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 ...

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 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 ...

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  ...

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  ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 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. ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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  ...

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 ...

Planet of the Apes Trilogy 4KWe are so spoiled for choice in this day and age that sometimes brilliance and gold that should never be missed can get left in the wake of unending wave of stuff. In a world of remakes, amazing movie magic, remakes of Planet of the Apes are not as instantly well known as ...

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 ...

Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & ShawTimes were so much simpler when the Fast & Furious franchise first got underway back in 2001. The tragic events of 9/11 had not yet complicated our world, $150 million + movie budgets weren't commonplace, and VCR players were the much-coveted electronic  ...

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 ...

The Matrix Trilogy 4KWith word trickling down a new Matrix entry is on the way that will include Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Trinity (Carrie Anne Moss), it feels timely to receive the 4K versions of the trilogy in the post to review. Let’s get to it. ...

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  ...

Young Guns (1988)William H. Boney, for a 20 something misanthrope, made quite the imprint on the world. Whether it’s a sad indictment on our global culture that these types of people cement themselves into history or a tip of the cap to a now alien time and ...

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  ...

First Blood (1982)Sylvester Stallone was infamously underrated and dismissed until he stormed the box office and got an Oscar nomination for Rocky. By 1982 he’d attained enough box office clout to name his next project and what he decided to do was First Blood, an adaptation of a novel by David Morell that had been in ...

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 ...

Young Guns II (1990)Young Guns successfully entertained the 1988 box office to the tune of 45 million dollars. The film chose to focus on the revenge of Billy the Kid and the regulators on his employer’s killer and once Jack Palance caught one between the eyes ...

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 ...

V: The Original Mini SeriesIn the late 70s and early 80s, the short form ‘mini-series’ was a chance for networks to stretch their muscles with event storytelling. Long before HBO and Netflix and Amazon showed that feature film budgets and top shelf talent could not only match the quality of storytelling in cinema, but best ...

TThe Spider (aka Earth Vs. The Spider)Independently made in glorious black-and-white cinematography by producer, writer, special effects supervisor Bert I. Gordon (King Dinosaur, Attack of the Puppet People, The Amazing Colossal Man, Village of the Giants, and Empire of the Ants), The Spider is quick to the kill, opening  ...

Crawl (2019)What could be worse than being in Florida with a Category 5 hurricane bearing down on the state? No, the answer is not “waking up to discover that you now live in Boca Raton.” The answer we’re looking for is to awaken from the nightmare of your neighborhood now ...

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