• Shin Godzilla

    Shin Godzilla

    More cerebral than visceral, with brilliant monster designs unevenly executed by low-budgetish CGI. But while its combination of satire and celebration of bureaucratic teamwork makes for an unengaging emotional journey, it's a fascinating, imaginative, and sometimes brilliant film on its own strange terms.

  • Driving Miss Daisy

    Driving Miss Daisy

    ★★★★

    A weird case where winning the Best Picture Oscar forever scarred a film rather than rewarded it - and it's a shame, because this is a lovely yarn. Warm and funny, beautifully acted, featuring one of Hans Zimmer's great early unconventional character scores - and, at times, quite insightful. It's a shame it's mostly remembered for winning an Oscar it probably shouldn't have even been up for in the year that "Do the Right Thing" and "Glory" got snubbed; it's a good drama, well worth a watch.

  • And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself

    And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself

    Beautifully made with a terrific performance by Banderas... but for some reason chooses to focus on the far less interesting filmmaker, as if his story could be a tenth as compelling as Pancho Villa's.

  • Starcrash

    Starcrash

    The best worst movie.

    So many "hilariously bad" movies are actually only 10-15 minutes of delightful insanity in an endless slog, boringly stuck just barely competent enough to not be funny - after all, they had enough money to finish the movie and get it releaseableish - but not competent enough to be in any way interesting or compelling even on a basic level.

    Starcrash is a delight from first frame to last. Its greatest secret is also the element…

  • Possessed

    Possessed

    ★★★★

    Pretty good rags-to-riches-through-seduction-which-becomes-love yarn. Entertaining, occasionally witty, and impressively feminist for a Hollywood feature of the time, even as it goes over fairly standard and simple material. And as it moves into its final sequences, it builds some real and unexpected dramatic power, elevated by Crawford's performance that finds entire dimensions of emotional depth the (quite solid!) script doesn't dream of.

  • Our Modern Maidens

    Our Modern Maidens

    More dramatically solid than Our Dancing Daughters, with more complex characterizations and some real dramatic power, but, by the same token, somewhat less of an exhilarating, wild, stylized party, and more of just, like, a normal movie. But still, good fun, with fantastic work from Crawford, Fairbanks, and Page.

  • Fatman

    Fatman

    The concept is a lot funnier than the dour execution; this needed a director like Joe Dante or even Jeremiah Chechik, who could let the (genuinely clever) satire land instead of burying it under needlessly grimdark atmospherics, and would give it some sense of imagination. Or at least make it less relentlessly ugly.

    Even so, some of the clever bits punch through, and the cast is so good they make it live up to at least some of its potential…

  • Our Dancing Daughters

    Our Dancing Daughters

    Goofy story, thinly written, but all the energy and attitude in the world, beautifully filmed in spectacular mansions and landscapes, and galvanized by Crawford's explosive performance as the good girl who acts bad, matched by Page as the bad girl who acts good.

  • Striptease

    Striptease

    The stuff without Moore is an occasionally amusing satire, with Reynolds in particular scoring some sleazy laughs. The stuff with Moore is played dead serious, while clearly being structured as a satire, and thus failing at either comedy or drama. A slick disaster.

  • Phenomenon

    Phenomenon

    Asks the question of what if you took a 25-minute Twilight Zone episode, streeeeeeeeeeeeeetched it out to 2 hours, and forgot to include the part with an ending and a point...

    ... but man, Travolta is *so good*.

  • Tenet

    Tenet

    ★★★★

    Dazzlingly original take on time travel with some terrific action scenes and strong performances. But it also goes on a long time, and never engages you emotionally, which keeps the finale from having the impact it's going for. Still, a compelling and imaginative exploration of free will, time travel physics, and how cool way too much money can look in the right filmmaker's hands.

  • Escape from Fort Bravo

    Escape from Fort Bravo

    ★★★★

    Competent but standard most of the way, but goes to show what a wallop an absolute scorcher of a third act can pack.