Celluloid Junkie - 4390 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.
|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."
|35 T2||Kafka (1991) - Dec 10, 2010
"Steven Soderbergh sullies the name of Franz Kafka by directing this generic, mostly trite and sometimes laboriously quirky fictional script with the character of the great author as its protagonist. Jeremy Irons is tasked with portraying poor Kafka, Theresa Russell is degraded with the role of the fatalish "girl", and Ian Holm's talent is wasted playing a Bond villain. Watch Welles' The Trial or Gilliam's Brazil instead."
|20 T1||Eduart (2006) - Sep 02, 2010
"I was hoping to be able to boast having seen a good Albanian movie, but Eduart is cheesy and moralistic, with a weak lead performance."
|55 T5||Nazi Pop Twins (2007) - Jul 11, 2010
"Quinn arrives late on the scene, after the duo had started growing up and tiring of their hardcore white-supremacist image, but in time to document the conflict this creates with their domineering mother. Unsurprisingly, it turns out that mom and dad Gaede were responsible for the twins' conditioning, but a crack begins to form as teenage Lamb and Lynx show early signs of rebellion. In a sense the film is more about mom, whom Quinn (disingenuously perhaps) ends up confronting and antagonizing."
|83 T10||Salvatore Giuliano (1962) - Aug 31, 2010
"Excellent neorealist film about the MIS, Sicilian separatists stirring up civil conflict after WWII, and the bandit Salvatore Giuliano who was its Emiliano Zapata. I sensed traces of Pepe le Moko here as well as Wajda, but it is most closely akin to the later, better-known and slightly inferior The Battle of Algiers. Probably an inspiration, Salvatore is also a highly polyphonous civil uprising movie. Daringly and cunningly, it avoids featuring its namesake. The main character is only spoken of."
|68 T7||Sun Scarred (2006) - Dec 13, 2010
"In this daring twist on the Death Wish premise, the bad guys are young. Very very young. The viewer is forced to contend with the suggestion that the teenagers shown, some pretty much children, are irreparably corrupted by childish cruelty, hopelessly fascinated with killing. Regardless of how honest this is in portraying Japan, Miike makes this brutally violent vigilante flick involving children work. You won't feel comfortable with it but you will really want their little heads on sticks."
|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."
|78 T9||Les Rendez-vous d'Anna (1978) - May 24, 2015
"Introspective Akerman tells about a Belgian filmmaker on the road. From a German hotel room, through Brussels, to her Paris home, her trip is a patchwork of increasingly inward one-on-one encounters, beginning with a strange man and ending with her life partner, and finally alone checking her answering machine. Affects runs the gamut from bored detachment to stifling intimacy (like in a marvelous scene with the great Lea Massari as her mother). Seminal, and reminiscent only of Dreyer's Gertrude."
|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)."
|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."