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  • The Other Side of the Wind

    The Other Side of the Wind

    Suffused with an extraordinarily rancid attitude towards everything and everybody, especially itself and its own creators (it is absolutely too much to call this "Orson Welles's film", and maybe would have been even if he'd lived to see it into theaters). But of all the things it hates, I think it hates movies the most. If Citizen Kane was a marvelous train set, The Other Side of the Wind is an enraged act of smashing the train into tiny pieces…

  • Woman at War

    Woman at War

    ★★★½

    Okay, so I am an admittedly easy mark for a good pro-ecoterroism picture. Better still if it has a decent sense of humor about itself. Add to that the largely unmarked absurdity of having a small band and a trio of Ukrainian folk singers following the protagonist around, giving voice to her emotional state in all forms, and we have here a rather fine example biting, deadpan comedy. But with a heart. I think it lacks the psychological acuity of…

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  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★★

    Established masterpiece remains a masterpiece, news at 11:00.



    But then, the question becomes why is this a masterpiece, a word I wouldn't apply to a single one of the incalculable number of films to borrow something from it. Obviously, the aggressive minimalist score is a huge part of it; so is the fantastic widescreen cinematography. I think the biggest thing is that John Carpenter had the good sense to render this all explicitly as a fable, a fairy tale, a…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★½

    It's a pretty big problem that all of the good parts - and there are enough of those, some of which are rather good indeed - are the jokes. Or, God help us, the fan service, which is as overdetermined as you might possibly have feared, though at least it's delivered with a smile.

    As for the bad parts: the story is the most drearily jerry-rigged thing, with entire plot arcs (dear shit, the podcasters!) providing nothing but warm bodies…