Confess, Fletch

Padre For some reason, the noir detective — and the companion trope of sky — is easy to turn comedic. One of the tried and true techniques is the Nick Charles model of coolness, plus joke lines intended directly for the viewer not the on-screen companion. I cannot recall the earlier versions with Chase, and… Continue reading Confess, Fletch

50 First Dates (2004)

Drew Draws I’ve come to appreciate this actress. Women can do things in that space between the film and us that male actors just cannot. Blame it on the feminine nature or cultural imperatives, depending on your views. But there is no denying that the art is quite different for women. Drew is not a… Continue reading 50 First Dates (2004)

The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Surprised I’m trying to find where film audiences started to accept the mystery as merely a surprise ending. You know that the successful mysteries for many decades were “detective stories” that had very clear rules about how the viewer could outwit the writer and guess, actually determine the reality of what happened. It was something… Continue reading The Kennel Murder Case (1933)

Alice in Acidland (1969)

Showing the Unshowable At the root, the filmmakers dilemma has two fangs. One challenge is to take things that people know and bend and filter them in ways that can be seen as “natural” when it gets to the other side, past the set, the film, the beam, the retina, the neurons. In other words,… Continue reading Alice in Acidland (1969)

Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976)

Mock Turtle Alice appears in scores of films, and many of the appearances are subliminal. I’ve made a hobby of collecting all the references and looking to see how cleverly they exploit the story. As it happens, there is a natural fit between Alice and sex, and the fantasy that defines life. The best example… Continue reading Alice in Wonderland: An X-Rated Musical Fantasy (1976)

I Cover the War! (1937)

Picture Snatcher Before ‘Stagecoach’ turned John Wayne into a celebrated wooden actor, he was a an ordinary uncelebrated one in a series of odd projects. Probably the most interesting of these odd deals is this movie. It doesn’t seem to be rentable. In terms of the actual production, its the standard mess, made a bit… Continue reading I Cover the War! (1937)

Freaky Friday (2003)

Borrowed Eyes I am convinced that many movies are about movies as a matter of demand. When we enter that darkened room, we often expect not be taken to another real reality, but to a movie reality that has some degree of self-awareness. A great many of these movies have some sort of body-shifting. The… Continue reading Freaky Friday (2003)

Finding Neverland (2004)

Still Not Found Never have I been so disappointed. This movie is right up my alley: I’m studying so-called “folded” films. A fine example is when you have a movie that has a play inside it and the reality of the two blur, like with “French Lieutenant’s Woman.” This has another layer, the “neverland” which… Continue reading Finding Neverland (2004)