Hunter has written 171 reviews for films during 2020.

  • Lethal Weapon

    Lethal Weapon

    ★★½

    Shane Black does the men's paperback novel mixed with old Hollywood comedy stuff better when he actually gets to direct it. Mel Gibson's Riggs character has this Three Stooges bit going that's funny, but when Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe do the same thing with Abbott & Costello in "The Nice Guys", you really see what Black was going for here. There was a lot of stuff about "Lethal Weapon" that was irritating on this re-watch. Why does Murtaugh's house look…

  • A Christmas Carol

    A Christmas Carol

    You'd think Patrick Stewart would be an interesting choice to play Ebenezer Scrooge. Unfortunately, he gives one of the worst turns as the character on film I've seen. The film opens interestingly enough with the funeral of Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd). Scrooge's offices are stark and sparse, and Richard E. Grant is brilliant as Bob Cratchit, as is Dominic West as Scrooge's nephew, Fred. The bright spots end there. Most of the scenes in the movie wear out their welcome…

  • Die Hard 2

    Die Hard 2

    ★★★

    A retread of the original that's fun enough. More bullets, blood, and guts, but less of the stuff that made you come back to the original again and again. John McClane's "I can't believe this is happening to me" frustrated sarcasm, combined with increasingly nasty injuries and the tension of being the only guy who knows what's going on in Nakatomi Plaza is what makes the original such an imitated thriller. In "Die Hard 2", we know these things happen…

  • Batman Returns

    Batman Returns

    ★★★★

    Tim Burton got nuts with this one. It's film about how the oligarchs work media and politics to their own ends. The narratives they spin all lead to the same destination. This one just happens to have Batman and an army of rocket-wielding penguins. Danny DeVito's Penguin is a hideous, sex-obsessed bird freak instead of a ticing gangster, it's no wonder parents kept their kids at home this time. Christopher Walken shows up doing his best Rudolf Klein-Rogge impression. After…

  • Scrooge

    Scrooge

    ★★★½

    Adam Sandler's entire career has been built around doing an impression of Albert Finney as Scrooge in this movie.

  • The Pirate

    The Pirate

    ★★★

    Gene Kelly clowns on Hollywood tropes in a manner that doesn't really connect the way it would later in his greatest achievement, "Singin' in the Rain." "Singin' in the Rain" would even swipe a tune from "The Pirate," re-wiring Cole Porter's "Be a Clown" into the memorable "Make 'em Laugh."

    Kelly is superhuman here, his movements are otherworldly, and the pirate fantasy sequence is show-stoppingly surreal and hilarious. Judy Garland and Kelly make for a wonderful pairing, one wonders what…

  • Camelot

    Camelot

    ★★★

    Strange to see a Hollywood musical with a (dubbed) Franco Nero as Lancelot romancing Vanessa Redgrave as Guinevere, who he would later marry...in 2006!

    "Camelot" comes late in the life cycle of Hollywood musical, and suffers for it. The talent of performers takes a back seat to star power. Nero is obviously there to sell the movie to Europeans, and Redgrave is no Julie Andrews, who played Guinevere on Broadway. The film's locations are beautiful, but the proceedings are rather…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★

    "Citizen Kane" is still a film that elicits feelings of jealousy from the proud who lack the grace to be humbled by great art. The film made by Orson Welles, Gregg Toland, and Herman J. Mankiewicz is a true testament to the collaborative nature of film, as many great artists converged on this film to create one of the great, innovative works in the medium that continues to entertain and inspire. Yet, for some reason, Hollywood still can't stand the…

  • Play Misty for Me

    Play Misty for Me

    ★★★

    "Play Misty for Me," Clint Eastwood's directorial debut, is one of those post-sexual revolution films like "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" that explores the consequences of seemingly-free love, the horror stories that come with casual sex. The obsessive, stalker female antagonist in "Misty" is of the variety that mostly afflicts those with celebrity, though, the kind of story Stephen King would relate over a decade late in "Misery." A common criticism in reviews of this movie is to say Clint's DJ…

  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    ★★★★½

    Featuring eye-meltingly beautiful cinematography by Adriano Goldman, Cary Fukunaga's adaptation of "Jane Eyre" evokes Terrence Malick and Stanley Kubrick. Mia Wasikowska captures the Christian suffering and self-respect found in Charlotte Brontë's titular protagonist, and Michael Fassbender gives Orson Welles a run for his money in depicting the pathos hidden beneath the tough exterior of Edward Rochester.

  • Jane Eyre

    Jane Eyre

    ★★★½

    An adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic novel that is positively magnetic in its performances. Orson Welles' stark eyes hypnotize, and his barking, booming voice is the most commanding and charismatic its ever been. The movie pretends to try to make Joan Fontaine somewhat plain. The thing that cuts the movie's legs out from under it is the rushed third act, everything tying up far too quickly and conveniently.

  • Citizen Kane

    Citizen Kane

    ★★★★★

    Man uses media to build a false reality for himself. As true then as it is now.