Iron Monkey (1993)

Flight Assembly I am not a student of Hong Kong martial arts movies, just someone who dips into the accessible ones. My interest is in the cinematic experience, and that depends to a large extent on how the camera is choreographed. It doesn’t matter to me how elaborate the effects of the people and objects… Continue reading Iron Monkey (1993)

Kingdom Come (2001)

The Pulpit It must be quite a challenge to create films to feed a distinct audience of any kind. You can only go so far with stories about gangstas, earnest kid transcends the ghetto, black dating plots, Eddie Murphy farts, and Denzel “pride” movies. This at least attempts to be respectful, working to treat the… Continue reading Kingdom Come (2001)

Krull (1983)

Organic There may still be people who watch projects like this for adventure. Heck, there are even people who get their theology from such stuff, currently “Rings” and “Matrix.” But for me, the allure is a matter of style. This film was conceived in the shadow of 1979s “Alien,” and the 82 “Bladerunner,” both of… Continue reading Krull (1983)

All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

The March These things fascinate me: films that are about something but are presented in a way that contradicts that something. Often it is a film whose message is to strive for the extraordinary, but the film itself is strictly formulaic. Here we have something much more interesting and profound: we have the future of… Continue reading All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

About Schmidt (2002)

Which Film? Brando invented the modern acting technique of giving you two films: the one in which the characters exist, and another in which the actors exist. Nicholson has developed that into something rather clever. The basic job is the same, to inhabit a character and create a truth so sharp you think you knew… Continue reading About Schmidt (2002)

A Girl in Black (1956)

Do Greek Villagers Deserve Ice Cream? A small drama, lots of contrasts. Cruel jokes, innocent deaths. The story told by the filmmaker of the writer; the implied story told by the writer, and the stories confabulated by the villagers and imposed on their peers. These three struggle for control over what is real, at least… Continue reading A Girl in Black (1956)

1984 (1984)

Is What It Shows It is a pet peeve of mine to discover films whose point is undermined by its container. Most of these are the trivial case of movies about taking chances and being unique, but the form of the movie is the complete opposite. What we have here is similar, but in an… Continue reading 1984 (1984)