• 20 Million Miles to Earth

    20 Million Miles to Earth

    ★★★½

    There's a dialogue exchange here where American military men mention to the local Italian authorities that their men came from Venus and are "corrected" that it's pronounced Venice. I like to imagine a similar exchange inspired this fun little movie that takes a very King Kong-like story, but makes it a quickly growing creature from the planet Venus, who's taken to Rome and wreaks havoc after escaping its containment, making its way to an iconic landmark.

    Understandably Ray Harryhausen's creature…

  • Stage Struck

    Stage Struck

    ★★½

    And introducing Christopher Plummer...

    With the passing of any actor or filmmaker I like, I always look over their filmography to see what's well regarded that I've yet to see, even if I don't end up getting around to them for a while. When said actor is one of the greatest Canada has ever produced, and I saw that his first feature film was directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Henry Fonda (re-teaming the year after 12 Angry Men) and…

  • M

    M

    ★★★★

    It'd be almost impossible to top the original Fritz Lang film, but if one feels the desire to remake a classic, this is the way to do it. The first time I saw this in 2017 I was far less familiar with Joseph Losey, so I went in very skeptical, but watching it again I was still surprised at how well this works.

    I'm not sure a plot summary is needed, but for those unaware, M is about a serial…

  • He Who Must Die

    He Who Must Die

    ★★★★

    A movie that starts out as a simple enough tale, where a Greek village gets permission to put on the Passion Play by the ruling Turk (having grown to accept this is their lives and decided not to rock the boat), meeting another Greek Catholic community who were run from their homes after joining the Greek army in revolt against the occupying Turkish forces, only to be struck down, and how they've been roaming, looking for a new home, and…

  • Dear Phone

    Dear Phone

    ★★★½

    Peter Greenaway dryly rattles off some humorous stories involving phone obsession over images of the stories, phone booths and with traffic noise. I slightly preferred Windows, but I think the speed with which the stories were rattled off, the extent to which there was crossover between stories and the quality of the audio/thickness of Greenaway's accent make this one I'm sure will only improve upon re-watch. But, the reason I felt the need to review this is to tell every…

  • The Comedy of Terrors

    The Comedy of Terrors

    ★★★½

    There's so much of this that shouldn't work, and I definitely felt while watching it that many won't, but I think it's safe to say that those who like the Old Hollywood studio version of black comedy (think We're No Angels and Arsenic and Old Lace), you'll probably enjoy this.

    Waldo Trumbull (Vincent Price) runs a funeral parlor (taken over from the father of his "opera singing" wife Joyce Jameson, Boris Karloff, who's not all there anymore) with the help…

  • The Day of the Locust

    The Day of the Locust

    ★★½

    This one will have to go in the "director I respect with enormous ambition makes exactly the movie they intended that's great thematically, and seems right in my wheelhouse, but on first viewing didn't work for me" camp. On first look I'd say it's an overindulgent, pretentious, unrestrained mess, but I'm open to another viewing finding it to be all of those things, but also great.

    This really is the definition of a movie that I didn't enjoy, but found…

  • Rooftops

    Rooftops

    ★★

    There are bad movies that are slogs to get through and then there are movies like this one. From the outside it can be hard to understand how this movie exists, but while watching it all came into focus. Who would you get to direct a movie about Inner City youth involving criminality, romance and some dancing other than Robert Wise. And if you're Wise and haven't made a movie in a decade (his last being the underrated Star Trek:…

  • The Assassination of Trotsky

    The Assassination of Trotsky

    ★★

    On paper it feels like there's a good movie here, but instead, despite a bad reputation, it turned out to be a disappointment. A stripped down telling of a lesser-known tale from history, as Leon Trotsky (a disinterested, but still solid Richard Burton) spends his final days in Mexico dictating articles and upping security in his compound, as assassin Frank Jackson (Alain Delon, not a favorite actor of mine, but especially bad here in my estimation) and his communist wife…

  • The Incredible Mr. Limpet

    The Incredible Mr. Limpet

    ★★

    Arthur Lubin has quite the odd career. He started cranking them out in the mid-'30s, found some notice in the early '40s with a string of Abbott & Costello movies, then in 1950 made Francis [the Talking Mule] and suddenly spent much of the rest of his days making talking animal projects (many Francis sequels, Rhubarb and this in the midst of over one hundred episodes of Mister Ed, which he also produced).

    Here said talking animal is an animated fish,…

  • Underwater!

    Underwater!

    ★★

    I feel like this is a movie, like Around the World in 80 Days, that just inherently isn't going to work as well now, as a large part of the appeal of the movie is that we spend so much of the runtime Underwater! (or traveling the world in 80 Days), which has lost a lot of its novelty all these decades later.

    Now one of the more appealing aspects is that much of the diving footage seems to actually…

  • Timbuktu

    Timbuktu

    ★★½

    Even setting aside the pro-colonial viewpoint it's hard to find a lot to praise about this one, but there are a few oddities, though this doesn't include the often reliable trope of the roguish hero (Victor Mature) who only cares about money, but the love of a good woman (Yvonne De Carlo) pushes him to put his life on the line for a good cause. Often reliable, but this was one of the main aspects here that didn't work for…