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  • Lifeforce

    Lifeforce

    ★★★

    This isn't very good in the usual respects by which I would typically determine the quality of a film, but this is a lot of fun and has something to it. In its more frenzied sequences, the film reaches some moments of ecstasy in line with what Railsback's character (in a performance that is often hilariously overwrought) is experiencing. There's a great bit in the Patrick Stewart possessed interrogation scene when the orderly comes in to deliver supplies, awkwardly interrupting the frenetic proceedings. It's delirious, it's chaotic, it's comedic, it's sublime.

    The film belongs to the magnificent Frank Finlay, with his sonorous voice and glorious hair.

  • Ishtar

    Ishtar

    ★★★★

    If I had seen the script for this movie before the film was shot, I would have thought it a perfect vehicle for the Smothers Brothers. May, however, went above and beyond the obvious with Hoffman and Beatty. She cast two of the biggest stars in the world as utter doofuses, and this perhaps unintuitive approach turns what would have been a fine comedy vehicle into something that transcends the Hollywood framework that rejected the finished product.

    The final word: Lip-smacking, back-slapping, perfectly delicious.

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  • Ghost Story

    Ghost Story

    ★★★½

    Yes, it is deeply flawed; it promises something with the effect of an authentic well-told ghost story, and it does not quite deliver. But the performance of Alice Krige completely delivers. Here she shows her full potential as a great screen beauty as well as an exceptionally talented actress. Her embodiment of the haunting seduces even as it chills. It's perhaps my favorite performance ever. The cinematography by the great Jack Cardiff is tops as well. The cold, dark landscapes…

  • The Heart of the World

    The Heart of the World

    ★★★★½

    Simply dazzling. What a thrill!