Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Das Kabinett des Doktor Caligari

(The Cabinet of Dr. Galigari, Germany, 1920)

Unfortunately, we got a wretched copy of this from the library … and it still knocks your socks off, visually. I can’t think of any movie that shows a vision of insanity more imaginative than this. Everything is skewed, topsy-turvy. Walls and houses loom, streets meander crazily, rooms are made of random trapezoids. The story is pretty silly, even with the framing device that the ... Read more »

K-19: The Widowmaker

(2002)

This one was a bit of a mystery to me. It is a big movie, budget $100,000,000. (That still qualifies as big, doesn’t it? And this was 2002.) It has two big stars, Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. And I couldn’t recall even hearing about it. I probably did, but I’m not recalling it. And it flopped, big-time, made ... Read more »

Keanu

(2016)

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele are one of the best sketch-comedy teams since the early days of SNL. I have not watched their show, but have seen many of their bits on YouTube. Both of them are half white and half black. Do you think that’s why they can function so well with both races? They have one bit where they are two slaves on the auction block, getting ... Read more »

Keeping Mum

(UK, 2005)

Forty years ago a sweet and pretty young woman killed her husband and his lover, stuffed their dismembered bodies into a steamer trunk, and boarded a train for the seaside, blood leaking from the trunk into the baggage car. She’s judged insane, but now she’s paroled, and working as a housekeeper for the distracted vicar (Rowan Atkinson) of Little Wallop (pop. 57, but it looks ... Read more »

The Keeping Room

(2014)

Three women, two white and one slave (Brit Marling, Hailee Steinfeld, and Muna Otaru), are trying to stay alive in the closing days of the Civil War in the South, and must fight off two renegade Union soldiers. It’s possible I might have liked this film if two things had been different. One, I admit I wasn’t really in the mood for a film this bleak, so it may have colored my judgement. But ... Read more »

Kelly’s Heroes

Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas, Donald Sutherland, Don Rickles in a WWII action movie. What could go wrong? Well, plenty, as we all know, but this time it didn’t. If you want a lot of action in a movie before the CGI era, this one is for you. I had a great time. I counted no less than six major battles before we even get to the big one, with a bunch of distinctly ... Read more »

Key Largo

(1948)

Bogey and Bacall. What can you say? Those two generated sparks from the first of the four times they appeared together, in To Have and Have Not. This is their last pairing. Then we have Edward G. Robinson as a gangster with four thugs along with him. He has taken over the Largo Hotel, owned by Lionel Barrymore and his daughter-in-law, Bacall. Her husband died in ... Read more »

Kick-Ass

(2010)

Here’s a real wonder: a comic book movie that I actually liked. I hasten to add that it’s not for everyone. Roger Ebert hated it, as did a few other critics, but it was mostly reviewed positively.

Chloë Grace Moretz is Mindy Macready, an eleven-year-old whose obsessed father (Nicholas Cage) is training her to be a super-Ninja killer so they can avenge her mother’s death at the ... Read more »

Kick-Ass 2

(2013)

As is so often the case, the sequel can’t recapture the zip and freshness of the original. It follows the usual path of trying to one-up by putting in more of what the producers wrongly feel is what made the first movie work: ordinary people acting out as superheroes. So we get dozens of them, and not a one of them is interesting. (One of them is Jim Carrey and we didn’t even recognize ... Read more »

The Kid Brother

(1927)

Harold Lloyd’s next-to-last silent movie. I’d have to say it’s a routine entry in his canon, but as always there are some bits worth seeing. He’s the youngest and weakest of three brothers and their he-man father. They all treat him with contempt but, of course, he’s also the smartest, and brains win out in the end. He ends up saving the day and getting the girl, as he always does. The ... Read more »