Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Love Streams (1984)

Love Streams is an autobiographical documentary about John Cassavetes drinking himself to death. Financed by the esteemed Cannon Films, Cassavetes was given free rein to do whatever the hell he wanted, and the result is one of the greatest independent films to ever come out of Los Angeles.

Works of postmodernism such as this were unusual in America before the ’90s, so the support of a studio accustomed to producing overcooked Hollywood schlock makes the flick doubly unusual.

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

Amazon founder and space entrepreneur Jeff Bezos recently tweeted about the upcoming second season of Jack Ryan. Jeff is a pretty cool guy; I like what he does and it’s always interesting to hear him speak. Amazon has also nailed the CIA subgenre with Patriot, one of the best shows on streaming. But Jack Ryan? Give me a break.

The filmmakers behind Jack Ryan have strayed far from their roots; The Hunt for Red October is about solving mysteries and making peace rather than blowing shit up. Rather than Jim from The Office, it stars a (relatively) young Alec Baldwin. It’s a sharper and more masterful film than every subsequent work that has beared the Jack Ryan name.

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Thursday, September 5, 2019

Angel Has Fallen (2019)

I saw Olympus Has Fallen (2013) with my father, I skipped London Has Fallen (2016), and I saw Angel Has Fallen with a friend. The third installment is full of references that most people over 40 would get. There were some chuckles in the mostly-empty theater. A bunch of things went boom.

The only thing that impressed me more than the action scenes was how little the film tried to be different or original. Ignoring the latest superhero crossover crap, this is cinema at its most mainstream. Eh, it’s not bad.

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Monday, September 2, 2019

Zardoz (1974)

Fresh from directing Deliverance (1972), John Boorman wrote, directed, and produced a sci-fi classic that is without a doubt his most unconventional film.

The movie takes place so far in the future that the location could only be described as specifically as that it’s in a temperate zone. There seem to be parallel realities, and a giant flying head travels between dimensions and orders around Sean Connery until Connery hitches a ride across the dimensional divide and ends up in a high-tech hippie commune. If that sounds like your thing, you may have a few screws loose.

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