Older Films

THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE (1974)

The Unenthusiastic Critic # 22

Continuing with our 3rd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, “The Unenthusiastic Critic”—my wise-assed, horror-hating girlfriend “N.”—joins me for a viewing of the 1974 Merchant and Ivory Tobe Hooper film The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. As always, spoilers follow, so if (like my girlfriend) you haven't already seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, and if (unlike her) you would like to, you should really do that first. 

Yes, yes, I'm well aware of the fact that All Saint's Day has come and gone, and that somehow I only managed to post a couple of entries in our 2013 Halloween Movie Marathon. Real life interfered, and I apologize for that. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE WICKER MAN (1973)

The Unenthusiastic Critic # 21

THE WICKER MAN (1973)

Continuing with our 3rd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, “The Unenthusiastic Critic”—my wise-assed, horror-hating girlfriend “N.”—joins me for a viewing of the 1973 horror classic The Wicker Man. As always, spoilers follow, so if (like my girlfriend) you haven't already seen The Wicker Man, and if (unlike her) you would like to, you should really do that first.  Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

HALLOWEEN (1978)

The Unenthusiastic Critic # 20

Yes, it's that time of year again, the season of tricks and treats, of candied apples and toilet-papered trees, of costumes both scary and skanky. Here at The Unaffiliated Critic we celebrate All Saint's Day in accordance with tradition, with the same time-honored rites and sacred rituals our people have been practicing since the year of our founding, way back in 2011.

We make my girlfriend, N., watch scary movies.  Welcome to The Unenthusiastic Critic's 3rd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) – Part Two

The Unenthusiastic Critic #19

The Unenthusiastic Critic is an occasional series in which I convince my highly reluctant girlfriend N. to finally watch movies that nearly every other person on the planet has already seen. Today, we present the conclusion to our look at David O. Selznick's Oscar-winning production of Gone with the Wind (1939). You can read Part One, covering the first half of this extremely long movie, here.
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) – Part One

The Unenthusiastic Critic #19


The Unenthusiastic Critic is an occasional series in which I convince my highly reluctant girlfriend N. to finally watch movies that nearly every other person on the planet has already seen. (For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.)

In this edition, we sit down for N.'s first viewing of ten-time Oscar-winner Gone with the Wind. This is (to my girlfriend's horror) the longest movie we've ever done, and (to my own horror) the longest article in the series so far. For your sake as much as mine, I'm splitting this post into two parts. Look for Part Two to follow soon.
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

BLADE RUNNER (1982)
The Unenthusiastic Critic # 18

BLADE RUNNER (1982)

The Unenthusiastic Critic is an occasional series in which I convince my highly reluctant girlfriend N. to finally watch movies that nearly every other person on the planet has already seen. (For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.) In this edition, N. and I sit down for her first viewing of Ridley Scott's 1982 science-fiction classic Blade Runner.

As always, these posts are completely spoiler-filled, so if you’re the other person on the planet who has never seen Blade Runner, proceed with caution. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (1928)

Independent Study in World Cinema #5

THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC (1928)

This is the fifth entry in the series “Independent Study in World Cinema,” in which this self-educated film nerd attempts to fill in some fairly serious gaps in his self-education. This week, I take a look at one of the greatest performances of all-time, in a film that revolutionized the art of acting on-screen: Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928). Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Independent Study in World Cinema, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films

METROPOLIS (1927)

Independent Study in World Cinema #4

METROPOLIS (1927)

This is the fourth entry in the series “Independent Study in World Cinema,” in which this self-educated film nerd attempts to fill in some fairly serious gaps in his self-education. This week, I take a look at one of the most visually influential films of all time, Fritz Lang's seminal 1927 science-fiction classic Metropolis.

This post will be a little shorter and considerably less thorough than previous entries in this series, for a couple of reasons. The first reason is practical: I'm running a little behind this week, and need to make up some ground if I want this to remain a weekly series, and not a bi-weekly, or monthly, or whenever-the-hell-I-get-around-to-it series.

The second reason is less practical, and more a matter of preference: I kind of think Metropolis is a terrible movie. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Independent Study in World Cinema, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films

BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN (1925)

Independent Study in World Cinema #3

Battleship Potemkin (1925)

This is the third entry in the series “Independent Study in World Cinema,” in which this self-educated film nerd attempts to fill in some fairly serious gaps in his self-education. This week, I take a look at a film about revolution that sparked a revolution in film: Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 epic Battleship Potemkin.

And it is here, in only the third week of my self-directed coursework, that I fully grasp the hubris of my plan, and resign myself to what should have been a self-evident truth: that there is no way in hell I can—in the stolen hours of a single week—possibly hope to do justice to any one of these films.  Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Independent Study in World Cinema, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films

NOSFERATU (1922)

Independent Study in World Cinema #2

NOSFERATU: A SYMPHONY OF HORROR (1922)

This is the second entry in the series “Independent Study in World Cinema,” in which this self-educated film nerd attempts to fill in some fairly serious gaps in his self-education. (For a fuller explanation of this project, read the first entry in the series.)

This week, I take a long look at the movie that—for better or worse—started cinema's love affair with vampires: F.W. Murnau's Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922). Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Independent Study in World Cinema, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI (1920)

Independent Study in World Cinema #1

THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI

This is the first entry in a new series I'm calling "Independent Study in World Cinema," in which this self-educated film nerd attempts to fill in some fairly serious gaps in his self-education. For a full explanation of this self-imposed syllabus, read on.
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Independent Study in World Cinema, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films

RE-ANIMATOR (1985)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #15

Continuing with our 2nd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, “The Unenthusiastic Critic”—my wise-assed, horror-hating girlfriend “N.”—joins me for a viewing of the 1985 cult classic Re-Animator.  As always, spoilers follow, so if (like my girlfriend) you haven’t already seen Re-Animator, and if (unlike her) you would like to, you should really do that first.

Note: The post contains profanity, nudity, and really disgusting pictures, and is decidedly NSFW. (Because otherwise, what's the point?)
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE HAUNTING (1963)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #14

Continuing with our 2nd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, “the Unenthusiastic Critic”—my wise-assed, horror-hating girlfriend “N.”—joins me for a viewing of Robert Wise's 1963 haunted house classic. As always, spoilers follow, so if (like my girlfriend) you haven't already seen The Haunting, and if (unlike her) you would like to, you should really do that first. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE EVIL DEAD (1981)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #13

Continuing with our 2nd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, “the Unenthusiastic Critic”—my wise-assed, horror-hating girlfriend "N."—joins me for a viewing of Sam Raimi's 1981 cult classic. As always, spoilers abound, so proceed with caution if you're spoiler-phobic—or, for that matter, if you have a weak stomach.
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (1968) 
The Unenthusiastic Critic #12

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is an occasional series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing.

Throughout October, N. and I will be presenting our 2nd Annual Halloween Movie Marathon, watching as many horror classics as we can fit in between now and All Saint's Day. As always, spoilers abound, so if you're the other person who has never seen Night of the Living Dead, proceed with caution.

When I proudly announced to my girlfriend that I had just about settled on the line-up for this year's October horrorfest, N. met the news with her usual combination of curiosity, excitement, and unbridled enthusiasm.

She: I don't remember agreeing that this would be an annual thing. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

ALIENS (1986)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #10

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is an occasional series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. (For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.)

As always, these posts are completely spoiler-filled, so if you’re the other person on the planet who hasn’t seen Aliens, proceed with caution.

Last week, we began our creature double-feature with Ridley Scott's original, franchise-launching classic Alien, which my reluctant viewing partner declared her favorite among all the films we've watched so far for The Unenthusiastic Critic. This week, I test her patience—and push my luck—by taking us back to Planet LV-426 for James Cameron's 1986 sequel, Aliens.
Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

ALIEN (1979)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #9

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is an occasional series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. (For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.)

As always, these posts are completely spoiler-filled, so if you're the other person who hasn't seen Alien, proceed with caution. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

IT (1990)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #7

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is a special series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. In a very special series within this very special series, N. has agreed to watch as many horror movies as we can fit in between now and All Saint’s Day. That N. really hates horror movies, is easily freaked out, and will almost certainly have nightmares all week long, makes her participation all the more admirable…and dumb…and potentially amusing. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

FREAKS (1932)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #6

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is a special series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. In a very special series within this very special series, N. has agreed to watch as many horror movies as we can fit in between now and All Saint’s Day. That N. really hates horror movies, is easily freaked out, and will almost certainly have nightmares all week long, makes her participation all the more admirable…and dumb…and potentially amusing. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE THING (1982)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #5

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is a special series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend “N.”  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. In a very special series within this very special series, N. has agreed to watch as many horror movies as we can fit in between now and All Saint’s Day. That N. really hates horror movies, is easily freaked out, and will almost certainly have nightmares all week long, makes her participation all the more admirable…and dumb…and potentially amusing. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE EXORCIST (1973)
The Unenthusiastic Critic #4

The Unenthusiastic Critic” is a special series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend "N."  joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. In a very special series within this very special series, N. has agreed to watch as many horror movies as we can fit in between now and All Saint's Day. That N. really hates horror movies, is easily freaked out, and will almost certainly have nightmares all week long, makes her participation all the more admirable…and dumb…and potentially amusing. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under Halloween Marathon, MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

The Unenthusiastic Critic #3

“The Unenthusiastic Critic” is a special series in which my highly reluctant girlfriend joins me to watch classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.

Note: The conversation around this film took some unfortunate turns, and, as such, this article should probably not be read by children, prudes, nuns, musical theater aficionados, fans of Julie Andrews, fans of Christopher Plummer, people who like The Sound of Music, people who were in The Sound of Music—or, really, anyone else on the planet. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

STAR WARS (1977)

The Unenthusiastic Critic #2

This is the second entry in a series I’m calling “The Unenthusiastic Critic,” in which I convince my highly reluctant girlfriend to join me in watching classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. For a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide, read the introduction to the series here.

Film: Star Wars (1977)—Written and Directed by George Lucas.

(Note: We watched Star Wars. Not Star Wars IV: A New Hope, or Star Wars: The Special Edition, or Star Wars: Yet Another Version Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition, but goddamn Star Wars as it was originally presented in 1977, before George Lucas took to digitally, endlessly raping his own creation for profit. It took me a while, but I finally found a DVD set that included the original, unaltered movie as—I’m not kidding—a “bonus feature.”)

Why I Chose It: I admit, it is hard to think of any movie franchise that has suffered such a universal backlash as Star Wars, and it's all earned. By endlessly tinkering with the original films, and by producing three prequels that abandoned all the charm of the original trilogy while underlining all their weaknesses, George Lucas has squandered nearly every ounce of goodwill he ever had. It has become fashionable to denigrate the original trilogy almost as severely as the unwatchable prequels, and certainly there are plenty of fish in this barrel if you choose to shoot them. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

BLAZING SADDLES (1974)

The Unenthusiastic Critic #1

This is the first entry in a new series I'm calling "The Unenthusiastic Critic," in which I enlist my highly reluctant girlfriend to join me in watching classic movies that she has somehow managed to avoid seeing. Read on for a fuller explanation of this particular form of relationship suicide.

There are certain movies that I assume everyone has seen. They are not necessarily the greatest movies, or even my favorite movies, but they are the films that—for one reason or another—are woven so thoroughly through the synaptic pathways of my brain that they seem to have always been there. Their rhythms shape the basic grammar of my cultural life, and their dialogue constitutes—on any given day—30 to 50 percent of what comes out of the mouths of me and my deeply weird circle of friends. (My oldest friend and I can converse for hours at a time drawing solely on our common cinematic phrasebook, without ever feeling the need to compose a single original sentence between us. Apparently—or so I've been told—other people can find this shorthand baffling and strangely annoying.) Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films, The Unenthusiastic Critic

THE RAPTURE (1991)

With Judgment Day less than 24 hours away, I thought it was a good time to revisit Michael Tolkin's 1991 fundamentalist schlock-fest, The Rapture.  And I'm so glad I did: among other things, I learned that the apocalypse will be foggy, that Mimi Rogers had very nice breasts, and that Jesus hates plaque.

Spoiler Level: Total. But it's a little late to worry about spoilers, isn't it? Let's face it, if you haven't seen this already, you probably have more important things to do with your last few hours on earth.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reviewing Of Gods and Men, one of the best movies ever made about the Christian faith. This week, I have the pleasure of reviewing one of the absolute worst. Continue reading

Comments

Filed under MOVIE REVIEWS, Older Films