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Judo Koala

Cinema Addict - 1233 Film Ratings

Member Since: Aug 8, 2009

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Bio: Hey hi hello! I've got a MA in film, whereupon I wrote on Noé and Dumont specifically and the New French Extremity more broadly; I've also published and presented research on the NFE and, more recently and as a reflection of my core interest in film studies, studying spectator affect through Cognitive Film Theory (cognitivism): in that, my interest is examining how certain images and sounds affect a spectator's brain in different ways, utilizing research from neuroscience, psychology, psychophysics, aesthetic theory, et al. Other core filmic interests include theories of spectatorship and affect, aesthetics, exploitation / transgressive & cult cinema, 1960s European cinema, film noir, '80s action hypermachismo, black comedy, experimental / avant-garde cinema, genre deconstruction, and the representation of sex and violence. I tend to gravitate towards films that are, first and foremost, aesthetically and narratively unconventional, as I believe cinema is the most potent medium for the representation of abstract ideas and images, and I just *love* delving into the Abstract/Weird/Offbeat/Strange/etc. Things I despise in cinema: cliché & formula, most biopics, montages set to anything but sad music or Eye of the Tiger.
more Featured Reviews
80 75% Rushmore (1998) - Dec 01, 2012
"Where 'Rushmore' excels is in its organic development of its characters: to think I would come to understand and 'like' Max Fischer by the end of the film was an absurd thought as I was watching. Yet, that very event occurred, Wilson and Anderson deftly tying together the individual narrative strands to produce a cohesive, charming, and sharp comedy. The aesthetic sensibilities of Anderson are still taking shape here, and I can only imagine its shining originality at the time of release."
78 67% Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) - Nov 26, 2015
"Years of secrecy and regret bubble to the surface in a night of alcohol-fueled hysteria, its uncompromising close-ups becoming a visual parallel to the emotional suffocation all four major players attempt to escape from. Probably the best "drunk acting" I've ever seen in a film."
84 86% The Death of Louis XIV (2016) - Sep 12, 2016
"With the camera tightly framed on the faces of Louis XIV and his various physicians, the physical claustrophobia gives way to the psychological elements of death that, in the end, make mortals of us all: its banality and loneliness is met with each twitch of a cheek, each dribble of spittle, each painful groan that reduces the Sun King to that of any being. Minimalism allows for Léaud's remarkable performance in which the face conveys all in this chamber piece on the universality of death."
25 2% A Good Day to Die Hard (2013) - Feb 16, 2013
"Apparently, you don't need to wear a hazmat suit while prancing through Chernobyl. Apparently, you also don't need an ounce of character, story, villainy, or even well-filmed or interesting action sequences to call it a 'Die Hard' film. What a turd."
75 54% Tyrannosaur (2011) - Jul 15, 2012
"I feel as if the issues Considine tries to tackle--alcoholism, domestic violence, depression, grief--are too large and complex to fully deal with in these 90 minutes. While its brutal honesty is to be admired, the film attempts to take on too much at once, and I feel it would have benefited more from a narrowing of the problems, resulting in a more fleshed-out examination. The performances from Mullan and Colman are absolutely electric. Not perfect, but a very fine debut from Considine."
75 54% The Rover (2014) - Jul 27, 2014
"While wary of watching yet another post-apocalyptic film, I cannot deny how powerful this one is. Brutal and bleak, its ending will have you thinking on the film's various angles of law and morality, and the absence of such in the face of absolutely nothing left and nothing left to lose. Its pace, which is sure to be its most polarizing feature, meets an unlikely comparison in 2011's 'Drive', sharing its barely-watchable moments of intensity and graphic violence."
85 90% I Stand Alone (1998) - May 10, 2010
"Anger. Pure, transparent, lucid, manic, unadulterated anger that seeps from every pore of this grimy masterpiece that heralded a new direction for contemporary French cinema."
86 94% The Fire Within (1963) - Sep 09, 2015
""I'm not gone. But I'm going." Malle's devastating depiction of depression and substance abuse is an uncompromising foray into the mind of someone whose existence no longer possesses meaning or passion. The film succeeds in avoiding undue maudlin sentimentality due to restrained direction and a thoughtful script, and Leroy's gaunt features accentuate his inner torment, convincingly played with delicate expressiveness by Maurice Ronet."
80 75% The Double Life of Veronique (1991) - Mar 01, 2013
"One of Kieslowski's most enigmatic works...that is, until the final five minutes more or less hit you over the head with the entire film's "meaning". Could have been done more subtly, but otherwise, another beautiful piece of cinema from Kieslowski. (Note: I have not yet viewed the "revised" ending at the request of Harvey Weinstein.)"
68 27% The Tribe (2015) - Oct 25, 2015
"Not nearly enough narrative or characterization to warrant its 2+ hour running time, 'The Tribe' exists as an object of interest only for its sole claim to fame: all dialogue expressed through sign language. But were one to offer the valid question, "Well, would this be an interesting film with dialogue?", I believe the answer to be a resounding, "No." Moments of visceral brutality are engaging, but never feel warranted with its imperceptible story. One of the bigger disappointments of 2015."