Favorite films

  • The Searchers
  • Ride the High Country
  • Farewell, My Lovely
  • The Tall T

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  • Escape from Zahrain

    ★★★½

  • Pillars of the Sky

    ★★★½

  • Mr. Sardonicus

    ★★★

  • Who Needs Sleep?

    ★★★★½

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  • Escape from Zahrain

    Escape from Zahrain

    ★★★½

    Sort of a Wages of Fear without the nitroglycerin or tension, this story of a fugitive rebel leader escaping in a stolen ambulance with a motley crew is still a rather enjoyable tale, especially when not occasionally dipping its toe into social significance. Set in the Arabian desert (though filmed northeast of Los Angeles), there is a certain amount of engaging suspense to the getaway effort. Yul Brynner is charisma itself as the fugitive leader, and there's some enjoyable work…

  • Pillars of the Sky

    Pillars of the Sky

    ★★★½

    This is an interesting small Western about U.S. cavalry among Christianized tribes of the American northwest. It fails at the end when its foray into religion becomes heavy-handed, but until then, it is a thought-provoking and well-made action film.

    With Westerns in particular, I always seem able to tell when the film is based on an original screenplay or on a novel. Films from novels always seem to have richer subject matter, more complex characters, and more intricate story lines.…

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  • Dune

    Dune

    ½

    It took many years, but I finally found a science-fiction movie I hated worse than Star Wars. This pseudo-mythic melange of Islamic-Gaelic-Hebrew-Christian nomenclature and ponderous Sir Gawainish “dialog” has virtually no intelligible story beyond the barest framework of presumably good guys in conflict with assortments of monosyllabic bad guys. No effort is evident in making the characters identifiable humans one could connect with emotionally (although Jason Momoa, through force of personality, comes close). It’s all sci-fi fanboy wanking, with all…

  • Green Lantern

    Green Lantern

    ★★

    Considering how much I liked comic books as a kid, I sure don't get much thrill out of the movies they've been making from them the past thirty years. I'd say it's geezer syndrome, but it isn't. I still dig most of the stuff I loved as a kid, no matter how unsophisticated. Tarzan, the Three Stooges, it's all just as enjoyable to me now as it was when I was young enough to be discovering it for the first…