Category Archives: Movie Reviews

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


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

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


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)


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)


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)


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

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – The Verdict (1982)


Frank Galvin (Paul Newman) is a lawyer who has hit rock bottom. He has lost his last four cases and become an alcoholic in the process. His associate Mickey (Jack Warden) hands him what appears to be an open and shut case dealing with a woman who was put into a permanent comatose state after being given the wrong type of anesthesia during the delivery of her child. Both parties are willing to settle out of court and Frank is initially happy to accept the settlement as he is hard up for funds, but after seeing the sad condition of the patient in the hospital he changes his mind and decides to take it to court. Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – The Mackintosh Man (1973)


Joseph Reardon (Paul Newman) is a spy recruited by British Intelligence to infiltrate a secret spy ring in order to expose a traitor from a high-ranking government office. In order to do so he must assume the identity of an Australian criminal and allow himself to be caught and imprisoned. He is able to escape using the help of an inside organization that arranges the escapes for high profile prisoners. He is taken to an isolated mansion at an unknown location and trained to be a part of the criminal spy ring, but he unwittingly gives out his true identity, which forces him to make a daring escape and go on the run in the middle of nowhere. Continue reading

Movie Review – The Ides of March (2011)


A fashionable cynicism substitutes for nuance in George Clooney’s political drama The Ides of March. In addition to co-starring as the candidate du jour, a governor running for the Democrat nomination for president, Clooney directed and co-wrote the script (with Grant Heslov and Beau Willimon, from Willimon’s play Farragut North). Ryan Gosling has the lead role as a seasoned political operative whose idealism is crushed during the Ohio primary campaign. Continue reading

Rewind: Films of the 60s, 70s, 80s – Entertaining Mr. Sloane (1971)


Based on the Joe Orton play of the same name, this film deals with a handsome young stranger named Sloane (Peter McEnery) who becomes a lodger at an isolated household in the English countryside. He is on the run from a murder he committed and feels this will be a safe haven due to the only other inhabitants being a quirky old lady name Katherine (Beryl Reid) and her equally quirky father Kemp (Alan Webb). Katherine, or Kath, takes a sexual interest in Sloane despite their wide age difference, which Sloane doesn’t mind as he uses this to manipulate her. When Kath’s brother Ed (Harry Andrews) arrives and takes an amorous interest in Sloane as well, he does the same thing to him. Then Kemp recognizes Sloane as the killer and Sloane is forced to kill him, which culminates with ironic results. Continue reading