My Year In Film - 2012

  1. flixsterman
  2. Randy

My attempt to list every film I watch (or re-watch) in 2012.

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Kes 1969,  PG-13)
Ken Loach's sobering, no-frills look at adolescent perseverance in the face of poverty, cruelty and indifference. The subject matter may be bleak and heartbreaking but the film itself is absolutely brilliant.
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie) 1972,  PG)
The Discreet Charm Of The Bourgeoisie (Le Charme Discret de la Bourgeoisie)
Luis Buñuel is an acquired taste that I sometimes have trouble acquiring. His films can be a little cryptic and transcendent (or confusing and pompous - depending on your point of reference). The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie is an exercise in precise meandering that will either pull you along by your belt loops or leave you standing befuddled in its wake.
Black Narcissus 1947,  Unrated)
Black Narcissus
Visually, viscerally and, dare I say it, 'spiritually' breathtaking.
White Dog 1982,  PG)
White Dog
What Sam Fuller lacks in finance and technology he almost makes up for in style and intent. White Dog is 5 star social commentary on a 2 star budget.
Night Train to Munich (Gestapo) 1940,  Unrated)
Night Train to Munich (Gestapo)
A bit methodical in its presentation but still a classic rendering of intrigue and high drama. Rex Harrison and Paul Henreid are superb!
The Last Days of Disco 1998,  R)
The Last Days of Disco
Whit Stillman's subtle but profound take on the fallacy of indulgent self importance. Don't let the title put you off, The Last Days of Disco is an underrated gem!
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2009,  R)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
A bit over-hyped but still solidly entertaining.
Arch of Triumph 1948,  Unrated)
Arch of Triumph
Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman and Charles Laughton. Need I say more?
Mafioso 1964,  Unrated)
Antonio Badalamenti; factory supervisor, loving husband, devoted father, reluctant hit-man.
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden) 2010,  R)
The Girl Who Played with Fire (Flickan som lekte med elden)
With very few exceptions, sequels, prequels and trilogies are inherently unoriginal. Generally, they put recycled characters through déjà vu scenarios in marketable attempts to recapture previous box office glory. This film does that, but in an artful, intelligent manner.
The Red Shoes 1948,  R)
The Red Shoes
Powell and Pressburger's spectacle of color, choreography and catastrophe makes Black Swan look like an ugly duckling.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest 2010,  R)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Arguably the best of Alfredson's three film trilogy.
Antonio Gaudí 1986,  Unrated)
Antonio Gaudí
Call it An Ode to Antonio Gaudi or perhaps A Celebration of Antonio Gaudi but lets drop the "documentary" moniker here and now. This is no documentary.
Kissed 1997,  R)
Creative progression and fantastic casting doesn't quite counterbalance the creepy necrophilic premise.
L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows) 1969,  Unrated)
L'Armée des ombres (Army in the Shadows)
Unembellished and matter-of-fact. Melville masterfully spotlights the French Resistance without martyring the Nazi regime that spawned it.
Le Doulos 1962,  Unrated)
Le Doulos
Terrific 'stylized' French noir! (Does anyone else think that Serge Reggiani looks like Mr. Bean?)
Trollhunter 2011,  PG-13)
It's The Blair Witch Project meets Where the Wild Things Are. Sit back, relax and have some fun.
Microcosmos: Le peuple de l'herbe (Microcosmos) 1996,  G)
Microcosmos: Le peuple de l'herbe (Microcosmos)
As exhilarating as anything ever seen on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom and it's all taking place right in your own back yard.
Bagdad Cafe 1988,  PG)
Bagdad Cafe
Starts out like low budget community theater but that's probably part of its charm. Bagdad Cafe has substance and heart that reveals itself in a slow-burn of oddball characters and intelligent scripting.
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (The Blood Suckers) 1965,  Unrated)
Dr. Terror's House of Horrors (The Blood Suckers)
Okay, it's not really a house. It's a train. Even so, it's good, old-fashioned, Hammer-ish, British Horror.
Otoshiana (Pitfall) 1962,  Unrated)
Otoshiana (Pitfall)
Teshigahara's first fictional feature film is overflowing with metaphoric symbolism and imagery. Though this doesn't seem to flow as smoothly as Woman in the Dunes or The Face of Another, the same genius is abundantly apparent.
Inferno 1980,  R)
It's all in the details. Argento exaggerates the nuances nearly, but not quite, to the point of distraction. His exorbitant use of red and blue lighting gives Inferno its other-worldly, nightmarish appeal which seems to make the horror more visceral and effective.
Mars 2010,  Unrated)
More like a college class project than a feature film. Cute but uninspired.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives 2011,  Unrated)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives
I don't mind dead wives showing up for dinner as uninvited guests but when a Sasquatch starts to browse your old photo albums THAT is where things get a little weird.
Room In Rome (habitacion En Roma) 2010,  R)
Room In Rome (habitacion En Roma)
Okay, I realize that not everyone enjoys a dialog driven film, but when the dialog is coming from two hot, entwined, butt-naked women does it really matter? Seriously?
They Came Back 2004,  Unrated)
They Came Back
A very unconventional and ingenious contribution to an increasingly unimaginative genre. Eerily off-center and unsettling.
Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn! ) 1962,  Unrated)
Night of the Eagle (Burn, Witch, Burn! )
An admirable rendition of Fritz Leiber's 1943 novel, Conjure Wife. Tangibly atmospheric and delightfully spooky.
Isolation 2006,  R)
A bloody confluence of Alien and Old McDonald Had A Farm.
Ponette 1996,  Unrated)
I have no idea how Jacques Doillon managed to get such sincere performances out of 4 year old children (especially Victoire Thivisol) but Bravo Jacques, Bravo!
Dead Man 1995,  R)
Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!) 1990,  NC-17)
Átame! (Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!)
Wow! Almodovar is a master at finding humor and romance in the most unlikely places.
Son of Frankenstein 1939,  Unrated)
Son of Frankenstein
In spite of great casting, without James Whale at the helm the overall result is campy and less artful. Not a horrible film but not in the same league as Whale's Frankenstein or Bride of Frankenstein.
Dreams With Sharp Teeth 2008,  Unrated)
Dreams With Sharp Teeth
Harlan's life imitates his art. Angry. Rebellious. Uncompromising.
Chosin 2010,  Unrated)
Terrific documentary about one of the bloodiest, most horrific battles in American history.
Chronicle 2012,  PG-13)
This is one of those films that's audience ambiguous. If you want to like it you can find 100 things to like about it. If want to dislike it you can find 107 things to dislike about it. Take your pick.
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane 1976,  PG)
The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane
A low budget 70's horror classic with perverse underpinnings. Similar to Let's Scare Jessica to Death (1971) and The Last House on the Left (1972) but much more subtle and enigmatic.
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence 1983,  R)
Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
Oddly scripted but intriguing. It's difficult to deny the presence of homoerotic undertones here, making this a most unconventional war film.
Strigoi 2008,  Unrated)
Strigoi, at least in America, is more zombie than vampire. It's a hybrid that works well for humor as well as horror in this peculiar tale of murder, deceit and the supernatural.
The Tomb of Ligeia (Tomb of the Cat) 1965,  PG)
The Tomb of Ligeia (Tomb of the Cat)
Nice paring of legends Vincent Price and Roger Corman. Solid '60's Gothic horror.
The Masque of the Red Death 1989,  R)
The Masque of the Red Death
Price is really in his element here, playing a sadistic prince hellbent on bringing pain and suffering to his loyal subjects. (1964)
Lianna 2001,  R)
An exploration of love and relationships and cultural restraints. Lianna is sexual without being exploitative and a shining example of John Sayles' minimalistic approach to movie making.
Deathwatch 2002,  R)
"What is war if not mud, pestilence and horror?"
Charade 1963,  G)
How do you make a Hitchcock movie without Hitchcock? Step 1: Cary Grant. Step 2: Find yourself a screenplay with a lot of twists and turns. Step 3: Hire the most beautiful actress you can afford. Step 4: And finally, you go get that guy who directed Singin' in the Rain.
A Woman Is a Woman (Une femme est une femme) 1964,  Unrated)
A Woman Is a Woman (Une femme est une femme)
Sexy, charming and downright silly. Jean-Claude Brialy might be the only man on the planet who can repeatedly say "no" to Anna Karina and keep a straight face.
Dead and Buried 1981,  R)
Dead and Buried
Time has taken a toll on this '80's offering but Dead and Buried retains a measure of macabre creepiness that compensates for its campy transparency.
City of Life and Death 2011,  R)
City of Life and Death
Once in a great while a film comes along that is not only brilliant and artistic but meaningfully important. This is one of those films.
Tombs Of The Blind Dead (Noche del terror ciego) 1972,  PG)
Tombs Of The Blind Dead (Noche del terror ciego)
A drive-in classic. At least three different edits are circulating; the original director's cut, an "American Version" (less skin, no lesbians), and "Planet Ape" version designed to capitalize on the Planet of the Apes craze.
Make Way for Tomorrow 1937,  Unrated)
Make Way for Tomorrow
"That's the saddest picture ever made. It would make a stone cry!" -Orson Wells speaking about Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow. He wasn't far wrong.
The Maze 1953,  Unrated)
The Maze
If you can get past the ridiculous premise and some crude special effects this isn't half bad. A clever combination of suspense, science fiction and herpetology.
Devil Doll 1964,  Unrated)
Devil Doll
"What Is the strange, terrifying evil secret of the dummy... and why is it locked in a cage every night? Is it flesh or wood? Man or monster? Alive or dead? The Devil Doll. It walks. It talks. It kills. Strange! Terrifying! Evil!" -tagline
Deep Red (Profondo rosso) 1975,  R)
Deep Red (Profondo rosso)
A minor masterpiece of 70's horror. Like Suspiria, Argento turns the genre upside down with his bright colors and well lit sets, a technique that brings fear out of the shadows and sets it squarely in your lap.
Madhouse (The Madhouse of Dr. Fear)(Deathday)(The Revenge of Dr. Death) 1974,  PG)
Madhouse (The Madhouse of Dr. Fear)(Deathday)(The Revenge of Dr. Death)
A mildly effective but harmless vehicle for venerable horror icons Vincent Price, Peter Cushing, Basil Rathbone and Boris Karloff.
I Am Love 2010,  R)
I Am Love
Ultimately, there is a strength that emanates from this film, a strength that is feminine and maternal and very, very powerful.
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey 2011,  PG)
Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
In keeping with the spirit of Elmo, Kevin's story is uplifting, educational and inspirational.
The Sword of Doom 1966,  Unrated)
The Sword of Doom
A sociopathic swordsman hacks and hews his way toward his inevitable undoing, or so it seems. Director Okamoto expertly builds both tension and tempo as his samurai epic progresses, but be aware that the ending is rather odd and anticlimactic.
My Name Is Nobody (Il mio nome è Nessuno) 1973,  PG)
My Name Is Nobody (Il mio nome è Nessuno)
Not as high on my list of favorites as it used to be. Tonino Valerii's tongue-in-cheek Spaghetti-Western has taken a beating at the hands of father time, though the homage to Sergio Leone and Sam Peckinpah is still undeniably apparent.
The Conqueror Worm (Witchfinder General) 2000,  Unrated)
The Conqueror Worm (Witchfinder General)
In spite of Mr. Price's noteworthy performance, Witchfinder General is at best a second-rate production. The story is conceptually dark, the script is graphically brutal and the characters are painfully one-dimensional.
Slaughterhouse-Five 1972,  R)
Like Kurt Vonnegut's novel, Slaughterhouse-Five blurs the line between fantasy and reality, intermingling the two until they're inseparable and indiscernible.
Shadows and Fog 1992,  PG-13)
Shadows and Fog
Yet another Woody Allen vehicle centered around his trademark Semitic neurosis ...and yet again I smile and laugh and applaud. What is wrong with me??
El Nino Pez (The Fish Child) 2009,  Unrated)
El Nino Pez (The Fish Child)
Lucía Puenzo's second effort is original, taunt and full of passion. Artfully crafted and wonderfully acted, El Nino Pez deserves a lot more attention than it's getting.
Ricky 2009,  PG)
This could have easily turned into something cute and frivolous but Ozon has a way of turning a story inside out. Instead, Ricky is an angelic metaphor, an uplifting tragedy about coming to terms with devastating loss. An odd but lovable film.
Danton 1983,  PG)
An enlightening, unflattering exercise in French history highlighted by betrayal, corruption and Depardieu.
Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera) 1931,  Unrated)
Die 3groschenoper (The Threepenny Opera) (The Beggar's Opera)
A milestone of cinema that is historically important but distractingly abstract and exaggerated.
American Scary 2006,  Unrated)
American Scary
A compilation of interviews and insight into the nostalgic world of late night horror hosts from small TV stations across America. Vampira, Elvira, Svengoolie but, sadly, no Mazeppa Pompazoidi.
The Artist 2011,  PG-13)
The Artist
This is a film that aims for the heart of the nostalgic cinephile and, quite frankly, hits the bullseye.
Invaders from Mars 1953,  Unrated)
Invaders from Mars
The quintessential science-fiction film of the 1950s. Ripe with cold-war innuendo, Invaders from Mars has, in a sense, become a parody of itself. It's as if someone merged John Carpenter's The Thing with an old episode of Leave it to Beaver.
War Game 2004,  Unrated)
War Game
Moving anti-war animation reminiscent of the old Tintin comics of the 1930's.
Genesis 1998,  Unrated)
Surrealistic short film about a sculptor struggling with the loss of his beloved wife. Director Nacho Cerdà combines blue-grey imagery with macabre special effects to convey debilitating grief and despair. The results are sometimes effective, sometimes not.
Ponyo 2009,  G)
Beautiful, imaginative and utterly adorable.
Teenage Paparazzo 2010,  Unrated)
Teenage Paparazzo
Even though it starts out as an exploitation of 13 yr old Austin Visschedyk, Teenage Paparazzo evolves into an insightful exposé on celebrity culture ...AND it confirms the assumption that Paris Hilton is an air-headed attention whore.
Sister My Sister 1995,  R)
Sister My Sister
Based on a true story, Sister My Sister is a tale of intolerance, repression and consequence. The pacing is exquisitely purposeful and deliberate so don't expect to be on the edge of your seat until the last 10 minutes or so.
Aftermath 1994,  Unrated)
A companion piece to Genesis, Nacho Cerdà manages to fill an entire half hour with an abundance of gore and an absence of sophistication and good taste. The purpose being: 'Let's see how many disgusting and perverted acts we can squeeze into a 30 minute film'.
Insiang 1976,  Unrated)
Peel away the $13 budget, the atrocious scoring and the unnecessarily long sequences shot inside a slaughterhouse and what you have left is a compelling story, nice direction and a couple of outstanding performances.
Ju-On: Shiroi Rôjo (The Grudge: Old Lady in White) 2009,  Unrated)
Ju-On: Shiroi Rôjo (The Grudge: Old Lady in White)
I'm convinced that Ju-On is a Japanese word meaning 'creepy looking children are going to appear out of nowhere and scare the crap out of you'.
Ju-on: Kuroi shôjo (The Grudge: Girl In Black) 2009,  Unrated)
Ju-on: Kuroi shôjo (The Grudge: Girl In Black)
Director Mari Asato does a commendable job with a film franchise that has been sequeled, imitated and exploited entirely too much.
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue 2009,  R)
Nightmares in Red, White and Blue
Nice, inclusive documentary on the evolution of the American Horror genre. Lots of insightful interviews and clips from known and lesser known films.
Shut Up Little Man! 2011,  Unrated)
Shut Up Little Man!
Eddie Sausage and Mitch Deprey turn their loud, hellish neighbors into veritable cash-cows, blurring the line between artistic freedom and invasive exploitation.
Intimacy 2001,  R)
Lust leads to intimacy. Intimacy leads to love. Love leads to turmoil. The sex scenes may be explicit and controversial but there is a lot more to this film than Mark Rylance's boudoir and Kerry Fox's booty.
Hugo 2011,  PG)
Ever so slightly over-hyped but whimsical and imaginative enough to be well worth your time.
I Saw the Devil 2011,  Unrated)
I Saw the Devil
This is one Charles Bronson away from being a Korean Death Wish.
The Skin I Live In 2011,  R)
The Skin I Live In
My respect and admiration for Pedro Almodóvar continues to grow. He repeatedly finds warmth and human connection in the most inhumane of circumstances. With Pedro, you not only discover that you can tolerate the intolerable but you find yourself empathizing with it. True to Almodóvar form, The Skin I Live In is both weird and wonderful.
Until the Light Takes Us 2009,  Unrated)
Until the Light Takes Us
Sometimes disjointed but never dull, Until the Light Takes Us offers an insider's point of view into the oft misunderstood culture of Norwegian Black Metal.
I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (Saibogujiman kwenchana) 2006,  Unrated)
I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK (Saibogujiman kwenchana)
"I'm not a psy-cho. I'm a cy-borg."
Slacker 1991,  R)
A series of vignettes on life as a twenty-something resident in and around the city of Austin, Texas. Known in some circles as a "cult classic", Slacker features atrocious acting, shaky camera work and Madonna's pap smear.
Mosquito Squadron 1970,  G)
Mosquito Squadron
Mosquito Squadron is rife with terrific aerial combat and bombing sequences but the film gets bogged down in it's romantic subplot and story tangents. Will Quint make a play for Beth, his best friend's widow. Will Beth learn that her husband is still alive? Will Beth's brother be fitted with a prosthesis for his missing hand? It's all far too distracting.
Comic Book Confidential 1999,  PG)
Comic Book Confidential
There's been a lot happen in the comic book industry since 1989 but this is great resource material for fans (like me).
The House of the Devil 2009,  R)
The House of the Devil
A throwback to those 70's/80's horror films I knew and loved. Very retro, very creepy, very nicely done.
Reel Injun 2010,  Unrated)
Reel Injun
An eye opening and thought provoking investigation into the evolution of Native American portrayals in film. Director Neil Diamond examines contemporary projects and revisits a few old classics on his way to exposing racial stereotypes and blowing up long held misconceptions about Aboriginal culture.
The Lady Eve 1941,  Unrated)
The Lady Eve
Barbara Stanwyck exudes enough sexuality to spark a fence post. I don't think I've ever seen a film with such perfect casting. Hilarious and brilliant.
Spider 2007,  Unrated)
For a 9 minute short, this is surprisingly emotional. Entertaining, dark and a little comedic.
Powwow Highway 1989,  R)
Powwow Highway
I don't mind 'message films' but I don't care for ones that repeatedly beat you about the head and shoulders with preachy, cliched stereotypes.
I Think We're Alone Now 2008,  Unrated)
I Think We're Alone Now
You have to feel for Tiffany, Her polite grace and accessibility has made her an easy target for the obsessive and delusional.
The Rock-afire Explosion 2008,  Unrated)
The Rock-afire Explosion
I'm slightly too old to have cared much for the animatronic spectacle of "Showbiz Pizza". Still, I'm glad there are fans around who have kept this loveable bit of commercial iconography alive.
Melancholia 2011,  R)
This is Depression and Anxiety set against the backdrop of Armageddon. A prodigiously artful expression of disorder.
The Quiet Earth 1985,  R)
The Quiet Earth
Surprisingly engaging and philosophical. One of science fiction's hidden gems.
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari) 1920,  Unrated)
Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari. (The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari)
Beyond being an iconic milestone in the evolution of cinema, Robert Wiene's masterpiece is still as entertaining as ever. The truly great films never go out of style.
Army of Crime (L'Armée du Crime) 2010,  Unrated)
Army of Crime (L'Armée du Crime)
"I think of a hero as someone who understands the degree of responsibility that comes with his freedom." --Bob Dylan
Jacob's Ladder 1990,  R)
Jacob's Ladder
This is good psychological horror toying with the possibility of being great psychological horror. It never quite gets there, but it comes very, very close.
Gin gwai (The Eye) 2002,  R)
Gin gwai (The Eye)
Supernatural thriller featuring the beautiful and talented Angelica Lee. The concepts aren't exactly original but the approach is fresh and effectively frightening.
Kippur 2000,  Unrated)
Amos Gitai's fictional examination of the Yom Kippur War of 1973 is presented without pretense or embellishment. Like the conflict that inspired it, Kippur is muddy, bloody and disorienting. A fitting commentary on man's perpetual failure to coexist.
Silmido 2003,  Unrated)
Korea's answer to The Dirty Dozen. Intense, violent and politically stylized.
The Man Who Never Was 1956,  G)
The Man Who Never Was
I have to wonder if casting directors of this era intuitively sought out Gloria Grahame whenever a script called for a 'promiscuous' or 'unbridled' sort?
The Hunger Games 2012,  PG-13)
The Hunger Games
There are elements of this film that I loved (i.e. Stanley Tucci's character, the genetically engineered fauna, etc.) but the complete lack of chemistry between Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutchenson) kept me from becoming engrossed in the story. In fact, the whole romantic element seemed forced and artificial. I'm hopeful that the inevitable sequel opens with an arrow to Peeta Mellark's head so that Katniss Everdeen can move on to someone she could believably care about. Maybe Lenny Kravitz?
These Amazing Shadows 2011,  Unrated)
These Amazing Shadows
Nice documentary highlighting the important preservation work being done by the National Film Registry.
H.H. Holmes - America's First Serial Killer 2004,  Unrated)
H.H. Holmes - America's First Serial Killer
A solid documentary about the life and death of Herman Mudgett, aka H.H. Holmes, America's first documented serial killer. Informative and educational.
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo 2011,  R)
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
I lean slightly toward Niels Arden Oplev's version but this film has its own merits. Rooney Mara is simply fantastic.
Marion Bridge 2003,  Unrated)
Marion Bridge
A trip through the mysterious dynamic of mothers, sisters and complicated families. Layered and darkly optimistic.
The Sci-Fi Boys 2006,  Unrated)
The Sci-Fi Boys
A touching tribute to some of the greats of the Sci-Fi film genre like Forrest Ackerman, Roger Corman, Ray Harryhausen and George Pal.
Matinee 1992,  PG)
A feel-good, have-fun, don't-take-it-too-seriously, William-Castle kind of movie.
The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress 1944,  G)
The Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress
Singled out to represent the heroic U.S. 8th Air Force, the Memphis Belle and her crew survived 25 bombing missions against the German war machine of WWII. This documentary contains actual combat footage as well as a few staged and reenacted scenes designed to emphasize the importance of these missions and to raise the morale of wartime movie audiences.
Great Directors 2010,  Unrated)
Great Directors
No disrespect to Anela Ismailos, but how could anyone interview the likes of David Lynch and John Sayles and Catherine Breillat and not have an interesting documentary?
The Comedy of Terrors (The Graveside Story) 1964,  Unrated)
The Comedy of Terrors (The Graveside Story)
Harmless and silly slapstick comedy bolstered by a who's-who cast of horror legends.
Shadows 1959,  PG)
A new-waveish beatnik sociopolitical commentary that gets far less recognition than it deserves.
The Horde (La Horde) 2009,  Unrated)
The Horde (La Horde)
I'm tempted to use the term "gore-fest" but the word 'fest' implies something enjoyable.
Castle of Blood (Danza macabra)(Coffin of Terror)(Dimensions in Death)(Tombs of Terror) 1964,  Unrated)
Castle of Blood (Danza macabra)(Coffin of Terror)(Dimensions in Death)(Tombs of Terror)
A haunted castle with all the trappings. Eerie fog. Dense cobwebs. Human skulls. Dead lesbians.
Flammen & Citronen (Flame & Citron) (The Flame and the Lemon) 2008,  Unrated)
Flammen & Citronen (Flame & Citron) (The Flame and the Lemon)
True stories seem to pack a little more umph.
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) 2011,  R)
The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)
How hard can it be to escape the clutches of an obese asthmatic dwarf?? There's humor here, buried deep beneath layers and layers of sick, disgusting, over-the-top special effects. I laughed, I hurled, I wondered how much you'd have to pay actors to crawl around with their face in someone else's ass.
Night of the Comet 1984,  PG-13)
Night of the Comet
Campy cult classic that combines post-apocalyptic drama with flesh eating zombies and parachute pants.
Hellraiser 1987,  R)
A blood drenched fright fantasy from the brilliant but twisted mind of Clive Barker. As much as I enjoy a good scare, gore just isn't my cup of tea. I waited 25 years to see this film, it'll be at least that long before I want to see it again .
Letzte Zug, Der (The last train) 2006,  Unrated)
Letzte Zug, Der (The last train)
Sadistic Nazis, terrified Jews and a horrific train ride from Berlin to Auschwitz. Powerful and poignant.
Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes) 2007,  R)
Los Cronocrímenes (Timecrimes)
"People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey stuff." -Steven Moffat
Me and You and Everyone We Know 2005,  R)
Me and You and Everyone We Know
Quirky, energetic and out-there. I absolutely loved it!
Dorm (Dek hor) ,  Unrated)
Dorm (Dek hor)
Engrossing drama, even if it's not that scary. Taunt direction and terrific performances.
3 Women 1977,  PG)
3 Women
Robert Altman writes, produces and directs this film about the confluence of three 'damaged' women and their problematic interactions. The plot seems to meander here and there but Altman has a knack for getting an audience from point A to point B by way of points C, G and K.
My Man Godfrey 1936,  G)
My Man Godfrey
Incredible cinema! This is why we love Carole Lombard, William Powell and screwball comedies.
War Horse 2011,  PG-13)
War Horse
Lassie Come Home with spurs. Decent family entertainment but it's so polished and contrived that, at times, it's unintentionally funny.
Alabama Moon 2011,  PG)
Alabama Moon
Nice little family film that should appeal to parents and kids under the age of 12. Clean language, Christian values and Clint Howard.
Fall From Grace 2007,  Unrated)
Fall From Grace
If there is a hell (and I'm convinced that there is), Fred Phelps will have a seat of honor there. Burn Fred Burn!
The Dam Busters 1954,  G)
The Dam Busters
I love films that combine my passion for WWII history with my passion for cinema.
Trainspotting 1996,  R)
Boyle rummages through the trash heap of heroin addiction and exposes a bit of humor and humanity. Contrary to what's been written in various reviews, Trainspotting doesn't glorify the junkie lifestyle but it does present it with flair and pugnacity.
Meek's Cutoff 2011,  PG)
Meek's Cutoff
I felt uneasily drawn in by this film. No beginning. No end. Just an exhausting trek across a dangerous frontier. This isn't mindless entertainment, this is an exercise in empathy.
The Fall 2006,  R)
The Fall
Colorful and strange. The channeled improvisation between child actress Catinca Untaru and Lee Pace is fantastic, adding a dimension of believability and realism to some rather questionable exchanges of dialogue.
The Flying Deuces (Flying Aces) 1939,  G)
The Flying Deuces (Flying Aces)
Its Oliver and Stan in the French Foreign Legion. Good clean fun.
River's Edge 1987,  R)
River's Edge
If there is genius to be found here it is most certainly in the casting of off-center actors (i.e. Crispin Glover and Dennis Hopper) to play off-center characters. Creepy and dark in a light-hearted '80s sort of way.
Dame sobh (Day Break) 2005,  Unrated)
Dame sobh (Day Break)
As apolitical as it is poignant. Dame sobh lays bare the stark reality of state sponsored retribution and then leaves you to draw your own conclusions. Viscerally powerful stuff.
A Londoni Férfi (The Man From London) 2007,  Unrated)
A Londoni Férfi (The Man From London)
The lethargic pace and avant garde style will limit the audience of this artsy offering from director Béla Tarr. My suggestion; skip this one and watch Temptation Harbour (1947) instead.
The Long Good Friday 1982,  R)
The Long Good Friday
Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren and a kick-ass ending.
Bully 2012,  PG-13)
One of those life-altering documentaries that EVERYONE should see. This isn't a perfect film but its social and ethical significance is immense.
The Three Stooges 2012,  PG)
The Three Stooges
Terrific performances by Sean Hayes (Larry), Will Sasso (Curly) and Chris Diamantopoulos (Moe) are muted by the sophomoric, asinine inclusion of Jersey Shore and Kardashian gags that frankly don't work on anyone over the age of seventeen.
Into The Abyss 2011,  PG-13)
Into The Abyss
For better or for worse, Herzog is unable to make a distinction between film making and film directing. His 'interviews' are unapologetically injected with his own personal beliefs and ideas. This being said, Into The Abyss is still a fascinating watch.
Winnebago Man 2010,  Unrated)
Winnebago Man
Who knew that under all those layers of cynicism and misanthropy that Jack Rebney would turn out to be the most likable old bastard on the planet?
Three Came Home 1950,  Unrated)
Three Came Home
Even in the midst of a Japanese concentration camp, Claudette Colbert's poise and class shines through. What an amazing, beautiful human being.
Hangover Square 1945,  Unrated)
Hangover Square
Laird Cregar's life may have been troubled and tragic but there's no denying his talent. Hangover Square works because Laird can seamlessly shift from charismatic leading man to ruthless killer and back again without the audience ever questioning the psychology or the motive. Good stuff.
Mona Lisa 1986,  R)
Mona Lisa
Edgy, but in a polite, British sort of way. Bob Hoskins is absolutely spot-on (as usual).
Zulu 1964,  PG)
Grand in scope but still personable and humanistic.
Night Nurse 1931,  Unrated)
Night Nurse
Cutesy and melodramatic. A nice example of young Stanwyck honing her craft.
Animal Factory 2000,  R)
Animal Factory
Somewhat edgy, somewhat anticlimactic. Buscemi's directing is superb but his casting is hit & miss.
Daughters of Darkness 1971,  R)
Daughters of Darkness
Gothic 70's horror that's a little too methodical and calibrated to be taken seriously. A bit of atmosphere, a bit of titillation and a bit of schlock.
Santa sangre (Holy Blood) 1990,  R)
Santa sangre (Holy Blood)
Part Dario Argento, part Pedro Almodóvar, part Quentin Tarantino. What a macabre work of art!
Women In Love 1969,  R)
Women In Love
Russel had me right up until he had Alan Bates and Oliver Reed engage in naked wrestling. A wonderful film in spite of its homoerotic lapses.
21 Jump Street 2012,  R)
21 Jump Street
Bearable but unimaginative. Hollywood churns out hundreds of films like this because they generate a substantial amount of revenue. Mindless prattle interspersed with a few lowbrow laughs.
Oliver Twist 1951,  Unrated)
Oliver Twist
David Lean does Dickens like no other. Absolutely superb.
Dark Shadows - Reunion 2001,  Unrated)
Dark Shadows - Reunion
Rabid fans will enjoy this immensely. 90 minutes of clips, comments and fond recollections.
Wing and a Prayer 1944,  Unrated)
Wing and a Prayer
Morale boosting little gem that flies under the radar (pun intended) of most combat connoisseurs. Gotta love Don Ameche!
Submarine 2011,  R)
Submarine has it all - humor and heartbreak and awkward, awkward adolescence.
The Touch of Satan (Curse of Melissa) 1970,  PG)
The Touch of Satan (Curse of Melissa)
"This is where the fish lives."
Beachhead 1954,  Unrated)
Patriotic WWII drama filled with rebellious youth, anti-Japanese sentiment and Hollywood theatrics.
We Bought a Zoo 2011,  PG)
We Bought a Zoo
Family friendly feel-good film based (loosely) on the true story of Benjamin Mee and the Dartmoor Zoological Park near Sparkwell, England. The script, sentimental as it is, makes little use of its exquisite cast. I expected more of Cameron Crowe.
The Young Savages 1961,  Unrated)
The Young Savages
Hollywood depiction of juvenile delinquency in the tradition of Blackboard Jungle and West Side Story. Dramatic and entertaining but decidedly unrealistic.
Da uomo a uomo (Death Rides A Horse) (As Man to Man) 1967,  R)
Da uomo a uomo (Death Rides A Horse) (As Man to Man)
An underrated, under-hyped spaghetti western featuring Lee Van Cleef in an unusually empathic role. Nice direction and scoring compensates for some shaky camera work.
Dark Shadows 2012,  PG-13)
Dark Shadows
Nice Tim Burton visuals with commendable performances and a somewhat convoluted storyline. Sort of an Alice in Wonderland with fangs.
Marvel's The Avengers 2012,  PG-13)
Marvel's The Avengers
If Iron Man, Thor, The Incredible Hulk and Captain America are on your list of favorite films then you will not be disappointed. Otherwise, it's just a steady stream of overly choreographed CGI.
Three on a Match 1932,  Unrated)
Three on a Match
Adultery, child abuse, kidnapping, suicide and Joan Blondell. Not necessarily in that order.
Sunday, Bloody Sunday 1971,  R)
Sunday, Bloody Sunday
Exquisite storytelling. Socially progressive and, for 1971, quite courageous.
Female 1933,  Unrated)
Ruth Chatterton is a trail blazing feminist with the hots for George Brent. An atypical romance that becomes decidedly typical as it progresses.
Boy Wonder 2011,  R)
Boy Wonder
Much better than I thought it would be. An ensemble cast that clicks, a story that takes a few unanticipated turns, and a director that obviously knows his stuff.
Red State 2011,  R)
Red State
Obviously inspired by Rev. Fred Phelps (Topeka, Kansas) and David Koresh (Waco, Texas), Kevin Smith's Red State is an indictment of cults, zealots and law enforcement tactics. Nicely crafted and superbly cast. Highly recommended.
Malta Story 1953,  Unrated)
Malta Story
Detail rich war-mance highlighted by the incomparable Alec Guinness. Action packed WWII drama.
Aruitemo Aruitemo (Still Walking) 2008,  Unrated)
Aruitemo Aruitemo (Still Walking)
Richly layered family drama that's poignant and wonderfully human. Even the animosity and strife is infused with warmth. Kore-Eda knocked this one out of the park.
Clerks 1994,  R)
Profane, obscene and extremely intelligent.
Back from Eternity 1957,  PG)
Back from Eternity
An unheralded retooling of Five Came Back that's well worth a look.
Men in Black III 2012,  PG-13)
Men in Black III
Outside of Jemaine Clement's comic genius and Josh Brolin's lip syncing, there just isn't a lot here that we haven't already seen.
Chernobyl Diaries 2012,  R)
Chernobyl Diaries
Mutated creatures chasing unsuspecting tourists through really dark places. Been there, seen that, bought the t-shirt.
Prometheus 2012,  R)
Ridley Scott breathes a little life into the overwrought Alien franchise. Personally, I was slightly underwhelmed.
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles 2011,  PG-13)
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles
Interesting documentary that says as much about mental illness as it does about mysterious cryptic tiles.
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Boksuneun naui geot) 2002,  R)
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (Boksuneun naui geot)
A veritable symphony of irony and karma.
King of Devil's Island 2011,  Unrated)
King of Devil's Island
For those who like true stories and abhor cruelty and injustice, this is your film.
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World 2012,  R)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
More sentimental than Don McKellar's Last Night and less cynical than Lars Von Trier's Melancholia. Funny, entertaining and romantic.
Battle Royale 3D 2000,  Unrated)
Battle Royale 3D
Adolescent sentiments mired in graphic violence. Not for the young or the squeamish.
Castaway on the Moon (Kimssi pyoryugi) 2009,  Unrated)
Castaway on the Moon (Kimssi pyoryugi)
A botched suicide attempt leads to homeless horticulture and a long distance relationship with an agoraphobic voyeur. I'm serious. The man finds romance while living alone on an island inside a big plastic duck.
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner 1962,  Unrated)
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner
Another exquisite film from 1962, the year that brought you Lawrence of Arabia, To Kill a Mockingbird and King Kong vs. Godzilla. Tony Richardson knows how to make a motion picture and this is unequivocally one of his best.
Moonrise Kingdom 2012,  PG-13)
Moonrise Kingdom
Quirky, off-center and slightly surreal.
Far From the Madding Crowd 1967,  PG)
Far From the Madding Crowd
Hardy's novel is brought to life with passion and flair.
The Pianist 2002,  R)
The Pianist
I am awestruck and inspired. 3 well deserved Academy Awards (Best Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay).
My Week with Marilyn 2011,  R)
My Week with Marilyn
I can't say that Michelle Williams nailed the part perfectly, but there were moments when she channeled the spirit of Marilyn quite well.
Zulu Dawn 1979,  PG)
Zulu Dawn
Considering the epic magnitude of the screenplay and the diverse cast, this should have been much, much better. Directorialy flat and unimaginative.
Woody Allen: A Documentary 2011,  Unrated)
Woody Allen: A Documentary
An revealing and informative look at the life and career of one of Hollywood's most prolific writer/directors. Definitely slanted in Mr. Allen's favor as some of the more controversial topics seem a little glossed and minimized.
Dark Shadows Bloopers & Treasures 2006,  Unrated)
Dark Shadows Bloopers & Treasures
For hardcore fans only. Virtually every miscue, botched line and wardrobe malfunction from the popular Gothic soap opera. Interesting for about the first 15 minutes, then it starts to get gruelingly monotonous.
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance 2005,  R)
Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
The third and final offering in Chan Wook Park's trilogy of terror. Artfully dark and violent.
Fiend without a Face 1957,  Unrated)
Fiend without a Face
Campy, classic science fiction from 1957 (the year that also gave us The Deadly Mantis, Attack of the Crab Monsters and The Brain From Planet Arous).
Broadway Danny Rose 1984,  PG)
Broadway Danny Rose
Let me just say this, my expectations were not exceeded.
Give Me The Banjo 2012,  Unrated)
Give Me The Banjo
Decent documentary on the uniquely American history of the banjo.
Morning Departure 1951,  Unrated)
Morning Departure
Nice bit of post-war militarism.
This Sporting Life 1963,  Unrated)
This Sporting Life
Richard Harris gives a very 'Brando-esque' performance in this UK classic. Simply fantastic from start to finish.
The Brood 1979,  R)
The Brood
Formulaic and predictable.
Letter Never Sent (Neotpravlennoye pismo) 1959,  Unrated)
Letter Never Sent (Neotpravlennoye pismo)
Stark, raw and a little artsy. Fantastic performances all-around.
The Great Gatsby 1974,  PG)
The Great Gatsby
Nice adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's work but it's hobbled by very questionable casting. (i.e. Bruce Dern as Tom Buchanan?? Seriously??)
Play Dirty 1969,  PG)
Play Dirty
A politely edgy offering from director Andre De Toth, featuring the indomitable Mr. Michael Caine.
Gung Ho!: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders 1943,  Unrated)
Gung Ho!: The Story of Carlson's Makin Island Raiders
Enjoyable but thick with stylistic propaganda.
Sherlock Jr. 1924,  Unrated)
Sherlock Jr.
Timeless comedy from the genius of Buster Keaton.
The Cabin in the Woods 2012,  R)
The Cabin in the Woods
Nice twist on a tired genre. Witty and darkly comedic.
Hope and Glory 1987,  PG-13)
Hope and Glory
Time has only strengthened the appeal of this minor masterpiece. If you liked it 25 years ago you'll absolutely love it now.
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story 2010,  Unrated)
With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story
Very interesting introspective on one of the icons of the comic book industry.
Paper Lion 1968,  G)
Paper Lion
Time-worn but still entertaining. Lauren Hutton is absolutely gorgeous!
The Master 2012,  R)
The Master
Sexually explicit and masterfully performed. It's Joaquin Phoenix as you've never seen him before.
Frankenweenie 2012,  PG)
Tim Burton fans will LOVE this, others will like it.
Saam gaang (3 Extremes II) (Three Extremes 2) 2003,  R)
Saam gaang (3 Extremes II) (Three Extremes 2)
Decent but not as impactful or noteworthy as its predecessor.
Nil by Mouth 1998,  R)
Nil by Mouth
Dark and violent but packed with unflinching honesty and grit.
Rope 1948,  PG)
Thinly veiled homosexuality and strange editing techniques underscore the off-kilter atmosphere of this Hitchcock gem.
Goodnight, We Love You 2004,  Unrated)
Goodnight, We Love You
A fascinating glimpse into the life and career of one of America's most beloved comedians.
The Triplets of Belleville 2003,  PG-13)
The Triplets of Belleville
Imaginative and completely engrossing. Chomet's animation is downright other-worldly. A must see.
The Innkeepers 2012,  R)
The Innkeepers
Not what I would call 'great horror' but this one is off-kilter enough to keep you entertained. The charm here is that The Innkeepers never takes itself too seriously, which is good considering no one else will either.
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life 1983,  R)
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Hysterically amusing.
La Maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (House of Fright) (Mask of the Demon) 1960,  R)
La Maschera del demonio (Black Sunday) (House of Fright) (Mask of the Demon)
Classic Bava at his campy, creepy best.
Office Space 1999,  R)
Office Space
I can see so much of my own day-to-day hell in this film. Corporate servitude at its hysterical best.
The Trip to Bountiful 1985,  PG)
The Trip to Bountiful
Geraldine Page is exquisite!
7 Men From Now (Seven Men from Now) 1956,  Unrated)
7 Men From Now (Seven Men from Now)
How can you not love Randolph Scott and Lee Marvin???
Bernie 2012,  PG-13)
This is how I've always pictured Texas, outrageous and slightly effeminate.
Beneath Hill 60 2010,  R)
Beneath Hill 60
Gritty Australian bio-pic about one of the unsung heroes of the first world war.
Flight 2012,  R)
High flying performances (pun intended) from Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Melissa Leo.
Crossing the Line 2007,  Unrated)
Crossing the Line
Fascinating documentary about four U.S. Army soldiers who betrayed their country and defected to communist North Korea.
Where Soldiers Come From 2011,  Unrated)
Where Soldiers Come From
Heather Courtney has the best of intentions, but her bias is unabashedly evident.
Martial Arts Master, The Life of Bruce Lee 1993,  Unrated)
Martial Arts Master, The Life of Bruce Lee
Comprehensive but cursory and simplistic.
Murder By Proxy: How America Went Postal 2010,  Unrated)
Murder By Proxy: How America Went Postal
Brave, insightful and disturbing.
Heckler 2008,  R)
Jamie Kennedy throws a broad net here, snagging not only audience hecklers but film critics, internet bloggers and professional journalists as well. Interesting stuff.
Dead Ringers 1988,  R)
Dead Ringers
Brilliantly offbeat and twisted. Irons' performance is a must-see.
Star Warp'd 1999,  Unrated)
Star Warp'd
Sort of a 'Gumby Salute to Science Fiction' thing. I was thoroughly unimpressed.
The American Scream 2012,  Unrated)
The American Scream
Enjoyable homage to America's obsession with Halloween.

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