Michael Montag

Lost to the dust of time.

Favorite films

  • The Last Detail
  • The Shop Around the Corner
  • Vertigo
  • Who's That Knocking at My Door

Recent activity

All
  • Raging Bull

    ★★★½

  • Shanghai Express

    ★★★★★

  • West Side Story

    ★★½

  • Conspiracy Theory

    ★★½

Pinned reviews

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  • Taxi Driver

    Taxi Driver

    ★★★★★

    If Taxi Driver is commonly liked for the wrong reasons (not even thinking of John Hinckley), then it’s also disliked for the wrong reasons, too. Bernard Herrmann saying he doesn’t do taxi pictures is a little different, but there’s something to that, too. Anyway, nothing in the picture is meant to be received literally, something modern audiences have a hard time with. This is an expressionist nightmare, and almost every aspect of it is extra-representational, just like Travis’s voice-over narration.…

  • The Last Temptation of Christ

    The Last Temptation of Christ

    ★★★★

    According to Paul Schrader, Scorsese has a famous saying about their collaborations that goes something like this: “Taxi Driver is Paul’s picture, Raging Bull is Bob’s, and Last Temptation is mine.” Fascinating that this is the one Marty so strongly identifies with. You can see the appeal of course. For Scorsese, Jesus was a man of the streets not unlike Johnny Boy or Travis. For Schrader, He is a tortured man-in-a-room bearing the moral weight of the world, not unlike…

Recent reviews

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  • Raging Bull

    Raging Bull

    ★★★½

    On a purely visual level, a case could be made that this is Scorsese at the height of his powers. Truth to tell I would never make that case. I first saw Raging Bull 20 years ago, as a 17 year old at the long-gone Oak St. Cinema. I didn’t like it then, and I still don’t love it. Let’s be honest: Jake LaMotta is a tedious, boring, completely uninteresting personality. He has none of the complexity of Johnny Boy,…

  • Eraser

    Eraser

    ★★★

    Deliriously implausible, in the best way, from Arnold skydiving for his parachute to him kicking giant CGI alligators in the face. An unlikely tribute to Jimmy Caan. I’ll definitely revisit a neglected gem like Slither to fully pay tribute to the man, but damn, could he ever play the hell out of skeezy villains.

    Heaven definitely got a lot more fun this year.

    RIP Jimmy C.

Popular reviews

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  • Elvis - That's the Way It Is

    Elvis - That's the Way It Is

    ★★★★★

    A brief note on the many faces of Elvis.

    We all know about young sex box Elvis, which is Sun Elvis. Then there’s army Elvis, aka Private Elvis. Release & Relief Elvis, post-army. Hollywood Elvis, which encompasses 31 feature films. Comeback Elvis, which is also sexy black leather Elvis. Vegas Elvis with the white jumpsuit and jewelry. And of course the eternal Fat Elvis.

    But no one, I mean no one, talks about Sweaty Elvis. That’s The Way It Is is…

  • The Day of the Dolphin

    The Day of the Dolphin

    ★★★½

    Definitely the best Watergate dolphin picture we’re gonna get. But seriously, I still can’t believe this movie is real! Which is also why the Day of the Dolphin has turned into my Week of the Dolphin.

    George C. Scott is probably the only actor in the world who could pull this movie off. He’s more Dr. Dolittle than Dr. Moreau, but as the movie unfolds, it’s apparent he really is an amalgam of both. Dolphin is some kind of ecological…