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  • Alien

    Alien

    ★★★

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

    40th anniversary screening at Essex Cinemas.

    Amazingly, both of my kids were available to see this movie on the big screen. It was a dream come true: a moment I'd been waiting for since that time however many years ago when the kids were clamoring for yet another scary story on a road trip and I reached into my limited library of "movies that I love so much I can retell the whole plot from memory" and said, "Once upon…

  • The Hills Have Eyes

    The Hills Have Eyes

    ★★★

    Hoop tober No. 5 #12

    I love a horror film with a great title, and this is one of the greatest.

    Probably unfortunate to watch this so soon after Who Can Kill a Child?, another film where a vacation goes horribly awry and the formerly carefree vacationers must plumb previously unimagined depths in their own capacity for violence in order to survive. It's solid, but didn't leave a very deep impression on this first watch. And that's in spite of…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    Subgenres of the thriller genre:

    1. the thriller as art film, where the artist cannot stoop to actually thrilling his audience

    2. the thriller as philosophical rubbernecking, where we are invited to meditate upon the nature of evil — as severed heads roll our way

    3. the thriller as pastiche of esoteric pop-culture references

    4. the redundant thriller, either a remake of a good thriller or adaptation of a good novel, or both

    My highest praise of Collateral is that…

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

    A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

    ★★★½

    Hoop tober No. 5 #3

    A bright and varied color palette. Striking, surreal imagery embedded in a fairly linear story. Some interest in developing distinct characters, even more interest in developing that rare beast, a collective hero. Some finesse and rhythm applied to revealing and concealing the monster: although Freddy is on his way to becoming the dispenser of bad puns and cheap sadism he would become in the next film, this movie maintains a sense of urgency and keeps…