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)

First Strike (1996)

Step by Step Watching Jackie movies is sometimes a real challenge, especially the English language ones. This barely qualifies as English, but is the best one. What he does with ordinary objects is absolutely amazing. There’s a classic ladder bit here. Ignore the plot — standard filler. Ted’s Evaluation — 3 of 3: Worth watching.… Continue reading First Strike (1996)

Jabberwocky (1977)

Bonecrushing Display of Phosphorescence Rest assured that there is little relationship between this film and Carroll’s poem about his father’s crusade against French etymology. Instead, we have the first chapter in Gilliam’s quest for an appropriate vehicle for his imagination. That imagination isn’t comic in the ordinary sense. Gilliam’s world is one which is architecturally… Continue reading Jabberwocky (1977)

JFK (1991)

Conspiracy of the Simple I have my own theory about film. There is always an explicit acknowledgement that what you are seeing is a film, distinct from reality. Many films incorporate that recognition into their being; the simple ones are just films about films and filmmaking, but there are other sophisticated ways of self-reference. It… Continue reading JFK (1991)

Wrath of Man (2021)

Armoured A bit disappointed in Richie. This is a solid production. Nothing wrong. Timing and pacing are near perfect, as these things require. The drone in soundtrack is apt. The nested flashbacks are exactly where they need to be to get us hooked in that important early phase. But Richie’s work is normally risky with… Continue reading Wrath of Man (2021)

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)

The Willoughbys (2020)

Evil Hair What used to be a side episode in larger stories has now grown to centre stage. In Cinderella, Snow White and such, we have a cruel stepmother. In recent films, we have dozens that mirror that and add inept father. But those use the bad situation of the child as background; the story… Continue reading The Willoughbys (2020)