• The Player

    The Player

    ★★★★

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Movies, now more than ever! The slogan looms high over a film studio’s back lot racing with suits zig-zagging every which way accompanying the murmuring hum of movie talk. Writers shuffle through offices pitching ideas and facing brutal rejections from callous producers. One executive in particular, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) has concerns about being pushed out of the job by a young up-and-comer while simultaneously receiving death threats from a disgruntled writer whose pitch he seems to have swept under…

  • Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

    Come Back to the 5 & Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean

    ★★★★

    James Dean, the fifties heart-throb actor, is not so much an actor but more a deity to the young girls of McCarthy, Texas. Fueling their fervent obsession, a gang of these groupie teenagers establish “The Disciples of James Dean,” a fan club run out of a Woolworth’s Five and Dime store. Being only 62 miles from the set of Dean’s new film “Giant,” Mona, one of the groups most passionate members, travels to meet the actor. Upon returning, she claims…

  • The Parallax View

    The Parallax View

    ★★★★

    When revisiting “The Parallax View,” the same feeling always resonates with me. While director Alan J. Pakula mesmerizes in this suspenseful, gritty second chapter of his Paranoia Trilogy, it still remains somewhat rough around the edges. Perhaps I’m overly-critical because I enjoy the film or maybe it’s that I prefer Pakula’s beautiful subtlety with the thriller genre. Either way, while still riveting and entertaining, “The Parallax View” lacks that subtlety that the other Paranoia thrillers possess, being more-so in your…

  • Nashville

    Nashville

    ★★★★★

    Hitch on your cowboy boots, hats and embroidered shirts for the musical, political, satirical and outrageous panoramic spectacle from director Robert Altman, “Nashville.” As the title reveals, the centerpiece is none other than the country music capitol, Nashville, Tennessee. Worthy of breaking some record, the film revolves around twenty-four main characters, presenting numerous narratives from all walks of life. From the oddball presidential candidate Hal Philp Walker, who’s never shown on screen, to the distressed country idol Barbara Jean, to…

  • Klute

    Klute

    ★★★★½

    Never has a title been so misleading. In reading any synopsis of this film, you’ll find that the story follows John Klute (Donald Sutherland), a clean-cut suburban cop who gets mixed up with the seedy New York underground in search of his missing friend. A trail of obscene letters and cryptic phone calls lead to suspicion that the missing man is stalking a woman in the city. This woman is Bree Daniels (Jane Fonda), a high-class prostitute who has seen…

  • All the President's Men

    All the President's Men

    ★★★★½

    How is it that “All the President’s Men” still holds up as such an intense, gripping political thriller? Don’t audiences today want car chases, femme fatales, and weapons of mass destruction? Going into this, I didn’t expect a good-cop, Bob Woodward, and bad-cop, Carl Bernstein to be storming the White House with guns blazing against mobs of brainwashed Nixon goons. I’m incredibly impressed with how the film refrains from presenting an exaggerated account of true events. Contrary to the 70s…

  • The Graduate

    The Graduate

    ★★★★

    Benjamin Braddock is fresh out of college, not knowing what his future holds. As he searches for a purpose, his parents pressure him to take the next steps in life. It’s the stress of starting life that drives him to start having an affair with a married woman, Mrs. Robinson.

    On the first watching of “The Graduate,” I perceived nothing more than a perverse, melancholy narrative. I’ll admit that I initially failed to understand the real conflict occurring within the…

  • The Batman

    The Batman

    ★★★★½

    In his second year of fighting crime, the Batman investigates a series of high-profile murders. Each victim is an official of the Gotham City government, and it’s quite a surprise that each one is found to be corrupt. While searching for the killer, puzzling cyphers and clues strike fairly close to the home of Bruce Wayne. Nobody in Gotham is prepared to know how deep the corruption really runs.

    What word can be used to best describe “The Batman?” Gritty.…

  • The Virgin Spring

    The Virgin Spring

    ★★★½

    This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

    Karin, the angelic virgin daughter of a medieval Christian farmer, is commissioned to deliver candles to a distant church. To reach her destination, the young girl crosses a bleak pagan woodland harboring souls wishing to take advantage of her chastity and naivete. While traveling with her adopted sister Ingeri, Karin is viciously assaulted and murdered by herdsmen in the thick of the wood. Confronted with a clash between faith and vengeance, Karin’s father seeks the blood of the men who…

  • A Face in the Crowd

    A Face in the Crowd

    ★★★★

    Andy Griffith delivers an explosive performance as the handsome, broad grinning, blues singer Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes in this gem by Elia Kazan, A Face in the Crowd (1957). Before adopting the “Lonesome” persona, Larry finds himself a resident of a small town in Arkansas and a frequent guest at the county jailhouse. Never did he imagine his life amounting more than a bottle of liquor, nor did he really mind it. However, when perky media host Marcia Jefferies (Patricia Neal)…

  • Blood and Black Lace

    Blood and Black Lace

    ★★

         All of the stylized violence and mystery of the giallo is showcased here in Blood and Black Lace (1964) within the backdrop of the world of fashion. When a model is killed, and her body is found stuffed in the salon closet, the audience is forced to play whodunnit with the rest of the models and salon workers. 
         
    With all of the flamboyant and colorful characters, mixed with the drama, jealousy, and competition of the fashion…

  • A Night to Remember

    A Night to Remember

    ★★★★

         A Night To Remember (1958) paints an honest depiction of the Titanic incident through the eyes of those aboard the vessel and the vision of Roy Ward Baker. There is not much explaining when it comes to disaster films, especially when they are applied to non fictional historical context. Everyone can understand the irony of a ship deemed “unsinkable,” getting heaved down to Davy Jone’s locker on its maiden voyage. What makes this film so great is not…