Category Archives: movie reviews

“Fear and Desire” (1953)

        “Fear and Desire”  (1953)     Stanley Kubrick’s feature debut (after three short subjects) as photographer, editor, producer and director, “Fear and Desire”, is an extremely low budget war drama with art house pretensions. It is … Continue reading

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Internal Obsession: “Love” (2015)

              Internal Obsession:  “Love”  (2015)     “Love” is Gaspar Noé’s least controversial and most emotionally accessible film to date; an astonishing statement when one considers that the film is liberally packed with scenes … Continue reading

Posted in art house cinema, French cinema, movie reviews, Movies, pornography, Romance, sex, women, writing | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Tryst and Shout: “The Canyons” (2013)

      Tryst and Shout:  “The Canyons”   (2013)      Paul Schrader may not sympathize with his characters, but he certainly enjoys their discomfort. Were he to attempt a screwball comedy, it would no doubt result in an invocation … Continue reading

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Without a Clue: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52

Without a Clue:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz,  Aug. 2018 Edition, Vol. 52     With the summer winding down, it seemed appropriate to publish a photo quiz that was (in our estimation, since we know the answers), a breeze, … Continue reading

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Shadows and Fog: “The City of the Dead” (1960)

       Shadows and Fog:  “The City of the Dead”  (1960) A caveat: the following article may reveal destinations of plotting that may despoil a virginal viewing of the film. Reader discretion is advised.           … Continue reading

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Scorched: “Suntan” (2016)

        Scorched:  “Suntan”  (2016)  A caveat: the following review may hint at details distressing to viewers who wish to experience a completely fresh viewing of the film.     Argyris Papadimitropoulos’ “Suntan” follows the disastrous trajectory of … Continue reading

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Battle Fatigued: “Wicked Woman” (1953)

       Battle Fatigued:  “Wicked Woman”  (1953)      Belonging to that smaller, less critically regarded, yet potent 1950’s offshoot of film noir proper, the “bad girl” film, Russell Rouse’s “Wicked Woman” offers up a portrait of a young … Continue reading

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Mop Tops: “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- The Touring Years” (2016)

    “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- The  Touring Years”  (2016)      Just when you think that the documentary coverage of The Beatles had reached the saturation point, along comes Ron Howard’s “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week- … Continue reading

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State of the Art: Isn’t Brie Just Another Name For Cheese?

       At a recent celebration of the annual Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards (which once again demonstrated that [1] all of the good names for award presentations have already been taken, and [2] if there were … Continue reading

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Shake and Quake: “San Andreas” (2015)

              “San Andreas”  (2015) SPOILER ALERT: There is a reference in the following piece, which reveals climactic events in the 1970’s disaster films “Earthquake” and “The Poseidon Adventure”.     California is hit by a series … Continue reading

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When the Chase Is All There Is: “Ronin” (1998)

            “RONIN”  (1998)   Why is it that movies featuring people involved in Intelligence always seem in short supply of that very ingredient? If one were to admire a movie simply for its technical polish, … Continue reading

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Revisit: Through a Dark Glassily: “Puzzle of a Downfall Child” (1970)

        “Puzzle of a Downfall Child”       (1970) (Originally posted on June 14, 2014)     Lou Andreas Sand, a high fashion model who over the course of her career descends into alcoholism, drug abuse and madness, is the subject of Jerry … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Good, The Bad and The Baddest: “The French Connection” (1971)

“The French Connection”  (1971) (Originally posted on April 9, 2012)     Being a narc is assuming the role of a soldier in a never-ending war with the urban streets as the battleground; the debris littered alleys and dark, smoky dive … Continue reading

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Revisit: 35 Lb. Monkey Business: “The Man With the Golden Arm” (1955)

“The Man With the Golden Arm”  (1955) (Originally posted on July 30, 2013)     One of the characteristics of the movies of the “Golden Age” studio era of filmmaking was the anesthetizing comfort they were intended to provide the audience, … Continue reading

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Revisit: Beatles in a Bell Jar: “Let It Be” (1970)

“Let It Be” (1970) (Originally posted on Nov. 5, 2013)     Sitting through Michael Lindsay-Hogg’s “Let It Be” is not dissimilar to sitting behind someone in a theater and staring at the back of their head, mentally trying to … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Unkindest Cuts; or, How to use unchecked political correctness to victimize the very people you intend to protect: “Freaks” (1932)

          “FreAKs”                   (1932) (Originally posted on Feb. 25, 2014)      Long time the standard by which all “Golden Age” Hollywood horror films are compared for a sense of shock and … Continue reading

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Revisit: A Report On the Desert and Its Guests: “Tarantula” (1955)

          “Tarantula”  (1955) (Originally posted on Dec. 24, 2011)   The film opens intriguingly with a mutated figure painfully wandering the desert until fatally collapsing; buzzards ominously circling overhead. Already before the opening credits, director Jack … Continue reading

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Revisit: The Days of Living Dangerously: “The Most Dangerous Game” (1932)

   “The Most Dangerous Game”  (1932) (Originally posted on Dec, 24, 2011)     When adapting a literary work, filmmakers are presented with a daunting list of problems not always easy to surmount. Being mindful of the original materials, the … Continue reading

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Revisit: Poe in the Cinema: “Histoires Extraordinares” (1968)

“Histoires Extraordinaires”  (1968) (Originally posted on July 12, 2010)    The cinema is rife with literary adaptations and the works of Edgar Allan Poe have fared surprisingly well as a good number of films have captured, if not the essence … Continue reading

Posted in books, Brigitte Bardot, Edgar Allan Poe, Federico Fellini, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Roger Vadim | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Revisit: Where Dreams Go Bad: “Westworld” (1973)

              “Westworld”  (1973) (Originally posted on Nov. 11, 2011)     Novelist Michael Crichton’s directorial debut “Westworld” encompasses his usual cautionary scientific doomsday scenario while satirically taking aim at America’s love affair with diversion; whether through theme park escapism … Continue reading

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Revisit: Tumble in the Jungle: “Mogambo” (1953)

                     “Mogambo”  (1953) (Originally posted on 5/31/2012)      What is a women’s picture? In recent years this has been a more difficult concept to distinguish, being that the increased crudity of … Continue reading

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Revisit: A Most Peculiar Love Story: “The Abominable Dr. Phibes” (1971)

  “The Abominable Dr. Phibes”  (1971)                       Robert Fuest   (September 27, 1927 – March 21, 2012) (Originally posted April 15, 2012)      With its roots in the serial murder giallo … Continue reading

Posted in Hammer films, Hitchcock, horror films, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, vincent price, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Low Tide: “La Venere dei pirati” (1960)

                      “La Venere dei pirati”  (1960)     There is a great deal of bluster but very little genuine swashbuckling in Mario Costa’s “La Venere dei pirati” (aka, “Queen of … Continue reading

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Amore in a Gothic Vein: “La strage dei vampiri” (1962)

             “La strage dei vampiri”   (1962)    Italy’s Golden Age of Horror may seem to have begun as an imitative movement  following the successful rejuvenation of the Gothic horror film by Hammer Films in 1957, … Continue reading

Posted in books, Film, Hammer films, horror films, Italian cinema, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, vampires, women, writing | 4 Comments

Dead End: “The Last Run” (1971)

          “The Last Run”  (1971)     Richard Fleischer’s “The Last Run” is composed, by Alan Sharp, in that spare style of writing that is meant to invest a greater chimerical meaning to every utterance, and … Continue reading

Posted in 1970's movies, crime, film noir, George C. Scott, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

She Who Obeys: “Frankenstein Created Woman” (1967)

     “Frankenstein Created Woman”  (1967)     Considering the usual limitations placed upon the status of women in the Gothic horror movies produced by Hammer Films-  generally subsumed to decorative but insubstantial roles calling for little more than subservient … Continue reading

Posted in British films, Drive-In Movies, fRANKENSTEIN, Hammer films, horror, movie reviews, movie sequels, Movies, Terence Fisher, women, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Descent of Dissent: “Punishment Park” (1971)

               “Punishment Park”  (1971)     Acts of provocation are certainly the prerogative of the artist- it is one of the essential nutrients fueling that elusive but ever evolving abstractive absolute known as Art  … Continue reading

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Visitors: “It Came From Outer Space” (1953)

           “It Came From Outer Space”  (1953)     A meteor that could easily be mistaken for a Christmas ornament crashes into the Arizona desert  and mysterious galactic visitors descend upon an altogether peaceful Southwestern hamlet … Continue reading

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Inconvenient Truth: “Elle s’appelle Sabine” (2007)

         “Elle s’appelle Sabine”  (2007)          Ideally the documentary form should present an objective point of view. How then to judge a film which by the very nature of the film maker’s intimate relationship … Continue reading

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Panic Rooms: “Tread Softly Stranger” (1958)

          “Tread Softly Stranger”  (1958)     When gambler Johnny  Mansell (George Baker) overextends his bookie debts, he flees London, returning to his working class hometown of  Rawborough to visit with his steel mill accountant brother … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, theater, women, writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

What’s Love Got To Do With It?: “Hell is Sold Out” (1951)

         “Hell is Sold Out”  (1951)     One need not be Ernst Lubitsch to direct a stylish romance, but on the evidence of “Hell is Sold Out”, it pays not to be Michael Anderson.  It doesn’t … Continue reading

Posted in books, British films, comedy, Mai Zetterling., movie reviews, Movies, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , | 5 Comments

The Only Way to Fly: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2018 Edition, Vol. 747

The Only Way to Fly: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Feb. 2018 Edition, Vol. 747      How often does this happen to you? You are waiting in endless airport security lines. The attending TSA agents are more suspiciously handsy … Continue reading

Posted in books, clint eastwood, comedy, humor, James Stewart, John Wayne, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, silent movies, war movies, writing | Tagged | 5 Comments

Violated: “Hannie Caulder” (1972)

         “Hannie Caulder”  (1972)     Sometimes a movie is crafted with an admirable skill that, while falling short of artistry, manages to work quiet wonders in the small details which through an amalgam of calculated design, … Continue reading

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Quicksand: “Jungle Street” (1960)

               “Jungle Street”  (1960)     Charles Saunders’ “Jungle Street” is one of those minor crime dramas which the British film industry made in plentiful numbers without the greater impact of  comparable American film … Continue reading

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Desert Critters: “The Brotherhood of Satan” (1971)

        “The Brotherhood of Satan”  (1971)     Children may seem to to be the root of all evil in “The Brotherhood of Satan”, but it’s only a feint, thinly disguising the actual complicity of the town’s elders. … Continue reading

Posted in Drive-In Movies, horror, movie reviews, Movies, Poe in the Cinema, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Working Girl: “The Flesh is Weak” (1957)

           “The Flesh is Weak”  (1957)      As if the film’s suggestively salacious title weren’t clue enough, if there were any doubt as to the direction to be taken by Don Chaffey’s “The Flesh is … Continue reading

Posted in British films, crime, film noir, London, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Too Much Monkey Business: “King Kong Escapes” (1968)

     “King Kong Escapes”  (1968)     If one were to remove all of the unconvincing effects shots from “King Kong Escapes” (and some of them are fairly wince inducing, even by Japanese standards), it would remain an embarrassing resume … Continue reading

Posted in children, Drive-In Movies, fantasy, kaiju, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, writing | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Children at Play: “The War Game” (1962)

           “The War Game”  (1962)     The seeds of human extinction always seems more poetic (if not palatable) when seen through the prism of allegory. But is any message pleading for a cessation to the … Continue reading

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Shades of Gray: “Juste avant la nuit” (1971)

          “Juste avant la nuit”   (1971)      If Claude Chabrol is casually regarded as the Gaellic Hitchcock, the too easily accepted comparison betrays a basic misunderstanding of not only the French filmmaker but of … Continue reading

Posted in Alfred Hitchcock, art house cinema, Claude Chabrol, crime, erotica, Film, Film Reviews, French movies, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, writing | 4 Comments

Fools for Love: “The April Fools” (1969)

                 “The April Fools”  (1969)     “The April Fools” asks the audience to believe in an instantaneous romantic attraction intense enough to make a two people discard everything in their lives, all … Continue reading

Posted in comedy, Jack Lemmon, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, women, writing | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Idiot’s Delight: “Putney Swope” (1969)

             “Putney Swope”  (1969)     In “Putney Swope”, a Madison Avenue advertising agency is subject to an unexpected power shift when a new Chairman of the Board is hastily chosen, after his predecessor collapses … Continue reading

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Looped: “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” (1966)

                   “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?”  (1966)     “What’s Up, Tiger Lily?” is an  unwatchable, ungodly mess of a film that is the product of dishonesty and arrogance, with an added dash … Continue reading

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The First Time is Not the Charm: “Bolero” (1984)

              “Bolero”    (1984)      Has there ever been a more overwrought, exhibitionistic vaudeville designed to celebrate the loss of virginity than John Derek’s 1984 potboiler “Bolero”? Concurrent with the actor cum writer/director’s other … Continue reading

Posted in Bo Derek, erotica, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, sex, women, writing | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Future Shock: “The Hellstrom Chronicle” (1971)

        “The Hellstrom Chronicle”  (1971)      One of the most recognizable characteristics of the 1950’s science fiction film is that peculiar concession to the presentation of an academic nature profile in the midst of an atomic … Continue reading

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Trapped in Midair: “The Eiger Sanction” (1975)

      “The Eiger Sanction”  (1975)      If the opening scene of “The Eiger Sanction” is any indication, one would expect to be seeing a straightforward espionage drama. However, when we are soon introduced to a black agent … Continue reading

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Mug Shots: “Take the Money and Run” (1969)

      “Take the Money and Run”  (1969)    “Take the Money and Run”, Woody Allen’s directorial debut, is a parody of the crime profile documentary, and as such is not a particularly challenging nor original vehicle for a fledgling … Continue reading

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Chandler’s Trailers: “A Sound of Thunder” (2005)

           “A Sound of Thunder”  (2005)      Based upon the Ray Bradbury short story of the same name, “A Sound of Thunder” is that rare science fiction film which ambitiously expands upon its source material, … Continue reading

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“All Aboard!”: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2017 Edition, Vol. 3:10

“All Aboard!”:  Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Dec. 2017 Edition, Vol. 3:10 With the exception of the horse, the automobile, the airplane and the whore with the heart of gold, there is, perhaps, no mode of taking a ride more … Continue reading

Posted in animation, book reviews, books, espionage, Hitchcock, movie reviews, Movies, Musicals, Reviews, Romance, westerns, women, writing | 5 Comments

Vampire Redux: “House of Dark Shadows” (1970)

                    “House of Dark Shadows”  (1970)     Within the realm of popular culture, so ingrained is the image of Count Dracula in the public consciousness that any manifestation of a … Continue reading

Posted in horror, movie reviews, Movies, Reviews, Romance, Television, vampires, writing | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Over Troubled Waters: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2017 Edition, Vol. 7384750069858

Over Troubled Waters: Classic Film Images Photo Quiz, Nov. 2017 Edition, Vol. 7384750069858      As the song goes, “what goes up, must come down”. That’s right, you may have been expecting a little slice of Paul Simon, but it … Continue reading

Posted in book reviews, books, History, movie reviews, Movies, Mystery, Reviews, Romance, silent movies, women, World War II, writing | 3 Comments