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  • Conan the Destroyer

    Conan the Destroyer

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    What with the Conan remake coming out, I'm reminded that, even though I probably shouldn't, I LOVE Conan the Destroyer, the second of the two original Conan films starring Arnie.

    Exhibit A: Grace Jones. Fierce as hell, and funny. I love her removable metal head-plate she uses to head-butt people!

    Exhibit B: The score. EPIC. No subtleties belong in this movie! I particularly love the score during the huge battle at the end.

    Exhibit C: A virgin sacrifice that isn't…

  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    ★★½

    Basically this movie is about a heartbroken dude (Jake Gyllenhaal) who wrote an ultraviolent novel with a metaphor for how the break-up made him feel. He sends it to ex-wife and heartbreaker, Susan (Amy Adams), who becomes emotionally engaged with the story and the state of her own life after she moved on from him. She's ultra-chic and on-the-surface-rich, disillusioned with her art curating life (because she should have been an artist, see, instead of becoming her mother). Maybe I've…

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  • City of God

    City of God

    ★★★★★

    This film is a masterpiece because it is so much itself. Comparisons to other films and filmmakers could never do it justice. I'm in awe.

  • Free Fire

    Free Fire

    ★★½

    Nowhere near as fun--or, idk, edgy?--as it aspires to be. I got bored maybe 30 minutes in; there's only so much wounded crawling around I can watch. Sharlto Copley was still charming, though.

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  • Videodrome

    Videodrome

    ★★★★

    There's nothing so visceral and uncanny as a Cronenberg film. Tell me it wouldn't make a difference if those effects were digital.

    Given that his work has been criticized for the same reasons portrayed in the film--too violent, too perverse--I question the common reading of Videodrome as some critique of media culture. If anything, I wonder if the extremity of behavior, delusions, and factions are a sort of satire instead, a slippery slope argument come to hallucinatory life. But I…

  • Bluebeard

    Bluebeard

    ★★★½

    Bluebeard (a somewhat puzzling English title; the literal translation works better) is one of those psychological thrillers you want to watch again as soon as you finish it. So much is in doubt upon a first viewing: is the protagonist crazy or the victim of an actual conspiracy where only he knows who's responsible for local serial killings? Is he simply reading too many mystery novels? I won't spoil the ending except to say there's no simple yes or no for each of those questions. Cho Jin-woong is excellent and carries the story through its twists, though I'm ambivalent about the very last one.