Directed by George P. Cosmatos from a screenplay by Kevin Jarre, Tombstone is one of those audacious westerns that shouldn’t be as good as it is but gets by on its sheer nerve. It’s narrated by Robert Mitchum, for one, and features a lot of images of moustachioed men walking to drum-heavy, clanking music. It’s […]Read more "Tombstone (1993)"
Denzel Washington plays hero in Antoine Fuqua’s satisfying 2014 yarn The Equalizer. The film is somewhat based on the TV series from the mid-1980s of the same name and it marks the second collaboration between the director and star, with the first being 2001’s Training Day. This time around, Washington’s character has a different take […]Read more "The Equalizer (2014)"
Joseph H. Lewis’ crackling Gun Crazy is a shining example of how damn good a so-called B-movie can be. Based on a story by novelist MacKinlay Kantor that appeared in the Saturday Evening Post, this 1950 movie was the omen to Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and features a hot couple obsessed with guns, ammunition […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Gun Crazy (1950)"
Dracula Untold is another CGI-soaked film that purports to tell the origin story of a character everyone already knows the origin of. In this case, it’s the titular Dracula. Bram Stoker’s novel is about as far from the mind as possible, with director Gary Shore making his feature film debut by weaving together a story […]Read more "Dracula Untold (2014)"
Angst-filled and silly, Rob Cohen’s The Boy Next Door is an attempted throwback to the erotic thrillers of the 1990s. It certainly has the plot, with an older woman seduced by a younger man only to fall victim to his frightening nature. Like Christian Grey of the unfortunate Fifty Shades of Grey universe, The Boy […]Read more "The Boy Next Door (2015)"
The first sound film to win the Best Picture Oscar is The Broadway Melody. This 1929 musical is directed by Harry Beaumont and was actually one of the first musicals to feature a Technicolor sequence, even though that flash of colour has sadly since been presumed lost.Read more "The Broadway Melody (1929)"
George Stevens’ Shane is one of those sprawling, compelling westerns that can be shown to people who don’t normally like westerns. It’s so dense in terms of relationships and so lovely in terms of aesthetics that it transcends the genre. As Woody Allen points out, it’s not just a fine western but a fine film.Read more "Shane (1953)"
Helmed by actor-turned-director Paul Guilfoyle, A Life at Stake is an interesting little noir that doesn’t receive a lot of attention. The 1954 movie is sometimes known as Key Man and features a screenplay by Russ Bender from a story idea by Hank McCune. It takes a somewhat angular approach and features the typical down-on-his-luck […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: A Life at Stake (1954)"
Disney plunges into the animated superhero genre with Big Hero 6, an entertaining but disappointing motion picture from directors Don Hall and Chris Williams. This 2014 film is the first Disney outing to use Marvel Comics characters, with Steven T. Seagle and Duncan Rouleau’s creations from 1998 leading to yet another Best Animated Feature Oscar […]Read more "Big Hero 6 (2014)"
2014 meant a comeback of sorts for the big screen biblical epic. Son of God, Noah and Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings all took viewers back to explore the myths of the Bible in unique ways. The latter deals with events in and around the book of Exodus, which pertains to the tale of […]Read more "Exodus: Gods and Kings (2014)"
In no way is Allan Dwan’s Calendar Girl a musical classic. This 1947 picture was reissued as Star Dust and Sweet Music and remains kind of a curiosity suitable only for Dwan fans and musical fanatics. For the Toronto-born director, this is certainly no Robin Hood or Heidi. It’s kind of an overlooked entry in […]Read more "Calendar Girl (1947)"
One of the more eccentric of the film noirs is D.O.A., a 1950 outing from director Rudolph Maté. This movie can, at times, be jarring and surprisingly comedic despite the black clouds that frequently hover overhead. It’s also a fairly frantic picture, one that spends a lot of time inside the head of the protagonist […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: D.O.A. (1950)"
In the wide world of film, sometimes following a formula can lead to some interesting places if the ingredients are satisfying enough. Sometimes, however, following a formula only serves to reveal an innate lack of innovation and purpose. In the case of No Good Deed, the 2014 thriller, the latter turns out to be true.Read more "No Good Deed (2014)"
Mark Stevens directs, produces and stars in the capable 1956 noir Time Table, a film about the dual nature of the protagonist and the impossibility of the “perfect crime.” It’s also one of those movies that almost demands to be discussed with its biggest twist in full view, which presents a bit of a problem […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Time Table (1956)"
While it’s intensely formulaic and really just the sort of picture that could take up an hour on the Disney Channel, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is innocuously charming enough to squeak by. The movie is based on the 1972 children’s book of the same name by Judith Viorst with […]Read more "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day (2014)"
Henry Hathaway’s 1947 film Kiss of Death is notable for a number of reasons. Perhaps most famously, it features the debut of Richard Widmark and he essentially steals the show. It’s also notable for having been captured entirely on location, with the post-credits acknowledgment that “all scenes…were photographed…on the actual locale associated with the story.”Read more "Film Noir Friday: Kiss of Death (1947)"
Sex Tape is one of the worst movies of 2014. It’s a terrifyingly bad “comedy,” one constructed without an ounce of artistic merit and without a shred of actual humour. It spends its 94 excruciating minutes tumbling through its own unctuous, clichéd sense of self and winds up landing with an awful and pointless thud.Read more "Sex Tape (2014)"
The one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger stars in Hercules in New York, a 1969 fantasy adventure from director Arthur Allen Seidelman. This is Schwarzenegger’s first starring role in a feature film and it is a doozy. He’s not proud of this picture and for good reason, as it’s essentially a debacle that only has value […]Read more "Hercules in New York (1969)"
A dazzling, unusually prescient motion picture, Sidney Lumet’s Network is one of those movies everyone has to see at least once. The 1976 satire won four Oscars and is both over the top and remarkably restrained. It highlights a world that is by now broadly known to anyone with cursory knowledge of cable news and […]Read more "Network (1976)"
Based on Mickey Spillane’s 1952 novel Kiss Me, Deadly, Robert Aldrich’s 1955 movie Kiss Me Deadly is one of the most vital of all film noirs. The flick came at time when cinematic possibilities were running wild and new fears were making their way across the global landscape. At the core of Kiss Me Deadly’s […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)"