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Showing posts from February, 2016

Key Largo (1948) ****

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Lady Snowblood: Love Song Of Vengeance (1974) ***1/2 [Asura Double Feature Pt. 2]

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Lady Snowblood (1973) **** [Asura Double Feature Pt. 1]

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Jim Thompson "The Criminal" (1953) ***

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My least favorite Thompsonbook that I've read so far (of 9), but one really interesting feature of this short little novel is that each chapter is written from the perspective of a different character. The story is standard Thompson stuff - a character is accused of murder and the investigation that follows.

Triple 9 (2016) ***

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Well, it seems the early reviews I read about Triple 9 (2016) were right after all. A solid film but definitely the weakest one by John Hillcoat so far. It just feels generic, which is a shame because I really like Hillcoat's other 3 films (especially The Proposition (2005), and Lawless (2012) is underrated). This is such an impressive cast on paper but no one really impresses. There are some exciting heist and chase sequences but as a whole Triple 9falls short. It's just another story of corrupt cops and gangsters with nothing setting it apart. The absence of Nick Cave and Warren Ellis in the scoring department is a shame too, as their contributions to Hillcoat's other 3 films were integral.

Cinema Paradiso - Theatrical Version (1988) ****1/2

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My Film Noir Collection On Blu-ray

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Back in 2011, I posted about film noir that I owned at the time. That included both DVDs and Blu-rays. Happily, many of those titles have since made the upgrade, so I decided to make a current entry of film noir that I own on Blu-ray only. I'm only including classic American B&W noir (+ one French title) - those made between 1940 - 1959, in this list.

The Big Sleep (1946) ****1/2

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I Confess (1953) ***1/2

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Truman Capote "In Cold Blood" (1966) ***1/2

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I struggled with a rating for In Cold Blood (1966) because it's an exceptional telling of a real-life story (though questioned for its veracity) but in many sections Capotetends to descend into excruciating details that just lost me. I recognize this as a landmark novel and overall I really enjoyed it but I honestly prefer the film.

The Witch (2015) ****

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The Witch(2015)has got to be one of the quietest films I've ever seen. There are moments of sudden alarming noise, to be sure. And the tension remains throughout, even in the quietest moments (that's right, I just made a Supertramp reference). But this one is the textbook definition of a slow-burner, which doesn't translate well to modern cinema-goers. Or maybe the audience I saw this film with just sucked. Well they did, but I have a feeling there are going to be a lot of people saying this film was boring or dumb and "nothing happened."

Me, I loved it. But the audience almost ruined it for me - constant chatter, popcorn bags rustling, inappropriately timed laughter, exasperated sighs - the works. I kid you not, I nearly walked out. So I very much look forward to a second viewing. 
The story is incredibly simple, I'll just steal from IMDb here: "A family in 1630s New England is torn apart by the forces of witchcraft, black magic and possession." Th…

Focus On Film: Episode 38 – May 2016 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 38 is up!
Download the MP3 HERE In this episode: May 2016 Criterion CollectionTitles AnnouncementBest & Worst Of The Month – DIRTY GRANDPA (2016),  SNOWPIERCER (2013), HAIL, CAESAR!(2016), BRAM STOKER'S DRACULA(1992)Criterion Most Wanted
"Focus On Film Theme" & commercial music: Daniel Sardella

*The hosts mistakenly credited Alan Thicke as having starred on THE FACTS OF LIFE, when we meant to say GROWING PAINS. Thicke did in fact compose the theme for FOL though!


American Movie (1999) ****1/2

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Dracula (1992) ****1/2 [Tragic Romance Double Feature Pt. 2]

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Blue Valentine (2010) ***** [Tragic Romance Double Feature Pt. 1]

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Live Free Or Die Hard (2007) ***

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The Big Short (2015) ***

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Pieces (1982) ****1/2

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Zoolander 2 (2016) ***

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Zoolander (2001) ***1/2

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The Brothers Grimm (2005) ***

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Die Hard: With A Vengeance (1995) ***1/2

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The Man Who Fell To Earth (1976) ***** [Bowie Double Feature Pt. 2]

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Moon (2009) ****1/2 [Bowie Double Feature Pt. 1]

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Hail, Caesar! (2016) ****

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In Hail, Caesar! (2016), Brolin channels Polito, Tatum is actually good, and the Coens manage (unsurprisingly) to both parody and display their affection for Old Hollywood. I laughed a lot and I loved it. It reminded me of another Coen favorite The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) with dashes of The Big Lebowski(1998) and The Man Who Wasn't There(2001).

The People Under The Stairs (1991) ***

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The Psychic (Sette note in nero) (1977) ***

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Snowpiercer (2013) ***

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Die Hard 2: Die Harder (1990) ***1/2

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