• The Black Cat

    The Black Cat

    ★★★★★

    "Are we any the less victims of the war than those whose bodies were torn asunder? Are we not both the living dead? And now you come to me, playing at being an avenging angel - childishly thirsty for my blood. We understand each other too well. We know too much of life. We shall play a little game, Vitus. A game of death, if you like."

    ulmer and his cuckoo co writer peter ruric conjure the ultimate satanic ritual:…

  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

    after naively attempting to breathe new life into the franchise in the last jedi, j.j. abrams and crew take the path of least integrity. the rise of skywalker works overtime to create absolutely nonsensical and narratively illogical ways to tie these lifeless, hollow characters back to the vintage heroes and villains from the original trilogy. the ideological tug of war between the three films ends up leaving the saga without any satisfying arcs or endpoints - rey’s lineage becoming a…

  • A History of Violence

    A History of Violence

    ★★★★★

    You shall not bow down to them or serve them, for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.
    Exodus 20:5-6

    “I killed Joey Cusack. I went out to the desert, and I killed him.”

    cronenberg’s exacting and surgical cutting at the heart…

  • Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews

    Frost/Nixon: The Original Watergate Interviews

    complete 5+ hour version of all 5 episodes. (stated as 85 minutes here?)

    about 3 years after tricky dick's resignation, he sits down to have the run around with david frost on any and all topics of his presidential run: vietnam, mao, 18 1/2 minute tape gaps, the nefarious east coast media, watergate, and doctor death - henry kissinger. nixon being nixon, frost and the audience get the constant distraction and non-answer routine. by '77, his bag of tricks was…

  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    “Tomorrow was created yesterday.......And by the day before yesterday, too. To ignore history is to ignore the wolf at the door.”
    ― John le Carré, A Most Wanted Man

    collective amnesia has rendered a film so fastened to a canonical classic to be something New, Radical, Unique, and Special. the last jedi is a collage of fanservice and rehashing of iconic plot structure of the empire strikes back (and return of the jedi) to such a degree it can only…

  • Daisy Kenyon

    Daisy Kenyon

    'when it comes to modern combat tactics, you're both babies compared to me.'

    preminger stages a love triangle as a passive aggressive war front, where the object of 2 men's affections is joan crawford. one of the most magnetic stars in film history is cast here in oppressive shadows and dark fashion - slowly bringing out more and more of her state of uncomfortable limbo. there's no fistfights or gunshots - instead issues are hashed out like mature adults and…

  • Under Capricorn

    Under Capricorn

    ★★★★★

    "In seventeen-hundred and seventy, Captain Cook discovered Australia. Sixty years later, the city of Sydney, the capital of New South Wales, had grown on the edge of three million square miles of unknown land. The colony exported raw materials. It imported material even more raw - prisoners, many of them unjustly convicted, who were to be shaped into the pioneers of a great dominion. In eighteen-hundred and thirty-one King William the Fourth sent a new governor to rule the colony.…

  • A Cure for Wellness

    A Cure for Wellness

    ★★★★★

    "It is a cruel atmosphere down there, cruel and ruthless."

    "The body, love, death, these three are just one. For the body, this is the disease and exquisite delight, and this that does die, yes, they are carnal both of them, love and death, and thus their terror and their great magic!"

    - Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain

    one of the countless details in verbinski's magnum opus is an aide reading a copy of the magic mountain before masturbating. the…

  • Blue Steel

    Blue Steel

    “Whether the mask is labeled fascism, democracy, or dictatorship of the proletariat, our great adversary remains the apparatus—the bureaucracy, the police, the military. Not the one facing us across the frontier of the battle lines, which is not so much our enemy as our brothers' enemy, but the one that calls itself our protector and makes us its slaves. No matter what the circumstances, the worst betrayal will always be to subordinate ourselves to this apparatus and to trample underfoot,…

  • Lips of Blood

    Lips of Blood

    And as always, innocent like roller coasters
    Fatality is like ghosts in snow and you have no idea what you're up against because I've seen what they look like
    Becoming perfect as if they were sterling silver chainsaws going, cascading..

    - My Chemical Romance, 'Vampires Will Never Hurt You'

    a mystery that slowly ebbs and flows like the waves, rollin always somehow finds tranquility in tragedy. there's a permeating sadness to these vampiric figures - never the grotesqueries of other…

  • Driven

    Driven

    "Not in mine eyes alone is Paradise."

    -Dante Alighieri, Paradise

    there's a lot at work here, and the film never stops moving. harlin is able to build and break bonds around multiple threads without stalling in the pit. a film concerned more about mythos and camaraderie than the typical american "eye on the prize" narrative; the people mean more than the wins - and when burt reynolds shatters that concept with his hyper-capitalist savagery the film shakes at its core…

  • Moloch

    Moloch

    "The art of domesticity seems to me as special and as valuable as all the ancient arts of our race." - G.K. Chesterton

    this portrayal of vacationing and home life of fascist leaders is more horrific than that of the typical portrayal of raving, insane evil. sokurov dares to make hitler human - a sin to some, but in the process procures the actual sinister nature of ideology. over casual dinner conversations and propaganda screenings far up in the mountains,…