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Mark Tompkins is a Movie Analyst for a movie-streaming and DVD-rental company. The company assigns him three or four movies per week, and the assignments can be anything — new indie flicks in theatres, foreign films streaming online, obscure 1940s film noir on DVD, etc. No movie is too esoteric for this line of work. The reviews on this site are (mostly) based on his assignments. (For more details, visit the “About” page.)

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L.A. repertory cinemas pick: ‘The Dream Cycle of Jacques Rivette’

There will be no midsummer doldrums this year for adventurous L.A. cinephiles: The Cinefamily presents four films by the late Jacques Rivette, perhaps the most enigmatic and radical director of the French New Wave. These movies hail from an era of filmmaking touched by mad genius. Read more [...]

Retro-future in more ways than one: The socialist science fiction of ‘Eolomea’

What does a socialist science-fiction movie look like? The 1972 East German movie Eolomea is one answer — and it shows how nothing dates like the future. Don't expect a Hollywood remake anytime soon (unless a producer with seriously deep pockets has been feelin' the Bern). Read more [...]

One location, many casualties; how many low-budget horror movies does that describe?

How many filmmakers are turning out variations on the same movie where a lot of people get killed in one location, until only a plucky girl in a halter top is left alive? Can the horror market support an infinite number of these things? I'm not sure how many more I can take. Read more [...]

Now playing in L.A.: A sampling of the best recent German films

Ready to take a break from the multiplex? The L.A. Goethe-Institut's summer film series German Currents Retrospective 2007–2015 is a good starting point for anyone curious to see the most lauded recent movies from Germany. And all the screenings are FREE. Read more [...]

‘Dark Web’ is the Eurotrash version of ‘The Hunger Games’ you haven’t been waiting for

How many ways can a film be bad? It’s a question that came to me while watching Dark Web, the least heralded release of 2016. If you've ever wondered what a low-budget Euro-sploitation knockoff of The Hunger Games would look like, the answer is just a few mouse clicks away. Read more [...]