The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

Practical Summer movies, what a zone to enter! What a collection of thrills, disappointments and adventures of different kinds! Sometimes for me they take me to a sublime place: “King Kong”, “Van Helsing”. Most times it is just noise. If it is cinematic, I’ll credit it with space in my life. Yes, I know the… Continue reading The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift (2006)

How High (2001)

Not Stale These things play a game, a delicate game. The idea is primarily to make fun of stereotypes while at the same time exploiting those. They satisfy the dummy watchers while making fun of them. That’s a long tradition in humour and especially ethnic humour, black humour distinctly derived from self-deprecating Jewish humour. The… Continue reading How High (2001)

House of Wax (2005)

Melted Me A good movie may be like anything else: long periods of ordinariness with a few memorable bits. We tend to recall and savour only those memorable bits. For me, that was this movie. Yes, it was ordinary: hokey, stupid, bad acting and such. Yes, the very idea of this genre puts the viewer… Continue reading House of Wax (2005)

Hitman (2007)

Clones I found this solid and competent. The curious thing is that what it did well, it did not because of what it is, but because it did not stick closely to the world of the video game. This is also why the fan base rejected it. Apparently, the agent in the game is one… Continue reading Hitman (2007)

Auto Focus (2002)

Soldiering, Winking, Filming Paul Schrader simultaneously fascinates and repels me. That’s because he has such intelligent ideas for films, and then makes then in such a pedestrian fashion the inspiration is all but trod away. And his ideas are so very clever in addition to being intelligently cinematic. Here’s the notion behind this one: America… Continue reading Auto Focus (2002)

Murder She Said (1961)

Tumbling Down My history of introspection in film starts with clever mystery writers. Then when talkies fell on us there was a huge experimental breeding ground for techniques that worked. By the 40s that chapter was all over and noir was incubated. Agatha Christie played a central role in this history with her wild experiments,… Continue reading Murder She Said (1961)

Thirteen at Dinner (1985)

Suchet Sachet Suffers A new batch of old TeeVee Christie adaptations have become available on DVD. I’ve been marching through them valiantly, looking for anything of value. Here it is. This one is good. The story on which it is based is one of Christie’s more interesting experiments in playing with the mystery form: moving… Continue reading Thirteen at Dinner (1985)

The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)

The Elusive Core of the Genre If you want to understand film, you need to understand the three main narrative types: noir, that genre derived from the musical, and the detective story. While the detective story in film essentially means Agatha Christie, you can’t understand that unless you understand Holmes. And the “Hound“, my friends… Continue reading The Hound of the Baskervilles (1988)