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  • Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island

    Samurai III: Duel at Ganryu Island

    ★★★½

    a gorgeous piece of postwar Japanese prestige & a rejection of pride without sacrifice or conscience

  • Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

    Samurai II: Duel at Ichijoji Temple

    ★★★★

    as elemental and beautifully overwrought as EXCALIBUR.

  • The Black Cat

    The Black Cat

    ★★★½

    we are dead, this is hell. the cat is calling from inside the house. wife under glass single most fucked up image ever.

  • Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto

    Samurai I: Musashi Miyamoto

    ★★★½

    hagiographic mythmaking, sure, but sometimes gorgeous, rousing spectacle will do nicely.

  • Total Recall

    Total Recall

    ★½

    what isn't lifted straight from the original is unfailingly cribbed from some other sci-fi thriller. thoroughly lazy.

  • Moneyball

    Moneyball

    ★★★½

    a friend tried to convince me this was subtextually about science v. religion, which i think is fun to kick around but mostly hogwash because obviously it's about the value of individualism and experience in a market system.

    psych! it's just about baseball but it's a lot of fun.

  • Under Siege

    Under Siege

    ★★★

    is the subtext of this movie really fear of American military complacency after the first Gulf War? if so it is even more rad.

  • Compliance

    Compliance

    ½

    bullshit. suggests low-wage work is intrinsically demeaning and that workers are complicit in their own dehumanization because they're too scared or stupid (or both) to know better.

  • Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

    Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

    ★★½

    actually fairly likable; some solid practical FX, breezy tone & bright plastic design. shame about cast & director.

  • Alps

    Alps

    ★★★½

    accept suffering.

  • The Transporter

    The Transporter

    ★½

    yeah this still bites. Corey Yuen's influence is sparse at best. the cult of Statham baffles me.

  • Action U.S.A.

    Action U.S.A.

    ★★★

    one of a rare strain of exploitation: a stunt reel with a plot. 89 minutes of cheap thrills. surprisingly good dialogue.