Derek Smith

Derek Smith Pro

Favorite films

  • PlayTime
  • Trouble in Paradise
  • The Trial
  • L'Argent

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  • When the Cat Comes

    ★★★

  • The Unknown

    ★★★½

  • The Big Racket

    ★★★★

  • The Snows of Kilimanjaro

    ★★½

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  • Pickup on South Street

    Pickup on South Street

    ★★★★★

    Pickup on South Street, Sam Fuller’s brutal yet sensual masterpiece, begins on a speeding subway train, full of colliding bodies stuffed inside like canned sardines. No one speaks, but everyone glances; some at the floor or out the window, others at unsuspecting passengers, yet all attempting in one way or another to not betray what’s truly on their mind. Every initial glance is revealed to be misdirected until our anti-hero, Skip McCoy, bursts onto the scene to meet the sultry…

  • It's Always Fair Weather

    It's Always Fair Weather

    ★★★★½

    The post-war hangover to follow Donen/Kelly's night out On the Town. Where their earlier collaboration was on the cusp of the 50s, and thus still mired in the earlier decade's lingering celebration of soldiers and the WWII victory, It's Always Fair Weather is firmly entrenched in the 50s expansion of consumerism and soul-sucking "suit" jobs designed to move every man, woman and child toward the elusive pursuit of the virtually unattainable American Dream. Whether through the brilliant passage-of-time montage that…

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  • Bob Marley: One Love

    Bob Marley: One Love

    ★½

    "Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Bob Marley: One Love focuses primarily on Marley’s (Kingsley Ben-Adir) life between 1976 and 1978, during which time the reggae legend fled Jamaica for London and his homeland was plagued by rampant violence and political upheaval. One might think that this limited scope would allow the filmmakers to explore this era of Marley’s life with some measure of specificity, whether in the challenges his marriage faced as his wife, Rita (Lashana Lynch), spent much of this time…

  • Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

    Kiss the Blood Off My Hands

    ★★★

    Starts of with a brilliant extended chase sequence in the nighttime London fog and gradually declines from there. Lancaster is aces and Fontaine is solid as well, but the film seems unable to decide if it wants to lean into it apparent fatalism or tell a tale of redemption, so it ends up sorta doing both. It's a great looking film and moves at a brisk pace, but its lack of conviction prevents it from evolving into anything terribly memorable.

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  • The Third Generation

    The Third Generation

    ★★★★

    "The other day I had a dream that capitalists created terrorism in order to force the state to better protect the business community. Funny, isn't it?"

    "Germany for the Germans. Everyone else will be sent home."

    It's impossible not to relate Fassbinder's dense and challenging portrait of capital and leftist activists to today's political climate. The Third Generation, virtually unavailable for over 25 years, presents a confounding, chaotic world view where capitalism, anarchy and terrorism constantly overlap and the political…

  • One Way Passage

    One Way Passage

    ★★★★½

    A pair of broken champagne glasses, two discarded cigarettes. Love is fleeting and dreams can last as long as a boat ride from Hong Kong to San Francisco, but like life, all will come to a bitter end. A powerfully bittersweet, unsentimental romantic comedy with a serious bite. Powell and Francis are smooth as silk as passion slides ever-so-elegantly towards its demise, while Frank McHugh's drunken hijinks and Warren Hymer and Aline McMahon's atypical romance keep things light and bubbly. It got me choked up a few times, but at 68 minutes, it chugs along at quite the pace with none-too-long between laughs.