Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan


(Spooks: The Greater Good, UK, 2015)

This one is a spin-off of a television show titled Spooks. I’m not clear on just how the two relate, whether characters carry over or if plot lines coincide, but I guess it doesn’t matter, really. It is well made, though I have to admit I had a hard time telling what was going on and who was who, sometimes. Which shouldn’t surprise me, since the main character is ... Read more »

Man of Aran

(Ireland, 1934)

This is the third of the documentaries of Robert J. Flaherty. He only made five of them. I remember being knocked out by it, as I had been earlier by Nanook of the North, when I saw them at film society screenings at Michigan State. Back then I thought it was all accurate, telling it like it is …

But it wasn’t. Flaherty’s reputation has suffered since his ... Read more »

The Machinist

(El Maquinista, Spain, 2004)

I don’t know why the IMDb lists the Spanish title first, except that all the producers have Hispanic names. Oh, wait, I see that it was filmed in Barcelona. I’d never have guessed.

A man claims not to have slept in a year. I don’t even know if that’s possible, but you’d figure big-time hallucinations, so we assume a lot of what we see may not be real. His life is clearly coming ... Read more »

Mad Dogs and Englishmen


I’m not a fan of concert movies, but there are a handful of exceptions, and this is one. It follows the triumphant tour of Joe Cocker and his band—actually more like a family, in the good old hippie sense—through North America, the tour that made him a big star. There has never been and probably never will be again a singer like Joe Cocker. The first time I saw him I seriously thought he ... Read more »

Mad Hot Ballroom


For quite some time now, schools in the five boroughs of New York City have been running a program from the American Ballroom Theater called Dancing Classrooms. About 6,000 kids enter the program, all of them 5th graders, 10 or 11 years old.

Try to remember what you were like in the 5th grade. You’d passed through that brief period when it didn’t much matter which sex you were; ... Read more »

Mad Max


Mel Gibson gets the shit kicked out of him for the first time.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome


Mel Gibson gets the shit kicked out of him in some weird dome thingy.

Mad Max: Fury Road

(Australia, USA, 2015)

Hmmm. Should I start off with the bad stuff, or the good stuff? Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way …

This is very bad “science” fiction, but I imagine we’re all pretty used to that these days, what with the semi-ridiculous Interstellar being promoted as “good” SF. I’m just going to tackle one of the impossibilities of this weird desert world. All that ... Read more »

Mad Men


It’s 1960, and men are still men, by golly! Well … actually men are pigs, as we still are today, the difference being that back then there was absolutely no reason to pretend that we were not pigs, as who in the world was going to call us on it? Not women, who were subservient by necessity. The most they might do was slap a wandering hand, and laugh about it, ... Read more »



Like The Lion King, this movie has to deal with the paradox of a carnivore associating with herbivores. Simba solved it by eating grubs and maggots (uh, no thanks, but I will have some of the BBQ meerkat, thank you), which just made me wonder, what about insect rights? Here, Alex the lion learns to eat sushi (actually, I don’t think he’d dig the rice, though he’d ... Read more »