• Demonlover

    Demonlover

    ★★★★½

    NSFW

  • Impostor

    Impostor

    (Director's Cut, if that matters)

    "Impostor" has one of Phillip K Dick's very best paranoid hooks, unfortunately this movie doesn't interested in even trying to replicate it, instead giving us a really bland and syndicated cable-y chase movie through an inexpensively rendered future. I watched this for Connie Nielsen, whose role is limited to one nearly subliminal role as a future-TV newscaster on a screen. Bizarre! The only actually good part of this is Vincent D'Onofrio in the Tommy Lee Jones part, very entertaining. Further proof that I only like Gary Sinise in villainous roles.

  • Dawson City: Frozen Time

    Dawson City: Frozen Time

    ★★★★½

    America's Pastime

  • Bright Future

    Bright Future

    ★★½

    Found this alternately intriguing and stultifying, eventually tilting more towards the latter. Truth be told I was disappointed from the moment I realized it was not going to be a James M Cainesque tale of someone ingeniously murdering his boss with a venomous jellyfish. I did enjoy all the shots of the jellyfish glowing in the dark.

  • Doctor X

    Doctor X

    ★★★★

    The Michael Curtiz/Lionel Atwill/Fay Wray/two strip Technicolor warmup for Mystery of the Wax Museum is a little pokier and more convoluted but it does have one of the very best climaxes in all of 1930s horror cinema so it evens out. It had been over 12 years since I last saw this movie but I still remembered the killer's repeated intonations of "synthetic flesh...," only in my memory he said it like a dozen times instead of just two or three. A great movie for any fan of the Hollywood whodunit eccentric scientist stock suspect -- here, all the suspects are eccentric scientists.

  • Mystery of the Wax Museum

    Mystery of the Wax Museum

    ★★★★

    The two-strip Technicolor period was such a magical era for pulp cinema, and this is a great concentration of the process's unique atmosphere. Starts as a hallucinogenic nightmare on the theme of art vs commerce, fades into a more conventional spooky wax museum mystery, but Glenda Farrell deserves all the credit in the world for embodying perhaps the definitive plucky girl journalist in the history of movies.

  • Wax Works

    Wax Works

    ★★★½

    A needy single mother makes the questionable decision to deposit her infant son at a wax museum owned and operated by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit. There's a great sequence of the baby coming across a murderer's row of monsters in the museum's horror wing but my favorite piece of animation is the Venus de Milo shrugging exasperatedly because she has no arms to button up the baby's pajamas with. You kinda have to see it but it's really funny.

  • A Bundle of Blues

    A Bundle of Blues

    ★★★★

    Watching the chronologically earliest and latest films in Criterion's Jazz Shorts series can give you whiplash, where St Louis Blues is all gritty and realistic in its way this is slick, polished, and mandatorily cheerful. Very cool proto-music-video editing, though, I love those rainy animated transitions during the "Stormy Weather" number, and a great abrupt blackout ending. MTV like 50 years before MTV.

  • St. Louis Blues

    St. Louis Blues

    ★★★★

    Picking back up with the 'Jazz Shorts' series on Criterion Channel. This is indispensable as historical document alone, the only film appearance of blues queen Bessie Smith (whom I've heard of but don't know much about). It also works as entertainment thanks again to Smith and some inventive staging for 1929, her big number doesn't start until seven minutes into the short but it's worth the wait, it's amazing how naturalistic a performance she gives, mostly leaning up against a…

  • Escape from New York

    Escape from New York

    ★★★★★

    The ultimate anti-authoritarian action movie, every frame simmering with oppressive dystopian menace, that giant American flag hanging over the perimeter wall really saying it all.

  • Morvern Callar

    Morvern Callar

    ★★★★★

    did she even read it, lmao

  • The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle: The Trip to Africa

    The Adventures of Dr. Dolittle: The Trip to Africa

    ★★★★½

    I accidentally watched these Dolittle adventures out of order, this details his voyage to Africa, where he starts off in "The Lion's Den." These are a lot of fun, and maybe could have made a productive reference point for the two famously bloated Hollywood Dolittle productions that came decades (and eventually almost a century) later.