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Pardon Out Dust

Dear Commentary Track Readers,

I’m in the process of migrating this blog from wordpress.com to a self-hosted wordpress.org site. These things are never as easy as they say they’ll be and figuratively speaking I’ve already torn out a few handfuls of hair. If the site goes down or anything seems strange over the next couple of days, that’s the reason and not to worry- trust me, I’m working on it! Thanks for reading and for your patience with my technical illiteracy.

Helen

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – Re-Animator (1985)

by RICHARD WINTERS

Daniel Cain (Bruce Abbott) is a student at a nearby medical college who decides to take in as a roommate a foreign student named Herbert West (Jeffrey Combs). West seems a bit anti-social and very intense about his work. He sets up a lab in Cain’s basement where he does experiments to bring back the dead by injecting them with his specially formulated serum. He starts with animals, which makes it intriguing enough for Cain to get in on it, but when they move on to cadavers at the school’s medical lab things spiral out of control. Continue reading

My Life As an Indy Moviegoer – October, 2011 Recap

by HELEN GEIB

A monthly series in which I relate my reflections on life as an independent-minded moviegoer in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I made a decision this month. I won’t call it monumental, that’s much too grandiose, but it’s a big deal for me and consequential for this blog. I decided to stop pushing myself to see movies where the main reason to see them is to pick off a new Hollywood release to review this or that weekend. I’ve seen too many bad movies this year following on a couple of other not so great years, and it’s worn me down. Looking on the bright side, some of those recovered hours can be allocated to other writing and some to seeing interesting-looking here today, gone tomorrow limited release titles. Continue reading

Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (October 28, 2011)

by HELEN GEIB

There’s so much going on this week I don’t know where to begin to summarize it. I’m especially looking forward to the two revival screenings at the IMA, The Shining and Killer of Sheep. What’s on your movie list? Continue reading

DVD of the Week – Island of Lost Souls (1932)

by HELEN GEIB

Charles Laughton stars as one of the maddest of mad doctors in this adaptation of H.G. Wells’ novel The Island of Dr. Moreau, with Richard Arlen as the castaway hero and Bela Lugosi as the man-beasts’ leader. The new Criterion Collection DVD/Blu-ray of Island of Lost Souls (1932) is the first time the film has been available on DVD. Surprising for one of the famous pre-Code horror films… until you learn the negative is lost, and this release is a restoration pieced together from several print sources and digitally cleaned up to remove dust and scratches. Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – The Bedroom Window (1987)

by RICHARD WINTERS

Terry Lambert (Steve Guttenberg) is having an affair with Sylvia (Isabelle Huppert), the wife of his boss. The two go back to his apartment one night after an office party to have sex. In the middle of the night Terry gets up to go to the bathroom and this is when Sylvia is awakened by a scream coming from outside the bedroom window. She goes to the window and sees a young woman struggling with a man on the sidewalk. When Sylvia opens the window the man runs away and by the time Terry gets there everyone is gone. The next day Terry reads in the paper about a similar murder of a woman that occurred later that night just a couple of blocks down the street. He is convinced there is a connection and that he should report the incident that Sylvia saw. In order to keep the affair a secret he decides to act as the witness and simply relay whatever Sylvia told him. However, in classic Hitchcockian style things quickly spiral out of control and Terry soon finds himself in deep trouble. Continue reading

Capsule Movie Review – My Afternoons with Margueritte (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

Gerard Depardieu reminds how good he can be in My Afternoons with Margueritte, a comedy-drama set in small town France. Germain (Depardieu) is a goodhearted but simpleminded man who gets by doing odd jobs and selling produce out of his kitchen garden. Margueritte (Gisele Casadesus) is a nonagenarian bibliophile. They meet by chance in the park when they sit at the same bench to watch the pigeons. Soon they’re meeting every day; they talk and she reads to him from Camus. His mother is a harridan who’s been verbally abusing him his whole life and her only family is an uncaring nephew, and their odd couple friendship becomes something each has longed for. Continue reading

Movie Review – Real Steel (2011)

by HELEN GEIB

To start with, because there seems to be some marketing-driven confusion:* Real Steel is a family film. Go ahead and take the kids. They’ll like it, and it’s a nice movie at heart. Continue reading

Capsule Movie Review – Life, Above All (2010)

by HELEN GEIB

South African drama Life, Above All is a very worthy film, but it’s hard to see why it should be one of the favored few foreign language titles to receive theatrical distribution on the American arthouse circuit this year. Its heroine is a 12-year-old girl living in a poor village outside Johannesburg whose childhood is cut short when her mother is stricken with AIDS. Misfortune rains down on young Chanda like a series of hammer blows explicating a host of pressing contemporary social issues: Continue reading