The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982)

A line art drawing shows one man dressed in traditional Mexican western attire being chased on horses by four men with guns.

I came across this movie at a used bookstore while on the lookout for some movies that would fit in my collection. I picked this up and immediately held onto it because it was a western thing with that starred Edward James Olmos front and center. I expected action and a solid story. What I got was a tremendously moving and sad tale of what amounts to just plain old racism making one man’s life hell.

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February 05, 2024
Tags: racism | criterion collection | texas
Categories: Reviews

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

A scarecrow, tin man, young woman, and lion walk down the yellow brick road with a small dog looking at them from the text title of the movie

I got to see this on the big screen, and it was spectacular.

I’m a product of seeing this on television once a year through my childhood, and as a result, this has always been one of my all-time favorites. But it’s an entirely different experience to see this on the big screen, watching what I presume is the 4K print (it sure looked like it) or better.

While the movie is so beautiful, I was captured by the inability to rewind and take a second look at something. The result is a bit more magical, if that word applies. I couldn’t prove to myself that I saw what I thought I saw in a couple places, and the not knowing for sure leads me to think they meant it to be there.

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February 01, 2024
Tags: movies
Categories: Reviews

EO (2022)

Cover art for the 2022 movie EO, directed by Jerzy Skolimowski

I had some idea how this would go, but not nearly to the extent that it is so sad. The opening scene immediately put me on edge. EO was dead, or really hurt, being loved by a companion, tears in her eyes, only to have EO pop up alive to applause from the audience they were performing in front of. I had a sick feeling from the dead donkey that never went away.

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December 27, 2023
Tags: donkey | jerzy skolimowski | eo
Categories: Reviews

Clash of the Titans (1981)

Cover art for the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, directed by Desmond Davis.

Man, this thing kind of holds up. I went in thinking it’d be totally crap and dated, but it’s not all that bad. In fact, it’s pretty cool.

This was another childhood favorite. I realize more than ever how much I gravitated toward these super dude-driven ego movies, but a few of them are more than total camp. This one is kinda there. Here’s why

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Arthur Christmas (2011)

The cover art for the 2011 movie Arthur Christmas, directed by Sarah Hall.

Awesome surprise. I hadn’t heard of this movie until about five minutes before hitting Play, and had no idea even then what it was going to be. It was great! The cast is filled with great voices and the movie has really great jokes.

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December 22, 2023
Tags: sarah smith | bill nighy | jim broadbent | hugh laurie | holiday movie | arthur christmas | james mcavoy
Categories: Reviews

Blade Runner (1982)

The characters in Blade Runner are set in a composite photo

Since listening to a review of this on We Hate Movies a couple of weeks ago, I have been itching to watch this. My problem was that I only had a DVD copy, which I thought was really difficult to follow. The picture quality made the movie really, really dreary, which made me drowsy every time I watched. So, after a week or so of thinking about this, I ordered a copy of The Final Cut in 4K. It’s a movie I should own, so I figured now is as good a time as any to grab it.

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On the Waterfront (1954)

A drawing of a man sitting against a chimney on a rooftop overlooking the docks with pigeons flying by

I’m a bit torn by this and not sure if I even know enough to form an opinion on Elia Kazan.

I watched this without having any idea of the context. I prefer that if I can do it. Then I like to read up and at least form a basic picture of the world in which the movie was made. The message here was a very strong one—anti-corruption, power to the workers over those who have power. Plus, the opportunity to do something both righteous and empowering because of its righteousness.

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December 12, 2023
Tags: criterion collection
Categories: Reviews

Miller's Crossing (1990)

A man pleads for his lifefrom his knees  among some trees as another man holds a gun at his side.

I was taken in by this movie. I think about 30 minutes in I stopped writing notes down because I didn’t want to stop the movie. A gangster noir with all the right characters, played exquisitely, with a pretty great wrap.

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December 08, 2023
Tags: criterion collection
Categories: Reviews

Tokyo Story (1953)

A man and woman sit on a ledge and look away into the distance

It’s a movie where not a lot happens, but you really understand some family dynamics that represent all of us. I came away from the movie feeling sad.

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December 07, 2023
Tags: criterion collection
Categories: Reviews

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023)

A man's eyes are shielded from the light by shadow and the brim of his hat

This fit right in with the rest of the four sequels. After Raiders of the Lost Ark, these movies were fun and ultimately fine. I wasn’t watching to see great stories told in important ways. I was watching to see cool action and hopefully have a fun time following Indy on his quests. The four sequels handled that just fine. This was a good addition to the franchise.

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