onthewall2983

onthewall2983

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Diary entries are only for films seen for the first time, or first time viewings in 4K UHD.

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  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★★

    More gratuitous than the violence are the constant reminders of how much this was a movie of it's time. When "breaking news" wasn't just a buzzword and used only for something as serious as a terrorist take-over, limousines had tape decks, and the price of gas was less then a dollar. This extends to some of the production details too, namely using real locations in Los Angeles, painted backings and relying almost entirely on practical physical effects.

    These things conversely…

  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★★

    Putting aside the broadest notions of what people can consider a Western, this is the closest film Al Pacino and Robert De Niro could ever have come to doing one. At least doing so while remaining so close to the mannerisms and approaches to dialogue and emotions they have been known for, for careers collectively coming up on their 6th decade. I've heard this loosely described as a gangster film, and find that to be erroneous for obvious reasons but…

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  • 48 Hrs.

    48 Hrs.

    ★★★★

    The hangover of 70s motifs into the movies of the early 80s never have lost their charm for me. The influence of MTV isn't really felt until a few years later, including in what would be Walter Hill's next film. But this has the feel of a lost Dirty Harry script, from the San Francisco backdrop to the jazz inflections in James Horner's music.

    There are two signs of the times however. One to aerobics, and a much bigger one…

  • Nomadland

    Nomadland

    ★★★★

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

    David Strathairn in this reminds me of my step-father. A cross between him and Terry Funk. It leans much more towards the Funker in overall persona when it comes to him but I've been waiting for another movie besides Beyond the Mat to make an apt comparison.

    I think in another life my family could have been nomads. I sat in my utterly average apartment last night wondering if I may have wasted time, energy and emotion staying put. The…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    One element I haven't seen much in the praise of this film is actually how funny it is. There is a subtle but direct layer of levity, which is mostly used to ease the very palpable tension. I saw it twice in theaters and both times one particular line got a hearty response from the audience. Nearly all of it surrounds the chemistry of it's two leads, and the individual choices they made regarding their characters.

    Tom Cruise (in arguably…

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★

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

    There's a ruthlessness to James Caan's performance as Frank that cuts through like one of his tools of the safe-cracking trade. It's 100% pure alpha-male bravado, that can be quickly brought down to earth. Whether it's by his best friend or his wife, there is as equally no fear to the emotion he brings. That's one thing (of many) about Michael Mann's work that is so engaging, is how he shows his protagonists (as well as his antagonists, too) balancing…