ClarksDad has written 13 reviews for films rated ★★★ during 2020.

  • Eyes of Laura Mars

    Eyes of Laura Mars

    ★★★

    Photos by Helmut Newton, music by Streisand, story by John Carpenter, full-on 1970s NYC, and Faye Dunaway at her most gorgeous.

    Wish the credentials had yielded a more exciting film...it actually needs MORE of what some at the time found a turn-off.. A kinkier, more graphic film...with a stronger director (De Palma?)...would have aged better.

    This is PG stuff with some boobs and F-words...but a delicious time capsule nonetheless.

  • Alien: Covenant

    Alien: Covenant

    ★★★

    Satisfies the need for a quick fix. Solid storytelling, decent ending... but the action set pieces are just busy and ineffective, and the CGI aliens ho-hum. Give me good old analog, claustrophobic “Alien” over this.

  • Memory: The Origins of Alien

    Memory: The Origins of Alien

    ★★★

    Decent exploration of the film...fans will enjoy. I would have liked more about its theatrical release and the “viral” reaction to that chest scene (which I recall hearing about as a kid at the time).... but as the title says...this is about origins.

  • Christmas Holiday

    Christmas Holiday

    ★★★

    The original Black Christmas. What a solemn, morbidly depressing film (enjoyably so...as it features two stars that were typically an audience guarantee of light, unchallenging material...).

    It isn't great...but Durbin is terrific and Kelly is sexy AF. Its a huge disservice that this film has been out of circulation for decades...caught up in b.s. with the Maugham estate. Please...someone...TCM? Criterion?...help straighten this shit out so we can see a proper release some day.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Their Own Desire

    Their Own Desire

    ★★★

    OK I love Norma Shearer...I don't care if she did bring all her silent screen emoting into the talkies. In many of these creaky ass MGM "drawing room dramas" she is literally the only thing holding it all together.

  • Rosalie

    Rosalie

    ★★★

    This is actually one of the worst musicals of the 1930s...a monumentally boring, miscast MGM dud starring the most vacant leading man in the world. BUT! If you can hang tight...it has 2 Eleanor Powell dance sequences that are simply perfection, a lovely Cole Porter score (tho he himself thought little of it) with brillIant orchestrations, and wild, almost surreal art direction. You really better brace yourself for that script tho.

  • House of Wax

    House of Wax

    ★★★

    I can confirm audiences cheered at Paris Hilton's death scene (at least the one I watched it with in NYC).

    This gets points for being a seriously cruel film. It is savage, if that's your thing.

  • Terror Train

    Terror Train

    ★★★

    I like 80s slasher that at least took a little effort. The murder mystery...the scary mask...the legit scary setting....the twist ending.

    Not sure if censors stepped in but this puppy has zero gore.

  • The Clay Pigeon

    The Clay Pigeon

    ★★★

    Excellent chase scene (with a very unusual interaction thrown in) in LA’s Chinatown, Circa 1943. Which makes it more about Chinatown than the entirety of Roman Polanski’s noir. Plausibility is out the window but such is life in B-movie heaven.

  • Strange Interlude

    Strange Interlude

    ★★★

    Norma Shearer is a goddamn MOVIE STAR.

    She and Gable glow in this. Just sit back and bask in it.

    I hate the last third (worst child actor ever...and no shock, he grows up to be Robert Young, who is also terrible...they nailed that casting).