David Cronenberg’s The Brood is complex and grotesque. It is not a stretch to see it as a twisted companion piece to Kramer vs. Kramer, another 1979 film about divorce. Both outings feature a family turned asunder. Both feature bloody custody battles. But one, depending on perspective, is more realistic.Read more "The Brood (1979)"
After crafting two horror outings obsessed with parasites and diseases and orifices, David Cronenberg’s Fast Company veers in a whole different direction – kind of. This 1979 picture is a quirk in the system in a lot of ways, but in a lot of other ways it makes a certain kind of sense.Read more "Fast Company (1979)"
Director Edgar G. Ulmer can do a lot with a little, as films like Detour and Black Cat reveal. Every so often, though, even the most inventive of auteurs can run into trouble. Such is the case with Strange Illusion, a 1945 film noir that struggles under the weight of lukewarm performances, a clumsy script […]Read more "Film Noir Friday: Strange Illusion (1945)"
A cliché sandwich served with extra clichés and a dish of cliché on the side for dipping, Steven C. Miller’s Marauders actually has the makeup of a good thriller. This 2016 motion picture isn’t that bad given the territory and the screenplay by Michael Cody and Chris Sivertson doesn’t try to do too much. At […]Read more "Marauders (2016)"
Jean-François Richet directs the terse Mel Gibson vehicle Blood Father with eyes on reclamation and violence as cleansing force. The 2016 movie features a screenplay by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff and is based on Craig’s novel of the same name. It casts a dry swath through America, painting a picture of contrast and hostility […]Read more "Blood Father (2016)"
When it comes to bleak and beautiful noir, it’s hard to top Fritz Lang’s Scarlet Street. This 1945 motion picture is based on Georges de La Fouchardière’s novel La Chienne and features a screenplay by Dudley Nichols. The material is dark and cynical and glorious, with characters traipsing through life in various stages of desperation.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Scarlet Street (1945)"
There’s nothing new about Simon West’s The Mechanic. The 2011 picture is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, which starred Charles Bronson and was directed by Michael Winner. This one puts Jason Statham in the Bronson role and features a screenplay by Lewis John Carlino and Richard Wenk.Read more "The Mechanic (2011)"
Henry Hathaway’s The House on 92nd Street is an exercise in what’s widely called the semi-documentary style, which has earned in comparisons to Jules Dassin’s 1948 noir The Naked City. As such an exercise, this 1945 movie builds substantial interest. As a film noir, it’s a tougher sell.Read more "Film Noir Friday: The House on 92nd Street (1945)"
Theoretically, Jon Cassar’s When the Bough Breaks should work as a sleazy thriller. The 2016 picture features a screenplay by Jack Olsen and stars a pile of gorgeous people like Morris Chestnut, Regina Hall and Jaz Sinclair. And there’s sex. In a way.Read more "When the Bough Breaks (2016)"
Josef von Sternberg’s 1927 silent crime movie Underworld isn’t considered a film noir in any traditional sense, but it certainly speaks the language of the genre and serves as an instructive if influential piece of prescient cinema.Read more "Film Noir Friday: Underworld (1927)"
In what may or may not be the seventh Steven Seagal movie to be released in 2016, Contract to Kill finds the Dracula-haired burbler in characteristic form. This outing is directed by Keoni Waxman, making it the third Waxman/Seagal coupling of last year and the umpteenth coupling between actor and director overall. Waxman, by the […]Read more "Seagalmania: Contract to Kill (2016)"
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)"