• Best in Show

    Best in Show

    ★★★★

    "I used to be able to name every nut that there was. And it used to drive my mother crazy, because she used to say, "Harlan Pepper, if you don't stop naming nuts," and the joke was that we lived in Pine Nut, and I think that's what put it in my mind at that point. So she would hear me in the other room, and she'd just start yelling. I'd say, "Peanut. Hazelnut. Cashew nut. Macadamia nut." That was…

  • The French Dispatch

    The French Dispatch

    ★★★★½

    I was excited about this movie but I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did. I can’t even put my figure on it exactly what I liked so much. All the stories excelled, the comedy landed, all the actors are perfectly chosen, the varied styles of filmmaking choices Anderson employs here, in addition to his normal bag of tricks, were inspired. But like Anderson’s other films, the sense of understated melancholy bumbling underneath the quirkiness got to…

  • Scream

    Scream

    ★★★★★

    I've watched this countless times but I don't think I've ever realized just how funny the intercutting conversation between Sheriff Burke smoking a cigarette and Dewey licking an ice cream cone was.

  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
  • Halloween II

    Halloween II

    ★★★★

    Sometimes a movie really halts my progress in keeping my reviews updated here. Sometimes it's because I don't know what to say about it and others I have so much to say that I don't know where to put my focus. Zombie's Halloween II is a film that I feel like I could talk about endlessly, whether it be about its reception, its reputation, the film itself, the horror landscape in which it came out, the context within the franchise;…

  • Halloween

    Halloween

    ★★★½

    Yes, I'll concede the very thing that everyone says, the first half is better than the second half. That doesn’t mean I don’t think there is anything of value in the second half recreation of the original. But, Zombie’s high points and interests are clearly with the loner kid who would become a monster. I think we spend so much time going back and forth about why we shouldn’t give Michael a backstory, the mystery is part of what makes…

  • Dementia 13

    Dementia 13

    ★★★½

    Its story is admittedly not quite as engaging as the films that inspired it but this mishmash of Hitchcock and gothic films is well constructed from a craft perspective. Coppola’s visual sense is often inventive, working around limitations while still being able to construct some occasionally stunning images and haunting imagery (the way Coppola lights outdoor nighttime scenes where the subject is brightly lit against complete darkness is especially striking). Wish the story was as intriguing but oh well I'll take what I can get. And to be honest I got a lot more than I was expecting from Coppola's Corman outing.

  • Crimson Peak

    Crimson Peak

    ★★★★½

    A film that really only gets better with every rewatch. Its atmosphere drips in every frame, there visual and production design choices are uniformly excellent - having the earth literally bleed red as the narrative grows darker and secrets are unearthed is a top-tier choice. It's a film where every choice, no matter how dispersant it might seem at first, is feeding into a single-engine. Each viewing gives you something new to focus on but each time also shows how much that thing connects to its whole.

  • Dune

    Dune

    ★★★★

    Feels way more like a first-half to a larger movie than I would like this to be (anyway who is saying The Lord of the Rings feels the exact same way either hasn't watched them in a while or are kidding themselves) and I wish some characters' fates had a stronger impact. But it is undeniable a visual achievement and cohesion of adaptation (so much so I might even give the Lynch version another chance now that I have a…

  • Black Christmas

    Black Christmas

    ★★

    Made without merit. It's overly pristine, polished and overproduced, and lit. A few memorable deaths aside, the kills really lack punch, and the film has no sense of atmosphere or sense of its own energy. It does try to add some things to the overall storyline of Black Christmas but so much of it feels just like a remix of the original done without any of the precision or skill of the original nor without the blunt and grizzly violence…

  • Beetlejuice

    Beetlejuice

    ★★★★

    The phrase "they don't make movies like this anymore" is an overused phrase (I know I can overuse it) but this really doesn't feel like a movie that is made anymore (even Tim Burton doesn't make films like this anymore). Just a gloriously fun, creative, stand-alone film with simple stakes but boundless amounts of imagination with performances that elevate the material further. I think less remarked about this film is how well controlled the tone is. This could so easily…

  • Halloween III: Season of the Witch

    Halloween III: Season of the Witch

    ★★★★

    A techno-infused, sci-fi, occult, Halloween nightmare. We're at the point now where we don't have the debate the merits of not having Michael Myers in it any more right? It's a boring conversation. Season of the Witch is absolutely the kind of film I want to see more. An atmospheric fall setting film, mixing and melding different genres and ideas into one melting pot to create something unique and terrifying (one death scene, in particular, has been burned in my…