• Dredd



    Softcore violence porn. As fellow Letterboxder Zedsdead put it, “A poverty-criminalizing, anti-due-process, war-footing copaganda film.” It’s also wall-to-wall gun deaths, with the two principals shooting about a hundred people on screen. I only watched it because of the Alex Garland credit.

    All that being said, Headey makes a great villain (though I guess we already knew that), there is some superbly trippy imagery, the story zips along, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. I didn’t hate it, but I…

  • National Velvet

    National Velvet


    I’m a little surprised that Letterboxd’s reaction to this one is so lukewarm; this is the Golden-Age Hollywood machine firing on all cylinders. Every image is storybook perfect, the characters are sweet, the race is thrilling, and MGM won the lottery with twelve-year-old Elizabeth Taylor, who not only shines in every scene but who seems perfectly comfortable leaping on and off real live horses. To say that director Clarence Brown was a pro is an understatement.

    I do admit that…

  • Private Lives

    Private Lives


    A recently divorced couple with a rather dysfunctional relationship find themselves In adjacent hotel rooms in the South of France—each on a honeymoon with a new spouse. Very bad behavior ensues.

    It’s something you don’t see every day: a rom-com full of irony and black humor. We’re treated to lots of adorable canoodling between Shearer and Montgomery, but all the while they’re married to two other people (who they’ve unceremoniously ditched). Eventually jealousy and irritation get the better of the…

  • Jaws: The Revenge

    Jaws: The Revenge


    One of the most psychotically incongruous movies you’ll ever see. On the one hand you have all these earnest scenes about real-world stuff—a woman mourning the death of her son while also beginning a new romance, her other son doubtful about this relationship while having communication problems with his own wife, not to mention professional pressures—and on the other hand you have the absurd idea that this family is somehow being hunted by a shark from New England to the…

  • The Spy in Black

    The Spy in Black


    I forgot what a ripping good yarn this was. It may be time for an Archers rewatch.

  • Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

    Dirty Mary Crazy Larry


    A desperate race-car driver and his mechanic steal a bag of cash to get a new set of wheels. The only complication: the driver’s feisty one-night stand jumps in the getaway car and demands to go along for the ride. The rest of the movie is all about fast driving and wild stunts—some of which are pretty goddamn hair-raising. 

    DLCM is kinda interesting in that Peter Fonda’s “Larry” is an antihero, but not in the sense of being a misfit…

  • The Harder They Come

    The Harder They Come


    I assumed that this would only be noteworthy for the music, but in the end I thought it was actually pretty good. The story isn’t exactly laser-focused, and there are little elisions in the plot, but that ambling quality somehow works in its favor, giving it a lived-in vibe and making it feel like a miniature odyssey. It’s true that the country-kid-turned-outlaw story is overly familiar, but there are little details, regional politics, and local flavor that make things interesting.

    Also there is a bong hit so fat it looks like the guy is smoking an entire shrubbery at once.

  • Red Dust

    Red Dust


    Me: Gosh, it’s really raining hard, and you’re not running fast enough! I’ll just pick you up and carry you.

    Lady I hardly know: What? No, please, I’m perfectly fine.

    Me: Upsie daisy!

    LIHK: Hey! What the fuck are you doing?

    Me: Carrying you to safety!

    LIHK: Put me down you moron! Listen, I was on the varsity track team in high school, I’m a perfectly good runner.

    Me: *huff* *paff* *huff* No I got this.


  • Train to Busan

    Train to Busan


    “These zombies are causing confusion and delay,” said Sir Topham Hatt as his blood pooled on the carriage floor.

  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs


    Third time watching all the way through—though I've watched the title episode on its own two or three times on top of that.

    It's another great Coen Brothers movie, and what's wonderful about it is the way it explores our concept of "The American West" from so many different angles. Each episode has its own specific landscape and flavor, and we're shown all the familiar characters—the outlaw, the settlers, the prospector, townsfolk and frontiersmen. In the bookend episodes we even…

  • The Masque of the Red Death

    The Masque of the Red Death


    A gothic phantasmagoria. Or maybe The Seventh Seal spiked with wormwood and LSD? I’m pretty sure I’d seen this before and was unimpressed (no doubt because it deviated too far from the source material), so last week I was ready to declare The Pit and the Pendulum the likely best of the Corman oeuvre. Now I’m not so sure. Red Death meanders a bit, and it owes the aforementioned  debt to Bergman, but there is a delectable push and pull…

  • Idiocracy



    This could have been funny if the future was a little dumb instead of slack-jawed mobs shuffling through garbage and guffawing at toilet humor. As it is, it’s kind of depressing, and I felt like I was the butt of the joke for having turned it on. I also kinda felt insulted by the lazy screenwriting of the voiceover.

    Even so, the Starbucks thing made me laugh.