onthewall2983

onthewall2983

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Diary entries are only for films seen for the first time, or first time viewings in 4K UHD.

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  • Die Hard

    Die Hard

    ★★★★★

    More gratuitous than the violence are the constant reminders of how much this was a movie of it's time. When "breaking news" wasn't just a buzzword and used only for something as serious as a terrorist take-over, limousines had tape decks, and the price of gas was less then a dollar. This extends to some of the production details too, namely using real locations in Los Angeles, painted backings and relying almost entirely on practical physical effects.

    These things conversely…

  • Heat

    Heat

    ★★★★★

    Putting aside the broadest notions of what people can consider a Western, this is the closest film Al Pacino and Robert De Niro could ever have come to doing one. At least doing so while remaining so close to the mannerisms and approaches to dialogue and emotions they have been known for, for careers collectively coming up on their 6th decade. I've heard this loosely described as a gangster film, and find that to be erroneous for obvious reasons but…

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  • Console Wars

    Console Wars

    ★★★

    Two and a half stars for the pixelized businessman crying at his desk.

  • 2010

    2010

    ★★★

    I remember watching this, then reading the book around the same time I was in my teenage obsession with 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film naturally condenses some aspects of the novel, the limitation of 2 hours against 300 pages. The major difference I appreciated more in the book was the idea that, at first, American-Russian relations were more relaxed. At the time (20 years ago, yes, 2001) I foolishly felt this could be more accurate at the time than…

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  • Collateral

    Collateral

    ★★★★★

    One element I haven't seen much in the praise of this film is actually how funny it is. There is a subtle but direct layer of levity, which is mostly used to ease the very palpable tension. I saw it twice in theaters and both times one particular line got a hearty response from the audience. Nearly all of it surrounds the chemistry of it's two leads, and the individual choices they made regarding their characters.

    Tom Cruise (in arguably…

  • Thief

    Thief

    ★★★★

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

    There's a ruthlessness to James Caan's performance as Frank that cuts through like one of his tools of the safe-cracking trade. It's 100% pure alpha-male bravado, that can be quickly brought down to earth. Whether it's by his best friend or his wife, there is as equally no fear to the emotion he brings. That's one thing (of many) about Michael Mann's work that is so engaging, is how he shows his protagonists (as well as his antagonists, too) balancing…