(97) For a film buff, reviewing Seven Samurai is like the inventor critiquing the wheel. Perhaps improvements in form will be made, perhaps some already have, but the formula for adventure set down here is so perfectly elegant and simple that few even strive to progress it. An admission: this isn’t my favorite Kurosawa film – it might not even be his absolute best. What it is, though, can only be described as monumental. The setup, the character development, the gut-wrenching tension, and the unforgettable action climax add up to a film that’s as enjoyable as it is significant.
(54) Super Monster was released just four years before Godzilla’s Return, at the dawn of the Heisei-era, strengthening the case for Gamera being shelved for fifteen years afterward. Kindred to All Monsters Attack (least-loved of the Godzilla franchise), stock-footage accounts for a full third of its runtime, rendering Super Monster visually dated and largely incoherent.
(83) Abrams’ second Trek confirms some established ideas: he should be good for Star Wars, doesn’t really get Star Trek, and loves his lens flares. Into Darkness has the unusual issue of “action” overload – with excessive scenes of running, jumping, falling, and shooting actually hindering an otherwise swiftly-paced plot. The Enterprise crew, and classic foe, receive real definition this time out and Cumberbatch creates a gripping performance, even if he can’t match Montalban. Two good films, J.J. Now it’s time to pass the torch.