• Space Jam

    Space Jam

    A few genuine pleasures in this film, including Daffy Duck calling Wayne Knight "a dork." And I will watch any movie featuring Marvin The Martian! But holy shit, Michael Jordan has to be the least charismatic famous person in the history of fame. Kawhi was right to cultivate Keaton-esque stoicism as a bit. It's way funnier.

  • The Housewife and the Hustler

    The Housewife and the Hustler

    the Bravo! to 2 star True Crime pipeline…

  • Major Dundee

    Major Dundee

    Viewed uncharitably, this is a dry run for The Wild Bunch, charting the violence and psychopathy at the heart of the American West (and the American Western). But where Peckinpah’s masterpiece takes its characters’ griminess for granted, here we see murderous impulses take shape, guided by the Heston’s power-mad major, a cross between Colonels Custer and Kurtz.

    Setting out on a mission that seems like adventurist busywork—pushing back an Apache assault on New Mexico, on the post-Gettysburg backside of the…

  • The Other Guys

    The Other Guys

    “Arnie Palmies”

  • Election

    Election

    The closest thing to The Sopranos I have seen in a triad picture (though I’m no expert). The violence is blunt and inglorious, and the states traditions seem absurd, undercut by the pure, venal pursuit of power. Forget centuries of ceremony and custom. Money, and money alone, talks.

  • Undine

    Undine

    Need to chew it over a bit. Feels "slight," but I think its fish tale of a mythical creature from Germanic folklore enduring into modern day Berlin, attempting to rid herself of her curses and find a soul, plays rather neatly against its extended exegesis on German reunification, and the "national character" in the postwar years. I think the key is the discussion of the reconstructed Humbold Forum, and the way it connects the 21st to 19th century, completely eliding…

  • Vengeance

    Vengeance

    Dudes just railing darts while firing off multiple handguns in an urban pasture dotted by cubes of compressed garbage, which are blasted apart by the volleys of gunfire, detritus left scattered to the wind. File under G for “the Good Stuff.”

  • Nightmare Alley

    Nightmare Alley

    This film is quite rude to geeks.

  • Drug War

    Drug War

    Brutal, brilliant stuff. Subverts the noble bloodshed/Heat-style cop/criminal thriller by making the cop and the criminal....uh....enemies. It’s not about some mutual respect, or a common code of honour. It’s about two people on opposite sides of the law bound together in an extremely tenuous alliance. Outside an of an early flying drop kick takedown, so much of the action is defensive: people using barrels, cars, human children as shields, inching towards one another.

    Whatever sense of moral clarity it attempts…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    A surprisingly strong riff on the original—and also more believable. Teeters on the edge of post-9/11 camp (the PTSD journals that resemble the marginalia of anguished school shooters, the nightmares of Arabesque women filigreed in Henna tattoos, wooshing around like a harem of phantoms), and I sometimes wish it could go all the way. But that’s probably just my own taste for tastelessness trying to override the material.

    Streep is pretty bad. Though she almost won me over in the…

  • Get Shorty

    Get Shorty

    Not a day goes by that I don’t thank The Sopranos for restoring dignity to the organized crime genre. Without it, everything would be blasted out post-Tarantino neo-noir like this and One Night At McCool’s. And, I guess, Tarantino.

  • Female Trouble

    Female Trouble

    A trash film warring against the whole straight world. A celebration of the abject, of beauty, and of abjection-as-beauty. Wonderful script. Love that Divine’s climatic big debut is just her doing flips and bopping around: stardom as a violent end in itself. This is art that bursts from the body, like a weird, mascara-injected mutant baby. 

    Saw this at the drive-in without my glasses. Image was blurry and obstructed by some guy watching from out the top of his sunroof.…