Celluloid Junkie - 4404 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.
|88 T10||The Sicilian Clan (1969) - Sep 05, 2010
"There must be hundreds of crime caper police pursuit movies, and I've seen quite a few of them, and it would surprise me if there ever was a better one than this. It is more akin to Melville's late 60s works than to his or Dassin's Le Breton adaptations. Truly tense and full of unexpected but wholly logical plot twists, The Sicilian Clan also boasts great directing, a trinity of timelessly magnificent lead actors, and one of Ennio Morricone's most hauntingly beautiful musical scores."
|85 T10||Major Dundee (1965) - Feb 29, 2008
"Major Dundee can be understood on an extraordinary number of levels. It's the Westerns' nod to Moby Dick, it may be an insightful ahead-of-its-time comment on Vietnam, and ironically, it mirrors Peckinpah's own losing battle with the studios regarding the film's final cut. This is a work of genius which strips away any semblance of the glorification and sentimentality always found in Western and War movies, and introduces instead a harsh, bitter realism where men die for nothing at all."
|50 T4||In the Realm of the Senses (1976) - Jan 10, 2008
"Japanese cinema was easier and quicker to liberalize than others, because their culture never had the same conservative antibodies as cultures of Abrahamic religiosity. After Japan's Pink Film trend of the 1960s in particular, Nagisa Oshima's small step further into fetish-porn art cinema should not have caused the scandal/international sensation that it did. Especially being that as porn it's not very arousing, and as a feature film it's only sporadically interesting."
|15 T1||Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) - Aug 27, 2011
"I suppose the most glaring of the film's errors is its confusion of intelligence with knowledge. The genetically modified apes simply seem to know everything without ever having learned anything, but they otherwise behave with apish non-sentience. Not much else in the film makes sense, either. So, compared to the writers, I can see how even an ordinary chimp would seem hyper-intelligent. Sit one at a typewriter and I'm sure he'll come up with a better script."
|53 T5||The Kids Are All Right (2010) - Mar 01, 2011
"A movie about an "alternative" family, with the theme of lesbian parenthood engaged openly and frankly, and in this sense it is somewhat off the path. But it's not a film that pushes out against normative boundaries, quite the contrary: it strives to tame, normalize and centralize its subjects, to show that the kids, and the three parents, are indeed "all right", and that even their hardships are pretty "straight" stuff. It's a believable and serviceable lighthearted drama, but nothing special."
|78 T9||Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962) - Nov 05, 2012
"Requiem for a Heavyweight is a rough gem, it's not the edgiest or most sophisticated film out there, but it's still a wonderful little tragedy. The characters are painted in few and gentle strokes, but every relationship is wholly convincing and the dialogues are affecting and moving. Photography and editing are flowing are tasteful. The whole cast is satisfying, but Anthony Quinn, while perhaps insufficiently musclebound, is absolutely phenomenal. Undoubtedly one of his greatest performances."
|58 T5||Days of 36 (1972) - Jan 08, 2008
"Like a long series of pretty establishing shots with a little bit of movie thrown in. There's very little speech. Most of the time it's like Angelopoulos is more interested in visual compositions than plot, making Days of '36 look like a political thriller commissioned by the nature channel. However, once you get over this very odd style of filmmaking, it is an interesting (if rather slight) movie and worth a watch."
|50 T4||The Desert of the Tartars (1976) - Aug 25, 2010
"It's a big-ass costume war drama for sure, with some beautiful locations shot in Iran, a seasoned director and a cast filled with giants of continental European cinema, but it disappointed me. Most of the running time is dedicated to showing us petty political power-struggles internal to the platoon with little else in terms of characters and story. What little mystery the "invisible army" presents is too transparently allegorical to add any excitement to the mostly trifling plot."
|40 T3||The Tomb of Ligeia (1964) - Oct 21, 2010
"I liked the atmosphere created in the first act, but by the second the mystery is entirely transparent, which effectively removes any "horror" from stories like this. Worse, Poe neglected to see that cats are adorably cute rather than scary, and no amount of crafty staging from a talented film director seems to change that. In a showdown where Vincent Price fights the small furry animal, armed with whips and iron pokers, I was unequivocally rooting for the cat."
|68 T7||Sudden Fear (1952) - Apr 01, 2013
"Let me just start by saying: Running for your life with your high heels on is a known Joan Crawford superpower. Female viewers are strongly urged not to try it at home. Crawford, by the way, is not such a good actress, even though this is one of her greatest efforts. Sudden Fear's finale is also something I found underwhelming. Still, it's quite well crafted, more sophisticated and a lot more suspenseful than most thrillers of its day and age. Enjoyable."