Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Canada, 2013)

I watched this on the strength of the star, Abigail Breslin, who I have admired since her knock-out performance as Olive in Little Miss Sunshine. She has since been good in other movies, too, most notably Zombieland. She is an adult now, albeit a pretty young one, and navigating the perilous straits between being a child actress and a ... Read more »

Habeas Corpus


Laurel and Hardy are hired by a mad scientist to rob a grave and bring him the dead body. Spooky hijinx ensue, with open graves and guys in sheets. A pretty routine outing for the boys.

Hacksaw Ridge

(USA, Australia, 2016)

Most films about the “true” exploits of war heroes tend to exaggerate the feats of heroism, and make up a lot of stuff along the way. Here is maybe the rarest thing of all: A war movie that actually shows less of the astonishing deeds of the hero. It is the story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist from Virginia who declined to call himself a conscientious ... Read more »

Hail Caesar!


When I hear that the mighty Coen Brothers have made a comedy, I don’t go into the theater expecting to see pratfalls and hear scatological jokes as in so many comedies these days. I expect witty writing, funny situations, wry satire. That’s exactly what I got in this one. It’s all about the last days of the studio system in the early 1950s, when every studio had a “fixer” whose job was to ... Read more »

Hail the Conquering Hero


In 1944 everybody was making patriotic movies, so why shouldn’t Preston Sturges? But being who he was, he made a movie a little different than the gung-ho battle epics starring draft-dodgers like John Wayne. Eddie Bracken plays a guy whose father was a Marine hero, and all he’s ever wanted to be was a Marine. But he’s got chronic hay fever and is given a medical discharge. A group of real ... Read more »



I can’t say that I’m 100% opposed to making changes in a musical when it moves from the stage to the silver screen. Two of my favorite movie musicals of all time were changed deeply and fundamentally in translation. Bob Fosse’s Cabaret made huge changes to the stage version, and Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend did, too. I love them all, ... Read more »



This is the best 2007 film I’ve seen so far, and it’s late July. Of course, there are many current films I haven’t seen yet, and many more to come, including the “Oscar contenders” bunched up as they always are late in the year, but this will do for Best Picture for now, until something better comes along. (Possibly the much-awaited Sweeney Todd?) There is only ... Read more »



Here’s some of the publicity from the trailer of the original release. It really ought to be in one of those giant, dramatic, 3-D typefaces they used to use in those days:

REALISTIC! EARTHY!…it pictures in dialogue and heart-stirring song the reckless love and the gripping drama of the Southern Negro…come to the dusky cabarets….the revivals and ... Read more »



Mel Gibson kicks the shit out of Shakespeare.



A total waste of time. It’s hardly worth mentioning how many ways this imbecilic movie goes wrong, but to name just a few … Will Smith is all wrong for this part. They seem to have started shooting without a viable script; I had the distinct impression that they were making it up as they went along. When does he have his superpowers, and when doesn’t he? No one seems to know. Bullshit ... Read more »