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Showing posts from January, 2016

A Lizard In A Woman's Skin (1971) ****

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Deep Red (Profondo Rosso) - Director's Cut (1975) ****

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I prefer the shorter version. This version is overlong and drags. I don't feel that the scenes that were dropped for the 105 minute version add any true substance to the film.

Micmacs (Micmacs À Tire-Larigot) (2009) ****1/2

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The Wrong Man (1956) ***1/2

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Die Hard (1988) *****

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Bone Tomahawk (2015) ***1/2

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Focus On Film: Episode 37 – April 2016 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 37 is up!
Download the MP3 HERE In this episode: April 2016 Criterion CollectionTitles AnnouncementBest & Worst Of The Month – THE HATEFUL EIGHT(2015), THE PRESTIGE(2006), HORROR HOSPITAL (aka COMPUTER KILLERS) (1973), THE GOOD DINOSAUR (2015)Criterion Most Wanted
"Focus On Film Theme" & commercial music: Daniel Sardella

Four Rooms (1995) ***1/2

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Patrick (1978) ***

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David Bowie Albums Ranked

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My Focus On Film co-host Ryan challenged me to rate Bowie's albums. Honestly, some of these albums really tie for places and this list is one that could change if you asked me to rate them again in a year.

1. Scary Monsters (1980) *****
2. Low (1977) *****
3. Young Americans (1975) *****
4. The Next Day (2013) *****
5. Aladdin Sane (1973) ****1/2
6  Diamond Dogs (1974) ****1/2
7. Let's Dance(1983) ****1/2
8. Heathen (2002) ****1/2
9. ★ (Blackstar) (2016) ****1/2 (Review)
10. Lodger (1979) ****
11. Ziggy Stardust(1972) ****
12. "Heroes" (1977) ****
13. Hunky Dory(1971) ****
14. Station To Station (1976) ****
15. Reality (2003) ****
16. The Buddha Of Suburbia (1993) ****
17. The Man Who Sold The World (1970) ***1/2
18. Earthling (1997) ***1/2
19. Outside (1995) ***1/2
20. Space Oddity (1969) ***1/2
21. Black Tie White Noise (1993) ***1/2
22. Pin Ups (1973) ***1/2
23. Tin Machine (1989) ***1/2
23. 'Hours...' (1999) ***
24. Tonight (1984) ***
25. David Bowie (1…

The Ice Pirates (1984) ***1/2

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Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (1983) ***1/2

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David Bowie "★ (Blackstar)" (2016) ****1/2

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I've given ★ (Blackstar) (2016) a number of listens now. I wanted to wait a week after David Bowie's passing before settling on my star rating. Regardless of his passing and the album subsequently reaching #1 in the US (a first for Bowie), this album is incredibly strong and deserving of the praise it's receiving. I'm seeing a lot of reviewers call this album "jazzy". While there are some jazzy elements (re: saxophone), that's not really how I would classify it overall. It has plenty of dance/electronic and rock elements as well. It reminds me most of a combination of sounds that Bowie previously explored on Earthling(1997), Outside(1995), The Buddha Of Suburbia (1993) and The Next Day (2013). The self-titled opener is a standout, as are the freaky "Girl Loves Me" and the closer "I Can't Give Everything Away", which still all but brings me to tears a week after DB's death. It's a weirdly unique/experimental album but simu…

The Prestige (2006) ****1/2

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David Bowie: Five Years (2013) ****1/2

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Horror Hospital (aka Computer Killers) (1973) **1/2

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Labyrinth (1986) ***1/2

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"Sound And Vision"

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Waking to the news of David Bowie's death yesterday morning was a doozy. To say he is a "Hero" is an incredible understatement (for me and for so many millions). It's safe to say that he is my favorite musical artist. I may not have all of his albums (just a few shy) and I might not know every detail of every part of his life (there was so much of it) but I have more music by him than any other artist and I continuously feel like I'm discovering and rediscovering his discography whenever I visit it.

It took some time for me to realize that Bowie is my favorite. I was familiar with a decent amount of his hit songs growing up, but it wasn't until my late teens/early twenties that I started collecting his albums, digging into the deep album cuts, and realizing how varied his catalog was. I can't name another artist that I feel is as diverse and eclectic, embracing so many genres (practically every one) and personalities.

But Bowie wasn't just a music ar…

Singin' In The Rain (1952) ****

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The Revenant (2015) ****

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Iñárrituchannels Malick but leaves the poetry and heart at the door and replaces it with carnage. The Revenant is basically a 2 1/2 hour endurance test but a technically incredible, beautifully shot and sumptuously scored one. The film reminded me very much of The New World (2005), which cinematographer Lubezkialso shot, and I loved the score by Ryuichi Sakamotobut I felt a bit disconnected from it all, despite the many visceral and tense moments. I might just need another watch to decide if this deserves a higher or lower rating. 

What We Do In The Shadows (2014) ****

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Sicario (2015) ****

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Happy 5th Birthday, Blog!

My blog is 5 years old today!

Continuing the yearly trend, here's how many films I've watched:

2005 - 339 (that's a lot of films!)
2006 - 369 (wow, more films than days in the year!!)
2007 - 274 (quite the jump down!)
2008 - 270 (very similar to 2007)
2009 - 234 (steadily declining)
2010 - 188(whoa, BIG drop)
2011 -236 (back up from 2010 and on par with 2009) 
2012 - 253 (steadily climbing back up!) 2013 - 352 (damn, second most, after 2006, since I started keeping track and almost 100 more than last year!)
2014 - 347 (didn't quite meet last year's track record)
2015 - 337 (declining a bit but still no slouch)

And here's every film that I watched last year, if you care to peruse.


DATE(S) TITLE(S)YEAR DIRECTOR(S)FORMAT 1/1 La Bête Humaine1938 Jean RenoirDVD 1/2 Frankenweenie2012 Tim BurtonBD 1/2 Frankenweenie1984 Tim Burton