• You Only Live Twice

    You Only Live Twice

    ★★

    100-word review: From their Japanese base, SPECTRE drives the American and Soviet superpowers to the brink of war by meddling in their mutual space race, stealing — yes — the spacecrafts out of the ether. James Bond goes there undercover to bring the evil organisation to a halt. Slightly less rapey than Thunderball, but make no mistake, You Only Live Twice manages to be as offensive as its predecessor through cultural insensitivity, and sheer sexism. Whatever I may like about the ridiculous story (ninjas, volcanic secret base, etc.) vicarious embarrassment ruins whenever something (objectification is key here) female (not woman) runs past half-naked.

  • Excision

    Excision

    ★★★★★

    Pauline is an underperforming and 'peculiar' high school student who aspires to become a surgeon. She 'wet dreams' about gory scenes, and seems fascinated by blood. Her younger sister Grace suffers from cystic fibrosis; Pauline wants nothing more than to cure her sibling.

    Now this is a psycho-horror movie! Hats off to director Richard Bates Jr. for completely subverting expectations. When watching a film like this, there exists the prospect of the young weird protagonist, who's only understood by us…

  • Event Horizon

    Event Horizon

    ★★★

    100-word review: It's the year 2047. Captain Miller's rescue vessel is dispatched to investigate a distress signal received from the Event Horizon spaceship that suddenly reappeared after a seven-year exodus. They're joined by the Event Horizon's designer Dr. Weir(d). Well, this is now my favourite Paul W. S. Anderson film, which says... little. It definitely looks better than his other films that I've seen; the Event Horizon is creepy. The crazier the story gets, and the less it starts relying…

  • Thunderball

    Thunderball

    ★★

    100-word review: SPECTRE stole two nuclear devices and once again extorts the British government. It's up to Bond of course to save the day. People complain Thunderball began a trend of 'silly' Bond films, but I mind silly Bond less than rapey Bond, and boy does this glamorise the latter. Neither do I understand how, of all the early films, this one warrants a two-hour-plus runtime; the finale is so disconnected from the rest of the plot (James creeping on women for the most part). The (loads of) underwater sequences are unexciting, and the true victims here are aquatic wildlife.

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★

    Synopsis: it's Dracula, you know? The vampire story.

    This Hammer Film Productions adaptation of the classic vampire story accomplishes one thing for certain: it indeed impresses me as sure-as-can-be classic; from the moderately stoic performances (not alluding to them being 'bad' here) to the rationed production design, and from the deliberate direction to the compressed runtime, (Horror of) Dracula is markedly grounded in the 'classic' time period during which it was made.

    It therefore shook me up when the film…

  • Cronos

    Cronos

    ★★★

    Himself pretty old antique dealer Jesús Gris (Jesus Christ is repeatedly referenced and symbolised during the film) acquires an alchemical artefact that, so Gris discovers, prolongs life, and restores health, at a price obviously. Meanwhile, a rich, dying businessman, who's been researching the device for decennia, wants it for himself, and sends his thuggish nephew Angel (yup) to fetch it.

    Without dipping to deep into the Christian symbolism, I liked how Cronos, in addition to such religious metaphors, also probes…

  • Goldfinger

    Goldfinger

    ★★★

    100-word review: Goldfinger, who loves gold more than anything, plans to increase his worth tenfold by destroying the gold reserves at Fort Knox. And who ought to stop him? You guessed it! On the one hand, Goldfinger is the most enjoyable and developed James Bond film yet, on the other hand, our licensed-to-kill protagonist spends most of the runtime locked up, and doesn't even know how he managed to resolve the central issue until after the fact (spoiler alert: it's by being using his magic charm ability to melt the until then 'strong female' character into a puddle of compliance).

  • Blade

    Blade

    ★★★

    Blade is born a human-vampire hybrid with their strengths, but without their weaknesses. His mission? Kill all vampires. His next target: Deacon Frost, a young vampire rebel who wants to resurrect an ancient vampire god, and use its powers to destroy humankind.

    This predating The Matrix changes my perception of the Wachowskis' film — it's 'unique' aesthetics specifically — a little, a little much.

    Whose blood is he gonna drink if Frost succeeds in his plan to rid the world…

  • The Beyond

    The Beyond

    ★★

    100-word review: Some 50 years before Liza inherits a Louisianan hotel, a tenant was brutally murdered inside for creating a devilish painting — an act so violent it opened one of the seven gates to hell, which present-day Liza gotta deal with. I like reading about Italian genre films (that aren't products of neorealism, those I like) more than subjecting myself to them. The one thing about The Beyond that doesn't leave me cold are those uniquely gory Play-Doh people…

  • From Russia with Love

    From Russia with Love

    ★★★

    100-word review: The in Dr. No hinted-towards crime organisation SPECTRE plots to steal a Soviet cryptographic device, and entangle James Bond in the operation. Not gonna lie: I'm already finding it difficult to stay engrossed by 60s Bond instalments, tough I can't fault From Russia with Love too much for that, because the espionage-factor is certainly upped compared to its predecessor, culminating in the immersive Orient Express sequence and gadget-heavy face-off with Red. Romanova is a better Bond girl than Ryder, but I'm disappointed that her interesting arch had to crumble down into another 'seduced and done with'.

  • Annihilation

    Annihilation

    ★★★

    An expedition of five women scientists ventures into a swamp area that's been quarantined after an expanding, shimmering force has descended upon it, and is mutating the wildlife, as well as anything else that enters.

    What are we more than a product of countless mutations as a result of even more countless cell divisions, all originating from a single unicellular organism?

    Not a fan of the interview retrospective format; am a fan of the visual wonder this instills.

    I get…

  • Anaconda

    Anaconda

    ★★★

    A crew of documentary-makers who venture into the Amazon to shoot a picture about some tribespeople end up being more or less taken hostage by a snake-hunter. Deadly encounters with monstrous anacondas ensue.

    Obvious big boi move to cast J. Lo and Ice Cube as the leads of your monster flick. Couldn't care less about the former, but the latter had a redemption arc to be remembered. Ice Cube did take an axe to his lines the same way he…