Category Archives: Movies

The Trailer for the Coen Brothers’ Hail, Caesar!: “I Can’t Wait” Doesn’t Even Begin to Cover It

I’m hyperventilating. Scarlett Johanssen as a cross between Esther Williams, Jean Harlow, and Carole Lombard? Her voice! The tough-dame voice that no longer exists in cinema anywhere? Tilda Swinton as Hedda Hopper? George Clooney as a pre-verbal Clark Gable type? … Continue reading

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Meadowland (2015), starring Luke Wilson and Olivia Wilde

I saw Meadowland at the Tribeca Film Festival earlier this year, and it’s now slated to open in the States on October 16th. Keep an eye out for it. Here’s my original review of Meadowland at Meadowland is the … Continue reading

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The Final Girls (2015)

A spoof on the horror-film trope of “The Final Girl”, The Final Girls is sometimes not-so-good, sometimes very entertaining – but doesn’t really have anything to say about “The Final Girl” concept. Look for Angela Trimbur though. That actress is … Continue reading

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Outrage (1950); Directed by Pioneer Ida Lupino: A Powerful Examination of Rape and Its Aftermath

Ida Lupino was an anomaly, a phenom, a pioneer. She was an actress, of course, a woman whose acting career stretched from the early 1930s to Columbo episodes in the mid-1970s. At first her roles were insignificant, like in Artists … Continue reading

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September Viewing Diary

I got a pretty big writing assignment this past month, with a deadline of October 5. So I’ve been working hard, researching, as the below list will probably show. Not ready to talk about it yet, still working on the … Continue reading

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99 Homes (2015); d. Ramin Bahrani

Horrible poster. Ugh. Who would see the movie based on the poster? Oh, you marketing people. You are not artists, and it SHOWS. 99 Homes is a doozy, and people should see it. It’s not perfect, but it’s a relentless … Continue reading

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Taxi (2015); d. Jafar Panahi

Talk about persistence in the face of unimaginable obstacles. Dissident Iranian director Jafar Panahi, arrested, imprisoned, placed on house arrest, dealing with a 20-year ban on film-making, not allowed to travel, not allowed to talk to foreigners, his livelihood taken … Continue reading

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Sidney Poitier’s “John Hancock” in Lilies of the Field

Sidney Poitier was the first African-American to win a Best Actor Oscar for this role, as Homer Smith, the drifter/handy-man in Lilies of the Field (which also won Best Picture that year). He’s a superstar in it, a classic leading … Continue reading

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Rita Hayworth and Fred Astaire: You’ll Never Get Rich (1941)

Fred Astaire was once asked who was his favorite dance partner, in all his years performing. He didn’t want to answer (because he knew Ginger would probably be pissed and hurt) but finally he caved and said, “All right, I’ll … Continue reading

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Love Me or Leave Me (1955), starring Doris Day and James Cagney

Acting requires a couple of different things. Vulnerability. Courage. Vulnerability is courage. This is true whether you are playing a damsel in distress or a black-hatted villain. Acting is putting on a mask, but as kabuki masters know, the mask … Continue reading

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