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Carne trémula

Soap Opera
Almodovar is a talented director who gets the most out of his cast. It begins with Penelope Cruz giving birth on a bus but she exits the film quickly. The major role is taken over by Javier Bardem who plays a cop who has many issues to overcome, one being a sexy spouse who he cannot satisfy physically. It gets more complicated with more quirky characters along the way. I was captivated by the story but disappointed in an unbelievable ending with a missing element involving Bardem's character.

Una semana solos

A group of adolescent boys and girls are left home with a fourteen year-old named Maria, whose mother is away without explanation. She cooks and rules and they live in a gated community with other spoiled and privileged brats. They break into homes, and, for some reason, no adult is ever present in what looks like the children of the damned. One twenty something woman appears for no apparent reason and is asked by a little girl how to make the Sign of the Cross. Say what! The movie opens with a "presented by Martin Scorcese" credit. I was bored to tears by this film.

Girl in the Picture

Book is Better
The producer of the movie is the author of the book A Beautiful Child, which I highly recommend. It is a page turner with a story stranger than fiction. The documentary repeats reenactments over and over which seems to be the norm with true crime dramatizations. I did not need to see the same clip of a woman walking away from the camera in a thong. I get it, the victim was a stripper. Two of her co-workers are interviewed and they look as if their former "profession" has sucked the very life out of them. Sharon's life was a disaster from beginning to end and by the final few minutes we can see why with the interviews of family members. Oh my God, is this a downer.

Ted K

Man vs Nature
Sharlto Copely is mesmerizing as the Unabomber and is on screen for 95% of the film. He is Ted. The script relies mostly on Ted's writings, including the manifesto. He may be crazy, but the man is far from stupid. A math prodigy with few social skills, he escaped to the wilderness, like Thoreau. Henry tried to change the world with his pen whereas the Unabomber used more radical and violent means. The film has a strong environmental message and the use of Montana's breathtaking scenery is a huge plus. The K is one of the best movies of the year and Copely is my early frontrunner for the best actor Oscar.

Crimes of the Future

Viggo Mortensen was in two of my favorite movies, History of Violence and Eastern Promises. Here he is as a man who constantly grunts and makes sounds similar to those of Beavis and Butt-head. He is a performance artist whose body continuously forms new internal organs which are removed as works of art. Graphic scenes of surgery are used ad nauseam and the final one is just plain ridiculous. Cronenberg has lost it.


Watcher has been done many times before, the best being Monsieur Hire, a French classic. Ms. Monroe is very good in the lead as a woman who is seen as paranoid by her clueless husband. They live in Romania and a good portion of it is in that language without subtitles, which I found annoying. The ending was predictable but overall a decent movie.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe

Mixed feeling
I watched the original series and thought that Judge showed creativity with the pair of misfits. He is back with the boys at NASA and in search of their "first." In pursuit of their dream they baffle everyone around them and it sticks with the juvenile humor we expect. I only laughed infrequently and was disappointed with the film overall. At only eighty-six minutes it is a passable diversion.


This is a dark Chinese black and white film noir which is vicious. I would put it in a category with both Seven and Kalifornia. Two detectives, a rookie and a salty veteran investigate the murders of junkie prostitutes. The killer has cut off their hands and the police are stumped by the crimes. The cinematography is excellent and the two leads credible. A completely unpredictable ending make this a must watch film.


Caleb Shines
Caleb Landry-Jones somehow is able to mimic an Australian accent which would have fooled me if I hadn't read a synopsis before watching the film. Nitram is an outcast with no friends who is mocked by others and it builds to a resentment of a society of so-called "normal" people. Circumstances lead to a horrible real life tragedy Down Under. The cast is superb and story well told. So far, Nitram is one of my ten best movies of the year.

Father Stu

Wahlberg Rules
Mark Wahlberg put his heart and soul into Father Stu, even providing the financing of the project and the result is an inspiring, old fashioned story of faith and redemption. As a cradle Catholic, I was moved to tears by the Oscar worthy performances of both Wahlberg and Mel Gibson as Stu's father. From beginning to end, not a minute is wasted in the transition from angry young man to man of the cloth. I cannot praise this film highly enough. Please see this journey of salvation.


Seven Lite
Probably an unfair comparison with the great film, Seven, but the writers are pretty obviously infuenced by it. Even so, Resurrection is an entertaining movie, although some glaring plot holes are evident along the way. Christopher Lambert is good as the lead detective investigating a a serial murderer with a religious bent taking body parts for a Jesus project. Some scenes are graphic and the mood extremely dark. As a small piece of trivia, look for the director David Cronenberg playing a Catholic priest in a couple of scenes. Overall, Resurrection is worth your time.

Sexy Beast

Kingley Kicks Ass
What a performance by Ben Kingsley. He chews up a viciously dark script with great enthusiasm. He is sent to Spain to recruit a fellow criminal who has retired there for some peace and quiet. Flashbacks reveal a plot with plans to pull off a major heist. Kingley works with fervor to convince his reluctant old partner to join in the festivities. Tarantino must have worked on the script, because it is that good. Watch this little known gem.

George Carlin's American Dream

Great Carlin Tribute
My favorite comedian is given a proper tribute by HBO, which made George Carlin a household name. Jon Stewart compared him with Bach and Beethoven, a completely accurate assessment. Stephen Colbert calls him the Beatles of comedy, and again, a perfect comparison. The early to late clips show an artist evolving from a safe performer to a no holds barred angry old man with a message. We have no one out there now with Carlin's balls. Oh boy do I miss him now. Watch this great film.


The horror here is in the form of an E. T. kind of creature hatched from an egg discovered by a young girl. Mom is a domineering shrew and dad us a clueless wimp. I was entertained by the concept but did not like the ending. Not too bad and only ninety minutes.

Geomeun sajedeul

Korean Exorcist
I was entertained by this Korean film with two priests unofficially assigned to remove the devil from a teenage girl. The acting is top notch and the script has a decent sense of humor. As a Catholic with some knowledge of my church's beliefs, I found the story to be well done. Nothing new in the popular theme but I was o.k. With the result.

Being Flynn

Good Adaptation
Having just finished the book that is the basis for this movie, I was impressed by choices made by the filmmakers. Another Night in BS City is the memoir by Nick Flynn and it is a magnificent work. Fine literature does not always translate well to the screen. Robert Deniro is perfectly cast as the alcoholic, would be great American novelist who eventually ends up at a homeless shelter where his son works. A good portion of the printed word was contained in the script. I recommend reading the book before seeing the film. It is hard to go wrong with Bobby D.

Seules les bêtes

Twists and Turns
I usually do not appreciate non linear storytelling, but in this case I am making an exception. I can usually predict what will happen next but I dare any viewer to do so with Only the Animals. A woman goes missing and what unfolds is a multi layered and multi cultural theme which has me shaking my head in wonder as I write this review. The less written here, the better. Just trust me and see this excellent film. One of the ten best of 2019.

Santa Barbara

Barbara as Fashion Model
I viewed Saint Barbara on EWTN last night and it is a good story which, after looking up the legend, is completely off the rails. Barbara is played by a beautiful fashion model and Ms. Hessler is beyond stunning. Her father maintains a high position with the Romans who behead Christians who refuse to renounce their faith. Barbie is eventually taken in by Christians and converts to the One True Faith. Dad is not pleased and the young lady does not meet with a happy ending. As for entertainment value, St. Barbara is a good film.

Narayama bushikô

Roger Ebert has this listed has one of his best films. I tried to get into it but just couldn't. The style is unusual and the visuals stunning. The problem is a soundtrack which is grating, with out of tune strings and a man bellowing throughout with a strain indicating constipation. The tradition of sending people up a mountain to die gracefully at seventy is a depressing concept. Yikes.

You Won't Be Alone

I was impressed by the unusual storyline as a woman attempts to fit in with normal people even though she is a witch with abnormal abilities. The cast is excellent and scenery spooky. Rapace leads the ensemble and everyone is up to the task. The film is in Serbian and the subtitles are at times not grammatically correct. Even so, I rank this as a top tier horror movie.

La novia ensangrentada

Lesbian Vampires
A young woman marries a man and moves into his family's castle like home and is haunted by a woman in a wedding dress. A dagger appears over and over and she hears the legend of a bride slashing her husband to death. The version I watched is an hour and forty two minutes and it contains some nudity. The cinematography is excellent but the film seems a bit dated; almost like one of the Hammer productions of Vincent Price. Overall, a mildly entertaining entry.


Porn Parody?
A man looking for a get rich quick scheme decides to make a porn film on a Texas ranch in the video days of 1979. The place is owned by a creepy old couple who look like ma and pa kettle. The old lady is both horny and violent and a scene with geriatric peop!e getting busy is downright bizarre. The leads are fine but X is only an average horror movie.

Love Sonia

Mrunal Thakur is Sonia, a girl who follows her sister to Mumbai after she has been sold by her father. Sex trafficking is the theme and it is based on the true story of a girl shipped around the world in a shipping container. The trade is international in scope with Hong Kong and America a part of the locations of the film. It is a well made but brutal movie to watch and it will stay with me forever.


My four points are for the beautiful actresses. Otherwise, the story is a silly one. Three strong women and two weak men are on a trek through the wilderness and one of the men somehow gets a large splinter stuck in his leg. Uh oh; they ignore a no trespassing sign and the predictable bad men arrive and make life difficult for the group. The final ten minutes are ridiculous. Avoid Hillwalkers.

Holy Heist

True Crime Doc
I heard a podcast with the priest and the writer of a book on the robbery and it led me to this film. Where is the $5 of the $7 million??? It is likely that it wound up with the IRA in Belfast. My partially Irish and all Catholic background gives me a perspective and understanding of the need for the IRA. The fight for freedom is never without blood. Father Moloney is the biggest mystery here and needs a film of his own. The cast of characters is amazing and I highly recommend Holy Heist.

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