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  • Spies

    Spies

    ★★★½

    Fritz Lang, Ranked. This was the 2004 restoration, at 143 minutes.

    Opium addicts! Wily seductresses! Exotic nightclubs! Secret treaties! Train crashes! Car chases! Exploding bombs! It’s another lavish Ufa production of a Fritz Lang epic, again centered around an all-powerful supervillain. There is lots and lots of cool stuff in there, but I wouldn’t put it among my favorite Lang for a number of reasons. First, it’s not coherent enough for a film of this length. Second, there’s a very…

  • The Little Stranger

    The Little Stranger

    ★★½

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

    I went into it with a good attitude, but the slow pace wore me down. There may have been an interesting idea in there somewhere, but I’m not sure it all added up in the end. For example, if the point is that Dr. Faraday himself is behind all the spooking, how does the dog attack fit in? And how did the fire in Rod’s room come to happen? Was that Faraday too, somehow? And if it was (telekinetically, I…

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  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    ★★★★½

    I’m not a fan of anthology films at all, but I loved this. The film does have some sort of coherence to it, though it’s hard to explain how; maybe it’s just the great cinematography by Bruno Delbonnel. Some of the segments aren’t as densely written as would be typical of the Coens, but they still worked for me. I could look at that prospector’s valley all day. Wait, that sounds weird.

    This is the only movie I can think…

  • Event Horizon

    Event Horizon

    ½

    Was hoping for cool, Alien-style science fiction, got trashy haunted house movie in space (complete with spooky lightning because they're in Neptune's atmosphere). It's dorky and clichéd, and at heart it has the sensibilities of a 1980s straight-to-VHS body horror movie. So, basically, it's Hellraiser 2047: Shadow of Uranus.

    That may all sound pretty harsh, but I have a particular grudge against this movie because back in 1997 I stupidly suggested going to see it on a double date at…