RSS feed for Chris
  • No Greater Glory

    No Greater Glory

    ★★★★

    An anti-war movie where two gangs of boys fight over an empty lot. Anyone who has seen the Canadian classic The Dog Who Stopped the War knows where this is going. It's not subtle and it wears its heart on its sleeve, but it works.

    Here's the thing though: Two of the child actors in this movie were killed in World War II. One in France, one in North Africa.

    Nothing in the film hit as hard as that.

  • Countdown

    Countdown

    ★★

    Obviously suffers from the fact that '68 was a watershed year for sci-fi and this movie wasn't the one filling up theatres.

    Altman was always more interested in dialogue and people. Not technology and patriotism. A worse match for subject matter and director would be hard to find. No wonder Altman said the ending was reshot and not his version. Though that's been questioned. (Honestly he may have just been embarrased.) Regardless it doesn't feel like his movie.

    The only…

  • Frozen

    Frozen

    ★★★½

    So I won't be going to any movies at TIFF this year. I haven't been going since my daughter was born, because

    1) Children are expensive

    2) TIFF is expensive

    and

    3) Daycare is really, really expensive. (One month of daycare would easily pay for an enjoyable TIFF experience.)

    Even my friends who I usually get one or two pity tickets from aren't going this year.

    So no TIFF films for me most likely.

    Instead, I might get to see this for the 5th, 6th, or possibly 7th time.

    Go on, envy me.

  • Sinful Davey

    Sinful Davey

    ★★

    Selected commentary between my wife and I while we watched this:

    "It's okay there's no subtitles [on the DVD]. If these were real Scottish accents we'd be in trouble. But these are probably just a bunch of posh English actors trying to sound Scottish."

    "He has to have syphilis."

    "This is a long 95 minutes."

    "If nothing else I'm glad the [Toronto] library system has these obscurities available."

    "Oh Sinful Davey, you rascal!"

    "Letterboxd does not like this. Except for [someone my wife has met IRL and whose instagram review is the reason we are watching this]."

    "Well, now she has syphilis too."

  • Dance, Girl, Dance

    Dance, Girl, Dance

    ★★★½

    The last 15 minutes of this are far more entertaining that the first 75. Which may be why I'm already remembering this more fondly than it might actually deserve.

    Also Ralph Bellamy scores with the ladies for once, which I swear I only saw happen one other time when he played FDR and was married to Eleanor Roosevelt.

  • Jaws 2

    Jaws 2

    ★★★

    AKA Jaws Jr.

    Not as fun as the first one, not as ridiculous as the third, and judging by the final one's reputation, nowhere near as horrible as Jaws The Revenge. But this is arguably the scariest of the bunch, the last act playing out as a smaller version of Quint's wartime horror story from the original, except this time with teens-in-peril.

    This film fits in rather well with late 70s/early 80s horror (of the PG variety, mind you). In…

  • Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood

    ★★★½

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

    Clearly Tarantino likes happy endings.

    And honestly, as I grow older, so do I. So I have absolutely no problem with the way this film plays out. Tarantino revisionist tendencies have never been so welcome. Knowing about the Manson murders, knowing that this was taking place in the era of the Manson murders, with Sharon Tate as a main character I originally didn't want to see the film. But I shouldn't have worried. Tarantino isn't making a true crime picture.…

  • Spider-Man: Far from Home

    Spider-Man: Far from Home

    ★★★½

    You know how when a major ‘event’ movie comes out the theatre chain does something like print a ton of collector drink cups to sell with a special event movie themed combo, which the theatre probably gets through eventually, but I guess sometimes they don’t go through all the cups, or, in the case of X-Men: Dark Phoenix, most of the cups, so the theatre starts to give them away leading to a situation where everyone going to a surprisingly…

  • Flying Down to Rio

    Flying Down to Rio

    ★★★½

    My daughter called two things beautiful today:

    1) The melted strawberry ice cream running down the side of her ice cream cone.

    And 2) Fred Astaire dancing in this.

    I think she is right on both counts.

  • Free Solo

    Free Solo

    ★★★

    When this works (that is when climbing, or the toll of climbing is shown) it's spellbinding. But when Honnold starts talking about his need to climb or how he views his relationship, well, he annoys me to no end.

    I mean not so much that I was rooting for the wall, but seriously, to no end.

  • The Illustrated Man

    The Illustrated Man

    ★½

    I don't like anthologies. Or Rod Steiger. Or at least I rarely do. So expecting something out of this was a bit of a long shot.

    As for the source material, Bradbury's stories were done better in those short films I saw in the 80s in the gymnasium in grade school.

    Here's a better rendition of The Veldt. (Actually I saw this version 35 years ago so I don't know if it's better or not. But since this obscure version has stuck in my consciousness for so long I can't imagine that it's any worse than what's on offer in The Illustrated Man.)

  • His Kind of Woman

    His Kind of Woman

    ★★★

    A true product of Howard Hughes's Hollywood Hysteria era. The vampiric billionaire took such an interest in this product he sunk it pretty much all on his own.

    His meddling included but was not limited to:

    1) Demanding rewrites after the movie had pretty much been shot so that Vincent Price's comic relief role is pretty much given control of the final act. Leading to

    2) The first director leaving the project, because he had already made his movie, thank…