophisticated, powerhouse cast from top to bottom.

    Notorious is fascinating for having such unsympathetic leading male roles...a sexist pig and a literal Nazi. Bergman somehow manages to make both of these A-holes seem charming.

  • The Wiz

    The Wiz

    ½

    Lead balloon from first frame to the last. A course in how to destroy a Broadway show.

  • The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

    The Human Centipede (First Sequence)

    ★★

    Kudos for the clinical, nihilistic harshness of it all. I admit I was disturbed when I first saw it...as promised. The sequels revealed the director to be something of a hack, and all of this basically was a sick joke.

    In any case...his little poop movie is now famous and notorious and part our pop lexicon, like it or not.