RSS feed for Scott
  • Shaun of the Dead

    Shaun of the Dead

    ★★★★½

    Still my favorite of Wright's films. Seeing it again brought back that feeling of the first viewing, when I braced myself for another schlocky horror-comedy and was immediately struck by the sophistication of the filmmaking, quite apart from its other good conceptual qualities. Shaun slipping on the below-frame puddle of blood is maybe the best example of the film's fusion of wit and panache.

  • Drug War

    Drug War

    ★★★★

    Impeccably stylized action film from the To, distinguishes itself through a sympathetic view of condemned man who helps the police with his life on the line. Ending casts a chill.

  • The Fog

    The Fog

    ★★★

    Reviewed for The Dissolve. Excerpt:

    "But after that initial flourish, The Fog has to come back down to earth, and this is where Carpenter and Hill struggle to hold the same level of interest. The cast is well chosen—and their decision to give characters names like Dan O’Bannon, Nick Castle, and Dr. Phibes speaks to an eagerness to please cult followers—but they don’t play compelling people, and they don’t come together as a unit until it’s too late for a…

  • The Rise

    The Rise

    ★★½

    Reviewed for The Dissolve. Excerpt:

    "Writer-director Rowan Athale teases out a film about a generation adrift, but Wasteland junks that theme with a quickness once it’s time to put words into action. Those amateur welding skills do come in handy, but there’s otherwise no follow-through on the down-to-earth character work Athale does in the film’s first half. He’s ultimately more interested in feeding the insatiable market for stylish British crime movies of the Trainspotting/Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels variety,…

  • I Declare War

    I Declare War

    ★★★½

    Reviewed for The Dissolve. Excerpt:

    "In a shock effect that never quite loses its bite, I Declare War toggles back and forth between fantasy and reality, with wooden machine guns and D-battery-stocked ammunition belts suddenly changing into real artillery and bullet fire. Lapeyre and Wilson are trying to suggest the fierce battles raging in the kids’ imaginations, but that doesn’t blunt the impact of children armed to the teeth with deadly weaponry, especially once the danger of actual harm becomes…

  • This Is the End

    This Is the End

    ★★★★

    My awed reaction to this shambling apocalypse comedy is no doubt colored by the fact that it's an oasis in a summer of bloated, joyless, machine-built blockbusters. While there no avoiding term like "self-indulgent" to describe Seth Rogen and his Hollywood friends (all using real names) fending off the apocalypse, something cannot be self-indulgent without also being personal. Rogen and co. quite sincerely reckon with their lifestyle—if not the sin part, then certainly the way it affects their friendships—while also going way out on a limb for laughs (Danny McBride's semen monologue is something else) or end-of-the-world mayhem. Suggested double feature: Post Tenebras Lux.

  • The Life of Oharu

    The Life of Oharu

    ★★★★½

    Review TK on The Dissolve when it launches...

  • Jade

    Jade

    Rewatched mainly for silly Dissolve-related reasons, partly because my newfound appreciation for Friedkin's chops had me thinking maybe I missed the boat the first time around. The boat was not missed. The boat was definitely boarded. The boat hit an iceberg named David Caruso's Charisma.

  • 21

    21

    ★½

    Here's something you should know about me: If a film is about gambling or stocks, I will watch it repeatedly, no matter how terrible it is. (On the latter front, I re-watch only the last 15 minutes of Trading Places and have seen the dreadful The Secret Of My Success more times than an MIT whiz kid can count.) I have to admit, with no modesty, that the 2008 me nailed this movie:

    Mezrich's book is non-fiction, and perhaps the…

  • It's Always Fair Weather

    It's Always Fair Weather

    ★★★★★

    1955 is my favorite movie year, and yet I had somehow never seen this wonderful Kelly/Donen joint, which is gorgeous and fun while also smuggling some bitter insight about the soldier's life after WWII. Will write about it at greater length soon...

  • The Heat

    The Heat

    ★★★½

    Paul Feig doesn't have the chops to recreate the '80s buddy-cop vibe of Richard Donner, but Melissa McCarthy's ornate profanity more than compensate. Will write more about it for The Dissolve when it launches.

  • World War Z

    World War Z

    ★★½

    Zombies as a metaphor for... well, there are zombies, okay? And they go really fast! What more do you want, pal?!