• The Commuter

    The Commuter

    ★★★

    Damn, Ed and Lorraine Warren really broke bad in their later years. Still hot though. It's not Non-Stop or Unstoppable (what is?), and the post-derailment stuff is too predictable ("I'm Spartacus!" included) to excuse its length, but it's still a banger, natch. I teared up only minutes in because the filmmaking was so good, a JC-S tradition with me. Shoutout to the curtailed cut to "I'm 60 years old!" close-up on Neeson's weathered, line-ridden face. More proof that Sam Neill is at peak hotness, too.

  • Dead End

    Dead End

    ½

    Genuinely the worst movie I've ever seen

  • Underworld: Awakening

    Underworld: Awakening

    ★★★½

    Fuck it. This is great action. Longer takes, slow motion clarity, logically sutured. The CGI isn't up to the task, but the Swedes get around their limitations with aplomb (elsewhere: Speedman's unavailability, the inherited monochrome blue palette). Maybe we have to thank 3D.

  • Blitz

    Blitz

    ★★★½

    Rob Hardy.

  • Ray of Sunshine

    Ray of Sunshine

    ★★★★

    Coming from the oh-so-sweet period that is the earliest sound cinema, Pál Fejös uses silent film grammar for entire sequences that are otherwise coated merely with background noise, diegetic and non-diegetic music, or silence. It's a veritable lesson in how filmmakers, certainly those of today, can quite organically avoid dialogue where images are more potently simple, more universal. And indeed it aims for universality, chiefly with its story of love and play overcoming depression (and the Depression, felt all over…

  • Pitch Black

    Pitch Black

    ★★½

    A notable film for the period of early digital intermediate experimentation (see Tony Scott); it is indeed largely *made* in post, and made a crushing eyesore at the same time. The daytime first half looks simply horrendous (granted, the three suns explicate this), but things pick up by nightfall and when the cast has been filed down. Twohy's finest strokes here are the majestic moments of death.

  • Man of Tai Chi

    Man of Tai Chi

    ★★★½

    Overzealous (esp the soundtrack) but punchy and nimble as hell direction, sometimes hard as current Johnnie To. Superb choreography framed and cut aptly for the most part. Though Keanu allows too many angles in his wheelhouse for any given fight sequence, the multicam internet show within the fiction itself may excuse this coverage and in fact the diegetic and actual cameras (all Keanu's) are unified in subtle ways throughout. His character is a cipher among many ciphers, but attains the…

  • Danton

    Danton

    ★★½

    The Polish poster > the film

  • Portrait of Jennie

    Portrait of Jennie

    ★★½

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

    Clumsily grandiloquent and mythical. A pedophile wills into non-being a muse, source of income during the Depression, a cure for his loneliness, and perhaps even an Orphic narrative in order to give his life a greater meaning. A nearly sublime ending is aborted with his non-suicide/death. Deeply silly and dull, but its ideas are interesting. Begs to be remade...by Jose Luis Guerin.