Movie: Ladies Who Do (1963)

In 2012, some of the confetti used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade was discovered to be shredded internal files of the Nassau County Police Department.  Intact strips of paper included names, address, phone numbers and social security numbers of officers, including some who were working undercover. While we know the importance of internal documents […]

The Birthday Clock

There was a husband and wife who shared an enthusiasm for a particular aberration. For his birthday, she bought him a wall-mounted clock. It was in the style of traditional European clock-making. It had one unusual feature: each hour, on the hour, a small male and a small female mannequin would exit through a door […]

Movie: Lady On A Train (1945)

I have a ton of noir, but Lady On A Train is the first noir comedy I have seen.  That is a bizarre sub-genre, and this movie only operates alternately as noir or comedy, without really mixing the two.  It’s almost like one movie was crudely grafted onto another–with a third movie, a musical, worked […]

Movie: The Lady Gambles (1949)

Always interesting when a movie does exactly what it says on the tin. Barbara Stanwyck is the titular lady who develops a taste for gambling while honeymooning in Las Vegas with a new hubby.  We learn this in flashback, after seeing Stanwyck get pummeled by two thugs when she tries to use loaded dice in […]

Movie: The Night House (2020)

You know that optical illusion where you first think you’re looking at a drawing of a vase, and then you see the inverse of the image, and it turns out is the outline of two faces staring at each other in profile (or vice-versa)? Liar—you’ve seen something like that before. Anywho, there’s a neat effect […]

Movie: Magic Town (1947)

Jimmy Stewart stars in a screwball comedy from 1947, alongside Jane Wyman and about a dozen faces (but not necessarily names) that will be familiar to anybody who watches a lot of movies of this vintage.  How could this go wrong? And yet, Magic Town somehow misses the mark. The movie starts out promisingly enough: […]

Movie: Elstree 1976 (2015)

A lot of people are involved in the production of any movie and, in a movie like Star Wars, there’s an unusually great number of people who were extras, or played minor characters and were unrecognizable under helmets or in latex masks.  Elstree 1976 is a documentary about some of those actors, people of various […]

Movie: The Rite (2011)

Second to torture porn, exorcism movies may the worst type of horror film.  Every one of them adheres, to varying degrees, to a boilerplate. Unavoidably, they always have the big exorcism as the final third.  And yet, I must find this genre a guilty pleasure because it seems I have seen every one of the […]

Movie: Spaced Invaders (1990)

I’m not sure if Spielberg’s influence on 80’s films (whether directing or producing) was such a good thing.  Although he didn’t directly have a hand in 1990’s Spaced Invaders, this is a low-rent riff on many of his recurring themes, notably aliens, suburbs and kids.  There’s even a cute little robot that is befriended by […]