Archive for category: Film Reviews

Blu-ray / DVD: ‘Cemetery Without Crosses’

1 August, 2015 (02:46) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

A spaghetti western with French seasonings, Cemetery Without Crosses (1969) is a Franco-Italian co-production shot in Almeria, Spain, the definitive badlands landscape of the Euro-western. The director, screenwriters, two stars, and even composer are French and the supporting cast largely Italian. And while this is not shot in the widescreen dimension of CinemaScope, de rigueur […]

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Film Review: ‘Boulevard’

30 July, 2015 (02:30) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It only takes a quick scan of Robin Williams’ filmography to see how unusual his movie career really was. He cashed in his Mork-fame with Robert Altman’s fantastically weird Popeye and a winning lead role in a literary fantasia, The World According to Garp. Every time he scored huge with pure comedy, à la Mrs. […]

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Film Review: ‘Our Man in Tehran’

30 July, 2015 (02:17) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Shouldn’t the documentary come first, followed by a fictionalized feature “inspired by true events”? Not in this case. Ben Affleck’s Argo introduced many viewers to the Mission: Improbable that sprung six U.S. diplomats out of Iran after the 1979 seizure of the U.S. Embassy. Argo was a Hollywood entertainment all the way, even copping the […]

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Film Review: ‘Court’

30 July, 2015 (02:00) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The movie is simply called Court, and the generalized title is as potent here as it is with Kafka’s nightmare novel The Trial. The storyline follows the process of a specific case in India, but the movie’s reach is big enough to imply that an entire legal apparatus is under indictment. In the early going, […]

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Review: The Towering Inferno

29 July, 2015 (08:17) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Film Reviews | By: Robert C. Cumbow

The Towering Inferno is a good movie about a fire. That is its strength. Its weakness is that, despite a promising array of characters and several passable actors, it is a very bad movie about people. Time was when virtually all disaster movies were essentially character studies, and examined (with varying degrees of success) how […]

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Review: Don’t Look Now

27 July, 2015 (11:21) | by Rick Hermann, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Rick Hermann

[Originally published in Movietone News 38, January 1975] Nicolas Roeg’s previous work as a cinematographer may have a good deal to do with the purely visual sensation of watching Don’t Look Now, the third picture he has worked on as director (having co-directed Performance and soloed with Walkabout). One feels the sensitivity of some of […]

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Film Review: ‘Do I Sound Gay?’

23 July, 2015 (03:28) | by Robert Horton, Documentary, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

David Thorpe tells us he got the idea for his documentary when he was riding a train from his home in New York to Fire Island. Surrounded by gay men, Thorpe was struck by the sound of the voices he heard around him. Being gay himself, he wondered: “Do I really sound like that?” He […]

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Film Review: ‘A Hard Day’

23 July, 2015 (03:25) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

He hit someone while driving, and he should report it. But our morally swampy protagonist has a few drinks under his belt and a lot to lose, and besides, nobody is around this lonely crossroads. Anyway, he’s a South Korean police detective—he can handle this. From such fatal misjudgments, many entertaining movies have come, and […]

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Film Review: ‘Tangerine’

23 July, 2015 (03:20) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

I have never understood why anybody (outside of professionals in the biz) would care how a movie was shot or how much it cost. What matters is what’s up there onscreen, yes? Kudos to low-budget geniuses who work magic on a shoestring, but what does that have to do with how we watch the movie? […]

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Review: Erotic Dreams

21 July, 2015 (17:53) | by Ken Eisler, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 38, January 1975] It’s one hell of a note. Here’s this interesting-looking movie playing at, of all places, the Eve, a centrally located Vancouver softcore house: Erotic Dreams—originally (reliable sources) Wet Dreams. The long, narrow ad in The Province has caught my eye: “1st Erotic International Film Directors’ Festival.” A […]

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Review: The Seduction of Mimi

20 July, 2015 (22:10) | by RC Dale, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 38, January 1975] The print of The Seduction of Mimi currently being shown in Seattle has had about 30 minutes out from it. According to a friend who saw it whole two years ago at the San Francisco Film Festival, the abridgements improve the film. I find myself wondering whether […]

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Film Review: ‘Ardor’

16 July, 2015 (08:19) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

It pays homage to classic filmmaking, it’s got two fine-looking international stars, and it calls attention to the environmental crisis in the rainforest. It’s still a dumb movie. Ardor dresses up a basic revenge plot with arty style and mystical mumbo-jumbo, all played out in a South American jungle where people have apparently watched a […]

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Film Review: ‘Mr. Holmes’

16 July, 2015 (08:14) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Ian McKellen was surely made to play Sherlock Holmes—that lanky figure and cultivated voice are ideal for the deerstalker hat, the pipe, and the highbrow cogitating. As it happens, all three attributes are challenged in Mr. Holmes, Bill Condon’s film about the waning days of the world’s greatest consulting detective. Holmes, now 93 and long […]

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Film Review: ‘A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence’

16 July, 2015 (08:10) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Critics make up “Best of” lists all the time, or at least once a year—opportunities to assess, evaluate, or venture a guess (often wrong) about a movie’s place in film history. More rarely are we coaxed to weigh in on our favorite films—which doesn’t involve looking at a place in history, but at admitting sheer […]

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DVD: ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’

14 July, 2015 (22:50) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Olivier Assayas wrote this drama about a veteran actress facing a transition in her career after Juliette Binoche, arguably France’s greatest and certainly most ambitious actress working today, challenged him to write a film centered on women. It was a friendly challenge—she had already starred in two films he wrote for director André Téchiné and […]

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