• Dragonslayer



    Far from a perfect film; it's pretty slow and simmering as a narrative and Peter MacNicol and Caitlin Clarke are lacking real "fantasy charisma" as the protagonists, but damn if it isn't the most earnest translation of a fantasy world until The Lord of the Rings twenty years later. The sets look amazing, the real locations look even better, the photography brings big time mood, and it is definitely my favorite rendering of a movie dragon ever. Not because it…

  • Dial M for Murder

    Dial M for Murder


    Ray Milland is such a slippery shit stirrer in this, it's really the Rosetta stone of Hitchcock villains for me and one of my favorite performances not just in his movies, but any movie. I first saw this when I was probably eight years old, and I'm not surprised it so captivated my attention given that the film is all body language and eye contact even within the word salad murder maze of "putting it all together." It was simple…

  • The Man from Hong Kong

    The Man from Hong Kong


    Look, I'm not asking for a whole lot from movies like this; just give me a cavalcade of colors, exotic locations, nonstop action, fun faces, cool clothes, a funky soundtrack, and I'm sold. Plot is irrelevant. In fact, I couldn't tell you the plot of this film if you held a gun to my head. But the vibes are there, and that's what matters. Extra half star bump for blending Hong Kong cinema with Ozploitation and creating a tasty novel…

  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom


    Had the itch to rewatch this after I saw Harrison Ford and Ke Huy Quan embrace on stage at the Oscars. This is one of the hardest films for me to reconcile from my childhood. On the one hand, the sense of adventure, or more precisely, the "pace" of adventure, is immaculate. Like Raiders, Temple of Doom is a near perfectly paced film. There is rarely a moment where we aren't be whisked down a new corridor of discovery, and…

  • Magnificent Warriors

    Magnificent Warriors


    Undoubtedly a sloppy movie, especially in the direct wake of watching a superior 80s Michelle movie, Royal Warriors, but this is the closest we'll ever get to Indiana Yeohnes, where she's flying planes, cracking whips, wearing badass leather jackets, and generally unloading truckloads of ass-kicking. These base qualities cannot be overlooked as pillars holding up a cardboard narrative.

  • Royal Warriors

    Royal Warriors


    Awesome movie. Michelle Yeoh and Hiroyuki Sanada set the screen ablaze. It is hot in this room. I'm sweating. Special shoutout to composer Romeo Díaz for drenching the thing in such a huge mood. Royal Warriors is a nood mover and a mood groover.

  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II

    Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II


    Easily a top 10 Godzilla film if only because it wastes zero time and gets to the monster mayhem almost immediately and somehow sustains it without overdoing it or lacking it at any one moment. Might be the first Toho film I've seen to balance this juggling act about as flawlessly as is possible. The sense of scale is also huge, the pyrotechnics are dazzling, the model work is detailed, and the monsters are great to look at, including the…

  • Attack of the 50 Foot Woman

    Attack of the 50 Foot Woman


    Maybe I'm just flustered from bouncing off a telephone pole in my car today, but I pretty much hated every second of this. Can I sue the producers like those Ana De Armas fans sued Universal for advertising her in a trailer of a movie she wasn't actually in? This movie doesn't contain a real 50-foot woman, nor does she attack a highway of vulnerable cars on a freeway like the poster shows. And the "attack" doesn't even happen until…

  • Terror of Mechagodzilla

    Terror of Mechagodzilla


    So I managed to watch the first fifteen Godzilla movies in fifteen days. This encompasses the first twenty years of the franchise, the Shōwa era, or the "classical Gorjira era," before the big lizard went into a ten year hibernation and re-emerged in the 80s.

    Do I recommend watching fifteen Godzilla films in fifteen days? Absolutely not. The human narratives completely blend together in my mind, and all that stands out is the monster mayhem. And so many of these…

  • Shaft



    A landmark film in so many ways. For black empowerment, for mainstreaming funk soundtracks, for defining the next decade of a subgenre; nearly every blaxploitation film after Shaft was trying to repeat its success. But most importantly, it's a landmark for hard-boiled leather jackets, tight-fitted trousers, and stylish turtlenecks. I like to live in a fantasy world where Shaft made turtlenecks cool again. Shaft reinvented Style with a capital "S" and private eye films would never be the same. There is before Shaft and after Shaft.

  • Gamera vs. Barugon

    Gamera vs. Barugon


    For a film titled Gamera vs. Barugon, you can only hope that they deliver on the two monsters and they absolutely deliver a gnarly Gamera and gnarly Barugon. This makes the 60s Godzilla flicks look like Barney and Friends. These dudes draw blood and look like actual prehistoric predators, with shiny scales, glowing eyes, and iconic mutant powers. I had been lead to believe that these 60s kaiju films were inherently silly, cheaply lit, cheaply costumed, and cheaply plotted, but…

  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster

    Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster


    Ghidorah has three heads, two tails, and no arms. And about 10 minutes of actual screen time. But it's such an iconic look that it's worth the wait. It's a shame so many of these monster movies take forever to get going. You could start this at the 50 minute mark and have missed nothing. But once the beasts start brawling, it's a special kind of silly. So, the first half for me is a strong 2/5, but then the…