Movie: Lady in a Jam (1942)

Irene Dunne used to be a huge star, so much so that she was billed over Cary Grant for screwball comedy classic The Awful Truth in 1937.  She was still top-billed in the similarly madcap Lady in a Jam five years later, though this is nowhere near as sharp as that earlier film. Something feels […]

Movie: One False Move (1991)

This 1991 neo-noir opens with a scene that got under my skin.  It is a one-two punch of home invasions in Los Angeles. At the first house, there’s a birthday party for a teen boy underway, and this event is being videotaped by his father.  Cynda Williams appears to be a friend of the family […]

Movie: Rawhead Rex (1986)

Clive Barker has an odd legacy on film.  He completely disowned the movie made from the first story he wrote, which was Underworld.  No, not the picture you’re thinking of, but one George Pavlou directed in 1985 and which isn’t strictly horror.  I find it strange Barker teamed up with Pavlou again just a year […]

Seeing the total eclipse

On April 8, 2024, I saw my first total solar eclipse. I just happen to live at the very edge of totality, so the sun was only fully obscured by the moon for a couple of seconds. Still, it left a strong impression on me. My first thought as the moon crept across the sun […]

We don’t deserve the moon

A solar eclipse is happening today, and I happen to live in the path of totality.  This is the kind of event which excites me because the rare occurrences of such have had such a profound impact throughout time, all the way back to our earliest ancestors.  That we (and even those early humans) exist […]

Movie: The Capture (1950)

The term “toxic masculinity” has been in vogue for the past few years.  While I think it is correct to call men out on our bullshit, films such as 1950’s The Capture reveals some weird expectations society has put on men to be “macho”, and I think that environment is partly responsible for some of […]

Movie: Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (2024)

I have yet to see a film with the outlandishly popular Minions in it, and yet I find the adoption of them into current zeitgeist irritating.  Hands down, the single worst aspect of 2021’s Ghostbusters: Afterlife were the mini Stay Pufts, which were basically the Minions of that film.  Somebody behind 2024’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire […]

Movie: Ghostbusters: Afterlife (2021)

My brother-in-law is a massive Ghostbusters fan, which I find curious, as he was all of four years old when the original film was released.  As for myself, I was in the key demographic for it: young enough to clamor for all the tie-in merchandise I could get, while old enough to understand what was […]

Movie: Portrait in Black (1960)

I was recently read a book about the making of the movie Airplane!, even though I’m not that film’s biggest fan.  One of the main takeaways for me from Surely You Can’t Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane! is how most of the humor that works best in the film is due to it […]

Movie: Chicago Confidential (1957)

There are so many character actors I have seen in so many old movies that I’m starting to wonder if I will eventually find a movie where the entire cast is actors like Eugene Pallette, William Demarest and Patsy Kelly.  One such actor is Elisha Cook.  I suspect four randomly picked noirs from that genre’s […]

Movie: Sorrowful Jones (1949)

There’s nothing I like better in a film than snappy dialog.  I have found Bob Hope to be an excellent actor for delivering such repartee.  So I was surprised by how little I laughed when watching 1949’s Sorrowful Jones.  One of the first problems is the dialog scans as smart and snappy, but it isn’t […]

Movie: The Lady Eve (1941)

I recently read the most recent Johnathan Carroll novel, Mr. Breakfast, and there was a bit in it where a character is grateful to her boyfriend for introducing her to the films of Preston Sturges.  I think it sad that is a name not more broadly recognized today.  It is almost as depressing to me […]

Movie: The Boss (1956)

Now here is one odd noir.  1956’s The Boss begins as US soldiers are returning home from fighting in the first world war.  That’s earlier than when most such films are set. Also, this is a thinly-veiled biopic of a real public figure, ala Citizen Kane, which is odd for the genre.  Not sure why […]