House of Wax 3D: The Warner Archive Collection (1953)The most successful 3D film of the 1950s has finally arrived on Blu-ray.  André de Toth’s House of Wax brought Warner Bros a lot of fortune and fame during its original run in 1953 but the film is also known for something else: the rebirth of Vincent Price ...

Hellboy II: The Golden Army2004’s Hellboy was a well-received if unspectacular performer at the box office, and the studios were not in a hurry to spend on another one. Undeterred, Guillermo Del Toro pressed on pitching various iterations of what could be the follow up. Oh, and since he had some time to kill ...

Breakheart Pass (1975)Sometimes a classic film - or one we now consider a classic of its genre - underwhelms in its original run.  This is the curious case of Breakheart Pass, a film that continues - every five years or so - to garner more interest in it as it reaches new audiences thanks to Charles Bronson’s  ...

Western StarsSomewhere in Colts Neck, New Jersey there sets a horse farm owned by Bruce Springsteen.  And on those 378 acres there is a two-story barn which, on certain nights, doubles as a performance area for Springsteen, his wife Patti Scialfa, and some close friends.  The voices coming out from  ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume II: The Female Animal (1958)

It is said that when a woman fights for a man, she is like an ANIMAL! Vanessa Windsor (Hedy Lamarr), a spoiled Hollywood star, and her daughter, Penny (Jane Powell), fall head over heels in love with the same man, Chris Farley (George Nader), and they aren’t even aware of the other’s interest in him!  Tabloid...

Breakthrough (2019)Movies like Miracles from Heaven and Heaven Is for Real tell allegedly true stories of divine intervention. The latest such movie is 2019’s Breakthrough. About four years ago in Missouri, teenager John Smith (Marcel Ruiz) fell through the ice of a frozen lake. After 15 minutes underwater he clinically died. But when ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume III: Adandoned

Lady Luck has no heart at all in this morality tale! The Lady Gambles begins with a stunning beatdown as its star, Barbara Stanwyck, is repeatedly attacked, smacked, and punched by a couple of thugs who feel cheated by her use of loaded dice in a ...

Joker (2019)Joker was frightening proposition for this reviewer, who has been a lifelong Batman fanatic. Firstly because it presumed to make the focus of its narrative on one of the greatest antagonists in storytelling history, without the hero; secondly because it wasn’t going to stick with ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume III: Adandoned

The drugs! The coppers!  The crimes! And the Femme Fatales!  It's all here in The Sleeping City! Sometimes, as is the case with 1950’s The Sleeping City, Film Noir offerings are notable for one thing entirely: their use of their location.  Okay, okay, so The Sleeping City - which has  ...

Rambo: Last BloodTenacious is the first word that comes to mind when thinking of Sylvester Stallone. He was once one of the highest-paid and most successful actors in cinema’s history, and, like most, has had his fair share of career highlights and—lets be kind—lulls. ...

Streetwalkin'

“Mommy, can we come home?” With those words, Cookie (Melissa Leo) and her kid brother Tim (Randall Batinkoff) plead to return to their mother’s house.  They’ve been kicked out because her new man hates them both.  Their request is denied, so the two wander the bus station as ...

It CHapter TwoWhen Stephen King’s doorstop novel was adapted for TV in the 90’s, it accomplished what shouldn’t have been possible. King’s novel is a behemoth tome, with dozens of characters, and was one of his truly graphic forays into the horror genre for ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume II: Thunder On The Hill (1951)

In which the nuns get it done! Thanks to the crackling cinematography of William H. Daniels (Six Bridges to Cross, Harvey, Winchester ‘73) and the performance of Claudette Colbert as Sister Mary who is haunted by the past, Thunder On The Hill roars off the screen with a fury that is relatively unmatched  ...

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 ...

Bruce Lee Greatest Hits Blu-rayIt is no understatement to suggest that Bruce Lee’s return to Hong Kong, after America refused to make him a star, was the best thing for his career.  Lee was pissed off; frustrated by Hollywood’s inherent racism and refusal to put any faith in the idea that an Asian could ever carry a profitable film ...

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 ...

Brutal Massacre: A Comedy (2007)What has the world come to when the director of Sasquatch at the Mall can't get a gig? That's what horror auteur Harry Penderecki is wondering. Once considered a horror legend, with a string of hits like Bowel Movement, People Pesticide and I'll Take the Ring Back and the Finger Too, he now finds himself  ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume II: Thunder On The Hill (1951)

In which the nuns get it done! Thanks to the crackling cinematography of William H. Daniels (Six Bridges to Cross, Harvey, Winchester ‘73) and the performance of Claudette Colbert as Sister Mary who is haunted by the past, Thunder On The Hill roars off the screen with a fury that is relatively unmatched  ...

UnhingedMonster movies aren’t what they used to be. With the fear of nuclear war mostly behind us and the terror of invading aliens having run its course, filmmakers have had to come up with a new kind of monster to scare the pants off movie goers. And what is more menacing, unpredictable, and  ...

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 ...

Black RainbowThe mystery! The murder! Corruption inside America’s Bible Belt!  That’s the territory of Black Rainbow as writer/director Mike Hodges blends genres, creating a movie that takes on chemical plants and spiritual links to the After Life ...

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 ...

The Flesh and the Fiends (1960)

Make no mistake about it, The Flesh and the Fiends is a righteous horror film, drooping left eye and all, as experimental vivisections rule the day. Lost men! Lost souls!  With no apologies issued to the dead, The Flesh and the Fiends begins in a spooktacular fashion as a body is torn free from  ...

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 ...

Film Noir: The Dark Side of Cinema, Volume I

Because not everyone can be saved. Inspired by the Great Brink's Robbery of 1950, Six Bridges To Cross makes its targets known early: trigger-happy cops and unrepentant criminals.  Civil unrest.  That’s what happens when a police officer (George Nader) shoots a kid during a robbery ...

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

An Act of Murder, in which a very uncompromising and stubborn judge learns a tough, tough lesson about guilt and morals, is perhaps one of the most forward-thinking film noir offerings in that it comes from the point of view of a man who defends a very strict and outdated view of law and  ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

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