Celluloid Junkie - 4466 Rankings
Member Since: Apr 3, 2006
Location: NYC, NY, USA
Bio: I'm a writer. I lean towards arthouse cinema, realism and old Italian stuff, and some guilty pleasures include horror, kung fu, and anything strange and unusual. Favorite filmmakers include (in no particular order): Jacques Rozier, Mario Monicelli, Maurice Pialat, Emir Kusturica, R.W. Fassbinder, Asghar Farhadi, C.T. Dreyer, Antonio Pietrangeli, Dino Risi, Werner Herzog, Lina Wertmüller, Luchino Visconti, Claude Chabrol, Nicolas Roeg, Sidney Lumet, Satyajit Ray, Sam Peckinpah, Sergei Parajanov, John Cassavetes, Michelangelo Antonioni, Lynne Ramsay, Abbas Kiarostami, Woody Allen, Federico Fellini, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Alan Clarke, Terry Gilliam, Costa-Gavras, Aki Kaurismäki, Jafar Panahi, Douglas Sirk, Ernst Lubitsch, Kaneto Shindo, Jean Renoir, Ermanno Olmi, Cristian Mungiu and Francesco Rosi.
|20 T1||Avatar (2009) - Jan 11, 2010
"The fx here are the cutting edge and a swarm of talented craftsmen must have been hired to design this imaginary world. But true to sci-fi tradition, the actual imagination invested here is next to nil. The future is a slightly embellished present and the alien planet is primitive Earth with cat-eyes and shinier colors. The plot is a rehash of Pocahontas, and the pretty looks are not enough to offset the stench of the ridiculously terrible text (or of the cheesy music)."
|100 T10||A Difficult Life (1961) - Apr 04, 2010
"An intensive, fast-paced stream of heart-rending human drama and poignant humor extracted through keen insight from realistic situations set in post-war Italy. As well, a comical but not flippant treatise on the dilemma of personal and familial life vs. social commitment and principles. Alberto Sordi's perfect performance spearheads an amazing cast. Fantastic and underrated cinema, at the seam between neo-realism and commedia all'italiana, on par with Fellini's and Visconti's best works."
|65 T7||Face to Face (1976) - May 13, 2010
"In one of Bergman's most depressing movies, a family woman descends into madness. Both Cassavetes and Fassbinder have done the subject more justice, and it's hard to appreciate after seeing Bergman's more important works. He uses the same devices he had already used to better effect, such as Wild Strawberries' seeing oneself dead in a dream. Liv Ullmann scolds her parents (thinly veiling Bergman's own childhood issues) in a cathartic nervous breakdown, but this is better done in Autumn Sonata."
|30 T2||Werckmeister Harmonies (2000) - Oct 19, 2007
"Has Hanna Schygulla aged! Anyway, I don't use the word "pretentious" lightly but this movie deserves it. Pointlessly sluggish, artsy for the sake of artsiness and so symbolistic it's meaningless. What can be more self-important than the opening scene, in which nothing happens, quickly followed by such a barrage of audio-visual pathos you'd think you actually missed something. This movie is only good as further proof that Roger Ebert is a dork."
|63 T6||Salvador (1986) - Nov 09, 2007
"The way the film creeps ever more serious thoughtfulness into its basically frivolous demeanor helps to redeem it as a war movie in the same way that its initially amoral hero's gradual conscientious awakening redeems him as a human being. Thematically kindred to Peter Weir's Year of Living Dangerously."
|20 T1||Keoma (1976) - Mar 01, 2007
"Franco Nero is made over to look a bit like Charlie Manson as Keoma, your dime-a-dozen "fastest gun in the west" but with a hippie hairdo. He pisses off a big-shot bad-guy named Caldwell, and his own three asshole brothers (one of whom is a Donald Sutherland lookalike) who work for Caldwell, but against all odds he perpetually kicks their butts. There's a King-Learish element at work. The soundtrack is ridiculous. Contrary to many spaghetti westerns, there is no humor."
|63 T6||Fast-Walking (1982) - Sep 26, 2014
"This movie really lays out the plan for what James Woods would forever be; mixing serious subject matter, often seriously portrayed (prison violence, politics), with more than a dab of humorous schlock and blatant sexploitation - a combination defining Woods' persona in later films such as Videodrome, Salvador and Cop. I dare say Fast-Walking also sets the standard - it's well-made, with some interesting characters, but doesn't really commit to achieving greatness."
|60 T6||One False Move (1992) - Sep 15, 2016
"The beginnings of Billy Bob Thornton, pre-"Sling Blade", and a good excuse for Bill Paxton to show off his twang. Other than that it's a somewhat manneristic but passable, watchable modern-westernish crime drama. Not a great script by any stretch, but certainly more invested than your average 1990s American shoot'em'up."
|73 T8||Savage Streets (1984) - Oct 14, 2009
"How many points am I obligated to reduce for how sexploitative this is? A girl shower scene is one of several excuses to show full female nudity, and naked tits abound, including Linda Blair's. A graphic and brutal rape scene is perhaps particularly shocking coming from a film like this. But what if it's a great movie nonetheless? It's trash but so well devised you can't take your eyes off it, and it culminates in some exquisitely suspenseful sequences. Don't mess with L.B..."
|63 T6||A Bucket of Blood (1959) - Sep 11, 2010
"As a viewing experience it's lean and flowing and entertaining to watch, if a bit slight and generally ridiculous. But underlying the somewhat exploitative horror comedy is a potent allegory about social reception of and expectations from art. It's significant that the director of this little movie that's more ambitious that it looks, went on to become the producer patriarch of New Hollywood."