Red Eye

I had heard Red Eye was a refreshingly unpretentious thriller that played on Americans’ changed relationship with air travel in a post 9/11 world. While technically true, it’s actually a very disappointing runaround decidedly lacking in the most routine pleasures that come with thrillers. Where’s the expected third-act twist? Is the twist that there actually […]

Woody Allen’s Match Point plays with your sympathies

Woody Allen’s Match Point is fantastic. Brilliant. Morally complex. Almost unbearably intense. It plays with your sympathies in way I haven’t seen since Hitchcock’s Frenzy (which I personally found cruel and sadistic, unlike Match Point).

Manhattan

Amazingly, upon a second viewing I didn’t care for Woody Allen’s Manhattan nearly as much as I remembered. Perhaps its status in the canon has retroactively enhanced my opinion. But it still inspires as a big, fat, sloppy kiss to my city, and a poster of Woody & Diane beneath the Brooklyn Bridge hangs on […]

King Kong (1976)

About the only saving graces of this piece of gorilla dung are: A) Jessica Lange actually does a pretty good Marilyn Monroe, and B) Seeing the movie now provides some unintentional emotional oomph: Kong is actually drawn into Manhattan by the primal lure of the World Trade Center. Whose idea was it for Kong to […]

The New World

Why didn’t I know better? Although I stand apart from nearly all (it seems) critics and fellow cineastes, I hated Terrence Malick’s Badlands, Days of Heaven, and Thin Red Line. And The New World is, of course, more of the same. The problem isn’t necessarily the pacing, although it is indeed punishingly slow. It’s partly […]

Nine Songs

Explicit in more ways than one: surprisingly, the theme is pretty much spelled out in voiceover in the first sequence. A man reflects on a past relationship in terms of concerts they went to together and the arc of their sexual life. I can only speak for myself, but those are exactly the kinds of […]

Fantastic Four

Did they learn nothing from Spider-Man 2, clearly the pinnacle of the superhero genre (and I will fight a Marvel Team-Up with anybody that dares disagree with me)? FF is an aggressively stupid series of one missed opportunity after another. It just narrowly escapes one star by making me laugh a handful of times. And […]

King Kong (1933)

The original King Kong gets points for being so drenched with subtext you can swim in it. But whenever Kong isn’t on screen it’s dreadful.

Shaun of the Dead

For most of it, I thought for sure Shaun of the Dead was a four-starrer, but it lost its way at some point. I’m not sure exactly of the transition point, but I felt that the tone had changed too drastically by the time the characters were trapped in the pub (in other words, I […]

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