• Sinister 2

    Sinister 2

    ★½

    A mess of a movie made mostly because of the dough, Sinister 2 suffers from the cardinal sin of sequels. It wants so much to up the ante, to make all the elements that worked in the original larger, scarier, crazier, and wilder. The brilliant, realistic snuff reels from the original have here been morphed into morbidly manipulative murder moments that completely fail the first film’s intentions. Those are morbidly fascinating, triggering innate curiosity mechanisms in us. They’re slow, deliberate,…

  • Event Horizon

    Event Horizon

    ★★★½

    By now, Event Horizon has gone from a movie I enjoy, to a movie I like, and now to a movie I love. Not because I can extract new, deeper messages from it, but because of how goddamn enjoyable it is. Sam Neill and Laurence Fishburne make for great actors to journey into the deep space with. While Sam Neill’s part is way more over the top than Fishburne, both of them still battle it out on this nightmare space…

  • Kansas City Confidential

    Kansas City Confidential

    ★★★★

    The Danish translation for this brilliant, narratively playful film noir is something roughly akin to, “The Police are Pursuing Four Masked Men”. And while that is great in its very own way, Kansas City Confidential is much more complex than that. Seeing Phil Karlson’s stunning crime drama, you may journey into a surprise state of chock because of how different and unique the three parts feel. First, you see how a group of criminals is committing a well-thought-out bank robbery.…

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit

    ★★★½

    Robert Zemeckis seems to have been on a steady decline when it comes to the quality of his movies. One might think that his reliance on technology has transformed into a story-telling hindrance more so than a device that allows him to tell new, interesting stories.

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit is like ninety percent technology. Not that it takes up ninety percent of the whole movie, but the logical leap the audience must take, especially today because of the quality,…

  • Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

    ★★★

    While utterly stunning in its dream-like, almost abstract imagery, this psychedelic trip straight out of the Soviet Union is unfortunately not quite my cup of tea. I get how the visuals alongside the exceedingly intrusive music make for a unique and interesting experiencing – one that, to my knowledge, was quite unusual in the Soviet realm of socialist realism film. But the onslaught of shrieking sounds and loud singing is so exhaustive that you end up feeling as if you…

  • The Painted Bird

    The Painted Bird

    ★★★½

    The eponymous poultry is a poverty-stricken, little chickling; an ugly duckling forced out of its pond by a raging, global tempest. The feathered creature is venturing from place to place, vignette to vignette, on the winds of a particularly violent windstorm. Every residence, brief or long-lived, is a potential slaughterhouse, where the dirty, little wings of the duckling are brutally plucked. Plucked in every conceivable, deplorable, cynical way. And after the little creature’s depressing, everlasting flight for survival, where innocence and everything youth-like have been eradicated, one can only sit and wonder if the paint on the bird is permanent.

  • Prince of Darkness

    Prince of Darkness

    ★★★½

    Atmosphere the movie, Carpenter’s Prince of Darkness boasts a beautifully haunting soundtrack that creeps through every corridor of the abandoned church. The music makes its way past all the technology, all the bright-minded students who want nothing more than to break into an intellectual dimension hitherto unknown. The score stops in front of a mountainous canister full of green, upward-flowing liquid, poisonous in appearance, yet deeply captivating. What secrets might it contain?

    It’s so hard to explain what it is Carpenter does technically, but hell if it ain’t effective.

  • Nobody's Business

    Nobody's Business

    ★★★★½

    More than a year ago, I stuck my nose into someone else’s business. I snooped around inside the mind of not only director Alan Berliner but also Edwin Honig, the subject of his documentary First Cousin Once Removed. I was curious, and the doc sounded interesting. Poet-translator Edwin Honig was battling Alzheimer’s and watching that was equally as depressing as it was life-affirming.

    Present-day, Mubi’s curated list of movies showed a name I recognized. Alan Berliner. I was immediately intrigued…

  • Mank

    Mank

    ★★★★½

    Utterly Manknificent.

    The sheer skill of David Fincher’s latest masterpiece is like a waterhole of liquid gold that could easily fill that of two Welles.

    A rewatch might actually be enough to bump this up.

  • Freaky

    Freaky

    ★★★

    There’s something so fundamentally fun in watching an older man trying to capture the essence of a teenage girl. I have always had a soft spot for Vince Vaughn, and I think his performance in True Detective is actually quite solid. For Freaky, he went almost all-in on being a young, angsty schoolgirl, and in doing so, he provided the picture with a surprising amount of humor. That’s really the big punchline for this entry in the slasher-deconstructed genre.

  • The Hitch-Hiker

    The Hitch-Hiker

    ★★★½

    A lovely follow-up month to October and Halloween, Noirvember has crept in through the shadows and the Venetian blinds. First arrived The Naked City, a documentary-like look at police investigations in New York. That film was perhaps a bit too soft, not too concerned with the grim underbelly of corrupt characters hiding the sewers of the city. Ida Lupino’s The Hitch-Hiker will remedy that, for in here resides one of the more despicable human beings, traveling from vehicle to vehicle,…

  • Drag Me to Hell

    Drag Me to Hell

    ★★★½

    Sam Raimi’s balls-to-the-walls, utterly ludicrous Drag Me to Hell is one of those movies where you believe the final product to be exactly what the director had in mind. This is so Sam Raimi, so full of weird, quirky camera work and insane, over-the-top effects. What’s astonishing, I think, is how it can be so crazy, so serious, so fun, and so scary at the same time. Maybe that’s why it is either loved or hated – because people don’t know how to handle it. Like a slippery, saliva-filled set of fake teeth. Gross.