• ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads

    ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads

    ★★★★

    Great little documentary from Netflix. ReMastered: Devil at the Crossroads explores the myth of the blues guitarist Robert Johnson, who was so good, legend holds that he made a deal with the Devil for his talent. The visuals in this documentary are fantastic, with neat animations and great use of the color red. Additionally, the music is fucking groovy. If you're a fan of the blues, this is for you.

    Structurally, though, nothing new is here. The documentary storytelling here…

  • Evil Genius

    Evil Genius

    ★½

    Really tedious series. I forget why I wanted to watch this, although it's a stretch to say I "wanted" to watch this. More just wanted to watch a crime docuseries, and this existed, so I gave it a shot.

    To expound, I mean that it has no excitement in its premise. Bank robberies themselves are boring, but add on top of the generic and inoffensive filmmaking style, and you've got a 192 minute waste of time.

    Now if you really…

  • Crash

    Crash

    ★★★★

    David Cronenberg's Crash is full of sexual tension, at times gratuitous (for example, a scene where Catharine gives James a handjob in the hospital was unnecessary), but much of it adds to the harsh nature of this disturbed fetish. On top of that, Peter Suschitzky's photography and Howard Shore's music create the neo-noir atmosphere very well. The photography is full of perfect camera angles to soak in the blue of the night, and the guitar music echoes through Toronto with…

  • Dead Ringers

    Dead Ringers

    ★½

    Remarkably boring film. Despite some great cinematographic compositions and performances from Jeremy Irons, Dead Ringers was almost entirely a snoozefest. Slow drama that may have been conceptually interesting, but which was paced and performed too blandly. I never got absorbed into the world of the characters.

    Uninteresting film that I probably won't watch again. That is all.

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★½

    Grisly and tragic. David Cronenberg's The Fly is an example of a perfect film. Every elements -- the acting, directing, writing, editing, lighting, scoring -- all comes together to create something greater, that is a powerful story about disease.

    Some of cinema's best makeup and practical effects were photographed for The Fly. Every effect here is perfect, completely believable, serving to enhance the story even further.

    Jeff Goldblum is perfect as Seth Brundle. He captures all the initial awkwardness and…

  • The Brood

    The Brood

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Solid film. The Brood is a well-made horror film, probably my favorite film by David Cronenberg to date, although I suspect I may like the other Cronenberg's I've seen better on rewatch. In terms of the horror, I thought The Brood was pretty lame, but in terms of the filmmaking and drama, I thought it worked well.

    Even though the ending image of the mother's fetus attached outside of her normal physical constraints, is effective, especially as she tears open…

  • The Social Dilemma

    The Social Dilemma

    ★★½

    It's funny that The Social Dilemma that condemns how social media spreads propaganda, and yet the film itself is propaganda.

    Not that its thesis is necessarily wrong. The film brings up a number of valid concerns about the power social media has. But fearmongering is at its core. Like it or not, this is a pretty one-sided analysis. The positives of social media are briefly mentioned here and there, but overwhelmingly so, the negatives are at the forefront. You can…

  • Possessor

    Possessor

    ★★

    First two thirds of the film I was not on Possessor's wavelength. I liked the brutality, also the suicide aspect, and some special effects, but I thought the quieter dramatic moments were extremely boring. However, the last third of this film really came in clutch. Much more entertaining, brutality and surrealist moments landed very strongly, with much better dramatics. Also, I really like how they handled guns in this film, specifically the sound, very loud and cathartic.

    Would rate this…

  • Folies Meurtrières

    Folies Meurtrières

    ★½

    Mostly boring. Folies Meurtrières is a no-budget slasher film from France, shot on 8mm film stock. The film has some good cinematography, with some nice shots and visual storytelling, in many ways necessitated by the horrible sound quality.

    Overall, it comes down to lame horrors. Despite some intense gore and effective no-budget production qualities, I felt very little fear. None of the violence, cinematography, or jump scares inspired horror. Gore was effective enough, but then again, it takes very little…

  • The Big Lebowski

    The Big Lebowski

    ★★★★

    Pretty funny movie that riffs on neo-noir themes, but with a bum as the protagonist. The Big Lebowski is about the Dude, legendary for his laziness, who gets tangled up in a mystery involving nihilists, pornographers, a millionaire and his avant-garde daughter. Joel Coen and his brother Ethan craft a silly plot, full of comedic twists that allow Jeff Bridges and John Goodman to develop their performances. On top of that, the sharp dialogue and editing keep the pacing brisk…

  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    The best this film has clicked for me. First time I can say I thought it was great in a subjective way. Thanks to its beautiful cinematography, ugly environment, pitch-perfect editing, and great performances, Taxi Driver is a psychological study at a ticking time bomb. Travis Bickle lives in hell on earth, sees the degeneracy of New York lowlife, and nurses a deep-seated prejudice. He flows between two causes -- the assassination of a political candidate, and the salvation of…

  • Strange Invaders

    Strange Invaders

    ★★★

    I don't know what to say about this. The music is strangely nostalgic, as in I feel like I heard it as a child, although I have never seen this to my knowledge, and my parents would never have let me watch this. Surprising sexual innuendo, not a lot of subtlety in that regard, also the animation style is based upon a crude version of the world and the human form. The sound design is pretty good, although it is…