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 ...

Avengers: EndgameEleven years ago, I snorted derisively at the audacity of the newly minted Marvel Studios plans. Without a single hit to their name, a grand plan had been hatched: they would release a litany of films, starring their various characters (that they still had the rights to) and combine  ...

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  ...

The Curse of La Llorona (2019) - Movie ReviewAn angry woman scorned eerily stalks the world’s rivers and waterways by night wearing a threadbare wedding gown as she looks for children to drown. This is the subject of the age-old Latin American folktale of La Llorona or “The Weeping Woman” that has fueled the  ...

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 ...

Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood (2019Quentin Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood has everything you expect in a Tarantino film; extreme violence, black humor, loving tribute, and plenty of pop culture iconography. It’s all there. We’ve become experts at spotting his stylistic trademarks ...

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  ...

Pokemon Detective PikachuPokémon Detective Pikachu is a cute movie.  I will give this family friendly flick, directed by Rob Letterman, that, but none of its cute and cuddly chumminess makes up for the fact that this movie doesn’t really know what or where it is.  The buddy picture borrows from all sorts of genres but is supremely ...

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 ...

God's Not Dead: A Light in the DarknessIf you’re watching God’s Not Dead: A Light in the Darkness, chances are you already believe in God. Like its two previous installments, God’s Not Dead 3 comes from family friendly studio Pure Flix and stars David A.R. White as Pastor Dave Hill, who had been introduced in ...

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 ...

Alita: Battle Angel - Movie ReviewThis film has been a revelation for this reviewer. I am always banging on about product coming out of Hollywood being just remakes and sequels these days. I pine and whine about the fact that they just don’t take risks anymore. This film has proved to me I am part of the problem ...

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 ...

Pet Sematary2017’s IT adaptation has heralded somewhat of a renaissance of Stephen King based films. The deftly adapted retelling of King’s doorstop novel from the Eighties raked in over 700 million worldwide, so it was no surprise to hear that further re-adaptations were quickly put  ...

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 ...

Hellboy As a huge fan of Guillermo Del Toro’s 2004 original adaptation of Mike Mignola’s Hellboy, I was disappointed that he didn’t get to round out his trilogy in this universe. But, as with most things that make a buck these days, it was inevitable that someone would take up  ...

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 ...

Us (2019)Part home invasion thriller, part horror, and part social commentary, the only thing more impressive than the number of genre elements at play in Jordan Peele’s newest film, Us, is the total body count. Well, that and the incredible attention to detail the filmmaker pays to every  ...

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 Best of Enemies (2019)The new film starring Sam Rockwell and Taraji P. Henson called The Best of Enemies is about finding common ground and learning to overcome our differences. Certainly a noble idea that could serve us all quite well in these divisive and contentious times. It's just too bad the ...

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  ...

Captive State (2019)Like the trojan horse at the heart of its central allusion, Captive State isn’t what it initially appears to be. Perhaps due to its dour subject matter, its refusal to kowtow to mass appeal, or maybe even because Focus Features didn’t truly know what to do with it, the film is  ...

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 ...

Captain Marvel - Movie ReviewSo here we are, staring down the tail end of the MCU’s Phase 3, with only Avengers: End Game remaining. Marvel had already triumphantly pumped us for the inevitable finale, but in an interesting move, they have made the penultimate film in Phase 3 a somewhat new ...

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 ...

A Madea Family Funeral If you like Tyler Perry’s Madea movies, then more power to you. Go see his latest, A Madea Family Funeral. It is not the best in the series, but neither is it the worst. If you’ve never seen a Madea movie, prepare yourself for a disjointed comedic romp packed with cringe-worthy  ...

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  ...

The Natural (1984)

Swing for the lights! I am not sure there is any other film in cinema that screams out AMERICANA as much as The Natural does.  It is steeped in everything that makes AND breaks America. ...

The Dead Pit

This place gives me nightmares! Ever felt buried by all your work?  The Dead Pit takes that saying literally and concerns itself with a mad doctor who, 20 years ago, was killed and buried alongside his human experiments . . . in the basement of an asylum.  The hope was that he’d never ...

Night School (2019The trailers for Night School looked so promising. With talented comic actors like Tiffany Haddish (Girls Trip) and Kevin Hart, how could they go wrong? Rob Riggle, rapper Fat Joe and Taran Killam of Saturday Night Live fame round out a usually funny ensemble cast, but they can ...

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