Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Die Hard, Live Free or


Nothing you see here regarding computers and/or telecommunications is real, it’s all bullshit. Everything you see concerning the ability of a human body to recover, or even survive, after impacting the ground at 90 miles per hour or being hit by a speeding car or jumping out of a car travelling at 70 miles per hour is bullshit. (Did you know that landing on the roof of a car after falling ... Read more »

Les cousins

(France, 1959)

I’m okay with movies made about people I don’t like. But they need to be interesting. Halfway through this one, I wasn’t interested in anyone or anything that was going on. It was a lot of pretentious French men and women from the Parisian “Beat” generation, who thought they were quite cool. And they weren’t. This was the second film of Claude Chabrol, one of the “New Wave” directors who ... Read more »

Jupiter Ascending


It’s all just another super-detailed video game, isn’t it? As in so many movies these days, your jaw will drop from the detail work that went into the settings and the super-fast action scenes … and if you’re anything like me, your jaw will drop again in a big, fat, yawn. It’s the yawn that will remain in your memory. You won’t know much about what’s going on, and you won’t much care. ... Read more »

L.A. Confidential


… was the year that overblown behemoth Titanic rolled over all the competition at the Oscars. (This is the movie that should have won.)

Noir is the word that keeps coming up in reviews, and in my own mind, when thinking about this movie. It’s time people stop insisting that film noir must be in black and white, even though noir is black. This ... Read more »

L.A. Story


Steve Martin’s own wacky brand of magical realism, and a love note to the wonderful oddness of Los Angeles. It shifts quickly from outright farce to satire to an amazing sweetness without ever setting a foot wrong, which is quite a dance to do. When he’s on his game (and he hasn’t been, for too many years) Steve Martin is the best comic there is, and he wrote and stars in this one. I sure ... Read more »

L4yer Cake


A stylish, sometimes funny flick about drug dealers and a deal gone wrong. But after a while we were both wishing for American subtitles. I’m usually pretty good with Brit accents, but I know a missed a lot of dialogue. By the end, I was far from sure just what was happening, and the final shot, literally, was not needed and felt like a cheat from back in the days of the Hays Office, when ... Read more »

La Cage aux Folles

(France, Spain, 1978)

Once when I was in the Big Apple I noticed that someone had made a musical out of this. (It was Harvey Fierstein.) I really wanted to go see it, but I didn’t have the time. Oh, well.

Some years ago I rented the VHS tape, got it home, popped it in the VCR, and found out it had been dubbed. Dubbed!! I will never watch a dubbed ... Read more »

La Ceremonie

(France, 1995)

A fascinating film from Claude Chabrol, sometimes called the French Alfred Hitchcock. A disturbed young woman (Sandrine Bonnaire) meets a flat-out crazy one (the wonderful Isabelle Huppert), with disastrous results. The build-up is very slow, and the pay-off shocking. Jacqueline Bisset is in it, and she’s very good. I hadn’t seen her in a while, and she’s aging well. Apparently she’s been ... Read more »

La Dolce Vita

(Italy/France, 1960)

Recently restored and released on DVD. It had been quite a few years since I’d seen it, so we rented it … and pretty soon I realized that I had never seen it. I’ve seen just about all the “classics,” the great films, but there are gaps here and there. I hadn’t realized it was so long, almost 3 hours. It is gorgeous to look at. I think Fellini had a black and white heart. The shadows ... Read more »

La La Land


Thank you, Damien Chazelle, for giving me La La Land. Watching it, I kept wondering if this was the first time I had really smiled in 2017. (It’s not been a good year.) I mean, it had me from the first minute, when hundreds of people stepped out of their cars stalled on the freeway and began to sing and dance. It is one of the most delightful and astonishing ... Read more »