RSS feed for irajoel
  • mother!



    Ok I was warned about this film, to avoid it, hide from it, give it the boot, but did I listen oh no I didn’t. So I only have myself to blame for sitting through this dreadful thing, this pox, this trash. Ok true it was playing at my favorite theatre, The Bam and there was a convenient showing and I do have a fondness for Jennifer Lawrence so I wasted my $11.00 and a few hours of time. Also…

  • Train to Busan

    Train to Busan


    Train To Busan 2016

    If you like zombie movies then this Korean thrill fest might do it for you. This one is set on a speeding train (and that train sure does speed) with a mysterious chemical accident happening in the country, that causes people to bite each other turning them into flesh eating zombies. There is of course no rhyme or reason to all of this, but one would be hard put not to think of the tensions and…

  • The Jewel in the Crown

    The Jewel in the Crown


    A rare treat for those who love long leisurely mini series. This extraordinary 14 hour film was first shown on pbs in 1984 and has now been lovely restored and it shines and glows all over the place. It was originally filmed on 16mm with lots of grain that has now been botoxed and is lovely to look at.
    Also it is in its original ratio of 4:3 which is how all you big screen t.v. owners should watch it,…

  • Kes



    An extraordinary early film from Ken Loach that might just break your heart, it did mine. The film is placed in a poor industrial town in Great Britain and placed in the center of it all is a poor frail and fragile 15 year old who lives with his neglectful Mom and his loutish mine working brother in a hovel. The situations that Billy Casper must put up with are like something out of a Dickens novel in scale and…

  • Heli



    A vivid and brutal depiction of the Mexican drug problem with all that goes with it. Set in a rural part of the country the film is directed by the young filmmaker Amat Escalante who won the best director prize at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013. Amat is certainly talented with a sure hand and a vivid eye for telling a story no matter how unpleasant that story might be.
    The film is simple. A family comprised of a…

  • Get Out

    Get Out


    A big unexpected money maker and critical hit (it got a 99% rating on rotten tomatoes) from last Winter is this small scale labor of love horror film that wears it’s bleeding heart (metaphorically) and influences on its tattered sleeve.
    Written and directed by Jordan Peele who is a partner in the successful comedy team of Peele and Key this movie is not at all what you would expect from an African American comedian and is not for everyone but…

  • Marjorie Morningstar

    Marjorie Morningstar


    A very precious love. Made in 1958 but looking like a throw back to all those glamorous woman weepies of the 1940’s, this one was actually directed by one of the kings of that genre Irving Rapper. A Warner Bros. contract director Rapper made some of the best Bette Davis movies including the divine and dripping with tears and silliness “Now Voyager” and “Deception.” Marjorie was based on a Herman Wouk novel and set among the upper middle class Jews…

  • 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


    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


    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…