Favorite films

  • Once Upon a Time in the West
  • Psycho
  • The Royal Tenenbaums
  • The Band Wagon

Recent activity

All
  • Non-Stop New York

    ★★★★

  • House of Dark Shadows

    ★★★★

  • The Omen

    ★★★★½

  • A Pain in the Ass

    ★★★★

Recent reviews

More
  • House of Wax

    House of Wax

    ★★★

    A very generic, mid-aughts version of an ultra-commercial horror movie, with a cast so bland that a stunt-casted Paris Hilton, this movie’s main claim to fame or infamy when released, doesn’t particularly stick out. It’s egregiously overlong, more like today’s than its own moment’s horror films in that respect, resulting in 25 minutes or so of tedium while the protagonists/potential victims are front and center. But the setting is very effectively creepy; the setpieces, amped-up versions of the chase scenes from the Friday the 13th movies, are muscularly delivered; and the melting-house finale is genuinely stunning, delivering the memorable imagery modern horror often lacks.

  • The Omen

    The Omen

    ★★★★½

    Not as thematically or formally sophisticated as its two Satanic-classic predecessors (ROSEMARY’S BABY and THE EXORCIST), but mounted in truly grand style by Donner and his collaborators, particularly cinematographer Taylor and, of course, composer Jerry Goldsmith. That’s helpful since the initial passivity of Gregory Peck and Lee Remick’s characters and lack of a strong plot motor make the early sequences a little slack. But, once their doubts about Damien begin and the plot kicks in, I was surprised by how powerful this nearly 50-year-old movie, released during the Ford administration and sequelized and remade and parodied ever since, remains.

Popular reviews

More
  • Hold Back the Dawn

    Hold Back the Dawn

    ★★★★

    Excellent mix of comedy and melodrama from a Wilder/Brackett script and directed by Mitchell Leisen, one of the lesser-known masters of Golden Age Hollywood. More of an earnest social message than Wilder usually allowed himself, maybe because this was pre-Red Scare. There's also an ingenious framing device, not unlike DOUBLE INDEMNITY and SUNSET BOULEVARD, but especially intriguing here for how quasi-"meta" it is. DeHavilland and Boyer are also a little looser in their performances than you'd expect from what is ultimately, essentially, a traditional love story.

  • The Day of the Jackal

    The Day of the Jackal

    ★★★★½

    A childhood favorite--it's been in the back of my mind to rewatch this ever since I read of Steven Spielberg claiming its influence on MUNICH (so, obviously, for a while.) It clearly is that in the vintage and the locations, which are beautifully captured by Jewish European emigre Fred Zinnemann--I wonder how he felt about this extensive return tour of the Continent? Another possible influence--or at least point of comparison--is NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN, in the procedural, show-the-scenes-other-movies-leave-out approach…