I'm almost a century late to this party, but I recently stumbled into the movie reviews of Jorge Luis Borges (in his Selected Non-Fictions) and they're fantastic: gloomy, sometimes bitchy, hilarious.
Here's Borges on Citizen Kane:
I venture to guess, nonetheless, that Citizen Kane will endure as certain Griffith or Pudovkin films have "endured"—films whose historical value is undeniable but which no one cares to see again. It is too gigantic, pedantic, tedious. It is not intelligent, though it is the work of genius—in the most nocturnal and Germanic sense of that bad word.
On King Kong:
A monkey forty feet tall (some fans say forty-five) may have obvious charms, but those charms have not convinced this viewer. King Kong is no full-blooded ape but rather a rusty, desiccated machine whose movements are downright clumsy... He is actually hunchbacked and bowlegged, attributes that serve only to reduce him in the spectator's eye.
On overdubbing foreign films:
The art of combination is not infinite in its possibilities, though these possibilities are apt to be frightening. The Greeks engendered the chimera, a monster with the head of a lion, the head of a dragon, and the head of a goat; the second-century theologians, the Trinity, in which the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are inextricably linked; the Chinese zoologists, the ti-yiang, a bright red, supernatural bird equipped with six feet and six wings but with neither face nor eyes; nineteenth-century geometrists, the hypercube, a four-dimensional figure enclosing an infinite number of cubes and bounded by eight cubes and twenty-four squares.
Hollywood has just enriched this frivolous museum of teratology: by means of a perverse artifice they call dubbing, they devise monsters that combine the famous face of Greta Garbo with the voice of Aldonza Lorenzo.
And on bad movies in general:
Recent bad films—I am thinking of Moscow's The Diary of a Nazi and Hollywood's The Story of Dr. Wassell—prompt us to regard the movies as a kind of negative paradise. "Sightseeing is the art of disappointment," Stevenson noted. The definition applies to films and, with sad frequency, to that continuous and unavoidable exercise called life.
It makes me oddly, warmly happy to know that Borges wasn't always obsessing over Melville or The 1,001 Nights or medieval theology. Sometimes he brooded over Hepburn and Garbo.
I wonder how he would've liked The Big Lebowski. Or Pulp Fiction. Or Star Wars.