• The Newton Boys

    The Newton Boys

    ★★★½

    Not enough movies these days rip off George Roy Hill

  • Wings of Desire

    Wings of Desire

    ★★★★★

    Perhaps the truest depiction of the human experience ever.

  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★

    I'm so glad Luhrmann keeps getting to do his thing on big budgets with massive actors, but man this still isn't my cup of tea. The first act is cool, but as all of Baz's films I've seen, it eventually loses me. In my view Marty's approach works best for 3-hour biopics that capture the chaotic, drug-fueled energy of a guy's career and their eventual fall from grace.

  • Spider-Man 3

    Spider-Man 3

    ★★★

    This is what a mediocre comic book movie should be like.

  • The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

    ★★★★★

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

    John Ford really knew how to simultaneously build up a legend and deflate it. Many of his westerns do so with the legend of the western gunslinger, but here he does so for both the gunslinger and the well-meaning American politician by showing that politics cannot exist without the corrosive element of violence. Combine that with the revelation that behind every legend stands a lie and you have a masterful take-down of the American myth of the individual.

    I'm not…

  • The Magnificent Seven

    The Magnificent Seven

    ★★★½

    Definitely fun to see Seven Samurai with cowboys, but I feel like there's potential here that's missed by opting of the approach of just giving the characters from Seven Samurai cowboy hats and revolvers instead of graphing the same character dynamic onto Western hero archetypes. This is most jarring with Chico, where it genuinely feels like Horst Buchholz is doing a Toshiro Mifune impression. Also, idk, maybe you shouldn't do a scene-for-scene remake of one of the greatest films ever and just cut an hour from the story?

  • Rio Bravo

    Rio Bravo

    ★★★★★

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

    In one of the less inflammatory and legacy-tarnishing parts of his 1971 interview for Playboy Magazine, John Wayne called Fred Zinnemann's masterful western morality play High Noon "the most un-American thing [he's] ever seen in [his] whole life." In Zinnemann's film, a Marshal is faced with personal crises at every turn as well as the disheartening cowardice of the townfolk in the face of the impending arrival of a newly released outlaw. While remaining extremely loyal to the American myth…

  • The Quiet Girl

    The Quiet Girl

    ★★★★

    This has populated cinemas for weeks at this point, so it's really heartwarming that I still got to see it with a packed audience. It seems it's being marketed as a film it's every Irish person's national duty to watch. Regardless of what I think of the movie, it's just fucking cool that an Irish-language family drama is receiving this treatment. Maybe that's the one thing the Oscars are still good for. Thankfully the film is genuinely pretty great, which is a nice bonus. Really understated, as the title suggests, up until the final moments that had me forcefully holding back tears.

  • Pickpocket

    Pickpocket

    ★★★★★

    The sexagenarian seated beside me at the screening loudly rubbed her hands together at several points throughout the film, and I don't know if she was just cold or she was that excited about Pickpocket, but either way it was pretty endearing.

    I had already seen like four of Paul Schrader's Pickpocket remakes, but I was still immediately into what the film is doing. It's clear now that this is the template for every genre film about lost souls wandering…

  • Forty Guns

    Forty Guns

    ★★½

    Could have used with like 30% more coherence. Otherwise a fun western romance.

  • Men

    Men

    ★★

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

    There are parts of this that genuinely work (I think intentionally) as an excellent absurdist comedy, but this film is SOOO fucking diminished by having a mandatory trauma angle. Imagine how cool it would be if it was just a darkly comic psychological horror about a woman trying to survive a town full of Rory Kinnears?

  • 3:10 to Yuma

    3:10 to Yuma

    ★★★★★

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

    Not just a new favourite western, but a new favourite movie I think. There are very few shots I've seen that are as emotionally effective as Ben Wade smiling softly at Dan while he waves to his wife from the titular train with rain pouring down on them. That pure cinematic power of a good man sticking by his ideals and succeeding against all odds combined with that of a bad man being happy he did a good deed. That…