Hunter has written 134 reviews for films rated ★★★ .

  • Hellboy

    Hellboy

    ★★★

    I like this more than I remember back when it came out. It's got the generic villains, Rupert Evans' character is so bland he may as well not be in the movie, and Guillermo Del Toro can't help but project himself into a screen romance between a monster (a stand-in for himself) and a woman. But it's colorful, the action pops, and its dripping with an intoxicating mix of Lovecraft, comics, and Catholicism. The absolute state of comic book movies as generic junk food today have helped "Hellboy" along with age too.

  • Godspell

    Godspell

    ★★★

    The concept of doing vaudeville sketches to illustrate the teachings of Jesus Christ is brilliant, and the songs are pretty good too. It's just unfortunate that this was made in 1973. The film, like the poster, is painful to look at, because it's so steeped in the hippie aesthetic. It's an ugly aesthetic that makes me break out in hives when combined with Christianity, since the Catholic Church has had great difficulty getting rid of the aesthetics of the sixties and seventies in its art and liturgy.

  • Manhattan Murder Mystery

    Manhattan Murder Mystery

    ★★★

    Woody going back to the well in the early nineties to take your mind off the whole Soon-yi mess. "He's got old pals like Diane Keaton back! Alan Alda too! Boy! Mia who?" The manic energy Woody's lead has is exhausting, the mystery is almost incomprehensible, but it's fun. The "Lady from Shanghai" finale is hard to dislike, even if the movie won't allow anyone to miss what it's referencing. Carlo Di Palma's cinematography gives it a verité feel that makes every conversation feel like eavesdropping.

  • Scrooged

    Scrooged

    ★★★

    A very funny, very eighties version of "A Christmas Carol." You can tell Bill Murray and Richard Donner didn't get along, as the movie feels incomplete and made-up as it goes along, but it somehow works. A Christmas miracle!

  • The Godfather: Part III

    The Godfather: Part III

    ★★★

    Francis Ford Coppola's new cut of "The Godfather Part III" under the title "Godfather Coda: The Death of Michael Corleone", apart from having the film re-enter the public discourse, is a wasted opportunity. What few changes were made add nothing, and even harm the pacing of the film at the film's beginning and end. The film's weaknesses, particularly the performances of Andy Garcia and Sofia Coppola, are problems baked into the film's DNA, and no amount of snipping can help…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • 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…

  • Ghostbusters II

    Ghostbusters II

    ★★★

    "Ghostbusters II" is one of those movies undeservedly considered to be a bad sequel. It's not as good as the first, but it's still got plenty of laughs and freaky ghosts.

  • The Devil and Father Amorth

    The Devil and Father Amorth

    ★★★

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

    William Friedkin is as entertaining as a host as he is as a director. Here he returns to the subject matter of his classic film, "The Exorcist," and spends time with famous exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth, as well as various psychiatrists and neurosurgeons to explore the phenomenon of demonic possession. Friedkin's interview with Bishop Robert Barron is one of the highlights of the film.

    Finding a narrative in a documentary can already be tricky, but one thing that works against…

  • Hubie Halloween

    Hubie Halloween

    ★★★

    If you like Adam Sandler and Halloween as much as I do, well, this rough year for movies has a little treat for you. Sandler plays a local pest in Salem, Massachusetts, who earnestly tries to help his community in his own irritating way, despite being openly hated by nearly everyone in town. When locals start disappearing on Halloween, he takes it upon himself to save the town. Sandler's mix of Capra-esque earnestness and humanity wrapped in crude humor is always enjoyable, but it gets some extra points for arriving at a moment like now.