Tag Archive: films

X-Men: First Class, and it is good (not great) but very. Good.

My X marathon begins! And for what it’s worth, I’m starting pretty shallow, with some lightweight comments and such. Totally mailing it in for the first few movies. The reason is because I am. Seriously. Ripping this one out because in truth what people REALLY want is to know why I think you’re dumb for insulting The Last Stand. So to get the obvious stuff out of the way, First Class is close to impeccable. Marred only by writing that is too wink wink nudge nudge, it’s got pretty much everything you want from a good mutant movie. Pathos. Humanity. Thrilling action. Creative use of powers (the most creative of all seven X flicks, actually). A relatively smart plot. An awesome finale. Etc. Plus it…
Read more

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,…
Read more

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…
Read more

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…
Read more