Hunter has written 144 reviews for films during 2018.

  • The Last Movie

    The Last Movie

    ★★★

    One of the more infamous movies of the New Hollywood era, as well as one of the most seldom seen. "The Last Movie" is an act of self-immolation on Hopper's part, changing the mainstream movie game in a rare feat with his first movie, "Easy Rider", and then promptly exiting cinema for a decade after setting his career on fire with his second. It's easy to see why "The Last Movie" didn't catch on with audiences. Watching it is like…

  • Treasure Island

    Treasure Island

    ★★★★

    Robert Newton is the definitive pirate. Arrrrmen.

  • The Breaking Point

    The Breaking Point

    ★★★★

    An adaptation of "To Have and Have Not", if it owed more to the original Hemingway novel, and less to "Casablanca", and happened to be directed by the director of "Casablanca". Terrifically taut and tense, it's one of those "when will this working class fella catch a break" stories that never lets up, with a gut-punch finish.

  • They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    They'll Love Me When I'm Dead

    ★★★

    An interesting look at the final years of Welles' career, when he returned to Hollywood to find himself worshipped by the generation of boomers who were occupying the ruins of the studio system. Peter Bogdanovich is really Welles, the way Welles was really Kane, and Kane was really Hearst. It's basically a promo piece for Netflix's release of "The Other Side of the Wind", but probably essential for fully appreciating it. The film also doesn't seem to worship its subjects…

  • In a Lonely Place

    In a Lonely Place

    ★★★★★

    Humphrey Bogart is so good in this movie, his trademark charismatic cool is broken by genuinely terrifying fits of rage and violence that feel completely authentic. Bogart and Gloria Graham, together with director Nicolas Ray, create an authentic portrait of an abusive relationship. Your grip on reality seems firm in the beginning, by the end you don't know which way is up. And it's all thanks to Bogey's convincing performance, as well as Graham's performance as the enchanted lover-turned-victim. Watch this together with "Casablanca" to witness Bogey's subtle range as a leading man.

  • Mandy

    Mandy

    I guess this is what passes for good art-house genre cinema these days. "Mandy" is getting critical acclaim out the wazoo, but I was bored stiff watching it. Panos Cosmatos makes Dario Argento look like Michael Curtiz when it comes to putting style over substance. The VHS fuzz, King Crimson tracks, and candy-colored palette are neat, but the plot and characters are practically non-existent. I typically value atmosphere over script in the sleazier slums of genre cinema, but "Mandy" is…

  • Dark Passage

    Dark Passage

    ★★½

    "Dark Passage" has a crackling first two acts, with Bogey's character depicted largely by a first-person camera. Lauren Bacall is mysterious and alluring, and the atmosphere of paranoia is exciting. Shockingly, though, the movie loses steam once Bogey's face is finally revealed, and the plot fizzles out like a bum firecracker.

  • Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

    Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

    ★★★

    An entertaining essay on Welles that moves at a nice clip. The interviews, photos and footage that illuminate Welles' childhood are pretty neat, otherwise it doesn't tell you a lot any fan of Welles doesn't already know, but still worth seeing.

  • The Battle Over Citizen Kane

    The Battle Over Citizen Kane

    ★★★★

    An interesting comparison between Orson Welles and William Randolph Hearst, showing two Chads of the same stripe going head-to-head. Full of interesting interviews with people who are no longer with us. Compelling and sad, the scene where Welles tells us staying in movies was a mistake because he spent his life hustling instead of creating leaves you feeling down, but it's a painful truth about showbiz.

  • It's Always Fair Weather

    It's Always Fair Weather

    ★★½

    Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly were crumbling as a directing team in "It's Always Fair Weather", and it shows. The tremendous magic present in films like "Singin' in the Rain" only shines through in fits during "It's Always Fair Weather". The opening drunken dance number when Kelly and his G.I. pals return from World War II is delightful, but the movie goes in a weird direction when the friends reunite ten years later, only to find they have nothing in…

  • 7 Men from Now

    7 Men from Now

    ★★★★½

    I remember Clint Eastwood talking about Budd Boetticher's "Comanche Station", and he said one of the things he noticed about the movies Boetticher made with Randolph Scott was how likable the villains are in his films. By the end of the movie, Eastwood said you normally want Scott's character to end up being pals with whoever his nemesis is. Lee Marvin plays that role in "7 Men From Now", and it's one of the most entertaining performances I've seen from…

  • The Wolf Man

    The Wolf Man

    ★★★★

    The more I watch this movie and look at Lon Chaney Jr., the more I'm convinced this movie is actually about alcoholism.