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  • Saladin the Victorious

    Saladin the Victorious

    ★★★★

    The 1960s. 49/100

    Having seen English-language films about the Crusades in the past, it is fascinating to see films from the Arab perspective. Egyptian filmmaker Youssef Chahine’s epic Saladin the Victorious tells the story of Saladin (Ahmed Mazhar) and his efforts to reclaim the throne of Jerusalem for Arabs in the Third Crusades. First battling with Reynald of Châtillon (Ahmed Louxor) before meeting the combined forces of King Richard I of England (Hamdi Geiss) and King Philip of France (Omar…

  • Zama

    Zama

    ★★★★

    2017 Ranked

    Slow, methodical, and lush, Lucrecia Martel‘s story of a middle management officer of the Spanish stationed at a remote outpost in Argentina is something to behold. Perhaps the closest to a modern day version of a Luis Buñuel film one can imagine, but something far different as well despite utilizing some of the same surrealistic touches Buñuel would. Here, Martel tells the story of Diego de Zama (Daniel Giménez Cacho). He is a loser. It is more complex…

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  • The Stuff

    The Stuff

    ★★★

    Hooptober 7.0: 7/31
    1985 Ranked

    I had hoped to love this one more on the second go-around, but once Paul Sorvino's military-Alex Jones nut shows up, this one really goes south. Considering that is about a third of the film, it is hard to overlook this section. It is unfortunate because the rest of the film is vintage Larry Cohen. American consumerism run rampant and converging with capitalistic greed in a new mind-melting dessert treat, complete with sexual advertising, hip…

  • Raising Cain

    Raising Cain

    ★★★★

    Hooptober 7.0: 6/31
    The Arrow Challenge, 80/100
    Ranked: Brian De Palma
    1992 Ranked

    Cinematic insanity of the order that one has come to expect from Brian De Palma. Taking chunks of Hitchcockian influence as per usual with a clear reference to Psycho and a heavy dose of Frenzy plus Hitchcock’s usual “wrong man” element as a subplot as well as voyeurism, Raising Cain is everything that De Palma ever epitomized as a director. It is dripping with that Hitchcock influence,…

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  • La La Land

    La La Land

    ★★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    2016 Ranked
    Top 100 Films
    Seen in Theaters

    Postmodernism is a film theory that suggests that there is nothing original anymore. If it could be made, it has been made and we are doomed to simply remake a once original idea in perpetuity. Postmodernism also includes ideas regarding nostalgia and hyperreality, positing that cities such as Los Angeles may physically be real, but are in fact, dream worlds that are not actually there. In Damien Chazelle's latest work and, dare…

  • Drive

    Drive

    ★★★★½

    2011 Ranked

    Forgive me father, for I have sinned. When I saw Drive for the first time in 2013, I had just finished my first film class in high school and was set to graduate from high school in a few weeks. Now, a week and a half removed from finishing college a semester early, it was time to atone for the sins of my youth. Unacquainted with good films at the time aside from the ones I saw in…