Jesse_Wroe has written 184 reviews for films during 2017.

  • 1990: The Bronx Warriors

    1990: The Bronx Warriors

    ★★★½

    About as good as the movies it rips off, minus the more convincing production value and better acting.

  • Voice Without a Shadow

    Voice Without a Shadow

    ★★★★

    Hardly a classic, but it accomplishes everything it sets out to achieve. Anybody who likes to watch old black and white mystery flicks should like it.

    It's interesting to see Suzuki's direction in a more conventional style, before he became something of a renegade. Still, it looks very good; the Nikkatsu Scope lens is nice and wide and it's used to get a lot of detail from the settings.

    I enjoyed several familiar acting faces: Yôko Minamida (Auntie in "Hausu"),…

  • Under the Sun

    Under the Sun

    ★★★★½

    "We know nobody but you, Great Comrade Kim Jung-un."

    Watch a work of fiction pretending to be real, interspersed with scenes of the propaganda contrived on the spot. The word "Orwellian" easily comes to mind. The shot before the credits is devastating: life in the capital of North Korea is sad and mindless.

    This is the second documentary I've watched this year that showed civilian life under autocratic rule (the other was "Homeland: Iraq Year Zero" which depicted Saddam Hussein's…

  • From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses

    From Caligari to Hitler: German Cinema in the Age of the Masses

    ★★★★½

    An excellent historical and analytical look at films of the Weimar era.

  • The Small Back Room

    The Small Back Room

    ★★★★

    Really good, better than Black Narcissus for sure.

  • 42nd Street Memories: The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Street

    42nd Street Memories: The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Street

    ★★★

    Good as an introduction to the subject, but anybody already familiar with the general narrative about this point in movie history would be better off with a detailed monograph.

  • Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me

    ★★★½

    Sheryl Lee is really good.

  • Happy Together

    Happy Together

    ★★★★½

    Haven't seen this in a while. I liked revisiting it! Still think it's a near-perfect movie.

    The difference between the Kino Video DVD and the Kino Lorber blu-ray is cool. What a lovely looking movie. Reminds me of Kieslowski's "The Double Life of Veronique."

  • Amélie

    Amélie

    ★★★★

    One of the few good rom-coms. I respect it.

    I like this idea of a woman who goes out of her way to get somebody's attention ("stratagems"), yet is too "cowardly" to confront them. Reminds me of me, but my heart is actually becoming brittle and dry like the old guy's bones. Oh well.

    Also, pretty sure I'll become that prompter in the cellar whispering comebacks to people on the street.

  • Born in Flames

    Born in Flames

    ★★★★

    Raw, radical, and spirited. The kind of thing that's great because it's rough around the edges—the kind that pierce. Reminds me of "They Live."

    I'm not a socialist, nor am I an idealist about democracy. However, I like this movie's critical approach to the sexism, racism, and classism that could (would) exist under a nominally Democratic Socialist regime. I've always found that black/intersectional feminism gets to the root of social injustice more than the moderate feminism.

  • The Beyond

    The Beyond

    ★★★★

    Watched it again. I'm ingesting this film over time.

    Every time I watch it, I get a better grasp on what it's doing, on the little great parts that make it up. As a whole, it's still unsatisfactory, mostly during the final set piece, the way it wraps everything up. I believe there's more to the movie, other places it should've gone. But the first hour and ten minutes is pretty cool.

    What stood out the most on this viewing…

  • The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

    The Spy Who Came In from the Cold

    ★★★★½

    My enthusiasm for this movie is like 4 stars, but it has no faults and accomplishes everything it wants to, so I have to give it more credit.

    It's a Cold War parable: Men on all national sides are assets, pure utilities in a game among many players, whom may end up in an operation different the one in which they started—the cost of keeping the West safe.

    I'm not entirely sure of the worldview of all this, or where…