Month: September 2009

Secret Beyond The Door. . .(1948), Fritz Lang, B

Lang’s deeply flawed yet still kinda fun rip off of Rebecca has all the trappings of a classic. . .if the story weren’t so asinine. Still, ya gotta love suspense thrillers of this time period that so completely misunderstand psychotherapy. Screened at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center – a facility that strives for Film Forum greatness but actually delivers Quad Cinema...

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I Spit On Your Grave (1978), Meir Zarchi, D-

Since I plan to watch Willem Dafoe get castrated tomorrow, I thought it might be a good idea to watch one of the more famous castration movies. Famously, Roger Ebert called this the worst movie ever made. He did so because he felt a moral outrage at its treatment of women. Naturally, some time later, some theorists have actually applauded this film as some sort of feminist film. Both camps are misguided. I Spit On Your Grave is only one thing: a bad movie. A boring, bad movie. Lengthy scenes of nothing happen, with the occasional rape or murder. These acts of violence are so poorly rendered they are pretty much devoid of evoking anything but derision. This is a D- instead of an F just because I was so flabbergasted by the “retard” character that I found myself inadvertently...

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Eden Log (2008), Franck Vesteil, C+

I really wanted to like Eden Log, especially as it is part of the New Wave of Foreign Language Science Fiction (aka NWFLSF) but the movie is too obtuse for its own good. It is cool to have a main character who doesn’t know what the heck is going on, but eventually you have to clue your audience in. And not at the 80 minute mark. Honestly, I didn’t know what the heck I had seen until I consulted the scene-by-scene explanation on Wikipedia. Much of it looks cool, though. And sounds cool. I suspect that Vesteil has an interesting career ahead of him. But I can’t really recommend this movie too much. It is kind’ve a mess – and relies too much on a play on the word...

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Jordan Hoffman is a New York-based writer and film critic working for The Guardian, Vanity Fair, Thrillist, Times of Israel, NY Daily News and elsewhere.

He is the host of ENGAGE: The Official Star Trek Podcast, a member of the New York Film Critics Circle and challenges you to a game of backgammon.

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