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  • Damien: Omen II

    Damien: Omen II

    ★★½

    Like 1978's other big sequel, Jaws 2, this is an entirely proficient hack job that doesn't have any great reason to exist. It follows the same rigid structure as The Omen with an obvious upgrade in Damien's personality, though it would've made an infinitely more interesting movie if this was just a coming-of-age story about Satan, and not a coming-of-age story about Satan with some rehash of the first movie thrown in.

    I'm not gonna lie, I was never too…

  • The Heartbreak Kid

    The Heartbreak Kid

    ★★★★

    It took a moment to process, "Wait, Neil Simon wrote this? And it's good?!" Maybe everyone else involved - the actors, director Elaine May, and ace cinematographer Owen Roizman - went for a naturalistic approach instead of the terrible sitcom shenanigans that Simon tends to indulge in, but I don't know. He might've gotten it right for once.

    As with May's first movie, A New Leaf, the protagonist is a horrible, selfish person who we should laugh at and regard with contempt; thankfully, Charles Grodin makes him seem like a real person, pitifully confused about every situation he puts himself through.

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  • Body Double

    Body Double

    ★★★★

    Rising Below Vulgarity
    Part 16 of a Brian De Palma Retrospective

    With Body Double, we reach the last of an 11-year cycle of increasingly violent murder-mysteries/horror thrillers/crime sagas/musical parodies for De Palma known simply as his ‘red’ period, and the funny thing is, it’s the only one that could fall into any one of those genres, so it comes with an extra degree of finality as a summing up of who De Palma was at that point in the 1980s.…

  • The Wedding Party

    The Wedding Party

    ★★

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

    Unceremonious Entrance:
    Part 1 of a Retrospective of the Films of Brian De Palma

    What cinephiles know Brian De Palma for nowadays roughly breaks down into a few categories: there’s his widely-discussed Hitchcockian thrillers and horror-based projects, starting definitively with 1973’s Sisters and including the likes of Dressed to Kill, Carrie, & Blow Out, among others; there’s his big mainstream studio films, varying from the prestige drama The Bonfire of the Vanities to more genre-based work like Mission: Impossible or Mission…