• The Untold Story

    The Untold Story

    ★★★★

    Still one of my all time favorite CAT-III shock jams, relatively tame and dare I say even accessible in the way the plot unravels like a lighthearted police procedural (with some lowbrow intentional comedy that lowkey kinda knock it out of the park and undercut the inherent lameness of the procedural elements), but that’s not to say this movie doesn’t deserve every bit of its rating….I can’t really look at a bundle of chopsticks the same way again. Or a pork bun for that matter.

    Impressive pedigree on the cast especially Anthony Wong who inexplicably gives it his all in a genuinely brilliant performance. 

    8.5

  • This Is It

    This Is It

    ★★★

    Was quite enamored with this movie when it came out. It’s a lot less structured and more uneven and…..not as engaging as I remember, and some of the performances and song choices are pretty disappointing. But even at his state of health at the time Jackson shows flashes of his former glory here, constantly reminding the audience that he’s probably the greatest dancer the world has ever seen in the rehearsal footage. The tour would have been pretty rad, probably.  

    6.75

  • Tenebre

    Tenebre

    ★★★★½

    A real dark horse candidate for best giallo ever in my opinion, just sublime stuff all around from the metatextual storyline that reads like Argento’s grand thesis statement on art and violence, wacky energetic pacing that goes from 0 to 100 like a dragster, goated theme song (courtesy of Goblin personnel) to that crazy dog chase that takes up a pretty big amount of runtime. 

    This is fiercely, unmistakably Argento; the technical mastery on display here as he playfully jostles his critics and detractors while remaining on top of his game is a great flex. 

    9.25

  • Don't Torture a Duckling

    Don't Torture a Duckling

    ★★★★

    I watched this one on DVD right after high school during The Worst Summer Ever when a wisdom tooth extraction kept me from eating solid food for a solid month. I saw this the night of and I tried to make the most of it but the pain kind of kept me from fully enjoying it. Fast forward to 2022 and now I'm watching it on Blu-Ray while quarantining for COVID lmao. At least I feel pretty well this time!…

  • Black Sunday

    Black Sunday

    ★★★★

    So far Bava has been all hits no misses for me and I was curious to see how I’ll warm up to my first B&W Bava feature when my favorite thing about him in the features I’ve seen is his emphasis on color. I thought this was great! Beautifully, atmospherically shot in black and white with the kind of gothic storytelling I expect from him, brooding creepiness with a tasteful amount of gore, predicting the next couple of decades of Italian horror. 

    8.25

  • The Sacrifice

    The Sacrifice

    ★★★★

    "15 December
    Throughout his life a person knows that sooner or later he is going to die, but he doesn't know when. And to make it easier to live his life, he relegates that moment to some indefinite point in the future. But I do know, and nothing now is going to make it easier for me to live. That is very painful; but worst of all is Larisa--how am I going to tell her? How can I, with my…

  • Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

    Death Wish 4: The Crackdown

    ★★★½

    Ups the ante set by Death Wish 3 in a few ways—namely wilder, more beautifully inspired methods of youth punk execution—definitely a step down from its transcendent predecessor overall in terms of unstoppable vibe but still a worthy facemelter if you ever caught this on cable in the middle of the night. Enjoyed how this franchise moves from LA to New York with every installment up to this point; surprisingly I like the New York movies quite a bit more. 

    Pair this one w/ The Hidden for a 1987 Danny Trejo double feature

    7.75

  • Death Wish 3

    Death Wish 3

    ★★★★★

    Last time I saw this was for the first time two years ago at a pretty memorable pre-pandemic screening and none of my thoughts have changed except it’s actually more fucking crazy than I remember? Sharing my previous review here which I think is one of the better things I’ve written for this site. 

    10

  • Steamboat Bill, Jr.

    Steamboat Bill, Jr.

    ★★★★½

    Buster Keaton's dad is a steamboat captain and they reunite after years apart, and falls in love with the daughter of his dad's rival, hilarity ensues. This one has one of my favorite scenes in the silent era: Buster trying on many hats with that deadpan stare. Plus, the famed tornado finale is as batshit insane as it was in 1928, and it pretty much turns the final act into a full-on lunatic stunt showcase that you have to see to believe. Buster narrowly escapes death about a few dozen times in these scenes. 

    9.0

  • Sherlock, Jr.

    Sherlock, Jr.

    ★★★★½

    Being confined at home made me want to break out my Blu Rays and check out some movies I have yet to check out, forgot about this pretty nice Eureka box set I must’ve gotten over a year ago that included Steamboat Bill, The General, and this movie. The restoration looks excellent. 

    I was wrong about Petit Maman, the perfect length for a feature is actually 45 minutes. Still really funny with increasingly insane stunts and probably the purest example…

  • Obvious Child

    Obvious Child

    ★★★½

    At some point this year I rediscovered and was struck at how much I rly liked Paul Simon’s “Obvious Child” and was pleasantly surprised to be reminded that they actually used the song for this movie. 

    But anyway I thought this was funny! Everything Everywhere All At Once pomeranian punting breakout star Jenny Slate’s sense of humor is a good fit for the subject matter and is always more than capable of carrying a low-wattage feature comedy like this. Comically a…

  • One Sings, the Other Doesn't

    One Sings, the Other Doesn't

    ★★★★

    Put this one on the other day after the Supreme Court decided they haven’t been evil enough lately. There is an unparalleled level of openness, warmth and gentle compassion in the way Varda deals with women living under a patriarchal social structure, abortion, motherhood etc (and ultimately, the power of choice and independence) in this film. A few things here didn’t quite work for me like the songs and the way Iran and Iranian culture is integrated into the story…