Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Seven Psychopaths


Pretty mixed feelings about this one. It’s a dark comedy, and I got some very good laughs. Quite a few, actually. But it was so aware of itself, so self-referential … and yet, that was a big part of the joke … as I said, I’m conflicted.
A rather normal guy (Colin Farrell) is writing a screenplay called Seven Psychopaths. But all he has is the title, and one ... Read more »

Big Trouble


There are three Florida writers of comic novels that I am aware of. Tim Dorsey’s books are the wildest, with his character Serge Storms killing half a dozen bad people in ingenious and appropriate ways in each book. But I don’t think his stories would translate well to the screen. So far, no one has tried. Carl Hiaasen is probably my favorite. I’ve been reading him for a long time (and ... Read more »

Suicide Kings


This is probably a love it or hate it movie. I pretty much loved it. See, there’s these four rich kids (five, later, but one of them isn’t in on the plot at first) and the sister of one of them has been kidnapped. The abductors are demanding two million dollars, which none of them can get. So they come up with the bright idea of kidnapping a semi-retired mob boss, played by Christopher ... Read more »



Here we get off to a cracking good start, and waste it all in an outrageous ending. Bill Paxton (who also directed) lives in the fictional (I’m happy to say) town of Meat, Texas, with his two young sons. All is well until one night he goes off the rails and plunges off the trestle of sanity into the dark river of religion. An angel has spoken to him, and his mission in life is now to kill ... Read more »

David Crosby: Remember My Name


It’s a little strange to be reviewing a movie about someone we know. Croz is a friend of ours (his friends all call him Croz, ahem, ahem …). Not a close friend, we have only been with him a few times, and exchanged emails. But good enough friends that we have visited him and his wife Jan in their charming home in the Santa Ynez Valley. He comped us to CSN&Y concerts at the Greek ... Read more »

Bull Durham


Several sources rate this as the best sports movie of all time, or at least in the top five. Part of the criteria for choosing a “best”, naturally, is how you feel about the sport in question. Many Top 10 or 25 or 50 lists have a ton of boxing movies. I don’t care for boxing, or for movies about this brutal “sport.” There’s also a lot of basketball movies, like Read more »

An Officer and a Gentleman


If you thought Marine boot camp in Full Metal Jacket was tough, take a look at Navy Aviation Officer Candidate School. There are two main differences. The D.I. is not permitted to actually strike you (you are a potential gentleman), and you also have to study your ass off in a lot of subjects that never came up at Parris Island. A lot of this was familiar to me ... Read more »

Toy Story 4


By the time a franchise is tacking a 4 onto the end of the title, it is almost always burned out, recycling the same old stuff, the magic long since gone away. This is true even of Pixar, who I had hoped would know better, but they went ahead and made the entirely unnecessary Cars 2 and Cars3. But not this one. I found this entry to be ... Read more »

Toy Story 3


And so we come to what I thought would be the end of the saga of Woody, Buzz, and all their fiber and plastic friends, who endure the oddness of collapsing lifelessly whenever a human being is observing them—you think it’s a quantum mechanical phenomenon, like Schrödinger’s cat?—so they can enjoy being loved and played with, sometimes pretty roughly, by the children they love. In 1 ... Read more »

Toy Story 2


A few blocks away from where we used to live on Belmont Street in Portland, Oregon, there is one of the oddest museums I’ve ever seen. It’s Kidd’s Toy Museum, and it is housed more or less in an auto parts and repair shop. You would never find it if you didn’t know what you were looking for. Part of it is on one side of the street, and part is in another building, sort of stashed in ... Read more »