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Celluloid Junkie - 4769 Film Ratings

Member Since: Apr 3, 2006

Location: NYC, NY, USA

Age: 40

Gender: Male

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.
more Featured Reviews
75 83% Decision at Sundown (1957) - Jun 28, 2009
"There's hardly anyone to root for in this mature and intriguing western, Budd Boetticher's finest. Most of the main characters are morally ambiguous at best but at least a little bit sympathetic. The text and delivery are no better than average for a western but I thought the plot and characters were generally excellent (better than the Boetticher westerns penned by Burt Kennedy). The only character whose development arc rang false was that of Lucy Summerton."
38 23% The Mask of Fu Manchu (1932) - Oct 30, 2009
"Evidently the Chinese of all people (rather, orientalist stereotypes thereof) are interested in bringing Ghengis Khan back to life - in order to "wipe out your whole accursed white race" no less. It's hard to decide whether a movie like this is charmingly naive or inexcusably silly. With the riveting Karloff as the "hideous yellow monster" Fu Manchu, and quite endearingly quaint effects and art design, one does lament that the text and rest of the cast are not just a little bit more intelligent."
25 11% Big Bad Wolves (2013) - Feb 27, 2014
"This is considerably tenser and more gruesome than Keshales and Papushado's debut, "Rabies", and if you were unfazed by that film's ludicrosity, I guess you'll find nothing to complain about here. For me, the directors' apparent contempt for coherence and reason and their flamboyant regurgitation of cliches ruin it completely. Tarantino only liked this because it imitates him, and he doesn't value originality, or passable writing for that matter."
83 92% 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."
78 87% A Time to Love and a Time to Die (1958) - Apr 20, 2011
"The romantic affair of a newly conscientious, repentant Nazi soldier home on vacation. Far better than it sounds. Such instances as when the lovebirds lament their inability to honeymoon in Paris or Holland as they'd be hated, feel chillingly decadent considering context - until finally a horrid Nazi atrocity is mentioned in brief but purposefully, giving perspective. The hammy delivery belies a nuanced, moving and thought-provoking script, with dialogue tottering between pathos and profundity."
65 64% 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."
40 27% The Wayward Sun (2013) - Jan 14, 2017
"Largely unfazed by the fact that one of them has just killed their best friend, Wren and the suddenly sober Chaz leave their overturned jeep on the road and wander off into the desert, walking at a snail's pace and never checking google maps despite their phones' phenomenal battery life and reception. Wren hallucinates an exotic dancer and reaper-like phantom, which are creepy the first couple of times out of their zillion reappearances. Later, a stoner cactus preaches existentialism."
68 69% Megan Is Missing (2011) - Jun 08, 2011
"Another good demonstration of how you can make an effectively horrifying piece of cinema on a low budget. On the other hand, while a labor of love, its flaws glare. The realism is compromised by quite a lot of contrivances, most of them stemming from the devout adherence to the "all found footage" ideal. Aside from excusing the cheap cinematography, it's a device meant to hook the audience into believing. Alas, too many speciously convenient shots make it double-edged, as it so often is."
63 59% 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."
40 27% China 9 Liberty 37 (1978) - May 12, 2010
"A disappointing effort from Monte Hellman, in spite of Oates and the Peckinpah cameo. It starts out promising; sure, Fabio Testi has a thick Italian accent and the Spanish sets are nothing to write home about, but there are no distinct "good guys" and I was looking forward to a wholesome revisionist western. Apparently the genre is here past its prime. It quickly deteriorates into a series of uninteresting and rather confusing shootouts, punctuated by long and entirely gratuitous love scenes."