Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Winchester

(2018)

When I lived in the Haight-Ashbury, oh these many years ago, we used to load the family into the old rustbucket and drive down the peninsula to one of half a dozen drive-in movies. Alas, all gone, all gone. It was always a double feature, and in the intermission in addition to the admonitions from dancing popcorn boxes and bubbling cups of Coke to “Let’s all go to the lobby!” there were ... Read more »

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women

(2017)

Even by the somewhat iffy standards of comic book art in the 1940s and into the ‘50s, I recall that Wonder Woman was easily the worst-drawn comic I ever looked at. The eagle on her breastplate was all mushy. Scenes of her arrival in her “invisible” airplane at the Amazon Island, whatever the hell it was called, were sometimes so incompetent that I just had to laugh. The Wonder Woman you ... Read more »

Ready Player One

(2018)

It’s possible that deeply addicted computer game players will find this gigantic mess fun. I recognized some of the figures from games of the past. But it’s basically just Fast and Furious in cyberspace, and it was so boring and pointless we stopped watching after about thirty minutes. I mean, if this stupid chase with nothing at stake was how it started out, it ... Read more »

Au revoir, les enfants

(France/West Germany, 1987)

Louis Malle was one of the greats, and he made films in both French and English. This one is autobiographical, and recounts his time in a Catholic school in occupied France, when he was eleven. The priest (one of the good ones) is sheltering three Jewish boys under assumed names. The protagonist, Julien, figures this out, and eventually they become friends. But the Gestapo arrives and ... Read more »

Woman Walks Ahead

(2017)

Caroline Weldon was an artist who, in 1889, traveled to the Dakota Territory with the intention of painting portraits of the Lakota people and working for Indian rights. As usual, the government was in the process of fucking the red man once more by taking most of the reservation to give to white settlers. She became friends with Sitting Bull. You know it will end badly.

I don’t ... Read more »

Unsane

(2018)

Stephen Soderbergh is a director whose films have been all over the map. He “arrived” with the small indie sex, lies, and videotape, which won the Palm d’Or at Cannes. He followed it up with the box office bomb, Kafka. He followed that with five other experimental bombs, and then suddenly here’s Out of Sight, ... Read more »

Big Little Lies

(2017)

An HBO series created by David E. Kelley with a fantastic cast. Listen to this: Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Meryl Streep. It follows a group of very rich mothers in Monterrey, California, jockeying to attain the very best stuff for their offspring. Think Felicity Huffman buying a good SAT score for her child. These women would do ... Read more »

Searching

(2018)

Though it’s hard to believe it can be done, this entire movie unfolds on computer and phone screens. And it’s fascinating! I am not very tech savvy. For instance, I’ve never logged on to Facebook, have no idea how to tweet, don’t understand what a hashtag is. I’ve never even sent a text message, if you can believe that. But it was all perfectly understandable to even such as me. ... Read more »

A Little Princess

(1995)

This is the second film by Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón, who doesn’t make a lot of films, but when he does, they are worth noting. His last three were Children of Men in 2006, Gravity in 2013, and Roma in 2018. What a trio, huh? He’s won five Oscars.

It’s sweet little story ... Read more »

Laura

(1944)

Beautiful female movie stars were so thick on the ground in Hollywood in the 1940s that you couldn’t turn around without tripping over one. But was there ever one as beautiful as Gene Tierney? It’s a matter of endless debate, of course, and there are dozens of candidates for “Most Beautiful,” but she would be hard to beat. If you like film noir (and I love it) this is one of the absolute ... Read more »