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  • The Chamber

    The Chamber

    ★★

    A fascinatingly misguided morality play about how racist murderers have feelings too.

  • Double Indemnity

    Double Indemnity

    ★★★

    Every time he says "baby" take a drink.

  • Body of Evidence

    Body of Evidence

    Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony voice: "It's an erotic thriller!"

    Discussed on episode 3 of The Suspense is Killing Us.

  • Sliver

    Sliver

    ★★

    Discussed on episode 3 of The Suspense is Killing Us.

    Allegedly Robert Evans loved Joe Eszterhas' script for this so much he sent the writer a congratulatory note, um, inside a young lady. Eszterhas later recalled in his autobiography: "The note smelled fantastic."

  • Heaven's Prisoners

    Heaven's Prisoners

    ★★★½

    I've always had a real soft spot for this, all moody and mopey idiosyncrasy and atmosphere making up for its muddled, repetitive story, almost 2 1/2 hours of Alec Baldwin with a fluctuating accent stomping around Nawlins punching guys with names like Bubba and Toot. Eric Roberts in cornrows. Everyone spouting this jacked up Scott Frank dialogue, shit like "Ah heard you was sayin' ah should be lookin' over mah shoulduh befoah sumthin' heavy falls awn me!" Classic.

  • Misery

    Misery

    ★★★½

    I'd forgotten what a smirking little two-hander this was, an almost perfect capture of King's voice right down to the silly scary music cues whenever Wilkes gets angry. The kind of thing that's so slick and expertly modulated that it almost feels tossed off.

  • Blood Tracks

    Blood Tracks

    ★★★

    Feral hillfolk vs. glam punkers, pretty much sells itself. Unexpectedly laced with pathos.

  • Expect No Mercy

    Expect No Mercy

    ★★½

    Vaguely worth it for a crazy stunt-almost-gone-wrong toward the end, and for the sub-LAWNMOWER MAN iteration of VR on display.

  • High Flying Bird

    High Flying Bird

    ★★★

    A slightly cheeky, predominantly intellectual exercise with a lot of impressive formal rigor, so: a late Soderbergh movie. The dialogue is simultaneously dazzling and very deliberately stagey, and true to his promise he manages to get that iPhone camera into some wild spots. But I think maybe he's just way too interested in the idea of disruptor status -- obviously this is only superficially about sports -- and for me at least that got in the way of all the…

  • An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

    An Alan Smithee Film: Burn, Hollywood, Burn

    "Worse than SHOWGIRLS!" -- Rolling Phone magazine.

    Joe Eszterhas obviously doesn't care whose toes he steps on. Take that, you venal fatcats! A true renegade.

  • Alita: Battle Angel

    Alita: Battle Angel

    ★★★

    Cameron's tin-eared writing plus Rodriguez's juvenilia is as dire as you'd expect, but Cameron's design and FX perfectionism plus Rodriguez's simple (and finally well-employed) economy is as tantalizing as it sounds. This is all over the place, an often eye-popping (sometimes literally) YA dystopia with some of the clumsiest writing and performances of either filmmakers' careers and a halting narrative that promises alien wars and global socioeconomic upheaval but delivers robot swordfights and Rollerball tournaments. A mess I will probably sit through a few more times.

  • The Client

    The Client

    ★½

    Another one of these interminable courtroom thrillers seemingly made by people who have next to zero understanding of legal procedure because if they did the whole movie would be over in 15 minutes which honestly would have been great since the one they made is stupid fucking boring.