• Copycat

    Copycat

    Highly implausible yet thoroughly white-knuckle yarn with an excellent lead performance from Sigourney Weaver that makes me wish I saw her pop up in middle of the road fare more often. A retired professor is driven to agoraphobia by a serial killer's attempt on her life, only to be terrorized further as an invalid by (you guessed it) a copycat. Imagine Wait Until Dark meets the first season of Millenium and you're on the right track. Also, what happened to…

  • Rain Man

    Rain Man

    ★★★★

    Solid comedy/drama I haven't seen since I was a kid, and upon re-watching felt more like it leaned towards the latter genre. Is this because the perception of autism has changed so much since the late 80s that Hoffmann's character seems unusual to play for laughs, or perhaps because a comedy about this subject would probably not get made these days? None the less, there are a number of great moments between the two leads, Cruise was at the peak…

  • Alien Resurrection

    Alien Resurrection

    ★★★★

    This is the only alternate version of the film I've seen that I feel is genuinely superior to the original and would have improved its initial reception. Jim Cameron's Special Edition of Aliens weakens the pacing considerably, and the less said about Ridley Scott's Director's Cut of the original the better. Besides the infinitely cooler opening title sequence the edits are mostly minor, but serve to flesh out the characters modestly in spite of Joss Whedon's occasionally insufferable dialogue. Ultimately…

  • Alien³

    Alien³

    ★★★½

    I have often maintained that the Assembly Cut of this film sucks, but it has been a few years and I know the theatrical version so well that I figured I'd give it a shot, as many prefer it. Upon reconsideration, much of what is added fleshes out the characters and gives the dialogue room to breathe, and I believe that if David Fincher had involved himself in the editing process rather than resentfully disowning both the film and studio…

  • Excalibur

    Excalibur

    ★★★★½

    I've heard this one described as polarizing and I can definitely see why - it unfolds like an extended dream sequence punctuated by brutal battle scenes which gives it a sort of uneven tone, but on a visual level it delivers in spades and the performances are largely fantastic. It plays with the nature of myth and legend similarly to Fellini Satyricon, in that you feel like you're watching something imagined rather than a cohesive narrative, but if you let go it's a hell of a ride.

  • Affliction

    Affliction

    ★★★★½

    I somehow missed out on this when it came out despite a wide range of acclaim and nominations, plus the pedigree of frequent Scorsese collaborator Paul Schrader writing and directing, not to mention a great ensemble cast. I also really enjoyed the Sweet Hereafter which was based on a book by the same author, and this one trades in the same sort of wintery small town melodrama by way of the crime thriller Fargo sans the comic underpinning. Truth be…

  • A Night to Remember

    A Night to Remember

    ★★★★

    Years of curiosity regarding this film's depiction of events I have a little too much experience studying finally gave way shortly after a re-watch of the 1997 film recently. Not only did I have a childhood obsession with the Titanic but I also was in middle school when Cameron's film came out, which is all you need to know really. Anyways, this was a similarly high budget affair and was better received critically, though its mark on the box office…

  • Chattahoochee

    Chattahoochee

    ★★★★

    A strangely overlooked period prison flick (or a nuthouse flick to be somewhat more specific) with a great cast and a totally different vibe from most films I've seen in the genre. The true story is a damning attack on the absurdity of the justice system and society's treatment of those reintegrating after military service, anchored by a typically hungry performance from Oldman and a more understated one from Francis McDormand, both of whom coax sympathy from the viewer without…

  • Demolition Man

    Demolition Man

    I put off watching this for years because it got middling reviews and I thought it was going to be another super lazy action sci-fi that was typical of the time, and the first ten minutes or so it felt as though my worst fears were confirmed but I was in the mood to watch shit blow up. Then the film pivots towards full-blown screwball dystopian comedy and becomes strangely watchable in spite of some dated sounding banter here and there. I wasn't really prepared for the intentional laughs so I had a surprisingly good time.

  • Braveheart

    Braveheart

    ★★★★

    All quibbling over historical accuracy aside, the battle scenes in this one still rip and Mel knows how to spill blood onscreen proper like. Once a decade or so I give this a good rinse.

  • Klute

    Klute

    ★★★★

    After reading that David Fincher considers him a major influence and realizing I had only seen Sophie's Choice, Presumed Innocent and the Devil's Own, I decided to delve head on into Alan J. Pakula's so-called "paranoia trilogy" with the understated yet immersively offbeat thriller that won Jane Fonda one of her two Best Actress trophies for a spellbinding portrayal of a call girl mixed up with a detective working a nebulous missing persons case. Reminding me a little bit of…

  • Apocalypto

    Apocalypto

    ★★★★½

    This made a huge impression on me going in mostly blind at a theatre when it came out during a time when I didn't really expect myself to be blown away by a new Mel project, however influenced by his cringy descent into racist goofball behaviour that assumption was. A slavishly authentic period piece about ancient Indigenous people from him of all people had me decidedly cynical despite generally enjoying his directorial output and I was imagining all sorts of…