MaximusSol

MaximusSol

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Genre-film lover with a weak spot for Miyazaki, Julie Andrews, and Gerard Butler.

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  • Scanners

    Scanners

    ★★½

    Awkwardly paced, narratively disjointed, shockingly boring, and weighed down by one of film’s dullest lead performances, Scanners is a brilliantly conceived, yet sadly, poorly executed take on an underground war between psychically-enhanced peeps amid corrupt security corporations and nefarious pharmaceutical companies inflicting MK-Ultra-style experiments upon unwitting, and even unborn, participants.

    This flick is another one of those notorious films from my childhood that I'd heard a little about on the playground from a kid who's older brother saw it on VHS,…

  • Conquest

    Conquest

    ★★★★

    Ethereal, enigmatic, and endlessly enthralling, Lucio Fulci's profoundly strange Conquest somehow manages to be at once both obviously derivative yet entirely unique, offering hamfisted goofiness alongside a potent dose of visceral horror, while featuring cheesy and dated special effects commixed with avant-garde cinematographic aesthetics to produce a near hallucinatory viewing experience unlike any other.

    At first glance, this 1980's Italian joint looks to be a run-of-the-mill fantasy adventure yarn positioning itself as a cheap rip off of Conan mashed up…

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  • Fireworks

    Fireworks

    ★★★★½

    Perhaps Takeshi Kitano's most experimental film, Hana-bi brilliantly resides within his preferred genre: the yakuza/cop crime film, but repurposes many of his signature devices, like framing, potent silence, brilliant outbursts of violence, and minimalist dialogue in service of an introspective, contemplative, and deeply melancholy portrait of love, loss, shadow, and death.

    My third Kitano film, Hana-bi is a little different from the other two I've seen thus far, Violent Cop and Sonatine, in that it is more overtly an "art film"…

  • Class of 1999

    Class of 1999

    ★★

    Tonally all over the place and mired in the illogic of its own potentially fun worldbuilding, Class of 1999 Is a huge missed opportunity to turn the tables on the bonkers teacher-student dynamic from the far superior previous film, but its biggest flaws are its inertly lackluster lead and its criminal underuse of the majestic Pam Grier. 

    I didn’t even know this film existed until I watched Class of 1984 and despite some poor reviews I thought I’d give this one…

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  • Godzilla vs. Kong

    Godzilla vs. Kong

    ★★★½

    Silly, bombastic, gorgeously shot, beautifully rendered, delivering and then some on the titular epic slugfest plus a HUGE surprise, yet weighed down by mostly terrible human characters, Godzilla vs. Kong is by no means a bad film, and is in fact breathlessly entertaining, though it’s hopelessly devoid of thematic depth. 

    I’m happy to say that I finally got to share Godzilla/Kong with my daughter and that was by far the highlight of my viewing experience. Though I have HBO Max, I…

  • Kong: Skull Island

    Kong: Skull Island

    ★★★★½

    A triumphant and thoroughly entertaining throwback to big, brash, and bold blockbuster popcorn cinema, Kong: Skull Island is loaded with an all-star cast, brilliantly-realized CGI action, stunning cinematography & production design, and topped with the perfect mix of outright horror and humor, earning a spot as one of the best examples of the giant monster genre with a uniquely American twist on the material.

    When this first hit theaters I had no desire to go and see this at the time…