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Cruising Review


Very Good
Were it not set in the gay underworld of its era, 1980's Cruising would be a largely unremarkable film. But provocateur William Friedkin did set it in this underworld -- a seedy, sex-filled shocker than must have had audiences in tears -- and thus it has become a cult classic, almost notorious, really.

The story is, by and large, traditional serial killer fare: Someone is stabbing gay men to death, often in lewd situations. The NYPD captain (Paul Sorvino) sends in Steve Burns (Al Pacino) undercover to ferret out the killer. The straight-edge Steve learns all about gay culture, in which pocket to put bandanas to indicate your proclivities, and so on. But by and large he's just supposed to "go out there and find the killer." But the undercover activity takes its toll on his psyche, most notably in his (non-gay) relationship with Nancy (Karen Allen, virtually the only woman in the film at all).

Continue reading: Cruising Review

The Exorcist Review


Extraordinary
Green vomit. Unnatural head twisting. Unlikely use of a crucifix. These images from William Friedkin's The Exorcist have become so memorable, so iconic, that they almost carry an air of humor (even spoofed by Linda Blair herself in 1990's Repossessed). They're no longer just parts of the movie, they are the movie. But now that Warner Bros. has given the film a Friedkin-enhanced re-release, it's time to see The Exorcist again as a complete film, beginning to end, with the gory details intact and in context. The result is that 27 years after its controversial release, The Exorcist is nothing short of a taut, American classic.

People may forget that The Exorcist, recently screened at the Boston Film Festival and now hitting wide re-release, was a wildly independent movie when that particular movement was really getting in gear. Shocking and blasphemous-beyond-words in 1973, the story of a sweet little girl's demonic possession still has a renegade feel today -- the introductory exposition takes nearly forty minutes, the use of profane language is disgusting and thrilling, even by today's standards, and the long battle at the film's end is relentless.

Continue reading: The Exorcist Review

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The Exorcist Movie Review

The Exorcist Movie Review

Green vomit. Unnatural head twisting. Unlikely use of a crucifix. These images...

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