DubiousLegacy Patron

Favorite films

  • The Box
  • Wishmaster
  • Unfriended
  • Exorcist II: The Heretic

Recent activity

  • Appleseed


  • Summer Wars


  • Duel


  • Johnny Guitar


Pinned reviews

  • Nosferatu



    I'm gonna float a crazy theory here.

    One of the things I respect about this movie is the way that it makes Count Orlok scary-because-goofy. His goggle-eyes and pointy beaver teeth and doofy smile look nutty. He slides from place to place in undercranked footage like a cardboard cut-out on a pulley system. All of his poses are theatrical. But the same things that make him funny make him creepy! He's plonked right in the uncanny valley. He doesn't look…

  • Wittgenstein



    "Early Wittgenstein or Late Wittgenstein?" is the "Team Edward or Team Jacob?" of the philosophy world. Every philosopher has an opinion on which of the two Wittgensteins is better. His career is bisected into two, with each half represented by a major publication: the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus on one side and the Philosophical Investigations on the other. They're both very weird texts but they're weird in different ways.

    The Tractatus of the early Wittgenstein is a highly-structured work of logic and…

Recent reviews

  • Appleseed




    I love that ESWAT (Extra Special Weapons and Tactics) is apparently a recurring thing in Japanese sci-fi. I had the Genesis game ESWAT when I was a kid and there's a voice clip that booms "ESWAT" at the title screen. Voice sampling was rare at the time. I apparently attached super hard to that sound effect, because whenever the ESWAT team appeared in this movie I had to say it out loud just like the game did. "ESWAT."


  • Summer Wars

    Summer Wars


    This movie made Mamoru Hosoda's vision of the internet in Belle make more sense to me. The online VR space in Belle ("U") is pretty much the same as the one in Summer Wars ("OZ") even though Belle came out twelve years later. It's an old man's conception of online life. Treating the ideal internet as a kawaii Miiverse owes a lot to the old days of Compuserve and AOL and WorldsAway and Second Life. It's not really a picture…

Popular reviews

  • Sweetie



    I want to write about a topic that reviewers here often mention in passing but tend not to discuss in detail. Does the family in Sweetie hold a dark secret of incest?

    Let me throw a spotlight on a thought-provoking take I came across in a Letter to the Editor from a 1990 issue of the Chicago Reader (the Letterboxd of its time, I guess). This is by Paola Lortie:

    Sweetie’s “madness” and pain come from somewhere, are rooted in…

  • The Piano

    The Piano


    This movie is not a romance. It has some of the superficial overtones of a romance, but the love story here is just a part of the plot; it does not inspire any empathetic engagement or vicarious lust. The feel of the love story is best captured by that shot of George's dirty fingernail slowly creeping toward pale flesh visible through a hole in Ada's leggings. Maybe that slowly stalking finger is sexy for George, but for us, it's gross…