Tag Archive: films

Saving Private Ryan on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

Watched Saving Private Ryan in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day yesterday. I still remember when I first saw this in the theater. I live in a retirement area with a huge senior population.When we went to see this the theater was full, and it was a sea of white heads in every aisle. My wife and I were some of the only young people there. It was harrowing. That opening sequence, no one had ever done anything like it before. For 20 minutes you’re assaulted with graphic violence and noise and fury that relentlessly pounded your senses. By the end of the sequence, you were out of breath and tired of being battered and just wishing for a break from the sensory overload. The result was that for the rest of the movie,…
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My new book comes out soon…

Hitchcock's Villains

… so that’s kind of cool. The follow-up to A Year of Hitchcock is due out in, damn, just a few weeks! Called Hitchcock’s Villains: Murders, Maniacs and Mother Issues, this collaboration with Jim McDevitt is a full exploration of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest villains, what makes them tick, the themes that drive the darkness in his movies, and of Hitchcock’s own psyche. I think it’s pretty great. This will be my fifth book, collaborative or otherwise, with a sixth hopefully coming out next year in ebook form via the Philadelphia Weekly. (That project is still up in the air.) The project has actually been in gestation for some time now, practically since A Year of Hitchcock was finished. Basking in the glow of finishing such…
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The Brain That Wouldn’t Die (1962)

We’ll cap off this Halloween season foray into public domain horror films tomorrow with the biggest classic of the classics, but for now let’s just have fun with the schlocky B-movie fun of The Brain That Wouldn’t Die, a 1962 flick about a doctor who keeps his girlfriend’s decapitated head alive and goes in search of a body to attach it to. Two of the characters in this movie are billed as “Blonde Stripper” and “Brunet Stripper,” so you know this is good cinema. Oh yeah. It’s in the public domain, so check it out: The movie is freely and legally available for download here, though I can’t vouch for the quality.

Three, three, three! classic silents

It’s the Friday of Halloween weekend. Maybe you’re bored. Maybe you’re looking for something to occupy your time. That’s why I’m packing three, three, three horror classics of the silent era into one blog post. The Phantom of the Opera (1925) Forget about song and dance and Broadway, the real Phantom of the Opera was a creepy classic that was ahead of its time. The story has been remade five times, but it’s tough to beat a silent classic with Lon Chaney. Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde (1920) Jekyll and Hyde don’t rate very highly in modern horror, but way back when it was a pretty creepy story about man’s dual nature. This 1920 adaptation is considered by many to be among the best silent…
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Can Pixar Do Wrong?

After watching Pixar’s Up last evening, I’m beginning to wonder if Pixar is capable of making a bad film. Theirs is a track record nearly perfect beyond expectation; even their “worst” pictures are quality entertainment by any measure. You all know Pixar. They’re the folks who brought us Toy Story, Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and other delights. From the very start their films were charming and entertaining. Only a soulless creature does not enjoy Toy Story. The thrills of The Incredibles are matched only by the warmth of the Parr family dynamic. Monsters, Inc. showed those other animation studios that crazy fun need not be stupid fun. But even beyond the whimsical adventure, we’re starting to see that Pixar are masters of cinema in a…
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