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Recent reviews

  • Journey to the Beginning of Time

    Journey to the Beginning of Time


    Through all the wondrous special effects and visual trickery— matte paintings, stop-motion, cut-out animation, forced perspective, puppetry, and trick photography— still one of the most awe-inspiring and beautiful moments is just a shot of the sea, of waves crashing against the shore.

    This isn't a knock against the film, either— Zeman seems to know the beauty of the moment, too. He understands that the best way to counterpoint ninety minutes of magical, intricate artificiality is a chaser of simple, genuine…

  • Gothic



    This is maybe the most I’ve ever changed my mind about a film? I gave this 1½ stars on my original viewing three years ago, and I distinctly remember the bad taste it left in my mouth. I felt it was loud and convoluted, dancing around a great number of lofty themes without ever really digging into any of them. The sex and violence and bizarre imagery seemed there simply for shock value; it played more like a parody of…

Popular reviews

  • The Last Warning

    The Last Warning


    The Last Warning is all cobwebs and dark hallways and twisted staircases and murder. In other words, it's all frosting and no cake, but it's a good sugar rush.

    I think a solid case could be made for Paul Leni as one of the great silent movie directors; his technical precision holding up even among the likes of Murnau, Eisenstein, Von Sternberg, Chaplin, or Dreyer. He knows exactly where to place a shot— if not for an emotional or logistical…

  • Dracula vs. Frankenstein

    Dracula vs. Frankenstein


    This movie smells. It reeks of fast food, funnel cakes, cigarettes, coffee & whiskey on the actors' breaths, latex masks like a Halloween store, salt air blowing off the ocean. Like a windy day in Coney Island. I love it.