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billkerwin

Cinema Addict - 2296 Rankings

Member Since: Dec 18, 2009

Location: Columbus, OH, USA

more Featured Reviews
80 T5 The Trials of Oscar Wilde (1960) - Oct 26, 2014
"Finch is a fine actor, but he doesn't have enough "gay" in him to be completely convincing. Still this drama, as bowdlerized and cautious as it may be, was nevertheless daring for its time, and does its best to excuse--if not defend--the "love that dare not speak its name." If you don't wish to watch the whole thing, you should at least watch the re-creation of the first trial in order to see James Mason, as Queensbury's sly barrister Carson, cross-examine Finch, a witty, grandstanding Wilde."
100 T10 The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928) - Dec 24, 2009
"As Norma Desmond once said about silent movies, "We didn't need dialogue. We had faces!" Here's the ultimate proof. Falconetti's performance is so magnificent, the close-ups so relentless and involving, that you will be convinced this is a 15th Century documentary. This is a profound film about faith and cruelty."
93 T10 The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) - Dec 20, 2009
"The only thing that keeps this from being a masterpiece is the sensationalistic, pulp nature of the screenplay--although I have to admit that Lang does his best to change the sensationalism into nightmare. The framing of each shot is so artful, the use of sound to build tension so innovative and expert, that the film compels attention and respect."
75 T3 Kalifornia (1993) - Jan 26, 2010
"Stylish and slick, full of cruelty and irony but ultimately hollow, this movie culminates in extreme violence staged in a mannequin-populated model home at the center of the Dreamland nuclear testing site. (Insert symbolic interpretation here.) Partially redeemed by the detached cool of an emotionally distant Duchovny narration, two mannered but amusing performances from Pitt and Lewis, and the unsmiling elegance of Michelle Forbes."
100 T10 The Butcher (1970) - Jul 10, 2010
"This rich, ambiguous film uses the structure of a thriller to explore the sources of violence and desire, the consequences of knowledge and surrender. Meaning reveals itself in the subtle, enigmatic performances of Audran and Yanne and the relationship their two characters establish with each other; the thriller-structure--although technically well-executed--is merely the framework for psychological exploration. Great camera work, great music, superb village atmosphere. "
73 T3 The Runaways (2010) - Apr 24, 2010
"The thin script--based by first-time director Sigismondi on Cherie Currie's autobiography--is centered on Currie but really wants to be about Joan Jett. And that's a problem. Kristen Stewart as Jett is guarded, suggesting hidden depths and motivations, but Dakota Fanning as Currie is flashy and bland, nothing but jailbait eye candy. In other words . . . just like the members of the original band. "
90 T9 The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) - Jul 04, 2010
"Somehow, Anderson can revel in his obsessions (shadow boxes, uniforms, unsmiling women, searches for lost fathers, etc.), add some improbably cast actors (Bill Murray as Jacques Cousteau!?), throw in a few pirates, an explosion or two, some impossibly successful gun battles, and David Bowie unplugged in Portuguese, and not only make it all work but touch us deeply too. He does this by making a movie so filled with artifice that it gives us the freedom we need to fully surrender our hearts. "
72 T3 Babes in Arms (1939) - Dec 11, 2010
"Mickey and Judy are cute, so cute they almost make up for 1) the plot ("gee,let's put on a show in the barn" plus "save us kids from the orphanage") and 2) the pseudo-operatic vocal stylings of cloying Preisser and wooden McPhail, who manage to ruin one of the only two good songs ("Where or When") the movie has. If you've got the patience, though, watch it for the bizarre "Babes in Arms" production number in which our kids march toward stardom by torchlight like an army of Hitler Youth. "
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."
92 T9 New York, New York (1977) - Feb 02, 2010
"Underrated film with superb performances by De Niro and Minnelli. If a traditional Hollywood musical took place in the crazy, self-absorbed world of entertainment, it would look like this. (Has any other jazz fan noticed that De Niro in this picture looks exactly like bop baritone sax great Serge Chaloff?)"