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  • Forty Guns

    Forty Guns

    ★★★★

    Great Sam Fuller western with tons of long takes and constant moving camera reframes which ratchet up tension and also emotion. Enjoyed the musical numbers and Barbara stanwyck. I do wish that the "forty guns" had done something badass. One of those cases where the title sets up unreal expectations. Making wanna hunt down the few other Fuller films I've missed.

  • The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1: Battles Without Honor and Humanity

    The Yakuza Papers, Vol. 1: Battles Without Honor and Humanity

    ★★★½

    Super brisk pace with plenty of style (enjoyed the freeze frame intros and death stills) and inventive murder scenes and little visual tricks. 

    Usually when something is this fast paced I'm a super fan but I think one risk is that it makes it harder to be invested in character and that's exactly the weakness here. You ultimately can't care as much as you want to, and that's crucial to making a power-struggle saga more than just cool, but emotional.

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  • The Nice Guys

    The Nice Guys

    ★½

    Terrible all the way around. Casting/performances uniformally bad. 70s details stale and off. Writing tired and unfunny. Action scenes edited more like their contemporaries which means fast cuts and very little choreography/blocking. Just a tedious slog. Only decent performance was from Russell Crowe. How do you cast Keith David and underutilize him? Clearly Shane Black thought he was making his Chinatown (a movie about 70s LA conspiracy made in 2016) but can you imagine anything more stale than a porn cover up plot in a period noir piece? Give me a break! There were a few funny lines - that's it.

  • Breaking News

    Breaking News

    ★★★★

    Great tone shifts
    Amazing opening long single take with wonderful blocking etc
    (Sidenote: Johnny To + HK cinema must have  a few studio streets where they always stage their urban gunfights)
    Unlike other I am a fan of the music and the moments of sentiment
    The media angle is potentially underdeveloped but still creates an interesting veneer over the genre proceedings without ever fully taking over
    Performances good as well here
    Setting up certain romantic throughline creative another layer of tension I enjoyed