Favorite films

  • The Thing
  • Escape from New York
  • Big Trouble in Little China
  • Elvis

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  • Spartan

    ★★★★½

  • Heat

    ★★★★★

  • The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair

    ★★★

  • Dracula Has Risen from the Grave

    ★★★½

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  • The Premonition

    The Premonition

    ★★★★

    A sleepy paranormal creeper buffeted by two fully committed performances from its female leads (Sharon Farrell and Ellen Barber) and lowkey sinister menace from Richard Lynch as a psychopathic carnival mime/photographer (I mean, we all know the type). Probably too sleepy and dreamlike for most audiences, but there is a pervasive sense of dread and some truly harrowing sequences (most notably the bedroom abduction attempt) that are effective more because they're built almost 100% from raw emotion rather than effects…

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  • Elvis

    Elvis

    ★★★½

    The cable and internet have been off since Thursday (when AT&T was digging up and down the street and apparently cut a line), so I started digging into DVDs and Blu-rays I've bought over the years but never actually got around to watching.

    First up was the 1979 Elvis TV-biopic, the first of five collaborations between star Kurt Russell and director John Carpenter. I'd expected to break this up over two nights, but damned if I didn't get totally absorbed…

  • Broadcast Signal Intrusion

    Broadcast Signal Intrusion

    ★★½

    Conceptually I like this - I remember the ‘80s Max Headroom break-ins and they both disturbed and fascinated me - but as a film it just never came together in a satisfying way (I concede that may be part of the creators’ intent). The broadcast interruptions here are exceptionally well done (they are weird as hell and convincing nightmare fuel), but they’re also mostly spoiled in the trailer, so that element of surprise was lost for me.  Most everything else…

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  • The Thing

    The Thing

    ★★★★★

    Rewatched with audio commentary from John Carpenter and Kurt Russell

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever watched another film with the audio commentary on more than once. But this one I’ve watched at least three times, maybe four.  It never gets old and never fails to lighten my mood. You get a good sense of the pair’s friendship and there are a lot of laughs in their freewheeling conversation — especially from Russell, who cackles loudly at every gory effect…

  • Less Than Zero

    Less Than Zero

    ★★★½

    Disclaimers: I've never read the book that served as the source material. I've also never done cocaine, for multiple reasons. [(1) I don't like the idea of things going up my nose. No one has ever looked cool snorting coke. (I don't even like the word snort.) (2) I always had the perception that coke is a drug for rich assholes, and I am nothing if not a man of the people. (3) "Snow Blind" was one of the weaker…