The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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jokerfilm
Note: Contains Spoilers One of the great things about Heath Ledger’s Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight is that he does not have an origin story. Or, actually, he tells two contradictory origin stories, neither of them probably true. But the police can’t find a single shred of information on his real identity: who... Read More
Attirement of the Bride (La Toilette de la mariée) by Max Ernst
The day Jeffrey Epstein turned up dead in a New York jail cell, I decided I needed to write something about Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Stanley Kubrick’s last and weakest movie. Epstein has quickly faded from the headlines, so
Iron Man is dead. Captain America is all but dead, having traveled back in time to live his life out in the America he remembered. Those unhappy events occurred in
Stanley Kubrick’s last film, “Eyes Wide Shut,”
onceuponhollywood
Some of my best reviews are about Quentin Tarantino, but this won’t be one of them. Tarantino has gone from a director I loved (see my essay on
theleopard
Luchino Visconti’s masterpiece is his 1963 historical epic The Leopard (Il Gattopardo, which actually refers to a smaller spotted wild cat, the serval, which is the heraldic animal of the Princes of Salina in Sicily). Visconti’s film is a remarkably faithful adaptation of the 1958 novel of the same name by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa.... Read More
lr8-22-19-2-257x300
One of the delights of revisiting old movies after many years is finding out that you completely misread or misremembered certain scenes. Early on in the first part of Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia, we have the entry parades of the national teams. When the French team come by, they drag their flag in the dust –... Read More
This article began as a reply to a comment by Alex on
bluevelvet
A review of David Lynch's BLUE VELVET
Blue Velvet (1986) is the quintessential David Lynch film, filled with quirky humor and shocking violence. It features one of the most terrifying villains in all of film: Frank Booth, brilliantly portrayed by Dennis Hopper. Blue Velvet is a “mystery” story. Sometimes it is described as neo noir. But it is more than just a... Read More
quizshow
Robert Redford’s 1994 film Quiz Show tells the story of the Twenty-One game show scandal of the late 1950s. Featuring a superbly literate and psychologically subtle script and outstanding performances by Ralph Fiennes, Paul Scofield, John Turturro, and Rob Morrow, Quiz Show dramatizes important moral issues and explores the corrupting force of television in American... Read More
cabaretfilm
Bob Fosse’s 1972 film Cabaret is supposed to be propaganda for Weimar decadence and against Nazi brutality. But the film utterly fails as propaganda insofar as it changes no minds. In fact, Cabaret is more akin to a diagnostic tool—like inkblot tests or gestalt images—for distinguishing between fundamentally different human types: people who love beauty... Read More
I could have happily lived the rest of my life without seeing any of the now four versions of A Star Is Born (1937, 1954, 1976, 2018). But on a long flight, I decided on a whim to watch the latest version, starring Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga. I like Bradley Cooper as an actor,... Read More
theaviator
My favorite Martin Scorsese film is Gangs of New York (see my review
Disney’s Avengers: Endgame, the culmination of 22 prior movies connecting the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), made an astounding $1.2 billion at the global box office this weekend. [
starshiptroopers
Robert A. Heinlein’s Starship Troopers (1959) marked his transition from writing juvenile pulp science fiction to serious novels of ideas, in this case setting forth a highly reactionary and militarist political philosophy. Paul Verhoven’s 1997 film of Starship Troopers takes quite a few liberties with Heinlein’s plot but manages to capture its spirit and communicate... Read More
duneamazon
David Lynch’s third feature film is his 1984 adaptation of Frank Herbert’s science fiction classic Dune. Herbert’s Dune is widely hailed as a masterpiece, while Lynch’s Dune has a much more mixed reputation, tending toward the negative. When I first saw Lynch’s Dune, I was deeply disappointed. Herbert’s novel had left a powerful and vivid... Read More
John Schlesinger’s 1967 adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel Far from the Madding Crowd should be a universally recognized cinema classic. But although it received generally positive reviews and did well in England, today it is virtually unknown, even among my friends who are film buffs. I am going to comment on the movie only,... Read More
David Lynch’s first movie Eraserhead (1977) combines surrealism, low-budget horror, and black comedy. It rapidly became a staple of the midnight movie circuit and provided endless fodder for coffee-house intellectuals and academic film theorists. Eraserhead is quite simply a gnostic anti-sex film. The film is premised on a gnostic dualism, which holds that the material... Read More
Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón’s Children of Men(2006) is loosely based on P. D. James’ 1992 novel of the same name. Cuarón is solidly Leftist, but Children of Men seems more and more like a Right-wing vision of dystopia with each passing year. (Cuarón’s 2001 film Y Tu Mamá También, is basically Marxist propaganda and soft-core... Read More
Jodorowsky’s Dune, Frank Pavich’s 2013 documentary, tells the story of the “greatest movie never made,” Alejandro Jodorowsky’s abortive adaptation of Frank Herbert’s Dune. Jodorowsky is a Chilean-born Jewish filmmaker and author of graphic novels and books on spirituality, psychology, magic, and divination. I have reviewed his
David Lynch’s Dune (1984) is a flawed masterpiece. When I first saw it, I was deeply disappointed. Frank Herbert’s original novel made a powerful impression on me. I could see Herbert’s world, and Lynch’s vision was not my vision. But when my initial impression faded and I returned to Lynch’s film with an open mind,... Read More
I
The Expanse is a SyFy network original series that is now nearing the end of its third season. The Expanse is the most imaginative and absorbing science fiction series since the reboot of Battlestar Galactica (2003–2009). The Expanse is based on a series of novels by S. A. Corey. I have not read them, so... Read More
I had a bad feeling about this. It wasn’t just Solo‘s cursed production history: the original directors were sacked near the end of shooting, and Ron Howard was brought in to finish the movie, reshooting 70 percent of it. It wasn’t just the rumors that Alden Ehrenreich was not up to the role of Han... Read More
Unbreakable (2000) is many people’s least favorite M. Night Shyamalan film, but I think it is his best: brilliantly conceived and scripted, beautifully acted and filmed, and quite moving. Since the film is almost two decades old, I trust nobody will complain about spoilers. Unbreakable is a superhero film, but it does not contain any... Read More
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns is an animated movie adaptation of Frank Miller’s graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns. Released in two 76-minute parts in 2012 and 2013, then combined into a 148-minute edition DVD and Blu-ray, this is lame, sclerotic, constipated, Z-grade animation drawn out to paralyzing lengths, completely lacking the visual style and... Read More
“Only White Nationalism Will Make Wakanda Real”
I saw Black Panther with a friend in Seattle last week. Judging from the reverent silence in the theater — broken only occasionally by our laughter at unintentional bits of humor — it was an all-white audience. The serious tone of Black Panther is a departure from recent Marvel movies, which constantly undercut heroism with... Read More
john_wayne_1961
The Classic American Western As Emblem of Historic American Culture
Since the beginning of the twentieth century one of the newer art forms and expressions of our culture has been cinema—“motion pictures.” It was the novelty of live theater and acting captured as moving images in film and presented on a screen. In many respects, like other art forms, film represents what is happening in... Read More
The Last Jedi isn’t an awful film. Not
Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon (1950) is commonly found on lists of the world’s greatest movies, and deservedly so. Rashomon features avant-garde narrative techniques (flashbacks, multiple points of view), dynamic black-and-white cinematography by Kazuo Miyagawa, compelling Ravel-like music by Fumio Hayasaka, subtle and intensely dramatic performances, and a complex but tightly edited script, all combined into a... Read More
It is dangerous work, making a sequel to a classic like Blade Runner, Ridley Scott’s 1982 magnum opus. French Canadian director Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is a very good film, but it inevitably falls short of the original. I first discovered Villeneuve’s work with his 2016 science fiction film Arrival (discussed with John Morgan
Ridley Scott’s 1982 movie is a science fiction classic and surely the director’s finest work. Blade Runner excels on all levels. It is a highly imaginative vision of the future realized with a stunning visual style. The script is intelligent, even poetic. The cast is uniformly strong, with a number of powerful performances, particularly Rutger... Read More
I remember the moment in 1996 when I first heard about David Cronenberg’s Crash on National Public Radio. I exploded in outrage. I thought the story of a group of people who made a sexual fetish of car crashes had to be the stupidest movie concept of all time. Not decadent or perverted, mind you—although... Read More
I saw Alien: Covenant on the big screen this summer in Budapest. I didn’t write a review then, because
I feel like the skinhead who went to see Cats because he’d heard that T. S. Eliot was a fascist. Japanese cartoons are very popular in our circles. They have even been
Valerian? Isn’t that a root one chews to fall asleep? I saw Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element near the end of its run in the theaters, and it was love at first frame. I loved its Manichean/ancient astronauts plot, unique and dazzling visual style (imagine the Coen brothers remaking Barbarella), the madcap action, blond Bruce... Read More
Dunkirk is Christopher Nolan’s most emotionally powerful movie. It deals with the evacuation of 400,000 British, Canadian, and French troops trapped on the beach at Dunkirk after being defeated by the Germans in the Second World War. Dunkirk is a strange work, especially for Christopher Nolan, who typically directs long films with complex plots, extensive... Read More
When the Young Turk government dragged the Ottoman Empire into the First World War on the side of the Central Powers, their aim was to create a pan-Turkic empire incorporating Turkic lands that were part of the Russian Empire. A major impediment to these plans were the Christian minorities of Eastern Anatolia: the Armenians, Greeks,... Read More
Watchmen is one of the most thoroughly Right-wing, even fascistic works of recent popular culture, despite the right-thinking Leftism of the creators of the original graphic novel, Alan Moore, who wrote the story, and Dave Gibbons, who illustrated it—and of Zack Snyder, who directed the movie adaptation, which to my mind is the greatest superhero... Read More
Hidden Figures, a.k.a., We Wuz Astronautz, tells the story of three black women who worked at NASA in 1961 struggling for equal rights both as blacks and as women. The movie tells us that it is “based on true events,” and the three women — mathematician Katherine Johnson, computer programmer Dorothy Vaughan, and engineer Mary... Read More
Martin Scorsese’s Silence is a very fine film that seems to belong to an entirely different world. Imagine what American movies would be like if our film industry were not controlled by hostile and decadent aliens who have weaponized the medium against European man and culture. Silence is such a film. It is wholly untouched... Read More
Passengers, directed by the Norwegian Morten Tyldum, is the best science fiction movie of the current season, so if you have seen
Now Expanded & in Audio Version
Warning: a few minor spoilers Rogue One is quite simply one of the best Star Warsmovies ever. It has an interesting plot, a tight script, good pacing, uniformly good acting, excellent special effects, amazing sets, spectacular new worlds, and dazzling battle scenes. I really loved this movie. When I first saw the teaser trailer I... Read More
Denial is a very boring and deceptive movie about a legal case, David Irving v Penguin Books and Deborah Lipstadt, in which British World War II historian David Irving sued American Jewish historian Deborah Lipstadt and her British publisher for libel over allegations made in her 1993 book Denying the Holocaust, in which she accused... Read More
I have seen a lot of Star Trek on the big and small screens, and from the perspective of middle age, it seems like an appalling waste of time. Recently, I watched a number of episodes from the original series, which I had not seen since childhood, and found them quite creaky and often laughable.... Read More
Disney’s Zootopia is cute, clever, and entertaining. But in terms of its message, it is pure evil.
In any matchup between Batman and Superman, I side with Batman. I’ve never liked the character of Superman, because he is not a man at all. He’s basically a god. He’s not a human being who has raised himself to the pinnacles of human excellence. He’s an alien who is simply endowed with superior abilities.... Read More
Ridley Scott’s is a superb movie: suspenseful, inspiring, and deeply moving, with an excellent plot, fine performances, compelling pacing, and completely believable special effects. The Martian in set in the near future when space exploration is once again a national priority and manned Mars missions are regular undertakings. On one such mission a powerful storm... Read More
Now a Video!
The new Star Wars movie is exactly what I deduced it would be from the trailers and the fact that it was directed by J. J. Abrams, a filmmaker so vulgar and artless that he makes Jerry Bruckheimer seem like Ingmar Bergman. The Force Awakens is not an homage but a ripoff. It is not... Read More