Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan



Three-quarters of a good movie, with a realistic feel. Then it degenerates into an overdone improbability, complete with a private jet landing on a bridge and a mano-a-mano fight in a rail yard full of moving trains.



A b1t 0f a pr0blem dec1d1ng where t0 alphabet1ze th1s 0ne. 1 guess we’ll f1gure 1t 0ut. 1t stars Al Pac1n0 and Cather1ne Keener. It als0 starts Win0na Ryder and Evan Rachel W00d, aged 15, wh0 f1ve years later w0uld star 1n Acr0ss the Un1verse. 1 will n0w revert t0 the regular alphabet as the Romans 1ntended.

Pacino is a producer/director who is being ... Read more »



We happened to see this one back-to-back with another Hitchcock film, Blackmail, made seven years earlier. It was interesting to note the similarities. In both films a woman kills a man. In this one, the victim was her husband who had set off a bomb that killed her brother. In the other, the man was trying to rape her. Both eminently justifiable, most people would say. In both films her ... Read more »



Saboteur (1942) Not to be confused with Hitchcock’s {{Sabotage}, this film is one of the very best of his trademark “innocent man on the run” movies, maybe even better than North By Northwest. Robert Cummings is such a stand-up, stalwart, patriotic American that he can deliver several stirring speeches (allegedly written by Dorothy Parker) and make them work, ... Read more »



Now and then I get to fill in a blank, see a classic movie that I somehow missed. This was one. I’ve always heard good things about it, but just kept missing it. Now I’ve seen it, and it deserves its ranking as a classic. Billy Wilder directed. It was Audrey Hepburn’s second movie, and cemented her status as Hollywood’s new princess. Now, of course, she is one of the Legends. Humphrey ... Read more »

The Saddest Music in the World

(Canada, 2003)

This will be one of the odder reviews I’ve ever written, which is good, because it’s one of the oddest films I’ve ever seen! First, I don’t recommend it. Second, I’m very glad I saw it. Third, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen! This is one of the most visually stunning films ever made. The director, a Canadian cult figure named Guy Maddin, has made it look ... Read more »

Safe House


This starts out with an interesting premise from the spy business, something I would have thought impossible in that overworked genre. Like, I have often thought that Nikki (Julia Stiles) was one of the best characters in the Bourne movies. She was the grunt, the worker bee who ended up in deeper shit than she ever planned for when she joined the CIA. She was one of the ones that Chris ... Read more »

Safety Last!


I guess everybody has films they just missed. I’ve been a huge Harold Lloyd fan since I attended a small seminar with him at Michigan State in 1966. I’ve seen dozens of his two-reelers, and all his features … except this one, his most famous. The picture of him dangling from the clock high on the side of a building in downtown LA is one of the most enduring images from the silent era. Now ... Read more »

Safety Not Guaranteed


Younger viewers will probably not understand why one aspect of this movie depressed me a bit. Here we have a guy who claims he has built a time machine. And he plans to go back into the past with it … back, back, back in time, into the far distant past …

… to 2001.

Holy shit! To young people today, 2001 is way back in the past. They don’t recall ... Read more »



The American army’s first taste of war in the European Theater was in Africa, and it was a bitter one. They were led by an incompetent general who preferred to stay in his headquarters 70 miles behind the lines. The Germans under Rommel slaughtered the Americans at the Kasserine Pass. (You can see the aftermath of this disaster in the early scenes of Patton.) It was such a rout that many ... Read more »