• A Nightmare on Elm Street

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    ★★★½

    Starts with with so many awesome effects and gross-outs and gore that it makes the back half kinda boring by comparison. Still, it earns its spot as a classic, arguably the strongest first film of the canonical horror '80s franchises.

  • Super Dark Times

    Super Dark Times

    ★★★★

    Can't tell you what the beginning or end scenes are supposed to mean. Won't bother justifying the eye-rolling plot twist. Wasn't feeling the love story pretty much at all.

    But the good stuff is really good stuff. Unique, authentic, and surprisingly funny. Nineties nostalgia that doesn't feel cheap — a rare thing these days!

    So I'm gonna choose to remember the journey and not the destination.

  • The Many Saints of Newark

    The Many Saints of Newark

    ★★½

    This makes me understand the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe thing.

    I will watch every Sopranos movie. Every year they’ll get worse and every year the makeup on the old guys will be more noticeable. But every year I’ll be that doofus at the midnight showing wearing a handmade “FREE FRANK VINCENT” tee, calling the popcorn guy “googootz,” ready with a Letterboxd score of two and a half boxes of ziti.

  • Possum

    Possum

    ★★½

    My tolerance for watching a strange-looking dude with bad posture run through decaying suburban environments is apparently pretty low. This is all mood, basically an 80-minute trailer. It almost put me to sleep. 

    But I’m glad it exists, you know, because at least it’s different. Unique is important. Credit where credit is due. It is what it is. Respect. Let go; let God. Peace be with you. The man, the myth, the legend. We the people. Innocent until proven guilty. Bye. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Blow Out

    Blow Out

    ★★★½

    Beautifully shot and wonderfully acted, but takes a wrong turn when it switches from paranoia slow-burn to straightforward thriller with a serial killer who's everywhere at once, tapping phones and destroying evidence, murdering randoms "to make it look like a series of sex killings" and generally having the appearance of one of my relatives. (As a child I was the spitting image of adult John Lithgow.)

    But did I mention it's beautifully shot? Because however frustrating it is to watch…

  • Hiding Out

    Hiding Out

    ★★★

    This really didn't need a love story, but it especially didn't need one between a grown-ass man and high-school girl. At one point Keith Coogan jokes that Jon Cryer is inching toward statutory rape and Cryer is just like "yeah, it isn't easy to keep my hands off her." Truly insane.

    And yet ... an easy recommend.

  • Dirty Work

    Dirty Work

    Sorry to all my guy friends but this movie sucks.

    And so does Swingers!

  • Left Behind: The Movie

    Left Behind: The Movie

    A turd is a more pleasant leave-behind than this.

  • Maximum Overdrive

    Maximum Overdrive

    ★★★★

    This concludes my unplanned Labor Day–weekend Big Rig triple header (see also: Duel and Joy Ride). Who knew I was saving the best for last?

    This is Stephen King living life. Out of his mind. Unable to care.

    There’s a scene midway through where a 60-something-year-old dude busts out a rocket launcher and blows up a truck. One of the characters asks where he got the weapon. Dude replies, “I found it in my Christmas stocking.” It’s such a perfect middle finger to the audience. Pretty much “have fun or fuck off.”

    It wasn’t hard to choose the former.

  • Joy Ride

    Joy Ride

    ★★½

    Ups the ante toward the end and pretty much all of it misses the mark, but on the strength of a good first half, I give it a light thumbs up. A baby thumb. In fact, from some angles it just looks like I’m raising a fist. You wonder what I’m doing.

  • Duel

    Duel

    ★★★

    Frustrating, but that’s how you know it’s good?

    This was written by Richard Matheson which means it’s basically The Twilight Zone, and at times, it feels on par with the series’ best episodes. But it also struggles to fill even 87 minutes with meaningful action, and I’m sorry to troll but where’s the twist?

    And why rely on physical violence over psychological torture? Didn’t The Twilight Zone prove one more interesting than the other? Doesn’t this film? Tell me a car…

  • Varsity Blues

    Varsity Blues

    ★★½

    It’s not Varsity Blues’ fault that high-school movies in the 90s were legally required to show fat characters swigging maple syrup.