February 2012

All the feature length films I've seen this month.
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1.
Haywire (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  
A black ops super soldier seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. (93 mins.)
“ Steven Soderbergh has always been one of those filmmakers critics and audiences love to love. However, outside Traffic and The Limey, there hasn't been much to fawn over. Haywire, thankfully, shares much of its DNA with The Limey: it's lean, mean, and very retro-cool. [B] ” - raadadz
 
2.
The Last Wave (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A Sydney lawyer defends five Aborigines in a ritualized taboo murder and in the process learns disturbing things about himself and premonitions. (106 mins.)
Director: Peter Weir
“ Dull, unimaginative tripe. [C] ” - raadadz
 
3.
The Cotton Club (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
The Cotton Club was a famous night club in Harlem. The story follows the people that visited the club... (127 mins.)
Director: Francis Coppola
“ Anyone looking to debunk the auteur theory need only watch an Apocalypse Now/The Cotton Club double feature. Coppola's creative instinct died in the late 70s. [F] ” - raadadz
 
4.
Letter Never Sent (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Four geologists search for diamonds in the wilderness of Siberia. (97 mins.)
“ There's not a whole lot to this film, but some of the shots are so breathtakingly gorgeous they make the entire film somewhat memorable. [B] ” - raadadz
 
5.
Texas Killing Fields (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In the Texas bayous, a local homicide detective teams up with a cop from New York City to investigate a series of unsolved murders. (105 mins.)
Director: Ami Canaan Mann
“ Despite Aussie Sam Worthington's noble efforts to hold a Texan accent, Texas Killing Fields is a largely forgettable affair. [D-] ” - raadadz
 
6.
The Panic in Needle Park (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Follows the lives of heroin addicts who frequent "Needle Park" in New York City. (110 mins.)
“ A grueling experience, a fine showcase for a young Al Pacino, but not the great film some say it is; it's too straightforward for that. [B] ” - raadadz
 
7.
Pina (2011 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations. (103 mins.)
Director: Wim Wenders
“ I'm sure modern dance lovers will adore this film to pieces, but most of this was torture to watch. Only in the last 20 minutes or so does it connect on any emotional level, and by then it's too late. [C] ” - raadadz
 
8.
Play Dirty (1969)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
During the Desert War in North Africa, a group of British commandos disguised in Italian soldiers must travel behind enemy lines and destroy a vital Nazi oil depot. (118 mins.)
Director: Andre De Toth
“ A well directed film that captures the spirit of classic British war films like The Four Feathers. [B+] ” - raadadz
 
9.
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A laid back Southern man is sentenced to two years in a rural prison, but refuses to conform. (126 mins.)
“ The cultural reaction to it is actually far more interesting than the film itself. [B] ” - raadadz
 
10.
Stake Land (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster... (98 mins.)
Director: Jim Mickle
“ While you won't remember anything about Stake Land a week after you've seen it, it does manage to breathe life into a few genre cliches. [B-] ” - raadadz
 
11.
Shadows (1959)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Cassavetes' jazz-scored improvisational film explores interracial friendships and relationships in Beat-Era (1950s) New York City. (81 mins.)
Director: John Cassavetes
“ I love the characters Cassavetes creates, I love the music he so skillfully employs, but he never achieves the depth that would propel Shadows into the ranks of the great American films. [B] ” - raadadz
 
12.
Safe House (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A young CIA agent is tasked with looking after a fugitive in a safe house. But when the safe house is attacked, he finds himself on the run with his charge. (115 mins.)
Director: Daniel Espinosa
“ Good direction manages to make the audience look past the headache-inducing shaky cam and tired plot. [C+] ” - raadadz
 
13.
Design for Living (1933)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
A woman cannot decide between two men who love her, and the trio agree to try living together in a platonic friendly relationship. (91 mins.)
Director: Ernst Lubitsch
“ Sleek, sexy, sophisticated and way past its time. That being said, as a huge Noel Coward fan, I was a bit diappointed to learn that this was more Ben Hecht's film than it was Coward's. [B] ” - raadadz
 
14.
The Punisher (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
An undercover FBI agent becomes a vigilante assassin and sets out to unleash his wrath upon the corrupt businessman who slaughtered his entire family at a reunion. (124 mins.)
“ Simply awful. A few unintentional laughs here and there, but nothing more. [F] ” - raadadz
 
15.
London Boulevard (2010)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
An ex-con with a reputation tries to go straight by working as a handy man for a reclusive actress but this is unfortunately not the wish of London's underground crime lord. (103 mins.)
Director: William Monahan
“ A middle-of-the-road crime flick that could have been so much more. Monahan is so concerned with making a snappy Layer Cake-type film (never a good thing) that he carefully purges anything potentially engaging from the film. However, it is quite snappy, and does at least partially succeed on its own terms. [C+] ” - raadadz
 
16.
Bloody Mama (1970)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.6/10 X  
A psychological gangster film based on fact. Machine gun totin' Ma Barker lead her family gang (her sons) on a crime spree in the Depression era... (90 mins.)
Director: Roger Corman
“ Every minute of this was a struggle to get through. The usually mediocre Shelley Winters gives perhaps on of the worst performances ever committed to film. [F] ” - raadadz
 
17.
People on Sunday (1930)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Edwin, a taxi driver, lives with Annie, a neurasthenic model. They plan to spend Sunday at the Nikolassee beach with Wolfgang... (73 mins.)
“ Everything experimental cinema has the capability to become. It captures a feeling, a complex mishmash of human emotions like few other films I have ever seen. [A+] ” - raadadz
 
18.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
Fred Dobbs and Bob Curtin, two Americans searching for work in Mexico, convince an old prospector to help them mine for gold in the Sierra Madre Mountains. (126 mins.)
Director: John Huston
“ My eyes never strayed from the screen watching this one. It wasn't that the plot is marvellously complex (which it is), but because every scene, every shot is magnificently and meticulously composed. [A] ” - raadadz
 
19.
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
As Johnny Blaze hides out in Eastern Europe, he is called upon to stop the devil, who is trying to take human form. (96 mins.)
Director: Neveldine, Taylor
“ Everything a popcorn movie should be: fast, tough, and self-aware. [B-] ” - raadadz
 
20.
Grey Gardens (1975 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
An old mother and her middle-aged daughter, the aunt and cousin of Jacqueline Kennedy, live their eccentric lives in a filthy, decaying mansion in East Hampton. (94 mins.)
“ For a film this startlingly intimate, Grey Gardens is a very cold film; you want the Maysles to develop their portrait of the Beales , but instead they remain observing the claustrophobic insanity of two bizarre women. [C] ” - raadadz
 
21.
The Hired Hand (1971)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Harry returns home to his wife and farm after drifting with his friend Arch and has to make a difficult decision regarding his loyalties. (90 mins.)
Director: Peter Fonda
“ A masterpiece. A Western in the spirit of Easy Rider, The Hired Hand is gently devastating in its portrait of a West not seen in the movies too often. [A+] ” - raadadz
 
22.
Corridors of Blood (1958)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
Dr. Thomas Bolton fights for the use of anesthetic in surgery and uses himself as a guinea pig but soon finds himself addicted. (86 mins.)
Director: Robert Day
“ This was a case of misguided expectations, but for a film titled Corridors of Blood, it plays awful safe. [C] ” - raadadz
 
23.
Little Odessa (1994)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Early 1990s drama about a family of Soviet Jews living in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach ocean-side neighborhood nicknamed Little Odessa. (98 mins.)
Director: James Gray
“ Edward Furlong is a bit miscast, but overall Little Odessa explores crime in an immigrant family in an effective if somewhat conventional manner. [B] ” - raadadz
 
24.
Bullhead (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Sint-Truiden, Belgium. Jacky, a young cattle farmer who is constantly pumped on steroids and hormones, is approached by a veterinarian to make a deal with a notorious beef trader. (129 mins.)
“ A brutal portrayal of masculinity remarkable for, but not defined by, a fantastic lead performance. [B+] ” - raadadz
 
25.
The Yakuza (1974)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Harry Kilmer returns to Japan after several years in order to rescue his friend George's kidnapped daughter... (112 mins.)
Director: Sydney Pollack
“ A massive disappointment considering the talent involved. Mitchum makes it watchable, but in the end The Yakuza tries to mix the kung fu action with the serious crime drama, compromising both in the process. [C] ” - raadadz