Favorite films

  • Withnail & I
  • Blade Runner
  • The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
  • Persona

Recent activity

  • H.M.S. Defiant


  • The Tarnished Angels


  • A Free Soul


  • Take Aim at the Police Van


Pinned reviews

  • Modern Times

    Modern Times


    Is it normal to cry a little at the end of this?

    This movie carries so much with it that's not necessarily on the screen, it's almost difficult to take on its own terms. It was Chaplin's final silent film (well, partly silent: the nonsense song near the end marked the first time Chaplin's voice was heard on screen), it co-starred his much younger new wife Paulette Goddard, it was made in the throes of the Depression and features some…

  • Sunset Boulevard

    Sunset Boulevard


    Possibly the most jarring thing about Sunset Boulevard from a modern perspective is that Gloria Swanson* was only 50 when it was filmed, as is her character Norma Desmond. And yet she is an ancient relic from a long-gone era. (William Holden was 31 at the time, so the age gap between them, while not outrageous, is notable).

    I suppose it's a sign of progress that at the same age, Meryl Streep and Helen Mirren, to give those examples, were…

Recent reviews

  • H.M.S. Defiant

    H.M.S. Defiant


    If you're looking for a rip-roaring old-school seagoing adventure yarn, the second half of this fits the bill. That's when we get to some actual ships emerging out of fog banks and close-in broadside exchanges of cannon fire (how insane is that?) and sword-fighting and knives in teeth and mass casualties and everything.

    "Did we lose many men?"
    "Nothing to speak of... a dozen or so."

    The first half of Lewis Gilbert's period high seas drama is interesting and well-shot,…

  • The Tarnished Angels

    The Tarnished Angels


    Faulkner and Sirk means a double slathering of southern-flavoured melodrama in this story of early-30s barnstorming air show pilots and a woman who loves, well, one of 'em (the friend zone is a crowded place in The Tarnished Angels).

    First though, this looks fantastic, in fact the B&W American Cinemascope visuals are worth the price of entry all on their own and even though I didn't go gaga over it I will be heading to a theater if ever I…

Popular reviews

  • The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari

    The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari


    A horrifying nightmare put to film, with all the disjointedness, confusion and dread you could hope for/fear. This really set the standard for the horror genre, and it remains genuinely creepy today, over a century after it first terrified movie theatre audiences (I can only imagine what that experience must have been like).

    Squarely made as part of the expressionist movement in German cinema, the film has sets as destabilizing and disquieting as they are demonstrably phony. Everything, but everything…