The Stunt Man (1980)

Citizen Crane There are quite a few movies like this, films that reference films and that also aver that the drama within can bend the reality without. The kernel of this idea was ‘Citizen Kane’ but it seemed to flower after John Fowles published ‘The Magus’ and the Beatles followed his lead. This one has… Continue reading The Stunt Man (1980)

Ignition (2001)

Wet Powder, Powerful Powder This little disaster probably resulted from 9-11. I get the impression that the project was halted halfway through and was just shoved out in this form. No great loss. But it does have two interesting elements. The first is Lena Olin. I think she is one of the most interesting woman… Continue reading Ignition (2001)

If I Had a Million (1932)

Two Leers The thirties had more experiments in exploring genres than any other time. One of those was the episode genre. It has become only a curiosity in later years because a great many films (and most comedies) are just a series of episodes loosely connected. In this case, the connection is a millionaire who… Continue reading If I Had a Million (1932)

D-Tox (2002)

Ten Little Cops in Intensive Care I tracked this down because of Polly Walker, someone whose early film career was really impressive, and I got caught up in this rather interesting project. It attempts an awful lot, starting with an Agatha Christie mystery foundation, “Ten Little Indians” except in this case the ten are all… Continue reading D-Tox (2002)

I Remember Mama (1948)

Dismembered There are a few things to like about this: the framing and staging is extraordinary, as if George Stevens wanted to reinvent the eye after his war experiences. Some choreography is worth seeing over and over. I have recalled that bit about the window falling down for decades. The acting is generally very good… Continue reading I Remember Mama (1948)

The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

Three Forces My gosh: how could this fail to please. It employs all three of the major forces in pandering film: cute children, a beautiful woman ennobled by adversity and finally: unlikely ‘interracial’ love (‘.. he pressed his earthy oriental skin…’). The scriptwriter’s task is to take these three forces and merge them into a… Continue reading The Inn of the Sixth Happiness (1958)

I, Madman (1989)

Schizo The setup here is a typical fold. An actress has a day job in a book store. She reads horror books and imagines herself in them. One day, she comes across an author who, when writing, had the story and real life merge. In reading the books, they “come alive”. Her actor and book… Continue reading I, Madman (1989)

Cruella (2021)

Princess Leyline One way to look at this is why it was made. Clearly, Disney marketing has found a princess niche not served by the direct approach. You have to admire the art of discovering and mining a market. Perhaps no one can do what these folks do in discovering and exploiting tween girl urge.… Continue reading Cruella (2021)