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  • The Fall of the Roman Empire

    The Fall of the Roman Empire

    ★★★½

    Every so often I fall into this peculiar mood that leads me back to a deeply imperfect quote unquote classic like Anthony Mann’s fairly tardy sword and sandal epic The Fall of the Roman Empire. There’s a lost art quality to its sort of thing and to this film in particular that’s just plain fascinating … So even though the narrative meanders and just full on wanders off at times as it trips and trips then stumbles over the juxtaposition…

  • Outland

    Outland

    ★★★

    No, not a great film and definitely one that didn’t really make full use of all the assets at its disposal but it was also better, better designed then shot and more effectively staged than I’d really recalled. It’s fair to say that Peter Hyam’s “Detroit but in space” approach to Outland owes more than a bit to Ridley Scott’s Alien, but that’s not to say that it all doesn’t also work pretty well here.

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  • Zodiac

    Zodiac

    ★★★★★

    Once upon a time a literal boogie man stalked Northern California, killing some of his victims with guns at least one with a butcher knife, some while dressed in plain clothes, at least one while dressed in a masked-hooded costume. He killed at least five people but no one really knows for sure, because he may never have been identified and he was definitely never arrested. His crimes inspired at least two of the most widely imitated films ever and…

  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★★½

    There may not be more than one other director that you could say this about, but Brian De Palma literally never met a practical location that he couldn’t make look like a meticulously dressed stage or studio back lot when he shot it. He had this odd compulsion toward overtly mannered cinematic presentation that was totally at odds with his vérité obsessed era and that was probably never more in evidence that it is here.

    Blow Out is overwhelmingly composed…