Amadeus   8/07/20
by Captain Spaulding
Two historical figures -- Mozart and Salieri -- resurrected on screen to serve as instruments to themes more timeless than even their own musical legacies, their in-script rivalry concocted from ancient rumors, facts be damned, in pursuit of maximum viewer investment.

Naked   7/29/20
by Captain Spaulding
Sexual liaisons with Johnny quickly turn rough, as he seeks to mentally and physically dominate his partners, but his sexual encounters throughout the rest of the film are consensual.

Hud   7/17/20
by Captain Spaulding
Within the first few scenes -- a bar owner sweeping broken glass ("Hud was in here last night."), Hud nonchalantly exiting the house of another man's wife and allowing his nephew to take the blame when the husband demands an explanation, Hud recklessly destroying the housekeeper's azaleas with his shoddy parking -- we know all we need to about Hud's character.

The Thin Blue Line   7/06/20
by Captain Spaulding
Re-enactments are commonplace nowadays, but apparently their usage was groundbreaking in 1988 -- and controversial, as well, since the Academy refused the film a nomination because they felt such artistic techniques had no place in documentaries.

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three   6/29/20
by Captain Spaulding
It's been said that the film ends with the most famous sneeze in movie history.

Deep Red   6/27/20
by Captain Spaulding
Just give me the the eerie opening that juxtaposes Christmas and innocent lullabies with sharp knives and silhouetted stabbings; the psychic's murder that sees her leak copious amounts of red paint; the boiling face; the random, creepy automaton doll; the brilliant necklace beheading; the disturbing paintings; throw in a few of Argento's most striking compositions (to alleviate my boredom, I kept telling myself to focus on the beautiful aesthetics, since Argento is a hell of a stylist, but eventually I'd grow restless and start glancing at the clock again); punctuate it all with Goblin's anachronistic soundtrack that is half jazz, half prog rock, and which is likely the film's biggest strength, despite the music often seeming at odds with what's transpiring on screen.

The Last Laugh   6/21/20
by Captain Spaulding
Unlike other Murnau films I've seen, The Last Laugh is devoid of sensationalism.

Yellow Sky   5/28/20
by Captain Spaulding
Despite coming out of the gates hot, the film unravels as it goes along, eventually limping to the closing credits.

Lust in the Dust   5/07/20
by Captain Spaulding
Despite my disappointment that Lust in the Dust isn't weirder or gayer or more transgressive, the bizarre sight of Divine in a spaghetti-inspired western knock-off is a novelty that never fades.

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father   4/13/20
by Captain Spaulding
I do think that the film's unbridled anger toward the failed justice system elevates the last portion of the film into an impassioned cry for reform, which I'm happy to read was successful.

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