Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

In a Lonely Place

(1950)

Humphrey Bogart has always struck me as the unlikeliest romantic leading man ever. Just take the name. Even back then, I don’t think many people saw Humphrey as very sexy, and how long has it been since you’ve met a Humphrey in real life? He wasn’t handsome. He had a speech defect. And yet he dominated every film he was in. I guess it’s down to something like charisma.

This was an ... Read more »

Skyscraper

(2018)

If you’ve seen The Towering Inferno and Die Hard, you really don’t need to see this one, because it is exactly like those two much superior films. I think it’s kind of sad to notice how CGI has changed the action movie … and not always for the best. To me, the huge and totally unbelievable effects in a movie ... Read more »

Hotel Artemis

(2018)

The year is 2028, and Jodie Foster, “The Nurse,” operates a high-tech hospital that caters to rich criminals who can’t afford to be seen in a regular one. She offers all sorts of services, but has strict rules, like no weapons, no non-members, no killing other guests, no farting in the elevator. (Well, if that last one wasn’t a rule, it should have been.) It’s an action thriller with a ... Read more »

Colossal

(Canada/Spain)

This little low-to-medium-budget gem totally tanked at the box office. I don’t know why. Probably not enough publicity. I know I never heard of it until I happened on the DVD.

Anne Hathaway is an alcoholic writer who has to leave New York and return to Stephen King country to try to get her life together. Meanwhile, a giant Godzilla-like monster is ravaging its way through Seoul, ... Read more »

Anne With and E

(Canada)

I, of course, have never read the book, it being a girls’ book, but I think I missed a good one. The story is of an older brother and sister living together who decide to take in an orphan boy to help with the chores on their Prince Edward Island farm. Through a mix-up, Anne is delivered instead. Naturally they send her back, but they weren’t counting on the ... Read more »

The Picture of Dorian Gray

(1945)

The IMDb lists five versions of this, including one just last year, 2018, and a sixth in development, where they plan to do the old gender switcheroo, making Gray a woman. None of the others seem to amount to anything, but I thought this one was a doozy. Gray is played by the devilishly handsome Hurd Hatfield, and devilish is the key word. There is just something in that face that tells me ... Read more »

Great Expectations

(1998)

If I had to pick a favorite Dickens novel it would probably be David Copperfield, but this one is a close second. And I don’t really see the need to create a modern-day version of it when we have a perfect example already in David Lean’s 1946 version, starring John Mills and a very young Alec Guinness. I don’t mind too much that they excised several plot ... Read more »

Equalizer 2

(2018)

I’m always a little embarrassed to review a film like this, which I have to call a guilty pleasure. I guess it began way back with Death Wish, a “super-violent” film that looks pretty tame and quaint these days. People like to deplore these films, and they will get no argument from me. They are dreadful, ugly, blood-soaked exercises in vigilante violence. And, in ... Read more »

The Highwaymen

(2019)

I really, really loved the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde, but I didn’t believe a minute of it. It was pure fiction, from beginning to end. These were not nice people, there was no romance about them. This movie sets the record straight and shows them for the despicable scum thugs they were. America idolized them, and it’s hard for me to understand why. Desperate for ... Read more »

The Mountain Between Us

(2017)

This is an okay, if pretty unlikely, story of survival. A small plane crashes high up in the mountains when the pilot suffers a fatal heart attack. The passengers, Idris Elba and Kate Winslet, survive, but he is badly hurt. A dog survives, too, and will be important in their later ordeals. They have to make their way down the mountain. It ain’t easy. This was okay until they tacked on a ... Read more »