Archive for category: Film Reviews

Review: Hennessy

21 October, 2014 (09:12) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] Hennessy … the name offers to hang over this movie the way “Juggernaut” and “Drabble” spiritually pervaded theirs (Drabble having been the original title of The Black Windmill). That a fellow named Hollis lays more of a claim on our attention, let alone imagination, says a lot […]

Review: The National Health

20 October, 2014 (09:19) | by Ken Eisler, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] by Ken Eisler The National Health, adapted by Peter Nichols from his own stage play, remains pure farce, but the form has undergone a marvelous cinematic sea-change. The characters, governed as before by Humours and idées fixes, enter, exit; doors slam on them—the doors, in this case, […]

Doppler Effect at the Dunbar

18 October, 2014 (11:32) | by Ken Eisler, Film Reviews | By: Movietone News contributor

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] by Ken Eisler In the city of Vancouver, a foreign-film addict enjoys two major connections, the Pacific Cinémathèque (downtown) and the University of British Columbia’s Cinema 16 series (on campus). Both sources dry up during the summer, but fortunately in mid-July along comes Don Barnes’ annual International […]

Film Review: ‘Fury’

17 October, 2014 (08:14) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The longer Fury goes on, the more surreal it becomes. The action takes place during a single day and night at the end of World War II, but there can’t possibly be enough hours in a day to accommodate everything that happens. Probably this was intentional on the part of writer-director David Ayer (End of […]

Film Review: ‘St. Vincent’

16 October, 2014 (08:58) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Bill Murray has a honking fat role in St. Vincent, his biggest part in an out-and-out comedy since The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou. That’s pretty much the sole draw for the movie, and given Murray’s unique screen presence, it’s something. He really looks juiced in this one, doing loose-limbed dances—his great ungainly body remains […]

Film Review: ‘Rudderless’

16 October, 2014 (08:54) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The ghosts from a school shooting hover over the otherwise Sundance-y story of Rudderless, a low-boil drama directed by the actor William H. Macy. The shooting is left offscreen, and the bulk of the film takes place two years later, the sorrow still fresh in the mind of our central character. This is Sam (Billy […]

Film Review: ‘The Best of Me’

16 October, 2014 (08:51) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Even by the standards of The Notebook author Nicholas Sparks, his 2011 novel The Best of Me employs an extremely simple setup. Twenty-one years after they last saw each other, high-school sweethearts Amanda and Dawson meet again, and an old glow is rekindled. Perhaps because of the simplicity and universality of this situation, Sparks has […]

Review: The Great Waldo Pepper

15 October, 2014 (09:59) | by Richard T. Jameson, Film Reviews | By: Richard T. Jameson

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] I just realized I can’t remember how the line begins, so I’m going to fake it: “Technicians provide realism—artists supply truth.” “Technicians” almost certainly wasn’t the word but the rest is legitimate as a quote. A Hollywood director says it to Waldo Pepper, who was just too […]

Videophiled: John Ford’s ‘My Darling Clementine’ on Criterion

14 October, 2014 (18:06) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, John Ford, Westerns | By: Sean Axmaker

My Darling Clementine (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD), John Ford’s sublime reinterpretation of the Wyatt Earp story and the Gunfight at OK Corral, rewrites history to become a mythic frontier legend and one of the most classically perfect westerns ever made. Henry Fonda plays a hard, serious Wyatt Earp leading a cattle drive west with his brothers […]

Review: Sssssss

14 October, 2014 (08:20) | by Robert C. Cumbow, Film Reviews, Horror | By: Robert C. Cumbow

[Originally published in Movietone News 43, September 1975] Like Bug, its current traveling companion, Sssssss (which made the rounds as a top feature in 1973) is a preposterous horror film that never quite gets itself organized enough to make you want to suspend that old disbelief. But it is definitely the better half of the […]

Film Review: ‘Dracula Untold’

10 October, 2014 (10:17) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

The title is Dracula Untold. Which means that despite all the movies and TV shows and comic books over the years, there’s still something left to be said about Bram Stoker’s great fictional vampire. Well, now it’s been told. And it’s pretty boring. This movie skips past Stoker’s time period and concerns itself with the […]

Film review: ‘Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’

10 October, 2014 (10:13) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

A relatively simple children’s book gets pumped up into epic mayhem in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Apparently the filmmakers felt it necessary to live up to the humongous title. Published in 1972, Judith Viorst’s Alexander has charmed readers ever since. It’s about the travails of a kid who wakes […]

Film Review: ‘The Two Faces of January’

9 October, 2014 (05:24) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Many people are milling around the Greek tourist sights at the beginning of The Two Faces of January, but our story will ignore almost all of them. It’s only the shady characters who interest us here. Con artists always have something at stake—exposure, the possibility of their past transgressions catching up with them, and suspense […]

Film Review: ‘The Zero Theorem’

9 October, 2014 (05:21) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Since creating the dystopian classic Brazil in 1985, Terry Gilliam has directed just eight more features—a disappointing total for such a feverish imagination. And those films have frequently been half-cocked or messed up, as though damaged in transit. His newest is signature Gilliam: visually exuberant and robustly cynical, it shows the director still circling the […]

Film Review: ‘The Judge’

9 October, 2014 (05:18) | by Robert Horton, Film Reviews | By: Robert Horton

Leave out Robert Downey, Jr., and The Judge looks like a painfully old-fashioned exercise in the Tradition of Quality. Big-city defense attorney Hank Palmer (that’s Downey) comes home to Indiana just in time to see his father (Robert Duvall), a respected judge, arrested for vehicular homicide. Father and son do not care for each other, […]