Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Y tu mamá también

(Mexico, 2001)

(Rough translation: So’s your mother. Or even better: Yo mama!) On the surface this is a stoner road trip: Tenoch y Julio can a la playa. Two Mexican teens, one very rich and one middle class, get involved with a woman 10 years older and set out in an old car for the beach. There is much talk about sex, and she has sex with both of them. She has a secret. But there’s more going on here. ... Read more »

A Yank at Eton


I have always liked Mickey Rooney. He was such a little ball of energy, you expected sparks to fly off of him. Here he is a high school football star who intends to go on to Notre Dame. But his mother in England marries a rich aristocrat, and sends for him and his little sister. The stepfather is a decent fellow, but Mickey hates him and everything English at first sight. He is enrolled at ... Read more »

The Year of Living Dangerously

(Australia, USA, 1982)

I feel I have a special relationship to this movie. Back in 1982 I had an office on the MGM lot for several months while working with Richard Rush (writer-director of The Stunt Man) on one of the earlier re-writes of Millennium. It was right at the entrance beside the Thalberg building. (You can see my office window in any number of ... Read more »

The Yellow Rolls-Royce

(UK, 1964)

Actually a trilogy, with the car being the connecting element that ties the three stories together. The car is a 1930 Phantom II, and lovely to look at, but I would not want to drive it. Believe it or not, it had a 25 horsepower straight-6 engine. Hell, there are riding lawnmowers with more horsepower than that! Wiki says it could go from zero to 100 KPH (about 60 MPH) in 12.5 seconds. ... Read more »




I was almost hoping this movie would really, really suck, so I could just leave it at that: my shortest review! Sadly, it’s more complex than that, and I’m far too verbose and opinionated to leave this one without a few remarks.

The central fact of this movie is that it’s entirely in rhymed iambic pentameter. I kid you not. It is delivered so artfully ... Read more »

Yes Man


When Jim Carrey picks the right material he’s hard to beat. This script is pretty good, though it lacks something in the conflict department. The premise: He’s detached from life, in a dead-end job, his wife has left him, he’s always saying no to any invitation or opportunity life offers him. A self-help guru convinces him that what he has to do is say yes! He agrees to say yes! to ... Read more »

The Yes Men


The Yes Men (2003) I love movies about con games. It is not true that you can?t cheat an honest man, as current phishing schemes are proving (all it really takes is a stupid victim), though 90% of con scams involve someone eager to make a quick buck or who is convinced he?s about to cheat somebody else. I also love media hoaxes, in which people who really ought to be more careful are ... Read more »


(UK, 2019)

This one immediately goes on my list of Best Films of 2019, and it might even be the very best of those I’ve seen so far. The premise is fairly simple. Jack Malik, an unsuccessful wannabe rock writer and performer, is hit by a bus. When he comes to, he soon discovers that he is in an alternate reality where the Beatles never existed. Mention John, Paul, George, and Ringo, and you get a ... Read more »

Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

(Ieri, oggi, domani, Italy, 1963)

Vittorio De Sica won no less than four Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language film. This is the third one. And it could not be more different from the first two, Shoeshine and Bicycle Thieves. It’s a three-part comedy, as the title implies. All three star Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni, who often worked together, I’m happy to ... Read more »

You Can’t Take It With You


A lot of people don’t like the films of Frank Capra, finding them to be too simplistic and sentimental, among other failings. Well, it’s a cynical age, but I am a big fan of most of them, such as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Arsenic and Old Lace, and of course It’s a Wonderful Life. The man won three Best Director Oscars in five years, ... Read more »