RSS feed for irajoel
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

    Cat on a Hot Tin Roof


    Gutted and skinned for late 50’s audiences it’s still quite enjoyable as a big Hollywood thing featuring two beauties at the beginning (paul Newman) and the middle (elizabeth Taylor) of their remarkable careers. During the filming Liz was actually in mourning over the untimely death of her husband Mike Todd who went Around The World and hit a mountain on the way home. Poor Liz, still looking ravishing and doing a good job as a ripe southern belle who married…

  • I Remember Mama

    I Remember Mama


    I Remember Mama 1948

    George Stevens made this cherished film after returning from the horrors of War and the liberation of the concentration camps that he took part in which changed him forever and he would never make another light sophisticated comedy again. Based on a book of memoirs by Kathryn Forbes about her grandmother who immigrated from Norway in the 19th century it was also adapted into a hit play in 1944 which featured a young a beautiful Marlon…

  • Working Girl

    Working Girl


    Mike Nichol’s 1988 throw back to 30’s and 40’s romantic comedies. The film is lush comfortable and a little misogynist with an unbelievable premise and a make believe aura that is set in a fabled New York City where the only borough is Manhattan and the women who live in Staten Island and take the ferry to the Emerald City every morning all look like clowns with mile high hair and the men are all Guidos who cheat on their…

  • The Souvenir

    The Souvenir


    ira joel haber

    The Souvenir 2019

    So for some this is the film of the moment, maybe the month or according to A.O. Scott for him, so far it’s the film of the year. I saw it the other day at the BAM and I have mixed feelings for it. I certainly found it intriguing and a challenge on many fronts and the director Joanna Hogg has made a film rich with visual treats and complex characters some of whom…

  • The Bigamist

    The Bigamist


    The bigamist 1953

    This is a “B” blue plate special served up nicely by the director and star Ida Lupino. Largely ignored by audiences and critics alike when it was first released, it never the less played at a first run movie theatre in Times Sq. The plot is the title, and was a daring movie for the time. In it Edmond O’Brien is a successful salesman of freezers and lives a nice life in San Francisco in a snazzy…

  • Good News

    Good News


    A brightly colored M.G.M. musical that sometimes hits the spot. Set in a make believe back lot college in 1927 that sends the period through the window with late 40’s costumes, hair and set design and with a cast that were mostly too old for their parts. The plot is silly and dated (hell it was dated in 1947) but its still fun to watch especially the big musical dance numbers which include “Pass That Peace Pipe” which was nominated…

  • The Favourite

    The Favourite


    Saw another big ticket movie of the year and I pretty much ate this one up with a big spoon and a napkin tucked under my chin to catch all the wonderful drippings. Set in the court of Queen Anne, who is eccentric, difficult and very ill with the gout and who is also quite lesbian. Here she is playing rub my legs with her childhood friend and top advisor Lady Sarah played with great sarcasm and nastiness by Rachel…

  • Stranger on the Third Floor

    Stranger on the Third Floor


    Stranger On the Third Floor 1940

    A sixty minute slap in the mug. Made by RKO with some great character actors, and 2 unknown leads, this squirt in the eye movie is considered by some to be the first film noir before the term existed. Possible since it is severe, dark, expressionistic and cheaply made on the backlot of RKO. Known as an A and B studio making those great Astaire Rogers musicals along with those classic Val Lewton flickers…

  • The Cakemaker

    The Cakemaker


    Trying hard not to give too much away. A young handsome German Baker who lives and operates a charming Cafe in Berlin starts an affair with an equally attractive Jewish businessman who comes to Berlin often and loves the baker’s cookies. The businessman lives in Jerusalem with his plain wife and son and one day he returns to Jerusalem but is never heard of again. It gets dicey for me at this point because as I said I’m trying hard…

  • Suspiria


    Suspiria 2018

    spoiler alerts

    A nearly 3 hour somewhat boring mess. Listen if you are a fan of the original 1977 Dario Argento film, you should probably do yourself a favor and skip this dud. The problems with it are as high and long as the Berlin wall that hovers over the film, one of many obvious symbolic touches that the director Luca Guadagnino thought was needed. The story has some similarities to the original and is set in a…

  • The Rape of Recy Taylor

    The Rape of Recy Taylor


    I had heard of this doc. and was planning on eventually seeing it. So there it was on the shelf of my wonderful Bay Ridge library and I grabbed it. Saw it last night and of course I was moved and upset by it, but I urge everyone to see it, even though it hurts to see it. Its amazing that what we have been going through of late how this sad story fits right in. It's not only about…

  • Suspicion



    Suspicion 1941

    Suspicion was made one year after Hitchcock’s famous Oscar winning movie Rebecca that was based on a famous romantic thriller novel. Hitchcock trying to repeat his success that he had with Rebecca once again adapted a romantic thriller and dusted off Joan Fontaine for the film that has some similarities with R but is not as thrilling or flashy. Instead it sort of plods along using Joan in another colorless role, benign, drab and meek to be sure,…