It’s February and everything sucks right now, so it’s time to unwind with February Fisticuffs – a punchy look at some of the best, worst and most average boxing, kung fu and martial arts movies. When it comes to sports movies, Rocky can be found right at the top of the steps. The 1976 motion […]Read more "February Fisticuffs: Rocky (1976)"
Robert Siodmak helms Phantom Lady, a dazzling film noir based on a screenplay by Bernard C. Schoenfeld. This 1944 picture is based on Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 novel of the same name and is the first movie produced by Hitchcock screenwriter Joan Harrison.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Phantom Lady (1944)"
Jacques Tourneur’s Experiment Perilous may have one of the most magnificent titles of all the films noir. The 1944 picture is based on the 1943 novel of the same name by Margaret Carpenter and features a screenplay by Warren Duff, with Tony Gaudio’s cinematography working its way through the Oscar-nominated interior design.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Experiment Perilous (1944)"
The upheaval of the 1970s is the backdrop for Sidney Lumet’s brilliant Dog Day Afternoon, a 1975 crime drama that is as much about the personal as it is about the political. The picture features a screenplay by Frank Pierson and is based on P.F. Kluge’s 1972 Life magazine article “The Boys in the Bank,” […]Read more "Dog Day Afternoon (1975)"
It’s tempting to consider The Mask of Dimitrios a relative of The Maltese Falcon. Both feature twisty plots full of deception. Both feature the cinematography of Arthur Edeson. And both feature Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, two spectacular character actors who always pair well together.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Mask of Dimitrios (1944)"
Gillo Pontecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers is at once a scintillating form of entertainment and a dazzling historical document. The 1966 motion picture was shot on location by cinematographer Marcello Gatti and features a somewhat subdued score by Ennio Morricone, with the screenplay by Pontecorvo and Franco Solinas.Read more "The Battle of Algiers (1966)"
A mean and brutal piece of work, Sin City introduces a hermetically sealed universe full of rain and blood. This 2005 film is directed by Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller and is based on the graphic novel of the same name, specifically Miller’s The Hard Goodbye, The Big Fat Kill and That Yellow Bastard.Read more "Sin City (2005)"
André de Toth directs Dark Waters, a 1944 film noir that traffics in the marshes and endless murk of Louisiana. The picture is based on a Saturday Evening Post serial by Francis and Marian Cockrell and features a screenplay by Marian Cockrell, Joan Harrison and The Suspect scribe Arthur Horman.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Dark Waters (1944)"
Wilson Yip’s Ip Man 2 has many of the same goals as it 2008 predecessor. Its affection for the myth of its titular character is apparent, as it its desire to stand for the dignity of its characters. This 2010 picture is also fashioned as a tight, artistic martial arts epic and a historical stamp […]Read more "Ip Man 2 (2010)"
Robert Siodmak helms The Suspect, a twisting 1944 film noir with a sincere dose of London fog. This picture features a screenplay by Bertram Millhauser and Arthur T. Horman and is based the novel This Way Out by James Ronald. The great Paul Ivano is the cinematographer.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Suspect (1944)"
End of a Gun is at least the sixth Steven Seagal movie to see a 2016 release. Like Killing Salazar, it pairs the star with director Keoni Waxman. It also features a screenplay by Waxman and Chuck Hustmyre, with cinematography by Nathan Wilson. At first blush, it appears that all the elements are in place […]Read more "Seagalmania: End of a Gun (2016)"
Frank Tuttle’s This Gun for Hire is mostly known for a star-making turn by Alan Ladd, who plays a hitman named Philp Raven and who is cold as ice – except when it comes to kitties. The 1942 film noir is based on Graham Greene’s novel A Gun for Sale and features a screenplay by […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: This Gun for Hire (1942)"
Stuart Heisler helms 1942’s The Glass Key, which is based on the Dashiell Hammett novel of the same name and serves as the second film version of the book after a 1935 Frank Tuttle joint. Heisler’s picture features a screenplay by Jonathan Latimer and carves out a lot of the political subtext, but it still […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: The Glass Key (1942)"
Travis Mills writes and directs Porches and Private Eyes, his second film of 2016 after Durant’s Never Closes. Like the latter, Porches and Private Eyes has a strong sense of place. In this instance, it’s the town of Brookhaven in Mississippi that forms the underpinning.Read more "Porches and Private Eyes (2016)"
Nick Murphy’s The Awakening gets off on the right foot, blending greying horror visuals with a strong protagonist to craft an absorbing set of possibilities. But Murphy and Stephen Volk’s screenplay steers things so entirely askew for the last third that the goodwill of this 2011 British movie is driven into the ditch.Read more "The Awakening (2011)"
Laborious to the point of being inert, Osgood Perkins’ I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House is a film so obsessed with mood and tone that it forgets everything else. This 2016 picture is an exasperating watch on many levels, with Perkins’ screenplay failing to generate anything resonant or consequential.Read more "I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (2016)"
A chilling and astute horror picture, The Invitation is directed by Karyn Kusama from a screenplay by Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. There’s a lot to mull over in this 2015 film and Kusama keeps the suspense building while laying the philosophical footing for a gut punch.Read more "The Invitation (2015)"
Patrick Brice directs, writes and stars in the 2014 horror film Creep. He wrote the screenplay with Mark Duplass, who also stars in what amounts to a two-man show. There’s a lot to like about this lean and mean found footage thriller, but it also drags in places.Read more "Creep (2014)"
Adam Alleca writes and directs the 2016 film Standoff, a sometimes chatty and sometimes gratifying thriller. There are those who will hold that the movie is smarter-than-thou, with its psychological wrangling. And there are those who will be engrossed by the manly head-to-head. And there are those who will find value in the both elements, […]Read more "Standoff (2016)"
Directed by George Cukor, A Woman’s Face is fundamentally a remake of the 1938 Swedish film of the same name. This 1941 picture features a screenplay by David Ogden Stewart and is based on the play Il Etait Une Fois by Francis de Croisset. It veers between controlled, emotional melodrama and flaring camp and the […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: A Woman’s Face (1941)"