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matt has written 174 reviews for films rated ★★★★ during 2013.

  • Batman Returns

    Batman Returns

    ★★★★

    three cosplaying homicidal psychotics driven insane by a pulpy combination of sexual desire, emotional trauma, and socioeconomic anxiety wage open, armed conflict in a major metropolitan area. this was bankrolled by a major studio and released to an eager public.

  • The Shogunate's Harem

    The Shogunate's Harem

    ★★★★

    a royal doctor must have sex with all of a recently deceased Shogun's former concubines, searching for the one that "emits a musky scent in ecstasy" because she might be pregnant and the child must be aborted for political purposes. the pinku setup is an excuse for a detailed melodrama about the life and strictly organized rituals of these harem women who were viewed as nothing but property. gauzy soft focus softcore scenes eventually give way to more stylized sequences that resemble nothing so much as the video for The Vapors' "Turning Japanese". pretty light on the sleaze for Suzuki but still plenty angry.

  • Black Book

    Black Book

    ★★★★

    hopelessness merely persists, but survival is neverending. either way they cost a lot.

  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

    ★★★★

    a compendium of Fincher fetish objects, with Salander as the ultimate one, an inescapable (to him) singularity that draws all the others into her orbit. a thriller almost entirely articulated in metadata, both digital and analog.

  • Ninja: Shadow of a Tear

    Ninja: Shadow of a Tear

    ★★★★

    "Remember, the man who seeks revenge should dig two graves."
    "I'm gonna need a lot more than that."

    triple-dog-dare you to find a better western-style martial arts film made in the last 15 years.

  • Vixen!

    Vixen!

    ★★★★

    "You're the lesser of two evils."

    capitalist democracy as insatiable lust, irresistible even with the overt racism, and at least it's up front with you about fucking everyone in sight.

  • Che: Part Two

    Che: Part Two

    ★★★★

    Butch and Sundance didn't make it out of Bolivia either.

  • Che: Part One

    Che: Part One

    ★★★★

    the public front of a revolutionary, the media face, with speeches at the U.N. and prestige interviews with Western reporters, contrasted with the nuts and bolts logistical clusterfuck of training hundreds of people and moving them through the jungle. sometimes you can barely believe they pulled it off, others it seems an act of sheer willpower, probably something Soderbergh feels in some ways pretty close to.

  • The Hard Way

    The Hard Way

    ★★★★

    James Joyce's John Le Carre's POINT BLANK, featuring Lee Van Cleef and Patrick McGoohan having a showdown in a boobytrapped house.

  • Mudhoney

    Mudhoney

    ★★★★

    epic Faulknerian boner jam.

  • The Man Who Wasn't There

    The Man Who Wasn't There

    ★★★★

    "He told them to look not at the facts, but at the meaning of the facts. And then he said the facts had no meaning. It was a pretty good speech."

  • Dredd

    Dredd

    ★★★★

    the world is used to it.