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billkerwin

Cinema Addict - 2296 Rankings

Member Since: Dec 18, 2009

Location: Columbus, OH, USA

more Featured Reviews
89 T9 Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) - Apr 06, 2014
"The folk revival was filled with generous, expansive personalities--like that of Dave Von Ronk--but if it had been peopled instead by cautious Gen-X types, envious, trapped in their own egos, it might have looked something like this. It is a well made film, expertly shot and edited, enriched by the existential concerns that made "A Serious Man" such a rewarding experience. John Goodman creates his most obnoxious character ever, and Isaac is very good (although not quite as good as the cats). "
55 T1 Convoy (1978) - Jul 20, 2010
"Perhaps the worst film by a major director. And it's not as if Peckinpah was just going through the motions here, either. This is a very personal film, sort of a "Wild Bunch on Wheels," a "Smokey and the Bandit meets Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid" . . . with fierce iconoclasm, the obligatory slow-motion fight sequences and a denouement featuring machine gun fire. Blame it on booze and blow if you want, but this is a quintessential Peckinpah film. And it stinks to high heaven. "
91 T9 Death in the Garden (1956) - Jul 22, 2011
"For the first half it is merely an elegantly directed but slow adventure flick enlivened by a few of brutal moments and the unique beauty of thirty-five-year-old Simone Signoret. Then everyone becomes stranded in the jungle, and the film becomes a dark--and rich--exploration of human character, as well as a cynical and reverent (only Bunuel could do both at once) commentary on religious belief. (There is a real serpent in this "garden," and you won't soon forget the scene where it appears!) "
82 T6 3 Godfathers (1948) - Nov 21, 2010
"The Three Wise Men parallels are a little too corny, but Harry Carey and Armendariz are good, and Wayne is excellent. The speech the Duke delivers after leaving the baby's dead mother inside the wagon, when he tells the other outlaws the story of how her husband's reckless incompetence led his family to destruction, is one of Wayne's finest moments. He manages--no mean feat--to project tenderness and helplessness combined with rage and contempt. Who says Wayne can't act?"
95 T10 One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) - Dec 21, 2009
"Despite a jarringly triumphant, slow-mo conclusion, this film is unusually restrained in the matter-of-fact humanism of its direction and the detailed realism of its ensemble acting. Nicholson delivers the performance of a lifetime, but it is a performance which emerges organically from a real world in a way Cool Hand Luke, with all his Hollywood Christ imagery, never could. It is a quintessentially American story viewed through a distinctively European eye, and therein lies its uniqueness. "
90 T9 Gone Girl (2014) - Oct 26, 2014
"Many of the effects--like the still-blood-drenched Amy being interviewed by law enforcement--strain credulity, but the performances are nuanced, and the direction maintains tension and audience involvement without sacrificing ambiguity, which is no small thing. Another good Fincher film about the prison of the ego and the impossibility of fulfilling relationships."
100 T10 The Exterminating Angel (1962) - Dec 24, 2009
"Guests at an upper-class dinner party find that they cannot leave the room. One of the marvelous things about this film is how this absurd premise is soon accepted--both by the characters and the audience--as a matter of fact, and how the reactions of the characters are treated with complete realism and considerable humor. This is a haunting film, with an unsettling ending."
78 T4 The Wolf Man (1941) - May 21, 2011
"It is well paced, atmospheric--good photography and great use of the fog machine!--but Chaney is miscast as the expatriate son of English aristocrat Rains. Though Chaney is a great Wolf Man--a simple, good-natured fellow who blunders through social interactions and is beyond his depth when confronted with an ancient curse--he doesn't match up with the character Siodmak wrote. (Re-write: Chaney as a self-made U.S. tycoon). The special effects show their age, and the ending seems rushed. "
91 T9 Scarlet Street (1945) - Dec 20, 2009
"A great noir with nuanced direction. Robinson is too smart and fatalistic to be completely pathetic, Duryea is too weak and fragile to be utterly vile, and Joan Bennett . . . well Joan Bennett is wonderful. Besides being sexy in her lingerie--and even sexier in her transparent raincoat--she is too full of life to be stereotyped as a femme fatale. Her lazy sensuality, her amusement at Edward G.'s dorkiness, even her baffling love for Duryea, give this movie a distinctive European feel. "
95 T10 The Gay Desperado (1936) - Mar 13, 2011
"A musical featuring an operatic tenor, no dancing, and a plot involving stereotypical Mexican bandits aspiring to be stereotypical U.S. gangsters? Bad, right? Yeah, that's what I thought, but I was wrong. The script is sweetly goofy, the art direction and shot composition (featuring looming shadows, Diego Rivera sombreros and huge phallic cacti) is lovely and camp, Martini, Lupino, and Carrillo are charming, and the whole cast--including the Raft, Robinson and Cagney lookalikes--is a hoot."