JamesM has written 2 reviews for films rated ★★½ during 2020.

  • Annie



    Disclaimer: I'm not a big fan of musicals. Now that that's out of the way:

    Annie is an immaculately crafted work of old-school Hollywood schmaltz; John Huston does an impressive job directing the musical numbers, and he gets some fun performances out of Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, and Tim Curry. Finney in particular deserves praise; he makes Daddy Warbucks likeable, but consistently retains a coldness that prevents the character from becoming saccharine.

    Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for Aileen…

  • The Haunted Castle

    The Haunted Castle


    A fairly static drama/mystery film; do not go into it expecting horror. The sets are nice and give the film a Gothic atmosphere, there is one great, creepy dream sequence that foreshadows the phenomenal imagery that Murnau would conjure up a year later in Nosferatu, and there is a fun plot twist at the end that I did not see coming, but other than these elements, the film is dull.

    The characters are underdeveloped and Murnau's cinematography is surprisingly unremarkable;…