• The Limehouse Golem

    The Limehouse Golem

    ★★★½

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 26

    A rather nicely appointed bit of gaslight mystery, with a simple but effective whodunnit hook and a fractured feminist bent that’s laid on a little thick, but still manages some punch. Strikes the right balance, I think, between highbrow costumed melodrama and grungy serial killer pic. The murders are infrequent, but appreciably meaty when they come around; I’m not a huge fan of its RASHOMON-style hypothetical reenactments (the altered vocals…

  • Harvest Lake

    Harvest Lake

    ★★★

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 25

    Even at 77 minutes it feels a little padded, and the endless hipster quipping is pretty grating, even if I think it’s being done for a purpose (and I have decided that I do), but the movie has a dreamy, nervous vibe which I think is pretty special. It's super, super horny (lots of nudity, including quite a bit of dick and a fairly explicit gay sex scene) and it…

  • The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    ★★

    Exactly what you would expect to happen when you give the director of SHREK infinite money to adapt a beloved midcentury British children's fable: nothing. It puts the stuff from the book on screen, mostly, but without the slightest inclination that it knows what it means, or why anyone would bother making a movie about it.

    Utterly and proudly free of any personality or point-of-view whatsoever, it exists entirely to depict four or five punishingly generic pretty white people* lurch…

  • Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey

    ★★½

    Rarely have I seen a movie so hopelessly mixed-up about what it even is on a basic level. It's a movie with "Christmas" in the subtitle which barely even tangentially mentions Christmas. It's a movie which is obviously aimed at children, and yet it hinges on a bitter old man's regrets about his professional failures. It's a movie that very badly wants to be enthusiastic about science, but its idea of science involves phrases like "the square root of impossible"…

  • Guys and Dolls

    Guys and Dolls

    ★★★½

    Lighthearted, low-stakes musical-comedy which features some wonderfully energetic dancing and vivid colors, --plus they get into a big drunken brawl, which is always musical comedy paydirt-- but is a little short on catchy tunes and is, of course, much too long for something so insubstantial. Brando is an interesting choice for this kind of thing, first of all because he's not much of a singer, but second because he adds a little edge of possible menace by keeping his suave,…

  • A Streetcar Named Desire

    A Streetcar Named Desire

    ★★★★

    Very little need for me to prattle on explaining the obvious things that make a classic a classic, but despite the superb performances and sweaty, fever-dream aesthetic, the script is so overwrought and populated by grotesque caricatures that I don't ultimately find it especially psychologically rewarding. It's an intense watch, but not, maybe, a very revealing one.

    I do think it's worth perorating upon the unthinkable level of hotness Brando has to summon in order to make his loathsome character a sex symbol, but fortunately commentary on that subject does not seem to be in short supply on letterboxd.

  • One-Eyed Jacks

    One-Eyed Jacks

    ★★★½

    Reputedly, Brando set out specifically to make a Western that would dodge the played-out cliches of the genre. I think he succeeds in mostly avoiding the cliches (give or take an eye-rolling romance or two*) but the problem is that the movie never quite figures out what to replace them with. The ambiguity of the conflict is appreciated, but it sure does render a lot of the movie dramatically inert, as it seems to stall for time and then then…

  • It Waits

    It Waits

    ★★½

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 25

    Very angsty and silly, but so earnest and Canadian it kind of won me over. Cerina Vincent (CABIN FEVER) is not a great actress, but she’s definitely working hard to give this role the tormented redemption the weepy screenplay requires, and the movie is better for it. It helps that although it's full of terrible avid fart editing, the photography itself isn’t that bad, capturing at least something of the…

  • The Killer Reserved Nine Seats

    The Killer Reserved Nine Seats

    ★★★½

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 24

    A perfectly quintessential giallo, offering everything you could expect out of the form: a dreamy, nonsensical mystery; baroque, opulent visuals (including an absolutely amazing wardrobe for the whole cast); a snappy, versatile score (by THE GODFATHER conductor Carlo Savina!); sadistic, imaginative murders; lurid, exploitative sex; bizarre, alien human behavior.

    It particularly benefits from its setting, an extravagant, abandoned theater, with all the accompanying behind-the-scenes labyrinth and associated paraphernalia (including the…

  • Spiders

    Spiders

    ★★½

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 24

    That this no-budget bargain-basement-CG Bulgarian-shot giant-spiders-vs-tanks opus is chintzy and idiotic should come as a surprise to no one. This is not a film which you can reasonably watch and then complain to your friends that it was unrealistic and that the stilted acting and inconsistent character motivation really made it hard to connect with the drama. Those things may be true, of course, but the problem is not the…

  • I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

    I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer

    ★½

    CHAINSAWNUKAH 2020: The Man Who Queue Too Much
    Day: 24

    A real step back for the series, not just in terms of budget, but in terms of fun. It’s a mopey, gloomy, dull film which seems embarrassed about its inherent ridiculousness and fails to produce anything the least bit entertaining until its dorky finale, and by then it’s far too late. And the real shame of it is that the finale actually does manage to get nutty enough to suggest…

  • A Serious Man

    A Serious Man

    ★★★★½

    The movie that answers all of life's questions, if only you could understand it