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Jesse_Wroe has written 183 reviews for films during 2018.

  • Roma

    Roma

    ★★★★½

    A commendable work, high in artistic quality and competent direction. The modest and real are depicted at great depth and scale, reflecting the high drama that a seemingly simple life can reach.

    The visual economy is ripe and deliberate. Cuaron is a master of the long take: dynamic action and performance are natural and fluid, yet dense with variation and micro-plotted narrative. These takes make up scenes and moments that are quite stunning, even tragic. Curaon, working as the director…

  • Love Me Deadly

    Love Me Deadly

    ★★★★½

    Ignore the plot in the official listing. It gets it wrong.

    "Love Me Deadly" is about A WOMAN with necrophilia. She visits funerals to kiss the dead (see the double pun now?). At her regular funeral home, a mortician catches on to her, but he doesn't want to turn her in. He has similar tastes and will introduce her to activities of his own (which may be...). Then, she meets a real man who tries to love her the normal…

  • Dangerous Seductress

    Dangerous Seductress

    ★★★★

    A holy man in Bali warned me about this.

  • First Desires

    First Desires

    ★½

    "Hmm, this is cheesy...

    Works with the nice soft focus...

    Kinda creepy...

    Not bad camera work, look at the weather...

    Did David the director yell, 'Young beauties, let your blooming sexuality look good for the camera!'

    Maybe I'm just too American...

    This is very hetero, but there's some gender parity here and there...

    Oh, how conveniently naked...

    I know you're trying to be sincere about this, David, but...

    Well, this is kinda sex positive and open, everybody 'seems' comfortable...

    Again,…

  • One-Eyed Jacks

    One-Eyed Jacks

    ★★★★

    When Brando speaks Spanish...

  • Innocence

    Innocence

    ★★★★★

    Lucile Hadzihalilovic, the director and co-writer of "Innocence," must've felt as I did after watching Peter Weir's "Picnic at Hanging Rock": That the oneiric first act should've been the tone of the whole film. Hadzihalilovic does just that with this one, although in a more subdued and ambiguous manner, with a touch of "The Handmaiden's Tale" in keeping with the film's source material ("Mine-Haha, or On the Bodily Education of Young Girls " by Frank Wedekind).

    Like her latest feature…

  • Just Before Dawn

    Just Before Dawn

    ★★★½

    This backwoods murder-thriller/quasi-slasher is pretty good. It'll appeal to genre hounds and casual viewers alike, for it has the right kind of violent thrills and horror chills.

    It represents the tried and true formulas of "The Hills Have Eyes" and "Deliverance," with a touch of "Friday the 13th." A group of friends go to a mountain region where one of them holds the deed of some property. A forest ranger, played by George Kennedy, gives the campers the requisite vague…

  • Watch Me When I Kill

    Watch Me When I Kill

    ★★★

    When you watch all the gialli you can, a good one will be notable for its specific spins of general formulas. Sometimes that's the main selling point against other expectations, like style and atmosphere. This is the case of "Watch Me When I Kill," a giallo from the near-end of the genre's boom that boasts a good investigative plot and a surprising conclusion that's distinctive as a revelation of identity and murderous intent, though the film overall lacks the minimum…

  • French Dressing

    French Dressing

    ★★★

    Ken Russell fans looking for the early marks of his trademark transgressive storytelling might be disappointed in "French Dressing." If they can get into a mix of John Schlesinger and Buster Keaton, the movie will be a British New Wave delight with a sexually satirical charm. Despite its datedness, it's often funny and rompy.

    Italian genre nerds might like the sight of model-actress Marisa Mell, who appeared in Lucio Fulci's "One On Top of the Other" and Mario Bava's "Danger…

  • Scream for Help

    Scream for Help

    ★★★★

    Simply hilarious. One of the most delightfully absurd thrillers anybody could hope to see. It qualifies as So Bad It's Good, yet in a way that balances competence and ineptitude to the point of success, not failure.

    The anchor is actress Rachael Kelly as ("Agatha") Christie Cromwell, a clever teen who rightfully suspects that her stepfather, Paul Fox, is conspiring to murder her mother (and perhaps herself). As Christie builds her case against him, the audience may be surprised that…

  • Let the Corpses Tan

    Let the Corpses Tan

    ★★★½

    When style is the substance. All'italiana!

    Anti-cop rhetoric is cool.

    This duo should try shorter films and serials.

    I love the opening credits. The original title and corresponding english subtitle make a conflict of syntax: "Laissez (Let) bronzer (the) les (Corpses) cadavres (Tan)."

  • Five Easy Pieces

    Five Easy Pieces

    ★★★★½

    I did not expect this film to be so sad. Maybe it was my mood (I'm a diagnosed depressive). Or, maybe I didn't know enough about what I was getting into. Sometimes, a New Hollywood movie feels too old from my present moment.

    But "Five Easy Pieces" has at least two scenes that struck a deep chord in me. It oscillated violently. To paraphrase:

    How could somebody with a musical background give it up?

    How can somebody who loves nothing…