Favorite films

  • The Swimmer
  • Wild Geese
  • Pastoral Symphony
  • Chair de Poule

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  • Two of a Kind

    ★½

  • The Return of the Living Dead

    ★★★½

  • Bridge of Japan

    ★★★½

  • Thomasine & Bushrod

    ★★★

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  • The Hunting Party

    The Hunting Party

    ★★½

    Oh Bloody Sam what have you wrought? This dark and dirty Western featuring Gene Hackman, Oliver Reed and Candice Bergen revels in the old ultra-violence with not even a passing interest in some pseudo-intellectual revisionism. So mean spirited that it dispenses with even the occasional whimsy that made so many a Hollywood Western of the period tonally awkward (see my Hannie Caulder / There Was a Crooked Man... capsule reviews). Sam Peckinpah himself in his post Wild Bunch Westerns modulated…

  • Blue Velvet

    Blue Velvet

    ★★★★★

    On this rewatch I found the “funniest” moment (in no way implying that I think this stone cold masterpiece is kitsch) to be the one where Laura Dern’s Sandy talking on the phone to Kyle MacLachlan’s Jeffrey Beaumont at the hardware store asks him about his second visit to Isabella Rossellini’s Dorothy Vallens’ apartment with a -

    well, how’d it go?

    Jeffrey,
    [presumably after recalling his break-in to chanteuse Dorothy’s apartment where he was forced to undress at knifepoint (after…

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  • Two of a Kind

    Two of a Kind

    ★½

    What’s blonde, Australian and explosive?

    Olivia Neutron-Bomb

    You know you’ve made it when joke books aimed at nine year-olds play around with your name. Unfortunately, the lovely Ms. ONJ was not a prolific film actress - so to honour her too short life with a viewing of an unseen film, I get stuck with this stinker of all stinkers, which even my 13 year old sister warned me about back in the day.

  • Forbidden

    Forbidden

    ★★½

    After its release in 1952 the romantic ballad “You Belong to Me” (Price/King/Stewart) was quickly to become a 50s pop songbook standard with treatments from Jo Stafford, Patti Page, Ella Fitzgerald and Dean Martin (my fave being Patsy Cline’s take). This semi-passable noirish Casablanca Jr. B movie from Universal-International saturates the score with this song as a device to connect the romantic leads (Tony Curtis and Joanne Dru) with melancholy, yearning and mixed emotions in a Rick and Ilsa sort…

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  • Corvette Summer

    Corvette Summer

    How big a Star Wars fan was I at ten years old? Let’s just say I bought the novelization of Corvette Summer.

  • The Incident

    The Incident

    ★★★½

    This post Kitty Genovese murder (1964) and pre-Bernie Goetz vigilantism (1984) take on NYC urban dread and bystander indifference is a rather stark and mean affair. The black and white, low-budget, gritty location shot elements of it all is suggestive of NY set 60s films like Blast of Silence, Something Wild, The Young Savages (all 1961), The Pawnbroker (1964), or even the British made subway car set Dutchman from the same year. One on-line commentator suggested the film is strange…