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  • The Witness

    The Witness

    ★★★★

    I had just turned 17, living in Brooklyn with my family when this horrible story broke, and it truly affected me in a bad way. Now I finally caught up with the riveting documentary about the murder of Kitty Genovese, made and featuring her brother Bill who lost both legs in Viet Nam but this doesn't stop him from having a full life and determined to find out the truth about the murder of his older sister. This is a…

  • T-Men

    T-Men

    ★★★★

    A new transfer of this hard ball little mouse dropping of a B noir movie has just been released and its a beaut. This was anthony mann’s big breakthrough film and provided him with more ease and access to make movies for the rest of his career. It was also the first meet up of him and the great cinematographer John Alton who is known for his moody black and white cinematography in many films of the noir era and…

  • The Greatest Showman

    The Greatest Showman

    ★★

    If this film was made in the 40’s, 50’s or even the early 60’s it no doubt would have been either the Christmas or Easter attraction at Radio City Music Hall with a spectacular stage show and all for a $2.00 admittance fee. Instead it was given to us in 2017 and I will say that it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. It has lots of garish costumes; bright colors, frantic dance numbers and catchy tunes written by…

  • The Florida Project

    The Florida Project

    ★★★★

    The film gets its title from the original Disney name given for the massive Amusement park located in Orlando Florida when it was in the planning stages. Directed by the impressive Sean Baker who shot his last film “Tangerine” on the budget of well a tangerine and on several iPhones no less blasts out and on to the major filmmakers circle of honor with this touching yet sometimes obvious take on childhood with its simple joys and large perils.
    The…

  • Phantom Thread

    Phantom Thread

    ★★★★

    Phantom thread 2017

    I haven’t liked a Paul Thomas Anderson film in a long time, so I was pleased that I was pretty much pleased by this attractive smooth as silk take on the British fashion scene circa 1955. Of course there is much more to the film than just a brilliant and sometimes biting satire of fashion and all that goes with it. Much of my glee is because of Daniel Day Lewis’s brilliant performance, supposedly his last one.…

  • The Silence of the Lambs

    The Silence of the Lambs

    ★★

    The Silence Of The Lambs 1991

    I have always been on shaky ground when it comes to this horror thriller, and my opinion of it after seeing the sharp criterion transfer the other night hasn’t changed. I still consider it overcooked and confusing, and yes I still think it is outrageously homophobic just like it did in 1991, but more about that later. I much prefer Michael Mann’s stylish brightly colored take on this story that was titled “Manhunter” and…

  • The Woman Who Left

    The Woman Who Left

    ★★★★★

    The Woman Who Left 2016

    I don’t know much about the Philippines. I do know that they have suffered at the hands of various conquering nations including the United States throughout their long history. They have been pushed and shoved by various dictators and have been the victims of many kidnappings and much bloodshed including the on going murderous campaign against the drug trade lead by their current heinous dictator.
    I also know nothing about their film industry which it…

  • God's Own Country

    God's Own Country

    ★★★★★

    Stunning debut film from Francis Lee who also wrote the screenplay about the tough life on a isolated Yorkshire sheep farm. The land is rough but beautiful as are some of the people especially Johnny played with frankness and vulnerability by Josh O' Connor. Johnny lives on the farm with his dad who has had a stroke and is difficult but not mean played by the veteran British actor Ian Hart and his Grandmother also strong but not given to…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    ★★★

    The Manchurian Candidate 2004
    Spoiler alert

    No not the 1962 version, I already reviewed it a month or so ago and you can view it at this link if you like. wwwirajoelcinemagebooks.blogspot.com/2018/01/the-manchurian-candidate-1962.html. I’m talking here about the surprisingly good 2004 remake directed by the late Jonathan Demme. Upgraded in time to the first Gulf war, this Manchurian is not involved with the Korean War, but with a dirty international corporation attempting to take over our country with imbedded well placed…

  • The Manchurian Candidate

    The Manchurian Candidate

    ★★★★★

    The Manchurian Candidate 1962

    Set down among the large scale epics, the down home family movies and the silly comedies of 1962 was a small black and white extraordinary cold war paranoia noir thriller that came in on the heels of the Cuban Missile Crisis and a few months before the assassination of a young president, this was a movie that made some of us sit up and scream.
    This movie had the look of reality because of the way…

  • Wind River

    Wind River

    ★★★

    For most of its running time, Wind River which I watched last night is a tough and pretty good murder mystery that is set in God's country Wyoming. It begins with a young girl running for her life in the snow and we soon learn that she is a native American and how and why she was running for her life is the basis of the story. Set mainly on a Native American reservation the film stars Jeremy Renner (wonderful…

  • Call Me by Your Name

    Call Me by Your Name

    ★★★★★

    A Sun drenched voyage to a small town in northern Italy that tells the story of a 17-year-old boy coming of sexual age during a 6 week visit by a strapping handsome sexually stunning American. Played with delicacy and charm by Timothee Chalamet as the 17 year old Eilio who is experimenting with his sexuality during a warm summer of 1983. He is ripe for this experimenting and does so with a lovely young Italian girl but his longing is…