Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Ed Wood

(1994)

Tim Burton is an uneven director, in my opinion. I’ve liked about half of his movies, the other half, not so much. This is one of the good ones. It’s a surprisingly affectionate portrait of possibly the worst director ever to shout “Action” who ever worked in Hollywood. (My personal favorite bad director is the great Doris Wishman, who helmed Nude on the Moon and ... Read more »

Glen or Glenda

(1953)

AKA I Led Two Lives, He or She?, I Changed My Sex. Shot in four days, inspired by Christine Jorgenson. It’s a bit sad to look at, because it is clear that it was an important statement to Ed Wood, the writer-director, and it is a hot mess. He was a transvestite, and wanted people to understand the feelings he had, but you will cringe to see the total irrelevancy ... Read more »

Bride of the Monster

(1955)

AKA The Atomic Monster, The Monster of the Marshes, Bride of the Atom. Ed Wood had the astronomical (for him) sum of $70,000 to create this gobbler. The sets are much better than in any of his other films, but the script and the acting are just as stunningly awful. This is basically Bela Lugosi’s last film, though he had a few seconds in Plan ... Read more »

Plan 9 From Outer Space

(1957)

AKA Grave Robbers From Outer Space. I’m not one who enjoys watching movies that are “so bad they are good.” A bad movie is pretty much a waste of my time. But I watched this a long time ago, when it was named “The Worst Movie Ever Made,” and having recently watched Tim Burton’s Ed Wood I decided to take a look again, to compare scenes ... Read more »

Onward

(2020)

COVID-19 has killed more than people in America. (Though it’s killed a lot of people: 154,442 as of today, 8/2/20.) It has killed businesses, small and large: Hertz, Brooks Brothers, J.C. Penney, etc. Most movies have been postponed, understandably, until the theaters open again. Just yesterday I saw that The Empire Strikes Back is the ... Read more »

The Green Mile

(1999)

Here’s one more proof that Stephen King doesn’t need to scare you with hobgoblins or gobhoblins or evil supernatural clowns. In fact, I would venture to say that he does his best work when he avoids all the phony evil of such and sticks to the evil in the human heart, and to a story with little to no fantasy horror theme. I submit to you Stand By Me, and Read more »

Badlands

(1973)

Terrence’s Malik’s debut film ranks up there with Citizen Kane and Blood Simple as films that can be described as having “Burst on the scene.” He stuns, as both writer and director, and how did he learn all that before he ever shouted “Action!”? Loosely based on spree killers Charles Starkweather and Caril Ann Fugate (who is still ... Read more »

Charley Varrick

(1973)

Every once in a great while a movie comes along with which I can find no fault, This is one. Former barnstormer and current crop-duster Walter Matthau has resorted to bank robberies to stay afloat. He, his wife, and two men take on a small bank in the Southwest, and it goes horribly wrong when local cops just happen to stop by. There is a shoot-out and his wife, one of the others, and two ... Read more »

A New Leaf

(1971)

You could hardly do better for a comic movie team than Walter Matthau and Elaine May, unless it is Matthau and Lemmon. May wrote, directed, and co-stars here. He is a playboy and a wastrel who finds out he has spent all his money (in a hilarious scene with his accountant) and now desperately needs to marry a rich woman so he can kill her and inherit. He drives a Ferrari that can probably ... Read more »

The Old Guard

(2020)

Don’t much care for comic books or graphic novels, but every so often one comes along that is intelligent and worthwhile as an action movie. This is one, very much so. Greg Rucka wrote the book and the screenplay, and it is about a small group of “immortals,” who can recover from any injury. This is unexplained, and unlikely, but qualifies as the One Big Given that any SF story is allowed. ... Read more »