• Spy

    Spy

    ★★★★

    This movie is a delight. Did it do well with audiences? It's at least as fun as the AUSTIN POWERS series. Maybe a little too heavy on the Paul Feig improvisation but I wouldn't be upset if this got a sequel or two. God damn, Jason Statham is hilarious.

  • Captain America: Civil War

    Captain America: Civil War

    ★★★

    Rewatching these Marvel movies to fill out my ranking with updated ratings can feel like a chore. My opinion on most of them hasn't survived additional viewings, often dropping in esteem a few points. CIVIL WAR is one of the steepest declines.

    I fell for this movie hard when it was released. Probably would've given it a near-perfect score. Watching it again today, I was amazed at how bored I was for long stretches. There are still moments I appreciate,…

  • A Tale of Two Sisters

    A Tale of Two Sisters

    ★★★½

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

    This movie had me so confused for the first hour, trying to sort out if the goings-on were supernatural or psychological. There's a lot to take in and the movie keeps you guessing. For it to then turn around in the second half and go "Well, actually it's a bit of both" was an interesting turn.

    I think I still need to rewatch it one more time with the perspective that every interaction happening between the three of them (Su-mi,…

  • Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance

    Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance

    ★★½

    I suppose we're just going to breeze past the fact that Lady Snowblood was killed at the end of the last film. Not only did she apparently survive but she's been living as a mercenary-for-hire since we last saw her, racking up 37 kills and becoming public enemy #1.

    This is dramatically different from the first film. Lady Snowblood isn't out for vengeance this time. She's saved from the gallows by some corrupt government officials and tasked with infiltrating the…

  • Zatoichi on the Road

    Zatoichi on the Road

    ★★★★

    Zatoichi is, as the title claims, on the road. The road to Edo. He crosses paths with a dying old man who, with his final breaths, begs Zatoichi to see to the safety of his grand-daughter Omitsu (Shiho Fujimura). The local lord, Boss Tobei from Shimozuma, has sent men out to kill her because she stabbed him in the face with a hairpin when he tried to rape her. Pretty dark premise for what's still a fairly light-hearted movie.

    So…

  • Lady Snowblood

    Lady Snowblood

    ★★★★½

    Kazuo Koike kills it again.* The man can write a mean grindhouse chanbara, what with this and LONE WOLF AND CUB to his credits.

    Watching LADY SNOWBLOOD so long after the release of Tarantino's KILL BILL and realizing it's the movie that inspired 90% of it (the first volume, at least) was a fun surprise. Right down to the use of "The Flower of Carnage".

    Meiko Kaji is every bit as badass as Tomisaburô Wakayama and she sings her own…

  • Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier

    ★★★★

    "Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?"

    The elevator fight scene might be one of the best in the MCU. WINTER SOLDIER scores well with me because there are no sky lasers or giant portals. Just car chases, punching, and political intrigue. Maybe my favorite of Johansson's Black Widow performances; she's got great chemistry with Evans. Best of the Captain America series and certainly top 10 in the MCU.

    I will forever find it amusing that Marvel…

  • Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

    Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

    ★★

    What Spirit Halloween bargain bin did they find this Michael Myers costume in?

    I wanted to revisit this one after calling it tame in my review for RESURRECTION. I had to make sure I wasn't mis-remembering it as worse than it is since I've heard enough people going to bat for it. I could very well have been mistaken.

    I was not.

    H20 is tepid as a warm bath. It peaks with Joseph Gordon-Leavitt getting an ice skate to the…

  • Halloween: Resurrection

    Halloween: Resurrection

    ★★★★

    That's right... I'm here to sing the praises of HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION. I unironically enjoy this movie. It's in my top four of the franchise, and that isn't just because 4-6 are assorted trash, 7 is tame, and the Rob Zombies are too "hellbilly" for my tastes.

    It's a weird little time capsule of a movie. It's got a very turn-of-the-millenium cast (Sean Patrick Thomas, Katee Sackhoff and AMERICAN PIE's Thomas Ian Nicholas with Tyra Banks and Busta freakin' Rhymes) and…

  • Zatoichi the Fugitive

    Zatoichi the Fugitive

    ★★★

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

    Zatoichi just can't catch a break. After a bit of fun where he gets into some festival sumo action, his lakeside lunch is interrupted with the bumblings of an inept swordsman. It would seem someone has put a 10 ryo bounty on his head. Zatoichi's victory over the would-be assassin is so simple that he, kind soul that he is, seeks out the swordsman's mother, gives her the 10 ryo her son would've earned, and even hangs around for the…

  • The Seventh Seal

    The Seventh Seal

    ★★★★★

    "Is it so terribly inconceivable to comprehend God with one's own senses? Why does he hide in a cloud of half-promises and unseen miracles?"

    I avoided this movie forever because the thought of a sixty-year-old black & white Swedish film contemplating death, the meaning of life, and the existence of God sounded dry as fuck.

    Turns out it's exactly my jam. I loved this movie. Beautiful, thought-provoking, and even pretty funny. Worried there's no way to mention it in a conversation on favorite movies without coming across as a pompous douche though.

  • New Tale of Zatoichi

    New Tale of Zatoichi

    ★★★½

    Now in COLOR!

    A chance meeting with a childhood friend has Zatoichi reconsidering his life as a yakuza. He's tired of the killing, and the pile of grudges against him is growing ever taller. He's still getting attacked in the street for having murdered Boss Kanbei (in THE TALE OF ZATOICHI CONTINUES) and it always seems there's another vengeful victim around the corner to be cut down.

    Zatoichi soon reconnects with his former sensei, Master Banno, and accompanies him back…