Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

The Killer Inside Me


Jim Thompson was the best of the new hard-boiled writers of the ‘50s. He’s sort of the Philip K. Dick of the paperback crime novel: Fairly prolific, not much appreciated while he was alive, “discovered” later. So sad. Several good films have been made from his books, including The Grifters, from an Oscar-nominated script by Donald E. Westlake.

This was ... Read more »

The Killer Shrews


I think we all have a movie or two that is important to us for one reason or another. This one takes me back to the Don Drive-in, on the outskirts of Port Arthur, Texas. It was a single screen, with a second screen added after I left home. And the screen was not just a flat billboard, it was a tall, wide, skinny building with an apartment in the bottom where the manager lived. Every so ... Read more »

The Killers


This is about as noir as it gets. It stars Burt Lancaster (his first film, and the star quality is obvious), is from a story by Ernest Hemingway with a script by Anthony Veiller, Richard Brooks, and (uncredited) John Huston. Ava Gardner is the bad, bad girl, and Edmond O’Brien is the insurance investigator trying to unravel Lancaster’s murder. He is killed in the first few minutes, ... Read more »

Killer’s Kiss


Compared to the ten grand his first film cost, Kubrick spent a fortune on this one: $40,000, again borrowed from his uncle. I get the feeling almost no one saw Fear and Desire when it was new (and very few people since), but this one got him enough notice to get some decent money for the next one.

I ask myself, looking at this, would I peg it as a Kubrick ... Read more »

The Killing


Stanley Kubrick’s third film (though for all practical purposes it’s his second, as he did everything he could to bury his first). This is where he really began to find his voice. It’s a crackerjack caper movie starring Sterling Hayden, who with a crew of five plans to rob a racetrack of two million dollars. The mastermind reminds me a little of the Parker character in Richard Stark’s ... Read more »

The Killing


Seattle is the ugliest town in North America, maybe in the whole world. It rains every day, and especially every night, in Biblical proportions. Many of those ships in the harbor are lining up pairs of animals from the Seattle zoo, those who haven’t drowned already. Penguins drown in the Seattle zoo. Fish drown. When it isn’t raining, ... Read more »

The Killing (Season Three)

(2013) Spoiler Warning

Sarah Linden and Stephen Holder (Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman) are back fighting crime in the sodden streets of Seattle for a third year. The Rosy Larson case was solved, after larking off on a dozen dark alleys. Linden isn’t even a detective anymore; she either left the force or was fired at the end of last season, I can’t recall.

1. The Jungle: She’s now a ferry boat operator ... Read more »

The Killing (Season Two)


Seattle is just as cold, dark, and rain-swept this season as it was the last. As if this wasn’t bad enough, almost all the scenes are shot in rooms with almost no lighting, and most of the actors are shot against a window, backlighted. Very stylish, I know. In spite of this, we were involved in it all and looked forward to Sunday. The plot got insanely complicated, with red herrings all ... Read more »

Kind Hearts and Coronets

(UK, 1949)

There are very few movies whose plot is completely turned around by the very last line. This is one. (Another is The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. The original, not the piece-of-crap remake. Only the last line in Pelham is a sneeze!) And that is after a saved-at-the-last-moment twist that you think has it all wrapped up. Dennis Price ... Read more »

King Arthur

(USA/UK/Ireland, 2004)

Interesting idea. We know that King Arthur and all that Lady in the Lake, Holy Grail, Merlin the Magician stuff is legend, not history … but what if it’s legend based on history? So that in the year 452 there really was an Arthur, a Guinevere, a Lancelot, and all the other usual suspects?

That’s the premise here, and it looks good. Talk about your Dark Ages. Rome is falling ... Read more »