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  • Ordeal by Innocence

    Ordeal by Innocence

    ★★★★

    Occasionally overwrought, but totally involving, this 3-part BBC Agatha Christie adaptation tells the story of the murder of a family matriarch. As usual, everyone in the family has a motive to do the deed; and secrets are ultimately disclosed. Unfortunately for me, I guessed most of the secrets well in advance of when I was supposed to. And I pegged the actual killer very early. However, the upper-crust British atmosphere was well portrayed; and the nice cast, and skilled direction made the experience worth the trip.

  • Goyokin

    Goyokin

    ★★★½

    I was privileged to watch on the big screen a gorgeous Panavision color film print of this classic Japanese samurai epic. It is the story of a ronan who extracts revenge on his former masters for the massacre of an entire village to hide an even greater crime. For my taste, the incessant violence was a little much...but it is an inherent part of the genre. Goyokin was the first Japanese wide-screen color epic...and there are massive visual set-pieces of…

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  • El Topo

    El Topo

    ★★★★★

    The New York Times contacted me today for background about my review of El Topo that was published in the L.A. Free Press on April 23, 1971. They provided me with a scan of the article, and I'm reposting it here. Maybe 43 years later its verbiage is a little embarrassing; but I stand by what I wrote back then. How often do we get an opportunity to view what we thought about films through the prism of the far…

  • Joy

    Joy

    ★½

    David O. Russell's popularity and reputation for enlightened whimsy eludes me. I can't blame the actors in what has become his "stock company" for my dislike of this film. Rather it must be Russell's mechanistic, by-the-numbers script filled with neurotic characters acting nonsensically. I know I'm out of step with audiences here; so forget that I ever tried to review this film.