• Rocky

    Rocky

    ★★★★★

    "He looks like a big flag... "

    Predictability and accessibility are often touted as negatives when judging a film's legacy. If a popular picture is "schmaltzy" or "a crowd pleaser," then cinephiles may be tempted to dismiss it sight unseen. Nothing kills viewer appetite faster than mainstream hype.

    To that end: I recently showed Rocky to a buddy of mine. He'd never seen it before, and I hadn't revisited it since high school. And we both loved it. Even knowing…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    ★★★★

    "This is going to go brilliantly."

    Much easier to take in on a second viewing. Cary Fukunaga's direction is genuinely exciting, a breath of fresh air after Sam Mendes overstayed his welcome. Every action scene is expertly executed, and the emotional moments hit like a boot to the chest. I mentioned how much I loved Daniel's performance in my previous review. However, similar acclaim should be directed at Léa Seydoux. I think she's incredible here, right up there with Diana…

  • No Time to Die

    No Time to Die

    "And life is all about leaving something behind."

    That.... that was a lot to take in. And I mean a lot.

    No Time to Die is brilliant. It's very well-shot and well-acted (this might be Daniel Craig's most compelling performance as the character). It ties up his story beautifully, feeling like a sequel to Casino Royale and a sequel to Spectre. The action is breathtaking, in a way I haven't felt since Mission: Impossible - Fallout. And Hans Zimmer's music…

  • 9/11

    9/11

    ★★★★½

    "Yesterday, you had one brother.
    Today, you have fifty."

    What began life as a small documentary about a single firefighter became a poignant tribute to the entire FDNY, as well as a vital record of the most singular event of the 21st century.

    So many indescribable moments. That first plane. The sound of jumpers. The sound of the first collapse. Surveying a new skyline at night. Cleanup at Ground Zero. And those reunions: first between two brothers, and then for a returning probie who believed his entire battalion was obliterated.

    Essential. Absolutely essential.

    Never forget.

  • Beyond the Black Rainbow

    Beyond the Black Rainbow

    ★★★★★

    "Let the new age of enlightenment begin!"

    This is the ultimate midnight movie.

    Not solely for its genre trappings and cult status, but because it demands to be seen after dark when you're ready to fall asleep. Seriously, the entire exercise of watching Beyond the Black Rainbow is enhanced when you're drifting in and out of consciousness. That woozy atmosphere engulfs you entirely and it feels like you're descending into a dream.

    I think Mandy is functionally superior, possessing a…

  • Tombstone

    Tombstone

    ★★★★

    "I have not yet begun to defile myself."

    Silly, stirring, and just plain badass. Works well as a straightforward action flick, and also as commentary on the inevitability of violence within the Old West. Come for the monumentally stacked cast - uber-masculine, mostly moustachioed - stay for a few turns in particular, namely a fearsome Michael Biehn ("I want your blood. And I want your soul.") and Val Kilmer in what could be his finest performance. Very eager to re-watch this one.

  • The Suicide Squad

    The Suicide Squad

    ★★★★½

    "If I die because I gambled on love, it will be a worthy death."

    Remember when I did my MCU marathon back in March, and stated that Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was easily my favourite film out of all of them?

    Well, I think The Suicide Squad is even better.

    To give you a further indication of how much I dug this: after my first viewing, I actually wanted to break out a Bristol board and draw the characters. I can't remember the last time a comic book movie made me want to do that.

  • The Suicide Squad

    The Suicide Squad

    ★★★★½

    "I turn people into my mom, and I kill them."

    Not going to write a proper review just now, because I'm considering a DCEU marathon in the near-future. Either way, I'll likely do a more in-depth writeup at a later date.

    What I will say is this: I loved The Suicide Squad, and would strongly encourage you to go and watch it in theatres. It definitely deserves to be seen on a gigantic screen with the volume turned up. I really hope this makes money. And I especially hope that we see more of Daniela Melchior in the future, because she's excellent.

  • The Dirty Dozen

    The Dirty Dozen

    ★★★★½

    "We all come out like it's Halloween."

    Although Seven Samurai is pretty much the prototypical men on a mission movie (ditto with The Magnificent Seven), arguably the most mainstream examples of this subgenre are WWII pictures. Because of how relatively recent the conflict was when a lot of these were produced, there's something oddly familiar and comforting about wartime men on a mission stories. Which partially explains the elevated status of The Dirty Dozen.

    Granted, the other explanation is that…

  • Ruthless People

    Ruthless People

    ★★★½

    "This could very well be the stupidest person on the face of the earth. Perhaps we should shoot him."

    Why did no one tell me there was a Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker 80s movie that I hadn't seen yet?

    Revised ZAZ ranking:

    Top Secret! > Airplane! > The Kentucky Fried Movie > Ruthless People > The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

    Also, I feel like there should be a specific comedy subcategory: small, seemingly insignificant supporting performances that secretly steal the show. Candidates I…

  • Austin Powers in Goldmember

    Austin Powers in Goldmember

    ★★½

    "Have you got any idea how many anonymous henchmen I've killed over the years?"

    The first five minutes are splendid, and then the wheels come off. Several jokes are shamelessly recycled from the first two, and every new idea feels half-baked: Goldmember, Austin's Dad (is this a Last Crusade parody?), that final twist, time travelling to the 1970s... it all feels stale. And while Beyoncé is good fun, she lacks the chemistry with Mike Myers that Liz Hurley and Heather Graham possessed.

    A damp squib of a threequel. It's watchable, but this accidental franchise should've stayed a duology.

  • Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

    Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

    ★★★★

    "Shagwell by name, shag-very-well by reputation."

    I think the first may be funnier.
    But the second is definitely sexier.
    Such is the power of Heather Graham.

    Anyway, compared to most comedy sequels this is pretty unimpeachable. With the premise of Austin Powers previously established, The Spy Who Shagged Me hits the ground running. And although not every gag lands - Fat Bastard didn't work for me at all - almost every scene involving Dr. Evil is great. Mostly hilarious, and stupidly endearing.