A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)There’s a key scene about halfway through A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood in which cynical journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys), utters under his breath, "he's about the nicest person I've ever met.” Of course, Lloyd is talking about Fred Rogers, the host of ...

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  ...

MidwayHollywood needs more war films. Despite the pig-headed durability of the world’s war machine providing an unending supply of source material, the genre has largely become abandoned with only the occasional passion project popping up from time to time around Veteran’s Day. For decades, the underserved ...

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 ...

Motherless Brooklyn (2019)

Interior: DARK, GIN-SOAKED MOVIE THEATER CAMERA - SLOW PAN LEFT TO RIGHT. It was a dark and stormy night. Flickering frames of light pierced the smoky darkness, casting shadows on the tattered silver screen. The projector’s jittery rays revealed the forlorn faces of a checked-out audience while the stormy night’s deafening ...

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  ...

Terminator: Dark Fate (2019)There are few directors out there that have the distinction of making sequels to hit films that not only reach the quality of the original, but surpass it. James Cameron is one of them. He is an auteur that never rested on his laurels, always coming at things with a fresh take for a follow up and never settling for ...

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 ...

The Little MermaidWith Disney’s current dominance at the box office, it is difficult to believe it, but they weren’t doing so well (theatrically) in the latter half of the 1980s. They had experienced, especially in the animation realm, a series of costly underperforming features and the sure thing that used ...

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  ...

Zombieland: Double TapThe road trip through the zombie apocalypse continues with Ruben Fleischer’s Zombieland: Double Tap, which comes some ten years after his Zombieland caught the front end of the zombie resurgence in the ‘90s and rode it into undead lore. ...

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 ...

WaterworldThe last decade of the 20th Century in movies saw the pinnacle of star-powered excess-driven extravaganzas peak with Kevin Costner’s Waterworld. One of the biggest stars in the world, at the time, he could write his own ticket, dictate all terms, and will anything he wanted into existence. That ...

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 ...

Gemini ManRarely does conventional wisdom hold in Hollywood. Particularly with regards to the notion that less is more and that simplicity is superior to elaborate embellishment. Take, for instance Jerry Bruckheimer, the titan of TNT, who subscribes to the theory that if a candle is needed ...

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