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  • Das Boot

    Das Boot

    ★★★★½

    It's funny that as a film-lover and Germanophile I'm not really crazy about German movies, which generally strike me as unimaginative (as a nation, I think the Italians are the best at the art form, but that's a topic for another day). There are certain exceptions, wherein the meticulousness and mania for "realism" of German filmmakers really pays off. This is definitely such an exception. Director Wolfgang Petersen would later produce effective but ultimately un-artful actioners like "Air Force One"…

  • Freaks

    Freaks

    ★★★★

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

    Tod Browning’s (director of “The Unknown” and “Unholy Three,” both with Lon Chaney, Sr.) follow up to “Dracula” is an even more interesting film in many respects. The story is certainly original – it depicts a twisted love triangle in a carnival, involving two circus freaks and one “normal” person. The acrobat Cleopatra (Olga Baclanova, from “The Man Who Laughs” and “A Dangerous Woman) is using Hans (Harry Earles, who was in both versions of “The Unholy Three” and “The…

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  • Aliens

    Aliens

    ★★★★½

    It’s remarkable how iconic this film has become over the years, breaking all expectations regarding sequels and 80s sic fi. James Cameron (who also directed “The Terminator” and “Titanic”) was still young, enthusiastic and creative, and he picked an excellent cast for his re-telling of the “Alien” story as a metaphor for Vietnam. Sigourney Weaver (also known for “Ghostbusters” and “Galaxy Quest”) became the first feminist action hero in her rethinking of the “Ripley” character from the original film. Michael…

  • The Warriors

    The Warriors

    ★★★★

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

    I best remember seeing this classic street-gang-quest movie on “Monstervision” with Joe-Bob Briggs. Joe-Bob would set up a New York subway map and demonstrate that – unlike many movies set in New York – the geography of the Warrior’s trip from Pelham Park to Coney Island actually does make sense (allowing for some time compression while they are still in the Bronx). He also, as I recall, questioned the practicality of some of the street gang’s getups (“Makeup? Wouldn’t it…