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billkerwin

Cinema Addict - 2296 Film Ratings

Member Since: Dec 18, 2009

Location: Columbus, OH, USA

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95 94% 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."
84 60% The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009) - May 23, 2010
"A personal film about an aging conjurer whose imagination is filled with marvels, but who--although he believes that the power of narrative makes the existence of the world possible--is incapable of bringing his own story to a conclusion. So it is with Gilliam, whose imagination is as enchanting as ever, but who still cannot tell a story or develop a character. In spite of this, the film is charming, Plummer and Waits are fine, and what there is of Heath Ledger's performance is very good too."
91 86% 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. "
90 83% Brewster McCloud (1970) - Apr 22, 2011
"This odd, rambling film is gloriously, characteristically Altman. More original than "Mash," it can be seen as a first sketch of "Nashville" in the way it uses an obsession, a crime and a southern city to explore the nature of the U.S.A. in the later part of the 20th century. Bud Cort gives this film a special sweetness, and Kellerman and Duvall have never been better, but my favorite parts are the small, strange characters created by Auberjonois, Margaret Hamilton and Stacey Keach. "
89 80% 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). "
98 97% Hail the Conquering Hero (1944) - Jan 05, 2010
"One of the great screen comedies. This WW II movie has perhaps the most unabashedly patriotic ending ever filmed, yet it still seems right even in this cynical age. Bracken is funny and moving, and William Demarest gives an unusually restrained performance. And don't forget boxer Freddie Steele as Bugsy, the slightly addled orphan-Marine with the mother-fixation. (I love it when the astonished Woodrow barks at Bugsy "Are you nuts?" and Bugsy pauses for a moment and answers, "Maybe.") "
72 19% The Sound of Music (1965) - Dec 22, 2009
"Saccharine film with absolutely no chemistry between the two leads. Directed by Minnelli and lasting not more than two hours, it might have been good, but it wasn't and it doesn't and it isn't. "
72 19% King of the Underworld (1939) - Aug 20, 2011
"A routine Warner programmer starring Kay Francis (just before she began taking second billing to--ouch!--Deanna Durbin), Bogart (about to break out, but still a second-rate tough guy) and James Stephensen (the proper English gentleman, later very good as the lawyer in "The Letter", whose career went almost nowhere at all). If you're bored, try it: the plot--although silly--is weird, Francis is elegant, Bogart is fun as a dimwitted psychopath, and the movie is only sixty-seven minutes long. "
91 86% Midnight (1939) - Jul 19, 2012
"This movie is an elegant, near perfect romantic comedy. Brackett and Wilder's screenplay is witty, Leisen's direction is sophisticated and smooth, and Ameche and Colbert--both underrated experts in light comedy--are very cute together. Astor and Barrymore are cute together too, and Barrymore (who reportedly could barely read his cue-cards) gives one of the greatest--and most subdued--performances of his career."
91 86% 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!) "