12 Angry Men 1957
Pitch Perfect 2012
What the fuck is this?
The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2 1986
Glad I watched this again while sober. I enjoyed it plenty the first time, but more of the film, particularly the back half, actually clicked with me on this go.
I love Caroline Williams' performance as Stretch. Her casting is, perhaps, Hooper's most brilliant stroke in the whole film. There's a sturdiness to her demeanor that feels a total departure from usual Final Girl material, and gives 2 a very distinct flavor within the genre's history. The film doesn't play…
Grey Gardens 1975
Less the tragedy of missed opportunities and regret that I had expected and more an intensive-yet-impartial portrait of two fundamentally eccentric women incapable of conforming to the societal demands of the time/place in which they came up. If one takes Little Edie’s endless waxing poetic at face value, then yes: her mother’s inability to care for herself essentially ruined Little Edie’s potential dream life. And yet, in another scene Little Edie leaps for defend her mom from the mildest suggestion…
As with X, this played even better the second time around. West’s sense of character is much stronger than I think he’s given credit for, the tragedy of Pearl’s life comes into full focus on the second go and really resonated with me on a whole new level.
Both this and X are interesting experiments in balancing conflicting formal demands. We know from House of the Devil, and the various movies-within-movies presented in this duology, that West and Rockett know…
Blood Rage 1987
The apex of 80's horror sleaze. I've spent years looking for garbage this perfectly-tuned, something that so fully embodies the sensibilities of its era, and I'm slightly amazed I had to cut this deep. Why isn't this movie a bigger deal?
There isn't a single performance that doesn't come off as at least slightly insane, the lighting is painfully flat and the screenplay never settles on a coherent sense of tone - all of which somehow adds to the experience.…
This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Oh yes. Oh fuck yes.
I’m sure I’m particularly inclined to heap praise on this thing purely by virtue of it being as magnificently horny as it is. I am, definitely, starved for eroticism in cinema. But I also think Sanctuary just works. Qualley and Abbott are both aces, the former in particular; she shifts between a magnetic harlequin-dominatrix persona and very authentic pathos on a dime and I’d go so far as to argue it’s the key to the…
My aversion to true crime media led the wrong this time. After somehow avoiding Zodiac for years (not intentionally, I just kept “never getting around to it”) I finally check it out as a “sure, why not?” kinda deal and it just steps up and smacks me clean across the face. A completely gripping experience that plows through its 2.5 hour runtime as if it were nothing. I wouldn’t call it “breezy” per se; it’s a big meal and it…
Phantom of the Mall: Eric's Revenge 1989
Extremely silly and aesthetically cheap, despite boasting enough budget for a handful of pretty dramatic stunts. It'll definitely scratch the c-tier (d-tier?) 80's slasher itch if that's your sorta thing, but it doesn't offer much of anything special. The Phantom of the Opera conceit is amusing but it does make the film drag a bit, as none of the characters we care anything for are under actual threat until the very final stretch. Most of the movie is some pretty…
An unexpected delight. Follows the Social Network-popularized "brand origin story" playbook to a T, yet executes it all with such energy and focus that it transcends any expectational baggage I had going in. The whole cast is extremely game (lovely to see SungWon Cho in a major feature release) but Howerton is the one that runs away with this thing. He bulks up on a number of his key It's Always Sunny muscles to deliver a performance that balances the…
The Apartment 1960
What a goddamn delight. Gonna be thinking about this one for a long time.
Quite possibly the definitive New Years movie. Cannot wait to revisit.