Favorite films

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
  • The Bride of Frankenstein
  • Psycho
  • The Blair Witch Project

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  • Four Hours at the Capitol

  • Censor

  • Dune

    ★★★

  • Her Man

    ★★★

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  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★★½

    The Beat of the Stalker's Gaze
    (originally posted on IMDb 31 October 2018)

    Even for one who isn't a fan of the slasher sub-genre, I appreciate something as well made as this progenitor, "Halloween." Director, co-writer and scorer John Carpenter and team pay homage to some of the right horror films to precede it, too, including playing "The Thing from Another World" (1951), which Carpenter would remake a few years later, and "Forbidden Planet" (1956) on the TVs--two other monster…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    Shapeless Gaze

    The original "Halloween" (1978) is a consummate slasher film for a simple reason, which nonetheless appears to elude some, including those making its numerous sequels and, now, this retconned direct follow-up. The first film worked because of the role of the camera. The horror was based in the control of its gaze. The jump scare was one manifestation of this, and the effectiveness of the score another. This 2018 adulteration abandons that and so the jump scares are…

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  • Her Man

    Her Man

    ★★★

    Streetwalkers

    I finally got around to seeing the 4K restoration of this pre-Code early talkie, "Her Man," that aired during the TCM film festival earlier in 2021, and it looks good. The forgery of a rear-projection sequence for a supposed horse-carriage ride stands out in crisp detail. Seriously, though, there are some impressive tracking shots here for an era where the new technology of synchronized sound seems to have caused collective amnesia regarding the visual narrative style that reached a…

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★

    Christianity for Nerds

    "You know who's into dragons, Morty? Nerds that refuse to admit they're Christian." -"Rick and Morty"

    I wonder if the same thing holds true for giant sand worms on futuristic alien planets.

    It's certainly better than the 1984 "Dune," low bar that it is. Having none of that annoying whispering voiceover is a vast improvement in itself. It's a comparatively very coherent plot--even painfully so. All the more evident is that this is an elaborate Jesus fantasy,…

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  • Untold: Malice at the Palace

    Untold: Malice at the Palace

    Told, but Poorly

    When you begin a documentary program stating that footage of a past event wasn't made public back then and follow that up with interviewees suggesting we don't know the entire story, one expects the documentary to be informative--provide new footage and perspectives, tell the untold. So, it's egregious when this hour-and-some-change "Untold: Malice at the Palace" doesn't do that. There's hardly anything here that hadn't played live on television and repeatedly on ESPN and the rest of…

  • WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

    WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn

    ★★

    "We" is Upside Down to Confuse You into Working for "Me"

    What a fluff documentary for a fluff company the laboriously-titled "WeWork: or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn" is. All the financial summarization here--the stupid business plan of pretending boring interior decorating for businesses a transformational tech company, and, of course, the inevitable fraud that funnels the money up top--is less telling than The Economist articles I barely recall skimming through during WeWork's IPO fiasco. I…