ClarksDad has written 20 reviews for films rated ★★★½ during 2020.

  • What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael

    ★★★½

    Fine. Competent as far as these things go. Better idea: go order a copy of her "5001 Nights at The Movies" and read it cover to cover...that is the best way to immerse yourself in this work of this delightfully frustrating, enraging, hilariously mean film critic.

  • The Night of the Iguana

    The Night of the Iguana

    ★★★½

    We don’t have record of Bette Davis’ performance in the broadway original...but Ava Gardner certainly seems like she is channeling Bette at times. She’s good but I don’t think this is her at her best.

    Burton though...born for this role. And as always with Williams...the atmosphere he creates is simply brilliant.

  • You'll Find Out

    You'll Find Out

    ★★★½

    You should see one Kay Kyser film (but just one). The guy is plum crazy...but if you get in the right mindset, there is a ditzy charm (I cannot even convey how wildly popular he was...his radio show was like the Seinfeld of its time).

    Quality haunted house atmospherics (including miniature props from King Kong in the lab background)...a scary seance (maybe the best in movie history? I'd argue it)...good big band tunes...Ginny Simms' velvety voice...AND Karloff, Lugosi, and Lorre....which is way more than any film could ever ask for.

    There is a thing called Ish Kabbible in this...once seen..cant be unseen.

  • Body Double

    Body Double

    ★★★½

    Contains more "...did that really just happen?" moments than perhaps any film I've ever seen. The drill bit still shocks.

    I can never quite get around Craig Wasson's dopey performance...but the rest of the cast is aces.

  • The Barretts of Wimpole Street

    The Barretts of Wimpole Street

    ★★★½

    Direction and script are in total paralysis...and it is seriously stagey... but it still doesn't dim the excitement of watching these 3 giants go at it.

  • Wonder Wheel

    Wonder Wheel

    ★★★½

    Cinematography and period setting are nothing less than magical. It’s stagey but I didn’t mind so much...clearly that was deliberate....Allen worships O’Neill and Tennessee Williams. Wish the script were better...was this the first draft?

  • Knives Out

    Knives Out

    ★★★½

    Shrewd Agatha Christie homage with a notable sense of fun ...but it’s missing some her best features (credible red herrings, suspense, serpentine twist...sometimes double twist...endings that leave one feeling punched in the gut)

    Here the solution is complicated but not at all exhilarating or thought-provoking ...so it feels a smidgen overrated when compared to others in the genre.

    Still...a decent little murder mystery fix.

  • Good News

    Good News

    ★★★½

    It's all worth sitting through for one reason: Joan McCracken.

    Her "Pass That Peace Pipe" is number is out of this world.

  • Spotlight

    Spotlight

    ★★★½

    Like an above average episode of a quality network TV series. 2 viewings a year apart and I'm still left underwhelmed and feeling like I read the Cliffs Notes and not the novel. I don't know if 2 hours was enough to tackle such a story.

  • They Won't Believe Me

    They Won't Believe Me

    ★★★½

    Depressing... but narratively it walks a nice, unpredictable path for 90 mins, and has a sucker punch of an ending.

    Chief attraction here: the tales of the 3 leading ladies...the rich girl, the working girl, the gold digger... sacrificing their self-respect for all-time champion narcissist Robert Young (playing seriously against type), and the expected trainwreck that results.

  • The Divorcee

    The Divorcee

    ★★★½

    All you need to know is that the Catholic Legion of Decency warned “avoid all films starring Norma Shearer”. She wore it like a badge of honor.

  • The Man I Love

    The Man I Love

    ★★★½

    There’s a couple of first rate musical numbers here...the whole smoky, booze-soaked nightclub scenes of this movie are to die for.

    There’s a little too many story threads for its own good (not all of them very compelling). Ida Lupino tho...a force of nature. What a powerful, no-bullshit actress. Always worth watching.