• Poltergeist

    Poltergeist

    ★★★★½

    Hadn’t watched this since high school and I forgot how incredibly hard it goes, and yet there’s minimal blood. I also didn’t remember that it’s a slam against the Reagan era. The film starts out with Steve reading a Reagan biography and seemingly living the 80s dream: life in the suburbs selling suburban bliss to others. But in an age that prioritizes easy profits over regulations, you might build your cookie-cutter houses on a bunch of corpses!

  • Last Year at Marienbad

    Last Year at Marienbad

    ★★★★½

    More like Last Year at MarienGOOD! (still got it)

    I really went for the dreamlike, surreal atmosphere of this one. The cinematography is so gorgeous and rich, and it all feels rather ethereal. More than anything, the approach here makes you feel like you’re in the space of memory and perspective rather than objective fact. That takes on weight when you look through the delicate narrative setup: was this really a plot to run away together? What makes the experience…

  • Sugar Hill

    Sugar Hill

    ★★★

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

    A woman uses voodoo to recruit a zombie horde to exact revenge on the gangsters that killed her man. That’s it. That’s the movie, and it works! It’s not particularly deep, and I’m not thrilled about the ending where Baron Samedi is rewarded by getting to rape the gangster’s moll in hell for eternity, but everything before that is pretty entertaining for what it is.

  • Ginger Snaps

    Ginger Snaps

    ★★★

    A little slow at the beginning and a little rough at the end, but in the middle it goes some interesting places. If the werewolf mythos is about primal nature, what does that mean for women, especially young women, who are prescribed only certain kinds of roles and repeatedly boxed in by society? I don’t know how well it capitalizes on that, but you still have the relatable central dynamic between Brigitte and Ginger and how teenage friendships can be so volatile when people change so much in those years.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    ★★★★½

    I feel of the three extended editions, this one has the best additional scenes even if it does take the runtime past the four-hour mark.

    What’s so remarkable about this movie (and the trilogy as a whole) is how they’re about hope as a courageous act. That even when things are at their darkest, we must hope for a better tomorrow and trust in each other. 

    This is opposed to most Marvel movies which are about being Marvel movies.

  • Avatar

    Avatar

    ★★

    It’s kind of weird watching esteemed critics leaping to this film’s defense, but to each their own, I suppose. I still have the same issues I had with it back in 2009. I think its relationship of colonizer/colonized looks even worse now (and it was never great to begin with). The escapist fantasy that a technologically inferior people could beat back colonialist oppression conveys the idea that these were ultimately fair fights and that whomever won therefore “deserved” it.

    That’s…

  • Diabolique

    Diabolique

    ★★★½

    Not hard to see why Hitchcock wanted this one for himself. It’s certainly more suspense than horror, but I think it’s thematically sound in that rather than your standard “boy I sure feel guilty for killing this guy and getting caught” tension, it feels like Michel is still abusing these women, especially Christina, from beyond the grave. Essentially, there is no escape from the trauma, which is pretty dark stuff!

  • Nosferatu

    Nosferatu

    ★★★½

    Terrific visuals and arguably the best adaptation of Dracula even though it was unofficial. Where I struggled is where I struggle with a lot of silent film, which isn’t the quality of the picture or the lack of spoken dialogue, but the wall-to-wall orchestration, which I find distracting. I rarely feel like it’s working in tandem with the images, and typically overwhelms what’s on screen. Of course, without it, you have total silence there are no sound effects. I don’t…

  • Hour of the Wolf

    Hour of the Wolf

    ★★★½

    It has been a minute since I watched any Bergman (I think the last one I saw was The Virgin Spring, and that was over a decade ago), and I realized that I need to be in the right headspace for his movies. There’s nothing wrong with them, but they can be icy, cerebral, and drenched with symbolism, and so it’s not like you just pop one on and go for the ride.

    As for this, it’s horrific in a…

  • Class of 1999

    Class of 1999

    ★★★½

    Goofy fun! It doesn’t take itself too seriously, but it does have a nice satirical edge that gangs (at least as they’re depicted here as the fever dream of conservative America) are a made-up phenomenon created by the real villains, the military industrial complex. I also far prefer this kind of movie where the scrappy toughs unite as opposed to something like The Substitute where sometimes a violent teacher just has to pulverize some teens.

  • The Spine of Night

    The Spine of Night

    ★½

    If I was stoned fantasy nerd in high school, I would probably think this is the best movie ever. As it stands, I’m no longer instantly exhilarated by nudity and violence. While some of the animation is impressive (The Guardian’s story in particular is terrific), for the most part, this feels like an undercooked concept. Its characters are one-dimensional, its story is flimsy, the animation is uneven (sometimes it works and other times it feels like it came from a…

  • The Thing From Another World

    The Thing From Another World

    ★★½

    I’d been meaning to watch this one for a while since I’m a fan of Carpenter’s version and I recently read the source material, “Who Goes There?” This original adaptation doesn’t really work too well since it takes half the film to really get going, doesn’t build a sense of dread or paranoia, and is really more about ambivalence towards scientific progress and how important decisions should be left to the military (as if The Manhattan Project was a bunch…