Red Rock West (1993) - 8/10 - Another excellent neo-noir from John Dahl. This one feels a little less nihilistic on account of the protagonist portrayed by Nicolas Cage. The main hero strenuously strives to do the right thing, but he keeps getting into trouble in spite of his best intentions.
The Thirteenth Floor (1999) - 7/10 - If Contact (1997) is Interstellar of the nineties, then this film is Inception of the nineties. Nowhere nearly as bad as the critics make it out to be. I guess it’s not absolutely perspicacious everywhere and admittedly kinda cheesy, but it’s a fun little movie with plenty of cool visual effects.
The Right Stuff (1983) - 7/10 - It’s okay. I guess it’s one of more interesting epics of its kind, but the main issue I’ve got with it is that it excessively focuses on the accurate portrayal of early stages of the Project Mercury which is fine I guess, but by virtue of that, it kind of stays emotionally distant and not that riveting to my way of thinking. It strives to be this big, epic chronicle and it’s kind of not what I look for in movies in the first place.
The Package (1989) - 5/10 - A passable actioner featuring Gene Hackman as a military man who is onto something big, something that could potentially destabilize the US of effing A. It’s interesting, since it portrays the paradoxes involving the feasibility and maintenance of the nuclear program. The acting by John Heard is fantastic as usual, others also give reasonably good performances, nevertheless, the flick regrettably devolves into a brainless actioner with very little sense of pacing.
Computer Dreams (1988) - 7/10 - A nice, little documentary about the development of the CGI in its early stages in the 1980s.
The Mind’s Eye (1990) - 8/10 - My favorite out of all installments of the Mind’s Eye series. There is something uncannily beautiful and unreal about all the backward, antiquated low-res textures of these animations and the antediluvian physics thereof. It’s also ruggedly structured for a vid of this kind which makes things pretty neat to watch. Hopefully, once we achieve photorealistic CGI aesthetics at some point in the future, directors and animators will revert to old ways of computer animation and make good use of the primitive CGI techniques and glitch art for creative purposes.
Under Fire (1983) - 4/10 - Some of the political thrillers of the Hollywood sort tend to be insufferably cutesy in their simplistic approach to the topics at hand and this is one of them. Thematically, it’s remarkably similar to Oliver Stone’s Salvador (1986). Despite being heavily flawed, Salvador is hell of a political thriller that basically refrains from making conspicuously moralistic judgements and strives to chronicle the events in a relatively faithful manner. Under Fire, on the other hand, is one of those movies that feels just bogus. Well, maybe not as bogus and obnoxious as Costa Gavras’s Missing (1982), but it comes close. Most of the time, it shies away from inconvenient matters and pivots on the love triangle and once things become dicey, it just falls flat. The trashy electronic jingles that comprise the majority of the soundtrack aren’t of much help either.
Beyond the Mind’s Eye (1992) - 6/10
Blue Steel (1989) - 7/10 - Even if some of it is somewhat incoherent, Bigelow’s visual style is on full display here and along with Brad Fieder’s cracking soundtrack, the film boasts a truly amazing atmosphere. The antagonist here is probably one of the most terrifying psychopaths ever portrayed in the cinema history. Ron Silver’s performance in this one is jaw-droppingly good and it’s kind of his movie to be honest. Although the movie evidently has a fair share of flaws and towards the end it genuinely gets messy narrative-wise, I feel obliged to overrate it a little bit because of how evocative some parts of it are. Bigelow’s knack for visuals is genuinely striking, she’s hell of a director when it comes to pure photography and framing, things of that nature.
The Gate to the Mind’s Eye (1994) - 7/10
Dersu Uzala (1975) - 8/10 - An uneven, but very poignant offering from Kurosawa. It’s clearly overlong, sporadically self-indulgent and distinctively Kurosawesque in its schmaltziness, but I must say I have a soft spot for its visuals and the overall trapper milieu. I found storytelling to be out of whack on several occasions; the passage of time is sometimes handled rather poorly and it’s difficult to make it out narratively speaking. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the same dead-on chronological Kurosawa we all know and appreciate, it’s just that its linearity isn’t much of a help here in balancing the flow of the film.