El Topo (1970)

“Credit the sixties for giving us the acid version of strip, jazz and now the Western,” I assume was the opening line of many an El Topo review had there been edgy online publications like Cinemaholism in 1970. Alas there wasn’t. And so it was now, in 2017, certainly overdue but not quite too late, that somebody had the opportunity to open with those precise words. And if it were up to me I’d go one further except modern time constraints prevent me from doling out more puns. Continue reading “El Topo (1970)”

A Quiet Life (2010)

Often misunderstood, and romanticized for the wrong reasons—and such was the power of Mario Puzo’s Godfather screen adaptation—the mob genre is mistakenly celebrated at each cycle of reinvention. The Italian mafia in films has undergone a persistent makeover, resurrecting in newer, grimier skin each time around to the shortsighted delight of amnesiac critics. When The Sopranos was hailed as a gritty ode to America’s ages-old, vicarious thrill-seeking via its Italo-American diaspora, it was as if backroom deals weren’t incessantly struck in hole-in-the-wall Missouri diners and ethnic markets courtesy of Scorsese a decade or so prior. Continue reading “A Quiet Life (2010)”

Thesis on a Homicide (2013)

Your reception to Thesis on a Homicide will vary depending on your appreciation for ambiguity and tolerance for redundancy. Thankfully, Thesis keeps both criteria to one instance of each. But before another word is said, it is incumbent upon your boy to point out that this is a film literal in name and intentions. There are no thematic allusions or double meanings. Thesis, you guessed it, revolves around a law school murder with the added caveat of the thesis in question being an actual fucking murder investigation! The school of applied sciences, indeed. Political sciences, that is. Granted, the story (ahem) freely plagiarizes a similarly conceived film by none other than Chile film ambassador to Spain meaning not even the colossal Andes range can stop these two nations from adhering to boundaries. Continue reading “Thesis on a Homicide (2013)”

The Descent (2005) Re-Appraisal

It is something of an ongoing (budding) practice here at Cinemaholism to not only take a respected critic up on their recommendation via the films they review—usually favorably—but to attempt the same. And what better way to uphold tradition than keeping a focus on films I’d seen some time back to test whether the initial reception has changed? Think of it as the meta in film reviews; reviewing my own mental review. Real talk though, the viewing habits of film aficionados manifest in a variety of consumption patterns. You can watch them in marathons of one particular director’s films, by movement, genre, or year of release, etc. Besides it makes the site portfolio that much more dynamic and robust for the time 30 hits per day become the norm. And not that I do a write-up on every single film I see, but having just finished watching the spelunking nightmare that is The Descent I’m amped to put the final word on a one-time personal favorite. Oops, guess that gave away what the verdict was. But I liked The Descent very much in 2006, as it left me with a visceral after-effect that lingered for days. It was a gut-punch of a movie then and still is today. Depending on which ending you saw first, a picture has never spoken a thousand words so resoundingly as its last frame, and luckily for me, I believe I saw that version in both cases. Little things like this, when they tie into the whole piece, do wonders to an otherwise frugally set film. Continue reading “The Descent (2005) Re-Appraisal”