Hunter has written 106 reviews for films during 2019.

  • Richard Jewell

    Richard Jewell

    ★★★★

    I saw an interview with Richard Jewell's lawyer, Watson Bryant (played with spot-on casting by Sam Rockwell in the film) where he said that people generally assume Jewell was arrested for the Centennial Olympic Park bombing. I had thought this as well. Bryant went to say the fact that most people have no idea Jewell wasn't arrested or charged with anything, speaks to how utterly irresponsible and destructive the reporting on him was. Clint Eastwood's film is a commentary on…

  • Scrooged

    Scrooged

    ★★★

    "Scrooged" doesn't manage to be as uproarious throughout as it is in its first act, and it wears out its welcome by the end. Casting Buddy Hackett as Scrooge is a stroke of genius though. It should really get five stars just for that.

  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

    Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

    ★★★

    Any time a sequel is a paint-by-numbers retread of the original, I've added the subheading "Lost in New York" to it as a tribute to this film. "Home Alone 2" gives you a big budget New York Christmas spectacle, more traps, more cartoon violence, and yet, the same plot, right down to "It's a Wonderful Life" with foreign dubbing and "Angels with EVEN FILTHIER Souls"! It's a cash-in, but a fun way to shake it up when revisiting "Home Alone" for Christmas. The John Williams score never gets old here either.

  • Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile

    ★★★★½

    A serial killer movie that mostly eschews gruesome shocks in favor of the effect the crimes have on the family of the narcissist behind them. Zac Efron captures Bundy's charm, adding to the film's dramatic tension. Everyone knows the monster Bundy truly was, yet his disarmingly deadly charisma is what continues to fascinate and ultimately repulse. It's hard to believe this is the same filmmaker who directed "Blair Witch 2", but Joe Berlinger has made it apparent through his documentary work that true crime is where he shines.

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol

    The Muppet Christmas Carol

    ★★★★

    The last great Muppet movie. Michael Caine is a terrific Scrooge, and the Muppet cast fits well into this story. I never realized Paul Williams did the songs.

    Some gripes about the DVD release: I don't understand why the "When Love is Gone" song is cut from the widescreen version on the DVD, but you can watch it on the fullscreen presentation. Either way, you're watching a truncated version of the film. Confounding.

  • Home Alone

    Home Alone

    ★★★★

    The John Williams soundtrack is Christmas magic. The movie's family friendly mix of "Ferris Bueller", Looney Tunes, and "Straw Dogs" still plays well today. The Netflix episode of "The Movies That Made Us" on this film has a lot of interesting information on the making of the film, like how Fox scooped Warner Bros., and that Dan Roebuck almost played Daniel Stern's part.

  • Django the Bastard

    Django the Bastard

    ★★★

    The reputation of "Django the Bastard" seems to revolve around its similarities to Clint Eastwood's "High Plains Drifter". It isn't as weird as Clint's film, or other supernatural spaghetti westerns for that matter. It's not too different from other films in the cycle where a stranger comes to wreck havoc on a corrupt, crime-ridden town. It's got fun bad guys (Luciano Rossi is a standout), lots of shootouts, and a possible spectre for a stranger. Early on, the stakes of…

  • Stan & Ollie

    Stan & Ollie

    ★★★★

    A moving depiction of the friendship and creative partnership between Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. Laurel & Hardy are a blind spot in my movie-watching, which is something I need to change. Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly seem to have nailed their subjects, which speaks to their own talents as comedic performers.

  • No Safe Spaces

    No Safe Spaces

    ★★½

    A documentary that looks at a lot of symptoms, and says "Gee, aren't these symptoms annoying," while never looking at what causes them.

  • A Hard Day's Night

    A Hard Day's Night

    ★★★★

    Movies are rarely this fun from the very first shot. "A Hard Day's Night" holds up better than the later Beatles efforts at the cinema. This one was made before the sixties got weird, before the acid hit and everything got cheap-looking and stupid.

  • RKO 281

    RKO 281

    ★★

    A movie made by someone who saw "The Battle Over 'Citizen Kane'" on "American Experience", but with embellishments so grand that anyone slightly familiar with the history of "Kane" can't take it seriously from the first act. "RKO 281" depicts Orson Welles (Liev Schreiber) as having been slighted by William Randolph Hearst (James Cromwell) at one of his legendary parties in San Simeon, and thus concocts the plot of "Kane" as a vindictive plot to get back at Hearst, while…

  • Joker

    Joker

    ★★★★

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

    The similarities between "Joker" and the lone nut movies by Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro are well documented. The main difference between those movies and "Joker", is that "Joker" is a full-blown societal revenge fantasy against elites and the media, whereas the Scorsese/De Niro movies simply dissected and analyzed their subjects. It's "Taxi Driver" if Travis actually blows away Charles Palantine, and we cheer when he does it.

    I'm never sure what to make of a movie with this…