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Requiem for a Dream

Disgusting and Manic
This seems like a combination of Paul Schrader on a bad trip with Kevin Smith. It hates its characters almost as much as it loathes and detests its audience. This may be art but it certainly has nothing to do with why I go to a movie house. These characters remind me of Death of A salesman on a bad acid trip. What a pointless waste of time and energy!


Obnoxious and Derisive
Kevin Smith is a nasty man who makes nasty movies, and Clerks tops the list (I can almost here Kevin saying "Thanks" in the background). If misanthropy and reaffirmation of hopelessness are your gigs, this movie is for you. It is nasty for nasty's sake because Kevin Smith had nothing better to do with his time, because what else better does anyone have to do with there time, anyway, you know?


I don't get it.
Maybe someone would be good enough to explain to me how this is one of the best movies of all time. It is pedantic, relentlessly slow, full of cliched dialogue, methodically acted, and completely one-note throughout. Better Eastwood westerns include: Good, Bad, and Ugly, For a Few Dollars More, Hang 'Em High, High Plains Drifter, etc., etc.

Tacones lejanos

Lyrical, allegorical, and very well acted
Aldomovar is one of the few male directors on the planet who is a true artist and painting a portrait with female emotions. Using garish sets, outrageous humor, and witty songs, Aldomovar expertly juxtaposes the absurdity of what we fleetingly but devoutly believe is truly important with eternal truths. If you speak Spanish, then you are privy to another layer of wry duality that really doesn't translate through the subtitles. Abril is remarkable as the returning mother finding things turned upside down and ultimately doing it one or two better. Highly recommended.

In the Heat of the Night

The Perfect American Murder Mystery
Rod Steiger won best actor, deserved it, and was matched eyebrow for eyebrow by Sidney Poitier's Unforgettable Creation of Mr. Virgil Tibbs, police detective. The supporting cast is perfect, with Beah Richards, William Prince, and Scott Wilson as special standouts. The dialogue by Siliphant is crisply written, the direction by Jewison is non-pareil, and the mystery is difficult and resolves things perfectly. As an overall American mystery, I must vote for this even over the Maltese Falcon (which of course is also great). Forget the hit-and-miss TV spin-off and treat yourself to the real thing.

The Naked Spur

Remarkable Performances in Western Character Study
Taut western thriller holds interest from beginning to end. Leigh shines in an unusual and unglamorous role. Ryan is perfectly cast as the desparado who is the quarry of the uneasy triumverate of Stewart, Meeker, and Millard Mitchell -- all three in top form. This is a classic movie with grit and style.

The Wooden Horse

Better Than the Great Escape
This unsung quiet gem tells the true story of a POW escape during WW II. The performances are incredible, especially Anthony Steele. The movie works on many different levels: cerebral, emotional, visual, and literal. The dialogue is ingenious and rings very true. In fact, an unusual all-around authenticity puts this one head-and-shoulders above most war epics.

Red Planet

Really, really, really stupid
For a movie to have two terrific looking terrific actors like kilmer and Bratt and for me to give it 2/10, it had to be really bad. This one is hideous. Take every outer-space cliche you have ever heard of, mix in the corniest dialogue from the worst episodes of Lost In Space and Battleship Gallactica. Throw in what I will charitably refer to as a self-consciously and ludicrously eccentric character played by Carrie-Ann Moss, and you get an idea how abominable this waste-of-time this is. Avoid.

Raising Arizona

Dumb and Completely Over-the-top
Cage is 100% miscast as Southwestern Hick. Goodman is even worse as his loser friend in this obvious and stupid spoof. The Coen brothers get more kudos than any director/producers I know for perpetuating dumb stereotypes and absurd plots with obnoxious scores, all in the name of independent art. These films are independent, because any real studio would be ashamed to make such trash. This film defines the word, "mind-numbing."

Thief of Hearts

Psychological thriller with great performances by relative unknowns
Supporting actors David Caruso (magnificently evil) and George Wendt are far better known to most of us than Stephen Bauer and Michelle Williams and John Getz. But, the starring triangle are truly superb in a movie where nothing is quite what you think it is, and the results of giving into prideful impulses come to light in unusual ways. A twist ending also adds to the proceedings in one of the best romantic thrillers I have ever seen.

The Rose

Haunting and bleak magnificently acted film
Loosely based upon the life of Janis Joplin and her struggles with fame and drugs, the Rose stays with the viewer long after the final fadeout. Acting tour-de-forces are manifest everywhere, and although virtually the entire supporting cast brings a Broadway-style truth and urgency that make thus excellent.

The Day of the Wolves

Ingenious Caper Film
This is one of the most cerebral movies I have ever seen. If you loved Pi, give this one a try. Jan Murray gives one of the most compelling performances of all time. The entire supporting cast is terrific, especially noteworthy since the production budget for the whole thing was about $200. Just watch it unfold and happen to you.


Great historical musical
The dialogue is magnificent. The blending of history, music, comedy, and drama is nonpareil. Why anyone would prefer Oklahoma or Singing In the Rain or South Pacific to this is simply beyond me. Anyone who has children should make it a priority to watch it with them -- two or three times if possible. Age 10 would be a good time.

The Trouble with Angels

My favorite "personal" film of all time.
There is more TRUTH in this honest and extremely funny movie about two young hellfires coming of age in a convent school than in all the subsequent expose-type movies, like Monsignor, purporting to reveal the truth behind the hypocracies (admittedly there, but extremely exaggerated) of the Catholic church. Having spent 9 years in female-only Catholic school, I must report that this movie strikes not a single false chord. The movie, instead, accurately portrays nicely the relationship a Catholic feels with God.

The girls are rebellious, defiant, and a bit hyperactive, very reminiscent of my own restless youth. The nuns are equally real, reflecting exasperation and frustration when appropriate, but always within proper boundaries.

One amazing thing about this film is the seamless transitions it constantly makes from drama and comedy and back again. Even the physical humor, while screamingly funny, is always contained within real situations. Moments with Rosalind Russell, Camilla Sparv, Marge Redmond, and Marge Redmond are filled with extraordinarily real emotions, and the last 20 minutes seamlessly weaves the serious and the comic into a truthful pastiche which is respectful without ever being preachy, and infused with a heavy dose of Russell's unique personality.

Don't miss the opportunity to share this timeless classic with your daughters!

The Happy Years

Timeless turn-of-the-century coming-of-age comedy
Dean Stockwell was never better, and the supporting cast is uniformly excellent in this classic comedy. Leo G. Carroll is impeccable as the crusty, but caring, turn-of-the-century headmaster. Darryl Hickman is marvelous as Tuff McCarty, Stockwell's nemesis. This is definitely a family movie that can be enjoyed, appreciated, and laughed at, by all ages.


One of the best true crime dramas ever made
This one is something special. Based on a true story, it shows courage in the face of pressure, the problems with relying on eyewitness testimony, and many other complex facets that enter into criminal investigations. In many ways, this is an excellent companion piece for The Wrong Man.

Trouble for Two

Intelligent early-talkie thriller
Very imaginative reworking of Stevenson's classic short-story, The Suicide Club. Montgomery and Russell make a well-matched and very attractive couple, and Frank Morgan is superb as his faithful and loyal second. Reginald Owen is marvelous as the head of the club. And, the rest of the supporting class including a young and handsome Louis Hayward, is equally compelling. The score and photography are exquisite as well. This is one to be watched and enjoyed.


Mano e Mano
Andy Griffith gives a tour-de-force performance as a big-city (!!!) lawyer who is as cunning as he is warped. Sam Bottoms is totally believable as the nature-loving student who suddenly finds himself fighting for his life and his credibility. I sat down to watch this film on commercial TV one early AM, expecting to doze off in 20 minutes, and it was so fast-moving, gripping, and suspenseful, I found I had to watch the whole thing.

The Maltese Bippy

Silly and dated slapstick
This was designed to capitalize on the run-away popularity of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In during the late 60's, but it was neither fish nor fowl. And many of the jokes today are badly dated. What is left is Dick Martin's absurdist slapstick and a very clever ending that tries hard to salvage the film, If you wish to re-visit the 1960's, this is a great film for you. Otherwaise, it's just mediocre.

The Maltese Bippy

Silly and dated slapstick
This was designed to capitalize on the run-away popularity of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In during the late 60's, but it was neither fish nor fowl. And many of the jokes today are badly dated. What is left is Dick Martin's absurdist slapstick and a very clever ending that tries hard to salvage the film, If you wish to re-visit the 1960's, this is a great film for you. Otherwaise, it's just mediocre.

Pressure Point

Excellent two-man character study.
Bobby Darin gives the performance of his career in this excellent if virtually unknown film. He is 100% believable as an American Nazi who tries to play psychiatrist Poitier like a violin with some success. Poitier is equally marvelous as the psychiatrist who must work extremely hard to take himself out of the process so he can concentrate on helping his patient. I was on the edge of my seat from beginning to end by both actors' incredibly sexy performances. Peter Falk is excellent in the small role of Poitier's young protege.

Sergeant Rutledge

Magnificently acted courtroom Western
Western is not my favorite genre, but good character studies are, and Ford specialized in these in the 50's and 60's to a greater extent that most moviegoers realize. The boundaries of what Strode is willing to share with Hunter and what cannot be broached are fascinating enough, but Ford takes us deeper into all the characters and their motivations. I agree with an earlier observation comparing it with Breaker Morant and saying it was more than 20 years ahead of its time; I would say a mix between some of the most compelling aspects of Breaker Morant and A Soldier's Story. Watch this film.

Foreign Correspondent

In many ways, the master's most accessible film
Hitchcock may not have wanted him, but Joel Mac Crea's "everyman" performance as "Huntley Haverstock" is the most purely likeable and accessible protagonist Hitchcock has ever had. And, that works perfectly for the movies which gets plenty of the dark and mysterious and perverted from the magnificent supporting cast (including Marshall, Gwenn, Sanders, and many others...). But McCrea's feckless honesty and stubborn determination (rather than the more usual-for-Hitchcock obsession) work refreshingly in contrast with the others.

All the other typical master touches, impeccable camera work, a great score, intricate interwoven plotlines, and many dualities are all on hand for a truly great and unforgettable cinematic experience.

Watch this film!

These Three

Spellbinding performances and timeless situations.
Bonita Granville, in a remarkable performance, spreads vicious gossip and malicious rumors while never losing the affect of childhood innocence. Hopkins is 100% believable as the defiant teacher on the spot and Oberon complements her lead with a rather understated performance. Alma Kruger is wonderful as Granville's mother. In an amusing irony, the teachers finally find peace and self-respect in 1936 Germany !!! Nevertheless, this is an excellent film all around.

Hilary and Jackie

Magnificent Blend of Music, Art, and Sisterly Love
Emily Watson is utterly brilliant and Rachel Griffiths in her own understated way may actually be better in this devastatingly magnificent opus by Anand Turner. There is little background music here as the music is interwoven seamlessly into the fibers of the women's beings. No false notes are struck as the sisters explore the inner and outer reaches of the depths and limits of sisterly love. This is one of my five all-time favorite films.

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