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Apartment (1960)
Movie-wise, there has never been anything like it - laugh-wise, love-wise, or otherwise-wise!
Filmmaker(s): Billy Wilder

Bud Baxter is a minor clerk in a huge New York insurance company, until he discovers a quick way to climb the corporate ladder. He lends out his apartment to the executives as a place to take their mistresses. Although he often has to deal with the aftermath of their visits, one night he's left with a major problem to solve.

Mechanical I have just had quite an argument with a well known film critic. He maintains that films are either good or bad and any good film is just simply good. I maintained that films are little worlds. Some are created more successfully than others. Some...


Published April 15, 2023
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Antonia’s Line (1995)
A motion picture that celebrates everything you love about life.
Filmmaker(s): Marleen Gorris

After World War II, Antonia and her daughter, Danielle, go back to their Dutch hometown, where Antonia's late mother has bestowed a small farm upon her. There, Antonia settles down and joins a tightly-knit but unusual community. Those around her include quirky friend Crooked Finger, would-be suitor Bas and, eventually for Antonia, a granddaughter and great-granddaughter who help create a strong family of empowered women.

Lined Up Some movies are there just to make you feel good about your self. And among those, most do so by showing you values you admire. Characters inhabit those values so we admire them as well. But the whole thing is engineered to parade Hallmark...


Published April 5, 2023
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Another Thin Man (1939)
Their Merriest Hit! Mr. and Mrs. Thin Man Have a B-A-B-Y!
Filmmaker(s): W.S. Van Dyke

Not even the joys of parenthood can stop married sleuths Nick and Nora Charles from investigating a murder on a Long Island estate.

Another Side of Thin With the third of the series, the producers decided to move a little more into the world of Hammett and nudge away from the cutesy cute banter. It is only a little in that direction, but noticeable with the fairly complex plot. Hammett...


Published April 4, 2023
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Annie Get Your Gun (1950)
Biggest musical under the sun!
Filmmaker(s): George Sidney

Gunslinger Annie Oakley romances fellow sharpshooter Frank Butler as they travel with Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show.

Missing This could have been a miracle. It could have featured Judy Garland who in her prime was the most committed performer (with talent) in movies. She prepared the way for Brando. It could have been arranged by Busby Berkeley, who in his prime invented the notion...


Published April 4, 2023
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Anger Management (2003)
Feel the love.
Filmmaker(s): Peter Segal

After a small misunderstanding aboard an airplane escalates out of control, timid businessman Dave Buznik is ordered by the court to undergo anger management therapy at the hands of specialist Dr. Buddy Rydell. But when Buddy steps up his aggressive treatment by moving in, Dave goes from mild to wild as the unorthodox treatment wreaks havoc with his life.

The Game I can’t tell you whether you will like this movie. But I can tell you what they did in putting it together to make you like it. For a long time, professional screenwriters have been leveraging the effects of “folded narrative.” That’s where there is...


Published April 4, 2023
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Angels With Dirty Faces (1938)
The saga of America’s dirty faced kids... and the breaks that life won’t give them!
Filmmaker(s): Michael Curtiz

Childhood chums Rocky Sullivan and Jerry Connelly grow up on opposite sides of the fence: Rocky matures into a prominent gangster, while Jerry becomes a priest, tending to the needs of his old tenement neighborhood.

Shoulder Driving This movie works, and it interests me why. Regular readers of my comments know that I am on a grand quest to map all the introspective and complex folding tricks used to ensnare viewers. I’m convinced they are important. But along comes something like this that...


Published April 4, 2023
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Angels One Five (1952)
A Story of Some of "The Few"...
Filmmaker(s): George More O'Ferrall

The year is 1940 and Pilot Officer T.B. Baird arrives straight out of flight school to join a front line RAF squadron at the height of the Battle of Britain. After an unfortunate start and a drumming down from his commanding officer, Baird must balance the struggle to impress his Group Captain, regain his pride, fit in with his fellow pilots, and survive one of the most intense air battles in history.

Definitions I’m watching this right after the terrorist attacks on London. Immediately, the Brits snapped back to this period, the so-called Battle of Britain where a few outnumbered airmen held off that bad guys. They’ve since forgotten that the bad guys were the Germans (not the...


Published April 4, 2023
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Angels and Demons (2008)
The holiest event of our time. Perfect for their return.
Filmmaker(s): Ron Howard

Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is recruited by the Vatican to investigate the apparent return of the Illuminati - a secret, underground organization - after four cardinals are kidnapped on the night of the papal conclave.

The Simplest Professor, Antimatters Pointing out that Ron Howard is incapable of making a good film is too ordinary and obvious a thing to say. This time he got a cinematographer that at least frames things well. You don’t have to read me to learn that this...


Published April 4, 2023
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Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
No search of human emotions has ever probed so deeply, so truthfully as… Anatomy of a Murder.
Filmmaker(s): Otto Preminger

Semi-retired Michigan lawyer Paul Biegler takes the case of Army Lt. Manion, who murdered a local innkeeper after his wife claimed that he raped her. Over the course of an extensive trial, Biegler parries with District Attorney Lodwick and out-of-town prosecutor Claude Dancer to set his client free, but his case rests on the victim's mysterious business partner, who's hiding a dark secret.

Drunk Lawyers There seems to be a sub-genre of movies that feature drunk or downtrodden lawyers taking on cases and winning. This is sometimes associated with the “courtroom” film where reality is unfolded according to specific rules, coloured by human dynamics. And this is under the...


Published April 2, 2023
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Anabel Takes a Tour (1938)
Filmmaker(s): Lew Landers

Annabel Allison, star of Wonder Pictures, is irked at her poor publicity, especially when a rival gets engaged to a Marquis; so she makes studio head Webb re-hire disgraced publicity agent Morgan for her personal appearance tour. The trip proceeds with a flurry of Morgan's crazy, slapstick publicity stunts. Then Annabel has her chance to "bag" a real Viscount.

Sometimes It Is People Serious film nuts are out there. I get mail from waves of them every day as I run in the dark, stepping on feet with my comments. There seem to be two kinds of zealots: those attached to genres and archetypes and those...


Published April 2, 2023
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