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  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Murder on the Orient Express

    ★★★

    Over the last few of decades of film, it has often been the case that a director will take a woman with whom he is in love and create a movie that is a cinematic monument to how beautiful that person was at that time.

    Examples include Woody Allen creating Annie Hall for Diane Keaton, Luc Besson creating The Messenger for Milla Jovovich, and Quentin Tarantino making the Kill Bill movies with Uma Thurman.

    But not a single one of…

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  • Dressed to Kill

    Dressed to Kill

    Dressed to Kill had the wonderful effect of sending me back to the Stephen Fry-read version of The Complete Sherlock Holmes on Audible (it is impossible to recommend that too highly). But a key element of those stories is that Holmes and Watson are (very) young men; I'd estimate 28 at the latest.

    Which does a weird thing to the action of this story. While the narrative has remained the same, Basil Rathbone (age 54, but looking a worn 65)…

  • The Adventures of Robin Hood

    The Adventures of Robin Hood

    ★★

    Two primary issues here: the first is that this was clearly in the transition between silent films and talkies, in that there is still a fair amount of exposition delivered by way of title cards (and more than a smidge by bad guys speechifying), and the second is that Robin, as portrayed by Erol Flynn, is just such a frat-boy dick. Sure he’s a jerk to the Normans, but he is also an asshole with his obnoxious merry ruffians, and…

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  • The Blob

    The Blob

    ★★★★

    Another movie that I regret not watching previously. To be fair, it has a mixed critical reputation, but there are a couple of things going on with that, I think.

    The first is that this is a technically limited film. The squishy wiggly sound-effects go a long way, but the decision to keep undercutting the sound design by showing a mass of shiny plastic that rarely moves even by the standards of yesteryear presents a real problem for anybody looking…

  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★★½

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

    GvK barely qualifies as tolerable, much less good, until the (second act) first fight between the titular characters, when Kong is revealed as the huge under-, uh, monkey, with only one friend left in the world (who is a tiny deaf child). With that, it picks up weird emotional stakes, and I genuinely can’t tell if it is intentional that any or all of the human action can not even approximate Kong’s plight, but it’s tough not to love that…