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  • The Loved Ones

    The Loved Ones

    ★★★

    Harsh and scary. I had never heard of this Australian horror feast until I read through my latest issue of Film Comment and an interview with the director Sean Byrne. The author Laura Kern raved about The Loved Ones, so I thought what's good for Film Comment is good for Ira Joel. I did some more research on it and found a 98% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is very impressive so I ordered it through Netflix and watched…

  • Seven Days in May

    Seven Days in May

    ★★½

    Watched this relic of the cold war the other night, and although not very good, it does have things in it that are way too close to our current political situation and delivers a kick or two. . Directed by John Frankenheimer with a screenplay by Rod Serling its a cheap looking thriller about the take over and take down of our country by the military. Led and run by the granite like Burt Lancaster who has it in for…

  • Things to Come

    Things to Come

    ★★★★

    This is the second great performance from Isabelle Huppert in 2016. The first was in “Elle”, which is the complete opposite of her work in this lean but complex work about a woman entering middle age and the pitfalls that fall on her. In other words its’ about life and how we handle it. In this film Huppert (who I consider our greatest actress working in film) plays Natalie a philosophy professor married for 25 years to another teacher of…

  • The Witness for the Prosecution

    The Witness for the Prosecution

    ★★★★

    No this is not your Billy Wilder version but a British tv movie that is based on the original short story that ran for a mere 20pgs. or so. I found it at my library and it will jangle the loose change in your pockets, and make your foot tap nervously, in other words its terrific. Set in the early 20's and lavishly produced and beautifully filmed it is still holds much of the story including the twists and turns…

  • The Diary of Anne Frank

    The Diary of Anne Frank

    ★★★½

    The Diary Of Anne Frank 1959

    The other night I made a dvd visit to this film, which I first saw as a 12 year old at its reserved seat engagement at the Palace Theatre on Times Sq. I was the same age as Anne was when she entered the hiding place and for the first time in my young life I realized how hated I was simply because of who I was. I was a little weary of returning…

  • Paterson

    Paterson

    ★★★★

    Paterson 2016

    A near perfect sweet gentle note about the art of making art from that unique and singular moviemaker Jim Jarmusch. Set in the run down rumble tumble once proud industrial New Jersey city of Paterson it stars the wonderful Adam Driver as Paterson (I kid you not) who drives a bus during the day. He listens to and observes his passengers as we do, and writes poetry during his lunch breaks down by the beautiful Paterson falls and…

  • The Hanging Tree

    The Hanging Tree

    ★★★

    A little known western directed by Delmar Davis who had a good run in Hollywood and is mostly known for his sugar sweet teen romance movies of the early 60's like “Parrish”, “Susan Slade”, “Rome Adventure” and his most most “A Summer Place all of which starred that great thespian Troy Donahue. He also made the very good Bogart Bacall noirish film in the late 40’s “Dark Passage” with a terrific shrewish performance from Agnes Moorehead and a slew of…

  • Nocturnal Animals

    Nocturnal Animals

    ★★★

    Oy Oy Land. If you can get through the opening credits of very obese naked older women dancing by themselves then you might be ready for the rest of this film. The director fashion designer Tom Ford in his second feature films these sad and grotesque dancers up close and in slow motion and it is painful to watch. It seems unending and confusing. Just what are we watching, Is it a spiky send up of Marina Abramovic’s tacky use…

  • Elmer Gantry

    Elmer Gantry

    ★★

    Simplistic, loud and over long adaption of the Sinclair Lewis novel that was quite the thing back in 1960. The film was controversial for its taking down of organized religion with the bulk of the story focusing on revival tent preachers and evangelists who roamed the back woods and rural wastelands of the country during the late 1920's. We can look at this film and see our past and sadly our present state of affairs. Lewis was attacking the simple…

  • The Misfits

    The Misfits

    ★★★★★

    The other night I watched “The Misfits”, John Huston’s great sad film with a friend who had never seen it. I’ve seen it many times; the first was a partial viewing in 1960 when I was 14. For some forgotten reason I saw it those many years ago with my brother in law who took me one night to see it at my neighborhood Loew’s.
    Maybe he was waiting to meet my sister at my family’s luncheonette that was a…

  • Giant

    Giant

    ★★★

    Giant 1956

    A 500pd. Burrito heavy on the beans, but still entertaining in parts even though it may give you the runs. This wilting yellow rose of Texas directed by George Stevens was one of the big hits and big money makers of 1956 probably because of the powerhouse cast and the sprawling epic look of it. It was nominated for 10 Oscars and won a best director Oscar for Stevens his 2nd one for directing a film that did…

  • Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

    Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench

    ★★★★

    For all you La La Land lovers allow me to recommend Damien Chazelle's first film made when he was only 24. Shot on black and white 16mm film and running a tight 85 minutes this romantic triangle between an African American Jazz Trumpeter and his two back and forth white girlfriends is charming, quirky and lovely and this time we are in Boston with some scenes in New York City. Guy is a nice guy but a user of women.…