Escape from New York

Escape from New York ★★★★★

Proof that being a perfect genre film doesn't necessarily mean kowtowing to a mass audience. It's easy to imagine a Hollywood-produced, pandering version of this (brilliant) scifi hook, with Cabbie trying to make it out to his blind daughter in Nebraska, or Snake wanting to rescue his best buddy from the war and now president. But part of Carpenter's genius is that he makes everybody in the movie a cynical asshole, so the griminess of the production design runs much deeper than the skin and makes for an incredibly satisfying experience.

Note: If you get the chance (or if they do a new Blu-ray), try to see the new digital restoration that I saw tonight. If you're used to watching this movie on DVD or on faded 35mm prints at rep screenings, this will be like seeing the face of God, or at least Isaac Hayes.

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