Films are like truffles, in that they are tasty and I am constantly rooting through mud for them because I am a pig.
Ace in the Hole rules for a lot of reasons, but if I had to pick just one, it's because Kirk Douglas lays out at the beginning of the film in the loudest and clearest terms possible just what caliber of asshole he's planning on being. Then he does it. It's like he's tying everyone around him to the train tracks and winding the ticking clock to count down until the Fucked-Up Journalism train comes through and runs everybody over. Douglas' swaggering charisma fits hand in glove with Billy Wilder's bitterly in-your-face cynicism.
A more twee version of Palm Springs with teenagers, the kind of thing that plays twinkling acoustic guitar over a montage of rain in the suburbs. It would be forgettable if not for really sharp performances by Kathryn Newton and Kyle Allen as the leads. They both capture that distinctive teenaged vibe of trying visibly to come off as more composed and together than they really are. For that matter, the thematics of the time loop are kind of a…
Goddamn, Akira Kurosawa makes climbing up a rocky hill look like the hardest struggle in the world.
The Hidden Fortress is just pure pleasure to watch. Misa Uehara and Toshirō Mifune are cool as all hell and they play it to the hilt, and it works all the better because we see their samurai world from a worm's-eye view. The comic cravens Tahei and Matashichi, played by Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara, make perfect cringing foils for Mifune's unflappable manliness.…
What a soundscape. Daniel Lopatin's score is wondrous. It's mystical while also crassly new agey with synths and smooth jazz, and it floats at a serene height above the plot's sordid goings-on. The tumult of the dialogue track is mixed perfectly. It's a cacophony where you can still follow every angry yelling thread as they all endlessly interlace.
Adam Sandler delivers with a gusto. He completely nails it as a gambling addict whose veneer of normalcy is falling away behind…