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Bill has written 31 reviews for films rated ★★★½ .

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    ★★★½

  • The Babysitter

    The Babysitter

    ★★★½

    On one level, the “Netflix Original” flick The Babysitter (2017) seems like that proverbial “film we’ve seen before” — several times, in fact. It’s a coming-of-age-through-trial-by-fire story that’s fittingly described by cliches. On another level, but related to this one, it’s a semi-clever horror comedy. How much you’ll enjoy it depends on at what level you receive it.

    Read more here: loudgreenbird.com/2017/12/20/the-babysitter-2017-postmodern-popcorn-horror-comedy/

  • Velvet Goldmine

    Velvet Goldmine

    ★★★½

    This classic of New Queer Cinema -- directed by Todd Haynes -- is for you if you are a fan of glam rock/punk. David Bowie and Iggy Pop are two of the stars represented by characters played by an outstanding cast that includes Christian Bale, Ewan McGregor, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and Eddie Izzard.

  • The Piano Teacher

    The Piano Teacher

    ★★★½

    A tightly-wound piano professor (Isabelle Huppert) at a Parisian music academy has a secret life that she attempts to hide from her domineering mother. When a younger music student aggressively pursues her, she gradually falls apart. As this occurs, the film gracefully transitions from the conformist milieu of classical music to the transgressive world of the piano teacher's transgressive fantasies. A bit too long, this film delivers Haneke's signature dark worldview.

  • Funny Games

    Funny Games

    ★★★½

    Capsule summary: "Writer/director Michael Haneke sadistically attacks both his audience and rich white people . . . again!" For an expanded analysis of this remake and the German-language original, check out my review on the Loud Green Bird website.

  • The Brood

    The Brood

    ★★★½

    Although Cronenberg's prior films seem to me to be incompletely realized, this one really works for me -- and for a lot of others, too, judging from its inclusion in the Criterion Collection.

  • Funny Games

    Funny Games

    ★★★½

    Part 1 of some thoughts related to this film: loudgreenbird.com/2017/07/13/post-horror-just-more-funny-games-part-1/

    Part 2, which will be more directly related to the film, will soon follow!

  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

    ★★★½

    A solid 1970s crime action-thriller starring Walter Matthau.

  • Neruda

    Neruda

    ★★★½

    This beautifully-shot, dramatized biopic uses a mild dose of surrealism and literary voice-over narration to tell the story of a portion of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda's life. It comes close to an apotheosis of Neruda, warts and all.

    The warts include egotism, sexism, libertinism, and a lifestyle that's a bit too bourgeois and individualistic for a Communist. Neruda's Marxism is highly romanticized -- he was a stalwart supporter of Stalin, who probably would have had him purged if Neruda had…

  • Targets

    Targets

    ★★★½

    On one level, Peter Bogdanovich’s first feature film, Targets (1968, prod. Roger Corman) is about a shift in horror cinema. In the late 1950s, gothic/supernatural and extraterrestrial monsters started to give way to the monsters of everyday life. This shift accelerated with the box-office success of movies like Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Michael Powell’s Peeping Tom (both 1960). Targets is a metaphor for this change in the major source of cinematic horror. Its two major story lines stand for the…

  • Them

    Them

    ★★★½

    This is essentially a home-invasion horror movie but is a cut above the usual film in this subgenre. Its setting in Romania and its French protagonists invite comparisons between the neoliberal Western and post-Communist Eastern European cultures. A bit like THE HILLS HAVE EYES and DELIVERANCE, this film seems to be saying that 'civilized' interlopers can descend quickly, when necessary, to the 'savagery' of the inhabitants of the land. Unlike these two films, it also suggests that Western Europeans might not have what it takes to survive under 'primitive' conditions. All of this might be an allegory of the French colonial experience in Indochina and Algeria.

  • Best Worst Movie

    Best Worst Movie

    ★★★½

    Perhaps better than watching Troll 2 itself! At least, a good introduction to the "worst movie ever made" before seeing it for the first time. Certainly full of insights into how a 'Badfilm' becomes a cult phenomenon -- and the various effects (not all good) of that 'success' on the actors and filmmakers involved.