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  • Dead & Buried

    Dead & Buried

    ★★★½

    A bit long in the tooth, but Sherman and O'Bannon's Lovecraftian vision of hell on Earth emanates a gloom and unease which draws the viewer even as the movie recedes into itself. Like many of his produced screenplays, O'Bannon's intellectual arguments are often whiffed or transmuted by the helmer, but Sherman competently realizes the script's cosmic exploration of deceiving memories and the internal enemy. This doesn't possess the stateliness of the strikingly similar Carpenter film, The Fog, but its mephitic aura stimulates enough thought and intrigue for one to pardon some the center section's dawdling.

  • Night of the Juggler

    Night of the Juggler

    ★★★½

    Jangly, propulsive, grimy slice of first-term-Koch-era NYC sleaze. The city's in transition, on the cusp of becoming Trump-ified, and the denizens have gone batshit crazy. Former cop James Brolin spends 100 minutes acting like a maniac – he runs, jumps, drives, chases, crashes, and punches his way across the city – in search of the racist pedophile who has kidnapped his daughter. Essentially a series of set-pieces in which characters exacerbate Brolin's given circumstances, sometimes acting so irrational that the…

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  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    A puzzle box for the ages: seemingly deceptively simple on the surface — it is, after all, the story of a man who succumbs to madness, eventually running amok while spending a winter with his family in isolation — but there’s more than one method of opening The Shining's myriad doors.

    What I’ll say is there are few films, horror or otherwise, which effectively portray white male hysteria and the terrifying upshots of such behavior. The movie refuses to explicate…

  • Drug War

    Drug War

    ★★★★

    "I'm a cop. You're a drug trafficker. I didn't betray you; I busted you."

    First-rate entertainment, and with some profound social commentary (which will be further inspected upon a necessary rewatch) underneath it all. Full proof that meat-and-potato crime/thriller outings aren't synonymous with Z-grade filmic idiocy punctuated by killer one-liners. (Although Captain Zhang's quote [see above] is pretty sick!) Taking the simple premise of a drug lord evading execution by assisting a police unit in taking down fellow drug barons,…