• Miami Vice

    Miami Vice

    ★★★★★

    100

    Whenever I revisit Miami Vice, my love for cinema is rekindled, ignited like a cool-blue flame. It's so enrapturing, you just want to throw your arms forward and jump head-first into the screen.

    Michael Mann is a poet of impressions. In the director's cut, he begins the film with a boat race torn between layers of water and air. Then, a nightclub rooftop illuminated by a magenta sky. And the smear of blood on the asphalt after a suicide…

  • A Mighty Wind

    A Mighty Wind

    ★★★½

    70

    The weakest of the three Christopher Guest mockumentaries, but surprisingly tender and empathetic towards its characters, and every cast member is batting a thousand, especially Fred Willard. Every time he was on screen, I started to laugh.

  • Nobody

    Nobody

    ★★★★★

    96

    Pure uncut dad-rock. This is bursting at the seams with boomer/gen-x needle-drops, wallowing ultraviolence within absurd comedic set-pieces, and a fetishization of tactility, from the destruction of the human body to weaponry to vinyl and cassette tapes. After a boring lifestyle of a cushy 9-to-5, Bob Odenkirk's Hutch Mansell finally gets an excuse to get back to his old self after an attempted burglary at his home. And that self is, of course, a total killing-machine. The action here…

  • Cabaret

    Cabaret

    ★★★★½

    90

    What a lonely film. Characters on the verge of oblivion, with Nazi hate rising from all sides. Bob Fosse's direction finds performance in not just the cabaret itself, which he stages with exquisite precision, but the allegiances in the political climate, and the tumultuous romances and relationships. It's all an act, until it's too late. Stand-outs of the cast include Liza Minnelli, because *of course*, and the MC played by Joel Grey, who narrates show-business while attempting to mask the inevitable. The final shot will forever take my breath away.

  • Final Destination 2

    Final Destination 2

    ★★★★

    78

    This sequel has no real idea of what to do with the previous installment. It loses the anxiety and trauma of the first film's inherent seriousness, but also attempts to bridge the two films together. The tone is mismatched too, with the cartoon nature of 2 clashing against the existential quality of 1. But the set-pieces are off-the-charts: rube goldberg machine heaven. Total anarchy. This is what happens when a second-unit action director takes over a successful horror property, and it's frequently glorious.

  • Bride of Re-Animator

    Bride of Re-Animator

    ★★★★

    73

    Bride of Re-Animator is not quite as developed as the first film, but it's still extremely witty and fun. It satisfies with a barrage of gore effects and bright neon liquids, and it has a real sense of humor about itself. Jeffery Combs as maniacal doctor Herbert West is one of the most memorable characters in Horror history.

  • FearDotCom

    FearDotCom

    15

    Almost entirely abysmal, especially after the relative success of William Malone's House on Haunted Hill remake. Incoherent, totally fucking stupid, yet somehow overloaded with style. This may not be a good movie, but boy oh boy is it a memorable one. Feels like a mix of Se7en and proto-Saw aesthetics. And I loved how the titular website was interactive like a flash game. FearDotCom has existed in my mind for many years as a Blockbuster title that I saw…

  • The Hunted

    The Hunted

    ★★★★★

    97

    On the mechanics of tracking trauma. Benicio del Toro and Tommy Lee Jones star as two men of few words. The former - a killing machine gone rogue. The latter - a teacher tasked to find him while struggling with the lethal knowledge he's provided to his student. What ensues is William Friedkin at his surgical best: pure elemental cinematic fury. A chase movie that rarely halts for a second of breathing room. The catharsis and brutality of the…

  • Blood Tea and Red String

    Blood Tea and Red String

    ★★★

    60

    Very strange. Not entirely sure if it's fully successful, but it's memorable for every second of its 71-minute run-time. Very much a hand-made stop motion film, it's somehow even more overtly surreal than something like the Quay brothers would craft. So inventive in depicting weird, fucked up fairy-tale imagery. The social messaging is also quite strong, and just as carefully designed as the physicality of the stop-motion. Production of this film spanned over 13 years, and it shows in…

  • I Am Cuba

    I Am Cuba

    ★★★★½

    85

    Soy Cuba is the first film I've seen from director Mikhail Kalatozov, and it did not disappoint in the slightest. What a ravishing film, especially from the perspective of the camera. It is within the rousing emotion and energy of revolution that Mikhail Kalatozov offers a magical entry-point into this landscape. Long-takes that float through the air, observing the action, finding beauty in its top-down construction. Not to mention the intimacy of the camera in close-ups, a reminder that…

  • Final Destination

    Final Destination

    ★★★★

    74

    As a template for outlandish kills and the orchestration of death's design, this is one of the weaker installments in the franchise, but the simplicity of the rules, in addition to the weight and tragedy of the initial plane disaster, is unlike anything in the sequels. Full of sleepy teen angst and existential doom. The X-Files vibe is still fully intact.

  • Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

    Godzilla, Mothra and King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack

    ★★★★

    80

    Love the approach to Godzilla here: white demonic eyes, motivated by a soulful revenge, full of aggressive rage. There's a scene where he takes out three or four circling aircraft just for the hell of it. So fucking awesome. And the other monsters are pretty cool, too. All around, a highlight of the Millennium series.