M.D.D. has written 7 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2021.

  • Child's Play

    Child's Play

    ★★★½

    Heard surprisingly good things about this one and it delivered! Between Suspiria, the Invisible Man and this one the quality of horror reboots and sequels has massively stepped up in recent years. I think the standard for mainstream horror has been raised by everything from Jordan Peele to some of the 'prestige' TV anthologies so the filmmakers actually to put the effort in now to not get laughed at. That being said I had a good laugh at the very…

  • The Godfather: Part III

    The Godfather: Part III

    ★★★½

    Speaking of late-period Coppola, I've never had as much of a hate-on as many do for the Godfather Part III, but it's undeniably dwarfed by the first two films in the series and suffered especially from questionable editing and structural choices. Clearly he saw the error of his ways and dropped this surprise redux of a film that fans weren't really asking for but will certainly make them rethink its position in his filmography. Most of the changes are subtle…

  • Avatar

    Avatar

    ★★★½

    I thought it was a good time when I first saw it and I feel pretty much the same in retrospect. I regret not seeing it in theatres but it's still pretty overwhelming visually in hi-def. It struck me while watching that Jim Cameron has a problem writing dialog for human villains and is much better off with human good guys and omnipotent/alien/inanimate antagonists.

  • The Reader

    The Reader

    ★★★½

    Continuing my streak of aughties Oscar bait featuring Kate Winslet, this one wastes no time establishing its unsettling high concept premise, which follows a former SS guard's post-war relationship with a teenage boy who winds up wielding a surprising amount of influence over her accountability many years later. Watching one damaged person begat another in such an intimate way only to be forced to stare an entire lifetime's worth of mistakes in the face inspires a strange sort of pity…

  • A Hard Day's Night

    A Hard Day's Night

    ★★★½

    When I was a kid I liked the Help! movie more, but this one has certainly aged better. It utilizes a lot of visual and editing techniques which were quite cutting edge at the time to cash in on the group's staggering success while the iron was hot, essentially creating the blueprint for future music feature films by weaving performance footage into a loose narrative tying together a series of comic set pieces. It feels very lived-in and down to…

  • 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…

  • The Negotiator

    The Negotiator

    ★★★½

    Solid meat and potatoes late 90s "super action" meets psychological tête-à-tête flick with strong performances offsetting its predictable plotting and somewhat bloated length, not to mention a pretty ridiculous final coda. If anything I think the opening scene was so intense that my expectations were somewhat higher for what followed, but it held my interest in spite of itself and it certainly has a lot more to it than a lot of the Hollywood action that comes out these days. It also made me depressed that Kevin Spacey got himself cancelled, because he really was great in these sorts of fast talking smart alecky roles.