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  • The Butterfly Murders

    The Butterfly Murders

    Wuxia, gothic, giallo, Agatha Christie hybrid. Interesting in concept but kind of meh in execution. Hard to say if the fault is with the material or the abysmal print streaming on Amazon Prime. It is seemingly randomly cropped and squashed (as if they took an panned and scanned copy and then zoomed it to fit a widescreen TV). The subtitles make the overcomplicated plot twists incomprensible and the damage to the print and soundtrack is almost a character of its…

  • Vera Cruz

    Vera Cruz


    Broad, plodding and a bit racist--in that an American can throw off five Juaristas with machetes as if they were fleas--but Burt Lancaster as a smiling sociopath fully inhabits this Westworld (and has the best hips for gun belts ever captured on screen). He has great one-upmanship chemistry with Gary Cooper in the early scenes--though ultimately Cooper seems lost in the proto-Spaghetti amorality. The film grinds to a halt at Maximillian's court and doesn't pick up again til the big…

Popular reviews

  • Southern Comfort

    Southern Comfort


    With the Cajuns on this one. The Guardsmen were made up of just the right mix of types: gung-ho, martinet, insane, righteous, cynical, passive that lead to massacres of civilians (in movie tropes anyway). I would have been more invested if I felt like anyone deserved to make it out. The real star is the surreal bayou country and Ry Cooder's atmospheric score (which reminded me of Neil Young's work on Dead Man). I loved the Cajun party village at…

  • Notorious



    Every possible kind of relationship tension framed by a drawing room espionage thriller. The spy element involved no onscreen violence and was all played out through extremely relatable jealousy, bitterness and vindictiveness. I can not think of a performance that is more timelessly magnetic and seductive than Bergman's is here. A little sad that this was my last unseen major Hitchcock.

    As great as this is, I can help thinking that letting Claude Rains buy it at the end is kind of poor asset management.