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Death on the Nile (1978)

23 Dec, 2020

What do you do when your remake has been delayed, watch the original of course. This enable cast of looney characters and outrageous plot is saves by the scene chewing and joyous camp of the whole affair.


22 Nov, 2020

This 1935 classic is certainly a product of its time, full of blatant racism, sexism, and questionable acting. Based on H. Rider Haggard's 1887 novel of the same name. Like his victorian contemporaries, Haggard gives us a world of exploration, swashbuckling heroes, and Victorian sensibilities and ideas about race, morality, and civilization – which are all carried faithfully into the movie. The movie itself is a stilted affair that falls flat on several fronts. While it impresses with some set pieces, the whole production feels small for the story it wants to tell. In an odd bit of 1935 American revisionism, the film ends with a clumsily tacked on epilogue espousing some clap trap sentimentalism.

The Lady Vanishes

21 Nov, 2020

Hailed as a classic, it wasn't one of Hitchcock's more stylish or tense thrillers. The setting is charming, and the small setting of the train made it feel more like a stage play translated to the screen. It relies on some McGuffins that stretch incredulity, but is still a pleasant thriller that never quite reaches thrilling.

Dating Amber

02 Nov, 2020

This movie was both too honest and too imaginary for its own good. The emotions and desperation of Eddie and Amber to just survive their small town is viscerally real; but the setting, events, and resolution are the stuff of fantasy. So in short, a pleasant escapist movie that is escaping from some very true realities. The bleakness and oppression of Irish poverty and their prospects for the future were shocking to me. It made 90s Ireland seem like someplace 20 years behind the rest of the world.

Handsome Devil

01 Nov, 2020

Another Irish indie with Fionn O'Shea, who plays the sensitive boy at a rugby obsessed public school who makes the unlikely friend of the top jock. It was a nice buddy movie. It has the set up of one of those terrible coming out, coming of age stories; but side-steps to just be about two friends trying to find their spots in the world, and being buddies to each other along the way.


15 Aug, 2020

This movie gets a big ol' "YES!" I will show this to my daughters, my sons, and their friends. I wish I was that self possessed and cool, even now.

The Ipcress File

21 Jul, 2020

Continuing my into old movies during lock down, I found this old gem. Turns out that it was so well received, that they made two sequels, which were not well received. But this never made it to my radar in all my years as a James Bond fan. This was a grittier, less gadgets and glam take on Brit spies in the 60s. London looks dirty. The flats look lived in. And I have never seen James Bond at a grocery store. But the realistic background combines with such deadpan acting that I don't know if they are just that British, or the acting that stilted. It dives into the 60s paranoia with mind control and western democracies growing fear of our own governments and their corruption. Unconventional music and camera angles give it a high 60s aesthetic and Micheal Cain is not his normal suave gentleman, but more of a blokey Brit bashing in the baddies. It stands up well.

Night Train to Munich

20 Jun, 2020

It either created the genre of western shoot outs, or stole from them. It is a great thriller of crosses, double crosses, spies, smart dames, an international intrigue. It was shocking to see the 1940 UK version of a "concentration camp," So they knew that they existed and that they were brutal – yet everyone was fun glamours hair and makeup.

Cinema Paradiso

20 Jun, 2020

One of the those lovely slice of life, growing up, nostalgic movies that transports you back to post-WWII Sicily. Like movies loved by the main character, you feel that he is surrounded by and watching life – but never fully participating. He is an audience in his own life. The child actor was painful, as most children are. Instead of melodrama, you drive between small moments of cruelty, connection, hope, and drifting away. It give you the feeling of something that really mattered, but it was a long time ago.

North by Northwest

14 Jun, 2020

It hard to watch this and not see it as an updated versions of 39 Steps: innocent man dragged into a web of intrigue, spies, cool blondes, and cross country trains. It is slick update that focuses on hitting landmarks, exotic transport, and almost comical mishaps.

Liquid Sky

11 Jun, 2020

This movie so deliciously pre-dates any concept of trigger warnings. I harkens to punk art and confronting and challenging: society, the viewer, and the conversation in general. Everything is terrible, garish, overdone and brilliant. From the music to the whole esthetic, it skips between surreal and beautiful to punishing. Underneath all the impact and effect, is a real story of people as predators. Dressed up like tropical space warriors; people hunt for the next high, the next escape, the next affirmation, the next victim. People are means to your next end in a nihilistic hedonism that provides numbness and not pleasure. In the center, the main character dares us to look at her and cast our impressions upon her. She is a blank, painted by the audience, but defiantly refusing to be defined. What is gender, consent, murder, commerce, power?

39 Steps

08 Jun, 2020

I have never gone wrong with a Hitchcock, and going back to the original Hitchcock blond was a great choice. The movie certainly is of a time and more sophisticated audiences might find it quant. But the Scottish settings are a character in themself, and you are transported to a place between modernity and a long forgotten past. If you love the UK, it is a love song to great settings.

Giant Big One

23 May, 2020

Finally movie about teenagers that isn't out of a can, and not overly simplified. It was a unbelievable and horrendously realistic. It was painful to watch and affirmative.


16 May, 2020

From the initial setup, a Korean single mom and her young son go to Ohio to clean up and sell her recently deceased sister's house; to find a gruff old war vet watching the whole ordeal from across the driveway – you expect the worst. Watching the two navigate the house of a dead women that neither seem to know, and who lived a life of hoarding amps up the unease. Instead, it rolls out to be quiet film about settling in, the connections we make, the connections we loose, and how we make out homes. Driveways either become boarders between people, or paths to connect. It is a movie about all the small choices that make up living.


07 Feb, 2020

Can disembodied legs be a character? I remember liking the movie, but months later, it doesn't really stand out as memorable.


01 Feb, 2020

Have you ever gone to see trashy fun and struck gold? This movie was fun, heartbreaking, shocking. It was a dissertation of capitalism, the inherent instability of the American dream, and modern third wave feminism. This movie is more than we deserve.

Little Women

03 Jan, 2020

Do you want to see me cry? Because this is apparently how you do it. I had little interest in this, but was going with a group of friends. How many times do we need to see this story told again. Apparently, one more time! This time with flash backs, lesbian undertones, and all the feels! Who my independent little women?!?

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