Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

C.S.A.: The Confederate States of America


Aided by his foreign allies, Lee triumphs at Gettysburg and soon sweeps into Washington. Lincoln flees, disguised as a Negro, but is soon captured. (DW Griffith makes a movie about it, shows the cowardly Lincoln singing spirituals to prove he’s really a darkie. “What kind of white man are you, suh?”) Later, on film in 1905, exiled in Canada, Abe bitterly regrets he ... Read more »



As we all know, Hollywood is legendary for buying a property—most often a book—and then completely re-writing it, losing just about everything that was good about it in the first place. This doesn’t happed so often with Broadway musicals; usually Hollywood limits its meddling to casting non-singers (Audrey Hepburn, Natalie Wood) and letting Marni Nixon repair the damage in the dubbing ... Read more »

Cabin in the Sky


This has to be the best of the all-black movie musicals … not that there were a lot of them, but still. It has just about every black actor on the MGM lot, and plenty of other guests such as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. Great singing by Ethel Waters and Lena Horne, in her first screen appearance. It was also the first movie directed by the great Vincente Minnelli. It features some ... Read more »

The Cabin in the Woods


This one has been sitting on my TO REVIEW list for two months now, as I ponder how I can communicate how much I hated, hated, hated this movie. I guess I’d better start with a brief plot summary.

Richard Jenkins and Bradley Whitford are with dozens of other people in some sort of super-secret, super high-tech mission control facility spying on this group ... Read more »


(France, 2005)

… means “hidden” in French. This just missed by a hair qualifying for the coveted Gerry Award, which we give out, when we are so moved, to the slowest, most obtuse and deliberately confusing movies of all time. This award never goes to Grade-Z movies, flicks that aspire to nothing. These special movies are made by internationally acclaimed directors, and more often than ... Read more »

Café Society


I’d have to call Woody Allen’s latest film a trifle, a bauble. Which doesn’t mean it’s no good. It’s just that the visuals, the locations and cars and costumes, are really of more interest to me than the actual plot. And wow, they are terrific! Woody really was born at the wrong time. He should have been an adult right about here in the 1930s, because it’s clear he loves everything about ... Read more »

The Caine Mutiny


It is my firm belief that if a good movie is made from a good book, it’s best to see the movie first, then read the book. I saw the television series of Lonesome Dove first, then read the book. That was perfect, as I absolutely loved the series, and then reading the book only enriched the experience by adding the elements that only a book can convey. Conversely, ... Read more »

The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial


Every once in a while one gets a pleasant surprise. I never would have dreamed that Herman Wouk is still alive, but he is. As of today, 11/5/17, he is 102 and almost six months. And he published a book last year: Sailor and Fiddler: Reflections of a 100-Year-Old Author. Long may he write!

His novel The Caine Mutiny was a ... Read more »



I’m not sure of the significance of the title. There are two cakes in the movie. One is cooked by the main character, and one is brought in by Anna Kendrick, who is dead. She then throws it out the window and jumps after it, killing herself again, I guess. I’m just hoping this isn’t the cake that got left out in the rain in MacArthur Park. I’ve always hated that soggy cake metaphor. ... Read more »

Calendar Girls


A movie in the pattern of The Full Monty, and not all I had hoped it would be. Good fun, but it’s become a bit of a formula by now. And according to things I read, it was considerably altered from the real story to make it … well, more formula.