Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Only the Brave

(2017)

Sadly and ironically, as I write this most of the citizens of the little town of Redding, California, pop. 89,861, are being evacuated before what is known as the Carr fire, which has already obliterated several neighborhoods. One of those evacuees is Valerie, one of our friend Dean Ing’s daughters. Dean has been writing about how to survive catastrophes for a long, long time, and now some ... Read more »

A Quiet Place

(2018)

You know what I hate even more than a movie that obviously was a piece of stupid trash before the cameras even rolled? A movie that shows some potential for being something different, something original, something surprising that we haven’t seen before … and then blows it at the end. I hated, hated, hated this film because it blew it bigtime. I am going to reveal ... Read more »

The Killer Shrews

(1959)

I think we all have a movie or two that is important to us for one reason or another. This one takes me back to the Don Drive-in, on the outskirts of Port Arthur, Texas. It was a single screen, with a second screen added after I left home. And the screen was not just a flat billboard, it was a tall, wide, skinny building with an apartment in the bottom where the manager lived. Every so ... Read more »

The Prize

(1963)

I remember this film vividly from when it was new, because I sort of fell in love with Elke Sommer. I’m happy to report that she’s still alive, and she’s a painter. She’s pretty good, too. She has her own distinct style. Google her name and you can see a lot of images.

She was always a terrible actress, but she worked steadily in B or C or Z movies. I looked at her filmography and ... Read more »

Thief

(1980)

It’s not often that I have such radically different takes on a movie as I’ve had on this one. When it was new I thought it was smart, exciting, and visually innovative. I had a good overall impression. And I recall that the whole thing was driven along by a score performed by Tangerine Dream. Now, in 2018, I just could hardly stand the music. In the opening sequence it totally dominates ... Read more »

Happy, Texas

(1999)

Here is one of those little gems that show you don’t need a big budget to make a great comedy. What you need is a good idea and a great cast. The plot: Two small-time crooks accidentally escape from prison when the bus carrying them wrecks. They steal an RV owned by two gay men who travel the country organizing beauty pageants. Not the Miss America type pageant, more like the Jon Benet ... Read more »

Battle of the Sexes

(USA, UK, 2017)

It was the biggest sports event up to that time, with 90,000,000 viewers worldwide. You couldn’t escape the hype. I watched it, and was quite happy to see Bobby Riggs get trounced by Billie Jean King. This movie perfectly recreates that time, even going so far as to have the cinematography slightly fuzzed and faded, as if it had been shot in the ‘70s with that awful clothing and hair. What ... Read more »

Annihilation

(USA, UK, 2017)

What with the breakneck speed of so many movies these days, I’m always a little hesitant to complain because a film is too slow. But this one creeps along like a grandfather snail. Scenes that ought to breeze by at a normal clip are dragged out twice as long as they should be. There is an interrogation of Natalie Portman, who appears quite traumatized. A question is asked. Long pause. A ... Read more »

Tomb Raider

(2018)

I’ve allowed a back-up of un-reviewed movies to accumulate in my To Do file. That means that some of these reviews are of films I may have seen a month or more ago. This is not a good thing for many movies, because I find that a month later I don’t recall much about them. The majority of action movies are like that. Pretty generic action. I remember being mildly entertained by this one. I ... Read more »

Black Panther

(2018)

I think I may have finally learned my lesson. They said Wonder Woman was good, not the same old shit. And it was, for about the first half. Then it was the same old shit. Now this one has been praised to the skies so I broke my rule and gave a superhero movie one more shot. And it’s the same old shit. Putting a rubber suit over a black body doesn’t change the ... Read more »