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  • eXistenZ

    eXistenZ

    ★★★★★

    “You have to play the game to find out why you’re playing the game.” — Allegra

    David Cronenberg’s transcendental masterpiece? I say so. eXistenZ, one of the great mindbenders of our time, constructs an alternate universe parallel to ours that is numbed by videogame addiction. The players use MetaFlesh game-pods that use bioports to plug into their spines. Jennifer Jason Leigh is highly lauded game designer Allegra Geller and Jude Law is reluctant PR nerd Ted Pikul. “I have this…

  • Total Recall

    Total Recall

    ★★★½

    Paul Verhoeven's propulsive adventure Total Recall has Arnie on the run from Earth to Mars — is he a blue collar guy on brain implant vacation or super agent with memory loss? — that's relentless, gross, nerve-racking, outlandish to the max. The playful enigma is whether all of it is reality or just a dream, something Verhoeven leaves up for us to decide. Sharon Stone satiates Schwarzenegger with her sex appeal, yet he is still antsy for variety; Rachel Ticotin…

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  • The Shining

    The Shining

    ★★★★★

    The best horror film ever made and probably the best one there will ever be. Stanley Kubrick’s claustrophobic chiller takes place on the high altitudes of the Colorado Rockies peaking in a rough snowstorm. Inside the Overlook Hotel which has been closed during the off-season, caretaker Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) gets cabin fever while the wife (Shelley Duvall) and son (Danny Lloyd) grow withdrawn, gather mistrust. Many devotees over the years have revered Kubrick's mindbender for its supernatural elements, its…

  • The Fly

    The Fly

    ★★★★★

    Bug-eyed and hairy Jeff Goldblum as scientist Seth Brundle, inventor of the teleport machine. His world-changing device could transport goods around the world by teleporting molecules from one launching pod to a destination pod. The horror begins on a drunken night when the overthinker scientist becomes jealous of girlfriend Geena Davis’ night on the town; he hastily decides to transport his own human flesh. He is unknowing that a housefly DNA now blends in with his DNA (this story also…

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  • Ghostbusters II

    Ghostbusters II

    ★★★

    Infamous as the sloppy sequel to the 1984 f/x-comedy hit, yet I’ve always liked it just fine. Declared by many for being poorly written, though with all those stupid yuks I tend to laugh a lot with every viewing. In the opening twenty minutes alone, Bill Murray’s psychic TV show / Harold Ramis’ extreme emotions testing lab / the courtroom scene with yammering attorney Rick Moranis leading his witnesses, gets me all giddy enough to not care that the plot…

  • Contagion

    Contagion

    ★★★★

    In 2011, I thought Contagion was very good but had far-fetched question marks only because I didn’t understand then the credibility of an airborne virus, microbes and pathogens, incubation periods, and generally the science of it all which happens to be based on actual science. I had looked at it as a “thriller.” I saw it again this week, and it predicted a lot of things right or to come, and while the science has certain variables compared to contemporary…