It's a Wonderful LifeThere are touchstone pictures that transcend any generation, no matter when they were born, that fall under the MUST WATCH category. They are masterpieces. Films like Citizen Kane, The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of Sierra Madre, (I know! Bogart nut) it doesn’t matter. If you are a film aficionado, a general viewer, a ...

Haunted Honeymoon...in which the Golden Age of Radio meets the Chiller Comedies of the 1940s.  No wonder Haunted Honeymoon was a box office bomb, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be ignored.  The film, with over-the-top characters and spooky atmospheres, is damn funny ...

Downton AbbeyPolish the silver, set out the good china, and put a kettle on. The Crawleys are back! Fans of the popular PBS television series that aired for six seasons can once again spend a little time at the sprawling English countryside estate as the film version of Downton Abbey finally hits theaters. And even ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume I

“Two gin slings . . . with ice.” With that famous line, Alan Ladd (Shane) as American pilot, Neale Gordon, begins to fall for Virginia Moore (Gail Russell, The Uninvited).  He doesn’t want to, but he can’t help himself.  Hell, one look at her engaging beauty and I would, too.  Holy cow is she a looker ...

Bourne Ultimate CollectionThe Bourne series is currently five films in (as of the writing of this article) and had definitively made its mark in the action/spy genre. In a perfect storm of confluences, it hit its mark with an audience desperate to break with convention and be given something unseen in the ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume IOkay, so A Bullet for Joey, directed by Lewis Allen (Appointment with Danger, The Perfect Marriage) and starring Edward G. Robinson and George Raft, doesn’t exactly fit so tidily into the whole film noir genre, but that doesn’t keep it from sharing certain elements of that cinematic world ...

Stand By Me (1986)Misery is just about this reviewer’s favorite Stephen King adaptation. Its director, Rob Reiner, was the only one entrusted with that adaptation because the author knew the director would adapt it well. The reason that King knew he would adapt it well ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume I

From stunning, widescreen vistas in Colorado's Royal Gorge National Park to some deftly handled underwater scenes (filmed in Santa Monica, California), Big House, U.S.A. does not disappoint, going dark with the gruesome murder of a kid at the beginning  ...

Saving Private RyanI don’t cry in movies. It’s just not my way. But I have to confess that twenty years ago, upon sitting down to watch Steven Speilberg’s World War II magnum opus, the recreation of the Normandy invasion put a lump in my throat and fogged my eyes with tears for its ...

Pretty in Pink (1986)

“You don’t want to go out.  You don’t want to go home.  What do you want to do, Andie?” The pink, volcanic ensembles.  The cast - Molly Ringwald, Harry Dean Stanton, Jon Cryer, Annie Potts, James Spader, and Andrew McCarthy - bringing their best acting to a BRILLIANT script ...

Hellboy (2004) The first time I heard the name Mike Mignola was after I received a set of his Topps comic adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. As a lifelong comic reader, I’m ashamed to say I’d missed his ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume I

Classic film noir - with its emphasis on atmosphere and futility - simply doesn’t get any more claustrophobic than in Cornel Wilde’s directorial debut, Storm Fear.  A classic thriller which has West (The Naked Prey) starring, producing, and directing  ...

The Lion King (2019)Although this isn’t the first of Disney’s attempts to redo their animated back catalogue, I think it had the hardest job. The mastery of motion capture technology and the sophistication that computer generated animation has reached allows them to deliver ...

Yeti: The Giant of the 20th Century (1977)

It begins, hilariously enough, with some fairly shitty-looking stock footage of glaciers sliding off into the sea.  Big budget this Yeti flick is not.  Relatively quickly, we are whisked away to a fishing trip that quickly gets ruined by a ...

Rambo-first-blood2For a very long time, I wished that First Blood had been a one and done deal. But it arrived in the 1982, and anything from the 80s onward that made the studios money would like get a sequel with a roman numeral next to it. The remainder of that decade saw ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume I

“You’ll eat my dinner or one of you walks out of here with a bullet in his head.” John Garfield, one of the original rebels in film cinema, is absolutely on fire in He Ran All The Way and, sitting right next to him, is Shelley Winters, a true partner in crime, as ...

RatatouillePixar never cease to surprise me. On the sole summary of one of their stories, I almost never get a sense of just how much I may fall in love with whatever they’re dishing out. Toy Story, The Incredibles, Coco, you name it, I’ve underestimated their power to completely ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume IThe “witness” in this film noir title is Barbara Stanwyck.  The murderer is George Sanders.  I’m not spoiling anything for those who have never seen Witness to Murder.  In fact, we see the murder happen in the very first scene as Stanwyck as Cheryl Draper looks out her apartment ...

Rambo III (1988)Three years would pass before another go around with John Rambo and produce the most (at the time) violent action movie ever made. It marked a continued tonal shift of the character that had good intentions hidden in cartoonish, ham fisted  ...

The Hustle (2019)“No one would have believed, in the middle of the 20th century, that human affairs were being watched keenly and closely by Intelligences greater than man's. Yet, across the gulf of space on the planet Mars, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic regarded our Earth with envious eyes ...

Good Boys (2019)One of the kids at the center of the new comedy Good Boys confidently tells his two best friends, “It’s a tampon. Girls shove it up their butts to stop babies from coming out.” The object in question is indeed a tampon, they got that part right. But, of ...

Mr. Majestyk

Never mess with another man's melons! Once that sick theme song from composer Charles Bernstein kicks in, you know that this film is going to be an epic showdown.  It doesn't disappoint either.  No clean window - be it in a car or a house - can stop him ...

Rambo (2008)If the last couple of years have taught us anything it should be never underestimate Sylvester Stallone. He was mocked at the beginning of his career and brought us Rocky. His popularity waned in the late 90’s and when word trickled down he was reviving not only his famous ...

The Hustle (2019)The horror! The hilarity! The frauleins! Insanity follows in Horrors of Spider Island, a Z-grade schlockfest, from Germany!  Released here in the United States as It's Hot in Paradise, with some cuts made so that all the girls keeping their clothes on, the horror film finally sees the light of day again  ...

The Peanut Butter Falcon - Movie ReviewFeaturing a special needs character in a film is always a risky proposition that has the potential to cross that fine line between exploitation and exposition. ...

Orca: The Killer Whale (1977)In the wake of composer Ennio Morricone’s passing, there are few things as beautiful and as moving as his score set to the playful opening of prolific movie mogul Dino De LaurentiisOrca: The Killer Whale!  Sure, this is a JAWS rip-off, but watching those beautiful beasts hurl themselves out  ...

Una (2017)When Una (Rooney Mara) was 13, her neighbor Ray molested her. They carried on a secret 3-month long relationship, at which point they planned to run away together. But then Ray (Ben Mendelsohn) disappeared. He wound up serving 4 years ...

Laurel & Hardy - The Definitive Restorations

The Dynamic Duo of silent AND sound comedy return! This release has been a long time coming, but finally - thanks to Jeff Joseph in conjunction with the UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Library of Congress - Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy have arrived on ...

50 years of Planet of the Apes

‘It’s a mad house! A mad house!’ So it felt to me finding the entire Planet of the Apes cinematic journey in this new mammoth sized 50th anniversary set in the mail. I’ll try to keep the review succinct as there are 5 movies in the original series, the Tim Burton remake and the  ...

The AstrologerCalling all fans of 1970s cinema!  Severin Films has got your ticket to ride with what has to be one of the strangest science fiction offerings, The Astrologer.  Slow-moving and centered around a covert government agency which monitors astrological signs to see if a person is good or bad, this film will leave ...

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