films seen
average score
Alive and kicking


Dog Eat Dog

2016 / 93m - USA
Action, Thriller
Dog Eat Dog poster

A relentless dark comedy, disguised as a crime/action film. Nicolas Cage and Willem Dafoe form an insane duo who stampede through the film, brutally killing all that stand in their way. Schrader adds a level of mystery that makes it even more intriguing, sadly the second half saggs a little.

First Reformed

2017 / 113m - USA
Drama, Thriller
First Reformed poster

Not a happy film. Schrader's link between Christianity and environmental issues is a bit odd, I'm not really sure if it makes a lot of sense either, but as a character portrait First Reformed does impress, largely thanks to the efforts of Ethan Hawke. It's a shame the film itself isn't better.

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Hawke plays Toller, a minister at a small church. There aren't many members in his congregation, but he keeps himself pretty busy. Demons in his past drive him to drink, his health is quickly declining and the suicide of the husband of one of his congregation's members pushes him to think about what the church could do for the environment.

The odd aspect ratio doesn't add much, the cinematography is bland, and the religious focus didn't really appeal to me. Hawke's performance makes the film and with the help of a sinister soundtrack his downward emotional spiral leaves quite an impact. It's not enough to turn this into a great film, but it did redeem the horrible first half.

The Canyons

2013 / 99m - USA
The Canyons poster

What a strange project. There are quite a few names with reputable status attached to this film (and I'm not talking about Lohan), but the result is oddly amateurish. From the bland script to the horrible performances and the repetitive message, this poorly realized steamy thriller is one big failure.

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A pompous movie producer is living a luxurious life, mostly thanks to the trust fund of his father. He doesn't mind spending his money to attach people to him, but money can't solve everything. His relationships keep failing, and his current girlfriend Tara also has a few secrets she doesn't want him to know.

Lohan is probably the best actor in the cast, but that's not exactly complimenting her. The characters are very one-dimensional, the performances are trash, and the plot is aimless. Some minor cinematographic touches make sure this isn't a complete disaster, but they're hardly enough to save the film.

I'm a big fan of anthologies, and this project sounded very promising on paper. Seventy renowned directors give their vision on the future of cinema. With just one minute per short, there isn't much time to make a point, but it's disheartening to see how few of them even managed to stick to the topic.

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The saddest part was that many of the short didn't even deal with the future, but openly referred to or praised the medium's past. There's also a lot of doom and gloom, with some very basic visions of people not caring enough about arthouse cinema, or playing movies on their phones. Your typical old-man-yelling-at-cloud stuff.

There is only a small selection of directors who seem to have understood the brief, and they struggle to make the most of their limited runtime. What remains is a complete mess, with most shorts looking like they were made on people's afternoon off, and hardly anything that stands out. A disappointment.

Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist

2005 / 117m - USA
Horror, Thriller
Dominion: Prequel to The Exorcist poster