The White Cockatoo (1935)

Bible Verses I pride myself on being able to say something both useful and positive about a film, a discipline a wise man taught as a practice for the more useful challenge with souls we meet. The dynamics overlap in narratives that each carry. I found it a bit difficult this time around, because my… Continue reading The White Cockatoo (1935)

Jurassic World Dominion

Ancient Chase DNA What I find curious is how franchises become more ordinary over time. This is far from an original observation in terms of world construction and story. It makes sense to reuse these, because that defines the franchise. So we get the same basic world, same bad guys and situations (here amplified a… Continue reading Jurassic World Dominion

Une dernière fois (2020)

Dry This is a very promising idea. Take a 69 year old actress who was a star from the golden age of porn, someone who has maintained over the years a position of dignity in self-governed sexual expression. Posit the situation that this woman is for some reason alone, without sex for some time, and… Continue reading Une dernière fois (2020)

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

Europe in Disguise This is a Russian TV production, closely following the Conan Doyle stories. Comments that I have seen accept it as a good version, mostly on the basis of the characterisations. But I find it dreadful, and credit two influences. The first is my understanding of the role the Holmes stories played and… Continue reading The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson: King of Blackmailers (1980)

Kate (2021)

Western Appropriation What a mess. Looks like the Wick movies are dragging a huge part of the industry behind tough guys and modern gunfight choreography. Here and in ‘Nobody’ the formula is three big set pieces strung together by trusted tropes. This one is more offensive — at least to me — because I am… Continue reading Kate (2021)

Moonfall (2022)

Cluelessness I like what Emmerich does with the camera; he is closer to dePalma than Bay, so I’ll watch his stuff. But he is clearly in the Bay character universe where manly heroes work on cars, scientists are always baffled, the military is feckless, and even clever institutions are background noise. This is a long… Continue reading Moonfall (2022)

Sparkling Cyanide

Useless Cushions I could have put up with the silly detectives and their dated witticisms. The similarly dated use of technology… I could have overlooked the cheapness throughout, if they had only preserved the core element of a Christie mystery: we have to be surprised in a very special way at the end. We don’t… Continue reading Sparkling Cyanide

Ten Little Indians (1989)

Camp I think making a Christie film must be hard, because so seldom does it work. For me, the metric is very simple. We need to be allowed to speculate against multiple impossibilities. Many folks will be exposed for hidden, possibly relevant qualities. What makes Christie work is that at the end, things are explained,… Continue reading Ten Little Indians (1989)

Inside the Room (1935)

Clean on Top, Dirty on Bottom There are several events in US history that damaged the nation. We will not recover from the Civil War for generations if current politics remain, as they surely will. Prohibition and abortion. Wars. Book burnings. Among these is the Hayes act. Just as we were discovering the narrative power… Continue reading Inside the Room (1935)

Paddington (2014)

Birds Years ago, when I saw Billy Elliot, my attention was drawn away from where it was intended. I saw instead a tragic film about a little girl whose mother was more interested in a talented outsider. That mother was played by the redoubtable Julie Walters; her presence compared to the weakness of the others… Continue reading Paddington (2014)