Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Puzzle

(2018)

I guess it’s a given that in any activity humans do, there will be some people who compete at it. I knew there were crossword puzzle contests, in fact there’s a lot of them, just as there are contests for Scrabble, Monopoly, and probably Old Maid. I hadn’t known there are jigsaw puzzle contests. We had high hopes for this one, and it starts well, but were sadly disappointed by the ... Read more »

Ocean’s 8

(2018)

Here we have the fifth “Ocean’s” movie, after one in 1960 starring the famous Las Vegas “Rat Pack” of Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Peter Lawford, and Joey Bishop, a group I had very little interest in, though I liked some of them individually. Add in Angie Dickenson and a lot of cameos and a heist, and there you are. Unusually, this was the weakest of the five movies. Stephen ... Read more »

War For the Planet of the Apes

(2017)

I just wrote a review of Incredibles 2, in which I lamented the fact that it seems like around 50% of all big movies these days are sequels. Well, what is one to make of this franchise, then? There were five Planet of the Apes in the original series, the first one and then Beneath the, Escape From, Conquest ... Read more »

Incredibles 2

(2018)

I have nothing bad to say about this film. On the other hand, I didn’t see anything to rave about. I am always leery of sequels, and I wish Pixar would do fewer of them and more original stories, like Coco. Yes, I know sequels can be as good as the original, and once in a very great while, even better. Finding Dory was as good as Read more »

It Happened To Jane

(1959)

I forget why I bought this when I came across it at Goodwill, where I buy 99% of my DVDs at $2.99 a pop (plus tax in WA, without tax in OR). Possibly it was the memory of high school days in the balcony of the Jefferson Theater in downtown Beaumont, Texas, where my girlfriend and I saw every movie Doris Day made in the early ‘60s. Maybe I thought nostalgia would make this better than it ... Read more »

Bird Box

(2018)

The idea is that some mysterious “entities,” never explained or shown, have suddenly popped up all over the world. They are so horrific that if you even glance at one of them, you will go insane and kill yourself and/or others. (Except for psychopaths, who love them and want everyone else to see them, too.)

It’s a goofy premise, of course, but if you can just go ... Read more »

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 »