• Blind Husbands

    Blind Husbands

    ★★★½

    Top 100 directors Challenge

    #85: Eric Von Stroheim

    The dude might have stolen the girl if he didn't look like a Captain America villain.
    The editing is awesome.

  • Gate of Hell

    Gate of Hell

    ★★★★½

    Palme d'Or winners.

    This starts off in the midst of a pretty compelling samurai civil war then pivots hard into an in depth character study of an ancient warrior incel losing his shit.
    Gorgeous imagery throughout. Excellent early use of color.

  • Dragon Inn

    Dragon Inn

    ★★★★½

    Criterion Challenge 2022

    #6: Watch a film in the collection from the 1960s.

    That bad guy's hair gave him a psuedo Donald Trump energy and consequently made it easier to dislike him immediately.
    This is exactly how period epics should go. Mostly one location, a little bit of intrigue up top, and constant escalation. The final fight is the sort of heightened Kung Fu that is usually parodied about this era of the genre.

  • Blade of the Immortal

    Blade of the Immortal

    ★★★½

    Takashi Miike brings his insanity to a samurai fantasy.
    It's difficult to feel any stakes in a movie where the hero so substantially out powers his opponents so firstly I want to give Miike credit for managing to at least keep me interested for the whole runtime.
    I have no clue what the motivation of the old witch is and that bugs the hell out of me.
    Obviously this is an action movie so I'm mostly going to grade itnin…

  • The Outlaw Josey Wales

    The Outlaw Josey Wales

    ★★★½

    Top 100 Directors Challenge

    #86: Clint Eastwood

    I understand the appeal of using an ex Confederate soldier as a protagonist in a western. Being on the losing end of a civil war is a great reason to become a drifter and a criminal. What frustrates me is how many movies have ex Confederate protagonists and don't even mention slavery. I at least expect some ambivalence.
    This is a well structured western with appealing characters and decent gunslinging. I try not…

  • Othello

    Othello

    ★★★★

    Palme d'Or winners.

    Welles mixes Shakespeare with expressionism better than anyone by far. Plus, this time he added a puppy. The man was a genius.

  • The Atomic Submarine

    The Atomic Submarine

    Criterion Challenge 2022

    #5: watch a film in the collection from the 1950s.

    Those were some high ceilings for a submarine.

    At its core this is a cool take on UFOs, but it gets bogged down with stale dialogue spoken by dry, archetypical characters.

  • The Mummy

    The Mummy

    It is a Hollywood truism that the less you see, the scarier the effect. This is doubly true when the effect is computer generated. Yet for some reason filmmakers are constantly forgetting this wisdom that has has proved dependable since the days of Val Lewton.
    The Mummy has no idea what kind of movie it wants to be. Traditionally a horror, with notable success as an adventure starring Brendan Fraser, the Universal property sees its latest reboot as both and…

  • Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

    Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

    ★★★★

    I still don't understand cricket.

  • Let the Sunshine In

    Let the Sunshine In

    ★★★½

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

    Top 100 Directors Challenge

    #87: Claire Dennis

    Let the Sunshine in is a middle aged reverie on what love. What I really liked about this movie is it focuses on a character examining her personal relationship with love without needing one particular counterpoint relationship character to discover the meaning with her. Love is personal. Even in a relationship, love exists as simultaneous emotions living symbiotically. Not as one shared emotion. The traditional, and easier, route for stories like this to…

  • Only Yesterday

    Only Yesterday

    ★★★½

    For most of its runtime this has the elegant subtlety one expects from this studio, but at several points the voice over narration lends an after school special quality that clings with the unspoken themes at play.

  • House of Flying Daggers

    House of Flying Daggers

    ★★★★½

    House of Flying Daggers lures you in by promising a Kung Fu war epic, but as the movie moves along, it be omes clear this is much more of an intrigue film about love rising through layers of deception. This bait and switch happens several times, creating emotional resets throughout the film. House of Flying Daggers, really isn't much of a war story at all, but more of a romantic spy thriller. Still with Kung Fu. This is often cited…