Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



There have been many films, both fictional and documentary, about the first and final voyage of the White Star liner, the “unsinkable” Titanic, but only three of them can really be classified as epic. This was the first, starring Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, and a very young Robert Wagner. Five years later there was A Night to ... Read more »

The Accused


Jodie Foster has been acting since she was three, in Mayberry, R.F.D. She had her breakout roles in two Scorsese films: Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, and Taxi Driver, for which she won an Academy Award nomination. Then (and I hadn’t remembered this part) her career more or less tanked. She enrolled at Yale ... Read more »

Red Son


Here’s an interesting concept: Suppose the little rocket ship from Krypton carrying the infant Kal-El/Clark Kent/Superman had not landed somewhere in the American Midwest, but on the Smallski Collective Farm in the USSR? Would he still stand for Truth, Justice, and the American Way?

… Wait a minute, this is sounding a little familiar … now where’s that book? … ah ha! Here it is: ... Read more »

The Time Machine


We recently saw a new film titled The Invisible Man, which was the title of an H.G. Wells story. This new movie had nothing at all to do with the earlier one. Now here is another Wells title, and it is based on the book, but I sort of wish it hadn’t been. It’s only a take-off point, actually, with a man in Victorian times who builds a ... Read more »

Swiss Family Robinson


This is one of the first books I remember reading as a child, and I surely did love it. My friends and I used to play like we were stranded on an island, building huts and stuff. And when this movie came out I loved that, too. Hell, I loved the Swiss Family Tree House at Disneyland, and was pissed off when they re-themed it to Tarzan, that musclebound ape. There are still Swiss Family Tree ... Read more »

A Time to Kill


Two well-connected white boys rape and try to kill a ten-year-old black girl in Mississippi in the ‘80s, but they are shit out of luck. The girl survives. The girl’s father (Samuel L. Jackson) fears the two will go free, which is a possibility, so he goes to the courthouse and kills them both. He persuades his friend Matthew McConaughey to defend him. No big surprise, after an impassioned ... Read more »



This is an interesting concept. The character of Big Nurse in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest was a control freak who couldn’t tolerate a free spirit like Randle McMurphy, and eventually has him lobotomized. This series tells the story of her early days, in 1947, and reveals that she is not actually a nurse at all, having lied about her credentials. ... Read more »

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre


“Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.” If you are thinking of iconic film lines, that one is sure to come up, though, like “Play it again, Sam,” it is often misquoted. This was the great John Huston’s fifth film as writer/director, though he had written many scripts before. It is from the book by B. Traven, ... Read more »

Johnny Mnemonic


I have only met Bill Gibson once, long ago, in Vancouver when we were at the same party. We were both “up and coming” writers then, though I had a little bit of a jump on him, having published several stories that had received some attention, while he had only sold a couple things. He may have usurped my title as the “Tallest Science Fiction writer” (if you don’t count 6’9” Michael ... Read more »

From Here to Eternity


I realized that, though I had seen some bits here and there, I had never seen this entire movie. It won a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture. It is very steamy for 1953, with adultery and the famous beach scene where Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr are crashed into by a big wave. There is a sub-plot with Montgomery Clift romancing a “dance hall girl,” (a prostitute in the novel) Donna ... Read more »