Movie: The Invisible Boy (1957)

1956’s Forbidden Planet was a minor hit, growing in stature over the course of a decade or two.  The film had been huge popular with kids, but though wouldn’t have picked up on the plot basically being Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  No, they loved Robby the Robot, an element the film I still find a bit […]

Movie: The Mississippi Gambler (1953)

It’s odd how there can be somebody who has been in the credits for a great many movies you’ve seen, but never noticed it until a different form of media makes you aware of them.  For example, I never really noticed the wealth of movies Edith Head worked on until the They Might Be Giant’s […]

Movie: Day of the Locust (1975)

I don’t know if audiences of the 1970’s were clamoring for films set four decades prior, but the studios delivered a ton of them.  Paramount, especially, seemed to have a hard-on for making films set in the 1930’s, among them Paper Moon, Lady Sings the Blues and The Last Tycoon.  Well, it worked with Chinatown, […]

Movie: Crack in the World (1965)

If there is one moment in 1965’s Crack in the World which sums it up concisely, it is an innocuous sign reading “CENTRAL OPERATIONS” and pointing to the right.  This is a few feet in front of an elevator, except it is facing the viewer and not those disembarking.  Unless the sign is double-sided, that […]

Movie: Blue Steel (1990)

It is my understanding most law enforcement officers never have to fire a shot in the line of duty at any point in their career.  Poor Jamie Lee Curtis ends up shooting dead a gun-waving robber on the first day of the job in 1990’s Blue Steel.  When I stopped to think about it, the […]

Movie: Dr. Cyclops (1940)

One of my favorite Beatle quips was courtesy of one of those weird Christmas flexi discs they used to release through their fan club.  Talking about the black-and-white Hard Day’s Night, George Harrison says they’re working on another film, and this time it will be in color.  John Lennon doesn’t miss a beat when he […]

Movie: Ghostbusters (2016)

Is it possible to write anything resembling an objective critique of the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters?  For one thing, it isn’t even sure what its name is, with the single-word title in an isolated credit towards the beginning, while the end credits declare its full title to be Ghostbusters: Answer the Call.  Both titles are […]

Movie: Scala!!! Or, the Incredibly Strange Rise and Fall of the World’s Wildest Cinema and How It Influenced a Mixed-up Generation of Weirdos and Misfits (2023)

Funny how much I miss the repertory cinema that used to be in the city closest to where I live.  It has now been 33 years since it projected its last film (Raging Bull, and I was one of very few people at that screening).  And yet, I actually didn’t see many films there while […]

Movie: The Boost (1988)

James Woods has always had a nervy intensity.  No wonder he stays so thin.  He probably burns it all off in nervous energy.  Funny how it never crossed my mind that some of that energy could be from drugs; that is, it never crossed my mind until I saw 1988’s The Boost. Woods plays a […]

Movie: Hercules in the Haunted World (1961)

I’m not big on swords and sandals films, known colloquially as “peplum”.  It seems telling that word is so similar to “pablum”.  So I was surprised by how much I enjoyed 1961’s Hercules in the Haunted World.  It doubtlessly helped it was directed by Mario Bava, a director so fond of strongly colored lighting that […]

Movie: She Played with Fire (1957)

The opening minutes of 1957’s She Played with Fire are like a dream and that’s because, well…it turns out to be a dream.  We first see a metronome in action, before its arm transitions to a windshield wiper going across a car windshield on a stormy night.  Next, we’re floating through the heavy front doors […]

Movie: The Crimson Kimono (1959)

Quite often, my wife and I will watch a movie where one or the other (or both) of us will remark we wish we could see a film about some of the minor characters instead of the main characters.  I was surprised when that wish was fulfilled by 1959’s The Crimson Kimono, an alleged noir […]

Movie: The Great Escape (1963)

There are some wildly popular movies I don’t get around to until it seems every other person on Earth has seen them.  I still haven’t bothered watching Titanic, as I suspect I have seen the entire picture in piecemeal fashion through endless clips I’ve been exposed to over the decades.  From what I’ve seen, I […]