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Showing posts from September, 2017

Mr. Smith Goes To Washington (1939) ****1/2

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As cynical as I can tend to be, I can't help getting sentimental when I watch Caprafilms, even if they are idealistic, as this one so clearly is.James Stewartis at his impassioned best here and Jean Arthur's reactions frequently make me tear up. Politics are still the same.

Steve Jobs (2015) ****

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Copying my review from first viewing below...

Danny Boyleis a director that I'm largely hot and cold about - I love Shallow Grave(1994), very much enjoy Trainspotting(1996), hated Sunshine(2007), was lukewarm for Slumdog Millionaire(2008), I used to really like 28 Days Later (2002) and now I'm lukewarm on that as well. I wasn't dying to see Steve Jobs (2015) but ended up enjoying it much more than expected.

The dialogue by Aaron Sorkinis what shines. Boyle does some interesting things with the camera and his images and that's expected as well, though I don't feel that every choice works. All the actors inhabit their roles well, particularly Fassbender, who was inspired casting, portraying a man who truly was an innovator, yet was a flawed human being, as we all are. The film is very humorous and largely avoids falling into "feel-good" territory. Definitely recommended.

The Sect (aka The Devil's Daughter) (1991) ***1/2

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Finally got around to seeing this. I wish Soavihad been able to make more horror films. Argento’s stamp is all over The Sect (he did write and produce, and even some of shots are similar to his style) but I was also reminded of Guillermo del Toro’s early work. For fans of Rosemary’s Baby, Cronos, Phenomena and dreamy surreal horror.

The Burning (1981) ***

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Death Walks At Midnight (1972) ***1/2 [Walking Death Double Feature Pt. 2]

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Death Walks On High Heels (1971) ***1/2 [Walking Death Double Feature Pt. 1]

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Focus On Film: Episode 57 - December 2017 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 57 is up!
D&R reminisce with Nostalgia Through Film, mom jokes, hot babysitters + more!
Download the MP3 HEREIn this episode: December 2017 Criterion Collection Titles AnnouncementCriterion Most WantedBest & Worst Of The MonthTriple 9 (2016), Hell In The Pacific (1968), It (2017), The Last Circus(2010)Revolving Topic

Orgazmo (1997) ****

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This film still makes me laugh so much. I can't believe it's 20 years old and I can't believe I still like it so much. Now I'm a man.






Bruce Campbell "Hail To The Chin: Further Confessions Of A B Movie Actor" (2017) ****

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Bruce's previous two books are incredibly entertaining, just like his performances and persona. Hail To The Chin (2017) is no different. I'll devour future books in a heartbeat. Definitely one of my heroes.

The Stuff (1985) ***1/2

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Enough is never enough. Effortlessly rewatchable Cohen cult concoction.

Close Encounters Of The Third Kind - Director's Cut (1977) ****

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Hairspray (1988) ***1/2

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Convoy (1978) ***

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UHF (1989) ****

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Mother! (2017) ***1/2

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Mother!(2017)is a dizzying, heavy-handed affair. It's easy to see why it would divide most (American) mainstream audiences with a love it or hate it response. I sit somewhere in the middle. Being that I watch a lot of "challenging" cinema, I've seen enough disturbing, perplexing, WTF films that this is nothing new to me.

The first half of the film reminded me very much of Andrzej Zulawski with dashes of David Cronenberg. The tight close-ups, handheld camerawork and grainy 16 mm look all give a sense of claustrophobia. The frenetic pace and explicit sound design all heighten the sense of everything being constantly "off." Some of the scenes get a bit too "shaky cam" for my tastes though. This is the first time that Aronofskyhasn't worked with composer Clint Mansell. He instead intended to work with the also excellent Jóhann Jóhannsson (R.I.P.) but the decision was made to use no score. While this heightens the tension caused by the sound design…

The Killer Elite (1975) ***

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The Last Circus - English Dub (2010) **

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Reposting my review from my first viewing below but subtracting a 1/2 * for the film itself because I don't think it held up as well and subtracting another 1/2 * for the terrible English dub.

Beautiful visuals, highly stylized, but a bit silly and takes itself a little too seriously, trying to incorporate real life events.
This film had the potential to be really cool and bizarre, but plays by the numbers in the last quarter of the film. It started out very promising, but turned into a series of clichés.
It reminded me of Santa Sangre, but wasn't nearly as good.




Cross Of Iron (1977) ***

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Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia (1974) ****

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Being There (1979) ****

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It (2017) ****

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I'm going to tip my hat to my friend Brianand agree that It (2017) was A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) meets Stand By Me(1986). I've never read the novel and have only seen the 1990 film once, as recently as 2015 (and merely thought it was decent), so I can't comment on faithfulness as an adaptation, but as a horror movie with heart, this one is a winner.

As a child of the 80s, I certainly felt a pang of nostalgia and It hit all the appropriate beats nicely, despite some bunk CGI and a few shaky cam scenes. Minor quibbles really and hopefully this one will stand the test of time. The character moments meant the most to me and not the jump scares (although those were good too). Also, this film is pretty funny.

I saw some young teenagers in the audience and they were excitedly chattering about the film after it finished. This is exactly the kind of film I would have been extra thrilled with at that age, the kind that hits you at just the right time in your life to leave a …

Hell In The Pacific (1968) ****

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Rage Of Honor (1987) **1/2

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A Ghost Story (2017) ***

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A Malicky existential piece with infuriatingly long takes and uncomfortable silences in Academy ratio.

Ronin (1998) ****

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Queens Of The Stone Age "Villains" (2017) ***1/2

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I was re-reading my review of the previous QOTSA LP, ...Like Clockworkhere and remembered how it seemed that a lot of fans were let down by that album. Well, I think Villains(2017)is the album that is really going to alienate fans, split camps, and I don't think Josh Hommereally cares.

Of course, as many were, I was wary of the fact that Mark Ronsonproduced this album and the first single, "The Way You Used To Do" didn't do a whole lot for me (it's still my least favorite track but works within the context of the album).

As a QOTSA album, it's definitely their cleanest, slickest sounding LP (and my least favorite of theirs) and I'm a bit adverse to the sound. But I've listened to it a bunch of times through now and I like it, honestly. I kind of see it as a spiritual cousin to 2007's Era Vulgaris(which is definitely much better), but pushed much more in the pop direction.

Ingrid Goes West (2017) ***1/2

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