• The Boogeyman

    The Boogeyman


    What I liked: It takes the horror seriously (none of the Scream meta jokiness); the monster is cool, it opens with a child's death.

    What I didn't like: apparently no one has a cell phone light, no one in the house can hear anything that's going on, the one character you want to see die doesn't, and people are so dumb it pulls you out of the film.

    It's frustrating when a film has some solid craftsmanship and promising elements…

  • Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

    Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse


    The Spider-Verse films are my favorite of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. The animation is spectacular. It is both breathtakingly cinematic and deeply indebted to the comic book form. As with the first film there is a surprising emotional weight to the story that none of the live action films have been able to match. An absolute joy.

    I only have one complaint... The Empire Strikes Back cliffhanger ending. I did not know this was just the first part and I don't want to have to wait for the second. It seems part two might be arriving early next year but that's still a long time!

  • Blood on the Moon

    Blood on the Moon


    TCMFF Day 2, Film 5: Blood on the Moon

    I was introduced to film noir westerns decades ago when I saw Robert Mitchum in Pursued at Telluride Film Festival. That started to make me rethink of some others in a similar vein (notably Johnny Guitar).

    So when I saw that Blood on the Moon was screening and that it was listed as a noir western and I had never seen it, it jumped to the top of my must-see films…

  • Footlight Parade

    Footlight Parade


    TCMFF Day 2, Film 4: Footlight Parade

    Seeing Jimmy Cagney dance is always a pleasure. Then add in a wise-cracking Joan Blondell (is there any other kind?), insane Busby Berkeley musical numbers, pre-code naughtiness, poking fun at censors, and you have something pretty irresistible.

    There is also, however, the embarrassing awkwardness of Ruby Keeler made to look Asian to be and to sing Shanghai Lil.

    The Busby Berkeley numbers are legit crazy. There is no pretense that these numbers could…

  • King Kong

    King Kong


    TCMFF Day 2, Film 3: King Kong

    My approach to TCM Film Fest is always see the films you have not seen or the favorites you want to see again. But rules are meant to be broken especially when it's the opportunity to see King Kong at the TCL Chinese Theatre where it opened 90 years ago. Plus it is one of my dad's and mine favorite films.

    My dad introduced me to King Kong. He loved Kong and he…

  • Genevieve



    TCMFF Day 1, Film 2: Genevieve

    Diane Baker gave a lovely intro to this British comedy about two men obsessed with old cars and the women who put up with them.

    Fun British comedy that takes some wacky turns. Packed house at the small theater 4. It was a 35mm print shipped from across the Pond. Sound was a little rough and very low, but humor still came through loud and clear.

    Quite delightful and worth checking out.

  • One Way Passage

    One Way Passage


    TCMFF Day 1, Film 1: One Way Passage

    First night of TCM Film Festival and had a fabulous time.

    Kicked off the fest with this pre-Code film starring Kay Francis and William Powell, the last of their 6 films in a three-year period.

    More drama than the usual comedy they have delighted me with before (thinking especially of Jewel Robbery from a previous TCMFF) but still great.

    Odd premise: A man condemned to death for murder and a woman suffering…

  • Knock at the Cabin

    Knock at the Cabin

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    15 minutes in and I was wishing I was watching this with a Rifftrax.

    This was painfully bad for me because every line was delivered with a hushed sense of self-importance.

    My favorite line though was when a one character yells at the other,"You just vomit everything you think."

    That pretty much summed up how I felt about M. Night and this film.

    I think what annoyed me most is that unlike how the book supposedly ends, the film does…

  • Renfield



    Ugh. Was hoping this would be better.

    I think someone saw Warm Bodies and said, "What if we reworked this for Nic Hoult but with vampires."

    Nic Cage does seem to be having a lot of fun and I enjoyed Shohreh Aghdashloo as a mommy mob boss who is almost as evil as Count Dracula. There are flashes of fun -- I enjoyed hoe Universal put its old Dracula footage to use by adding Cage and Hoult to the 1931…

  • Kill Boksoon

    Kill Boksoon


    So I have been seeing people compare Kill Boksoon to John Wick and Kill Bill. That is simply an unfair burden to place on the film because neither comparison is really true and it sets up completely false expectations for the film.

    Although the lead character is a female assassin like John Wick used to be and there is some bullet-time gun fu, revenge is not driving the plot and the action and body count is extremely low compared to…

  • Evil Dead Rise

    Evil Dead Rise


    OK if you take on the mantle of Evil Dead then you have a lot to live up to. It may not be fair but it's the truth. Sam Raimi created The Evil Dead and endowed it with his unique blend of gore, bodily fluids, horror and humor. You can pretend the first film did not have humor but Raimi and star Bruce Campbell never hid their love of the Three Stooges and it is evident in The Evil Dead…

  • Whistle Down the Wind

    Whistle Down the Wind


    So Life of Brian and Jesus Christ Superstar are my go to Easter films. However, Whistle Down the Wind was a film I discovered decades ago that also has unexpected thematic ties to the spirit of Easter, And it's not bunnies.

    Alan Bates plays an escaped killer who hides out in a remote farm where a young girl played by Hayley Mills deduces he is the second coming of Christ.

    Directed by Bryan Forbes, his first feature, and he would…