Kurt

Editor by profession, film/music lover by trade.

Favorite films

  • This Is Spinal Tap
  • Inglourious Basterds
  • Whiplash
  • Seven Samurai

Recent activity

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  • Raw Courage

    ★★★

  • Red Sun Rising

    ★★★

  • Slaughter Night

    ★★

  • Dragon Inn

    ★★★★★

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  • Hanagatami

    Hanagatami

    ★★★★

    CASTING BLOSSOMS TO THE SKY is my favorite of Nobuhiko Obayashi's anti-war films (tied if not edged slightly out by LABYRINTH OF CINEMA), a film that poignantly addresses Japan's collective post-war trauma through historical recounts and personal testimony, but whose impact lies significantly in how it examines the role of art and culture in addressing post-war trauma as well as the responsibility of future generations in carrying these reflective traditions. It is a poignant introduction to Obayashi's thematic trilogy (or…

  • Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    Goodbye, Dragon Inn

    ★★★★½

    Dragon Inn is the deliberate counterpoint to the lives of the occupants; the excitement onscreen contrasts with the mundanity of the real world. The few people gathering to see the film live their own lives in a state of ennui and listlessness. Some of them gather in the hopes of finding a personal connection, but maybe all that can be offered for them is a moment of escapism into the fantasy of the movies.

    The cinema is often deemed a…

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  • Dragon Inn

    Dragon Inn

    ★★★★★

    COME DRINK WITH ME is considered one of the greatest wuxia films ever made, and yet DRAGON INN is probably the epitome of King Hu's approach to the influential martial arts genre. Hu fine-tunes the formula of his previous film into more expansive territory. The table-setting and the foreplay of the conflicts are as significant--arguably even more so--as the punctuating violence.

    Even as the locations change for its finale, this film never feels like it truly leaves the interior spaces…

  • Return of the 18 Bronzemen

    Return of the 18 Bronzemen

    ★★½

    The eight Joseph Kuo films in Eureka’s Cinematic Vengeance! set all operate along the same general idea of mimicking the current trends in martial arts films—specifically of Shaw Brothers—and basically delivering just more of that. Nothing particularly stands out in a partial filmography that sees Kuo jumping head-first into these trends, directing films that certainly know exactly what they want to be in terms of action—where they consistently excel and where it all really counts—but offer mixed results in their storytelling.

    18…

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  • Don't Look Up

    Don't Look Up

    ★★

    The worst tendencies of Vice amplified to 11; once again, Adam McKay is preaching to the choir and telling us literally nothing new, all while condescending to and yelling at that same audience and thinking he is the smartest and most important person in the room. Doesn’t help that this is a frequent mess tonally regardless, with McKay’s direction—shoddy handheld camerawork and sloppy editing being the most prominent flaws—and his ensemble cast’s performances rarely ever on the same page (poor…

  • The Matrix Resurrections

    The Matrix Resurrections

    ★★½

    If Luke Skywalker were the main character in The Force Awakens, that would give a pretty good idea on how The Matrix Resurrections plays much of the time.

    On the one hand, the ways this film acknowledges the legacy of the prior trilogy feel poignant in how they acknowledge just how far, for better or worse, the world has changed in several ways since the release of Revolutions. What’s more prescient are the personal reasons bringing Lana Wachowski back to…