Yearly Archives: 2015

Tourist Trapped: “Dracula Prince of Darkness” (1966)

      “Dracula Prince of Darkness”  (1966)    Religious piety receives a refreshing shot in the arm in Terence Fisher’s “Dracula, Prince of Darkness”-  the long delayed direct sequel to the 1958 “Horror of Dracula” (or “Dracula” for purists situated … Continue reading

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ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS MY TWO FRONT SEATS: 2015 SANTA CINEMA WISHLIST

         DEAR CINEMA SANTA, 2015 EDITION      During this festive season, when the brief wisps of sunlight become briefer, granting increased concession to the agents of nocturnal chills, howling blasts of wind and the occasional welcome … Continue reading

Posted in Canada, Christmas, Culture, DVD, Film, Film Reviews, food, gene hackman, holidays, humor, Movies, Television, theaters | 2 Comments

Cowboys Will Be Boys: “The Sons of Katie Elder” (1965)

           “The Sons of Katie Elder”  (1965)      If the challenge for any film is for that movie to deliver an original and memorable experience, then that challenge may become doubly daunting in the case … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, Film, Film Reviews, John Wayne, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, westerns, westerns, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Eucharist With Holy Water Chaser: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2015 Edition, Vol. 3:10

Eucharist With Holy Water Chaser:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2015 Edition, Vol. 3:10       Being That December signifies several of the most important spiritual days of the calendar year: Christmas and Pearl Harbor Day (when the … Continue reading

Posted in black cinema, blogs, books, Charlton Heston, Christmas, Film Reviews, Hammer films, holidays, humor, movie reviews, Movies, photography, Puzzles, religion, women | Leave a comment

Happy Hostage: “Bandolero!” (1968)

      “Bandolero!”   (1968)      A most peculiar entry in the western genre is Andrew V. McLagen’s “Bandolero!”, a film which gives a fresh-  though unpersuasive -perspective to the notion of the Stockholm Syndrome, is also a vehicle … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, Film Reviews, James Stewart, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, westerns, women, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Blue Lives Matter: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, November 2015 Edition, Vol 10-4

BLUE LIVES MATTER:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, NOV. 2015 EDITION, VOL. 10-4      Consider for a moment the sad state of societal disorder in which divisive intolerance has become a favored substitution for erudite enlightenment and a ludicrous … Continue reading

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Kitty Litter: “Confessions of a Psycho Cat” (1968)

           “Confessions of a Psycho Cat”  (1968)     While the variety of adaptations of Richard Connell’s seminal short story The Most Dangerous Game is impressively eclectic-  with the tale attracting cinematic interest from filmmakers on both ends … Continue reading

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Garters, Glitter and Gauze: “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975)

     “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”  (1975)     Frank N. Stein:  There’s no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure.     Audience Response (Boston):  There is in Massachusetts.     Long a staple of the disappearing urban … Continue reading

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Revelations: “Twilight’s Last Gleaming” (1977)

“Twilight’s Last Gleaming”  (1977) Starring Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark, Paul Winfield, Charles Durning, Burt Young, Gerald S. O’Laughlin, Melvyn Douglas, Joseph Cotten, Richard Jaeckel, William Marshall. Screenplay by Ronald M. Cohen & Edward Huebsch, based on the novel ‘Viper Three’ … Continue reading

Posted in books, Burt Lancaster, Cold War, crime, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, politics, Reviews, Richard Widmark, Vietnam, writing | Tagged | 1 Comment

Pressure Point: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, October 2015 Edition, Vol. 40

PRESSURE POINT: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, October 2015 Edition, Vol. 40  If one thing is certain, it’s that if the current White House claims the world is enjoying an historically unprecedented condition of peace and harmony, you had better … Continue reading

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Rambling Rogues: “Hatari!” (1962)

          “HATARI!”      (1962)         When considering the 1962 wildlife adventure “Hatari!”, it often appears as though director Howard Hawks has created the world’s first feature-length music video (discounting Disney’s “Fantasia” as having grander artistic aspirations) as throughout … Continue reading

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From the Crazy, Mixed-Up Files of Chandler Swain: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, September 2015 Edition, Vol. 411

From the Crazy Mixed-Up Files of Chandler Swain:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, September 2015 Edition, Vol. 411 MEMO FROM THE LET’S GET SOMETHING OFF OF OUR CHEST DEPT: There comes a time in the life of every website when a digital version … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “The Replacement Killers” (1998)

The Replacement Killers”   (1998)  While, in theory,  imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, in the world of cinema it is more often a sign of the slavish pursuit of capitalizing on what has been proven lucrative by … Continue reading

Posted in Chow Yun-fat, crime, Film Reviews, Hong Kong cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Littled Big Man: “Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You” edited by Herb Fagen

Littled Big Man: Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You edited by Herb Fagen      If one attempts a brief summation of a message one is left with in Herb Fagen’s tributary book Duke: We’re Glad We Knew You, it’s that its subject- … Continue reading

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La beauté du monde: Classic Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36

La beauté du monde: Film Images Quiz, August 2015 Edition, Vol. 36-24-36      Welcome all purveyors of cinematic curiosity to yet another edition of America’s most pointless monthly game, and a source of possible future litigation by the National Organization … Continue reading

Posted in cinema, comedy, Culture, Film, French cinema, German cinema, horror, humor, Italian cinema, Movies, Mystery, Puzzles, sex, theater, women | 1 Comment

Finger of Fate: “Zotz!” (1962)

     Timing is everything in comedy. Tom Poston is effectively eccentric in”Zotz!”, a daffy little film with supernatural overtones that is part of a particularly overlooked and all but abandoned mini-genre of film-  the college comedy  -which enjoyed a brief … Continue reading

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Tales of the The Discontented Spouse: “The Tingler” (1959)

            “The Tingler”  (1959) WARNING: The following review contains plot spoilers.      If Vincent Price eventually became labelled with the unwelcome moniker of “The Master of Horror”, it might be confidentially stated that he … Continue reading

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“Bend Over and Cough”: Classic Film Images Quiz, July 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII

“Bend Over and Cough”:  CLASSIC FILM IMAGES QUIZ,  July, 2015 Edition, Vol. RX VII      Greetings and salutations, to all Obamacare insured and all other ships adrift at sea, and welcome to another unnecessary edition of that most irritating … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979)

      The great surprise of “Star Trek: The Motion Picture” is the complete lack of control  which veteran director Robert Wise seems to hold over the entire enterprise. Wise’s prior contributions to the SF genre, the groundbreaking 1951 “The Day … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Wagons East” (1994)

      John Candy’s final film (he died during the shooting) is a western comedy which will inevitably lead to comparisons to Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles”, an inexplicably overrated effort (but couldn’t that literally define all of his films?) which for … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “X-Men” (2000)

       Bryan Singer’s “X-Men”is in many ways not your usual comic book adaptation: first of all, it dispenses-  for the most part  -with those annoying origin stories (except for a brief, powerful vignette demonstrating the genesis of the hatred toward nonmutants … Continue reading

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Zzzzzzz: CLASSIC FILM PHOTO QUIZ, JUNE 2015 EDITION, VOL. 987654321

Zzzzzzz:  Classic Film Photo Quiz, June 2015 Edition, Vol. 987654321      Another month has come and gone and that can only mean one thing (well, actually it could mean several things, but time is short, though not as short … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Magnum Force” (1973)

   The adventures of San Francisco Police Inspector Harry Callahan continue in Ted Post’s “Magnum Force”; a film in which the enthusiasm for gratuitous bloodshed and mayhem actually rises appreciably from the standard set by Don Siegel’s 1971 “Dirty Harry”, along … Continue reading

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Shrinkage: “Fantastic Voyage” (1966)

          “Fantastic Voyage”      (1966)      Has anything given science fiction a worse reputation than the movies? Beyond the obvious necessity of conceiving original ideas to stimulate a movie audience (speaking in general non-genre … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, espionage, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Raquel Welch, Reviews, science, science fiction, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Lens Wide Shut: “Aroused” (2013)

          “Aroused”     (2013)    The collision of artistically celebrated photographic sensibilities and the illusion of the pornographic fantasy image is intended to be explored in what is meant to be a sympathetic exposure of … Continue reading

Posted in Documentaries, erotica, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, photography, pornography, Reviews, Sex in Cinema, women | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Love Story” (1970)

     “Love Story” is a tearjerker of a romantic film that intends to be nothing less or more than a tearjerker romantic film (even the title is more than a little generic, and entirely characteristic of the film’s formulaic leanings), … Continue reading

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Make Him Dance, Boys: “Pale Rider” (1985)

     In “Pale Rider”, director Clint Eastwood has fashioned not so much a remake of “Shane” as a reinterpretation of the story’s key elements mixed with a retooling of the basic supernal retributive conventions of his own 1973 “High … Continue reading

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Mother, May I?: Classic Film Images Quiz, May 2015 Edition, Vol. 6

Mother, May I?:  Classic Film Images Quiz, May 2015 Edition, Vol. 6 In this month’s edition of America’s favorite waste of time, The Classic Film Images Quiz-  brought to you, as always, by the international smugglers who supply “the streets” … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “The Guilt Trip” (2012)

     If there is a gap of attitudinal understanding (more like a chasm if Hollywood is to be believed) between parents and their adult children, one must wonder what influence the movies have played in both defining and enthusiastically … Continue reading

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Trigger Fingers: “1941” (1979)

      Steven Spielberg’s “1941”is symptomatic of the curious phenomenon particular to youngish directors who have reached a certain level of respectability, only to then inflate their creative impulses to a scale which neither their experience nor their inspiration is … Continue reading

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Deep Breaths: “Cold Turkey” (1971)

   “Cold Turkey”, Norman Lear’s satirical swipe at the American Heartland, shows the intended imprint of its bite in the very opening moments with a collection of welcome signs to the tiny hamlet of Eagle Rock, Iowa that undercut the original … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Breakheart Pass” (1975)

    This aberration in the Alistair MacLean canon moves the author’s signatory plot twists, secret identities and hidden motives to the Old West in “Breakheart Pass”, a film plagued with the very fact that it does feature what is, by … Continue reading

Posted in Alistair MacLean, books, Charles Bronson, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, westerns, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

The Eyes Have It: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2015 Edition, Vol. 20/20

The EYES Have It:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, April 2015 Edition, Vol. 20/20      Being that film is a visual medium, this latest edition of America’s Favorite Internet Diversion That Is Porn-Free Yet Still Causes Participatory Social Embarrassment, … Continue reading

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Deconstructing Norman: “Psycho” (1998)

     To look upon Gus Van Sant’s supposed shot-by-shot  (it’s not) remake of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” as a grand experiment is to excuse meaningless directorial hubris as a substitution for genuine artistic evolution. It is difficult to fathom what … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “House on Haunted Hill” (1999)

“House on Haunted Hill”  (1999)  William Malone’s “House on Haunted Hill”  is a reworking of the William Castle 1959 spook house thriller which is mainly notable as starring the memorable Vincent Price and by its use of theatrical gimmickry with … Continue reading

Posted in Film, Film Reviews, ghosts, horror, movie remakes, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, vincent price | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Trailers: “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (2014)

      The problem with the rebooting of a franchise is that it presumes both an interest by an already built-in audience (those who patronized the initial film efforts) to follow a new incarnation that is non-linear to the stories … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, espionage, Film, Film Reviews, Kenneth Branagh, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chilled, Not Stirred: “The House Across the Lake” (1954)

      American “hack novelist” Mark Kendrick  (Alex Nicol) sits at a yacht club bar and relates what amounts to a confessional to an unseen stranger (though the intended effect is that he is breaking the fourth wall and speaking … Continue reading

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Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy vs. Spy: “Casino Royale” (1967)

      “Casino Royale”    (1967)     This extravagantly produced spy comedy seems literally compulsive about the concept of creative gestation by way of vulgar quantitative excess: the film’s physical production comprising hundreds of sets, thousands of costumes and even an … Continue reading

Posted in books, comedy, Film, Film Reviews, John Huston, movie reviews, Movies, Orson Welles, Peter Sellers, Reviews, William Holden, Woody Allen | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Chandler’s Mission to Mars: You Too Can Be an Astronaut (don’t forget your toothbrush)

     With all of the recent excited chatter (well… maybe not so much, but play along) concerning a possible one-way voyage to the Red Planet (Hopefully, this is not another name for “Commies in Space”!), it behooves the minds … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “Back to School” (1986)

     If there is anything to the comparison of a musical vocalist and a stand-up comedian, certainly there is the matter of an equal sense of internal rhythm and cadence of delivery in defining one’s signatory style. For a case in … Continue reading

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Disfunction as an Aphrodisiac: “As Good As It Gets” (1997)

     In this James L. Brooks film which is far more relaxed in its sheer entertainment value than its problematic elements have a right to be, the modern updating of movie romantic comedy gets a dousing of Colorful Character … Continue reading

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Soldier Boy: CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, MARCH 2015 EDITION, VOL. 1234

SOLDIER BOY:  MARCH 2015 CLASSIC FILM IMAGES PHOTO QUIZ, VOL. 1234 It’s March, that time of the year again when the Ides signify the assassination of Roman dictators, madness creeps into college basketball ranks and most importantly it is time for … Continue reading

Posted in books, comedy, Film, food, grindhouse, History, humor, Jim Brown, Movies, politics, Reviews, Romance, silent movies, war movies, World War II, writing | 1 Comment

The Human Animal: “Planet of the Apes” (1968)

      If by its general definition which includes an elemental nihilism in both its thematic genetics and within the limited but evident visual aesthetic, film noir is certainly the most  formally pessimistic of the film genres. However, with the … Continue reading

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A Dirty Business: “The Bridge at Remagen” (1969)

     To watch World War II movies, one might get the general impression that all battles were fought and won by small units of appropriately ethnic collections of colorful characters who somehow overcome enormous odds imposed by both the enemy … Continue reading

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For Those Who Think Hammer: DARK SKY DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE featuring “BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE” & “THE HELLFIRE CLUB”

DARK SKY FILMS DRIVE-IN DOUBLE FEATURE: BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE & THE HELLFIRE CLUB Disc Includes: “Blood of the Vampire” (1958)  Starring Donald Wolfit, Barbara Shelley, Vincent Ball, Victor Maddern, William Devlin. Written by Jimmy Sangster. Directed by Henry Cass. … Continue reading

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Playing Cop: “They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!” (1970)

      “They Call Me Mister Tibbs!” is an entirely inconsequential follow-up to the excellent 1967 Norman Jewison crime drama “In the Heat of the Night”, retaining only the title character (the title itself is a direct lift of … Continue reading

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Empty Space: “The Black Hole” (1979)

     If a science fiction film openly aspires to penetrate the vast mysteries of the unknown, chances are pretty good that it will fail if the ingredients in such an attempt are comprised of such a level of creative … Continue reading

Posted in Disney, Film, Film Reviews, movie reviews, Movies, religion, Reviews, science fiction, writing | 1 Comment

SPECIAL SUPER BOWL EDITION: FEB. 2015 CLASSIC MOVIE IMAGES QUIZ, VOL. 39-27

Once again it is time for America’s favorite competitive game- no not that sorry excuse of homoerotic excess (outside of a stag film where can you see more concentrated hugging, butt slapping and feverish embracing?) called American football  -but the … Continue reading

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Happy Trails: “Bite the Bullet” (1975)

     The second of his two western efforts, Richard Brooks’ “Bite the Bullet” demonstrates the value of an ambitious director operating without a particularly innovative visual sense but a finely honed sense of what’s important in a story (think Norman … Continue reading

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Petals and Thorns: “The Little Shop of Horrors” (1960)

________________________________________________________________         “The Little Shop of Horrors” is a more broadly freewheeling horror-comedy than Roger Corman’s savagely on target beat counterculture satire “A Bucket of Blood”, a film with a far more ambitious agenda as it was satirizing a then … Continue reading

Posted in acting, comedy, Film, Film Reviews, food, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Corman, Romance, writing | 1 Comment