Blue Velvet (1986)

Blue Velvet (1986) was audacious, exciting, and original when it premiered more than 20 years ago. In retrospect, however, director David Lynch’s work doesn’t seem as groundbreaking as it once appeared.  I first saw the movie the night it opened in Washington, D.C. Based on media buzz and the interest of friends, I was so […]

Bigger Than Life (1956)

Bigger Than Life is a terrific combination of three film types that flourished in the repressed cinema of the 1950s: the thriller, the suburban melodrama, and the “message movie.” However, a description of its fairly simple premise—James Mason is a teacher addicted to cortisone used to treat a chronic illness—makes it sound less than compelling. […]

Capra Corn

I’m not really a big Frank Capra fan. Earnestness is typically the biggest turn-off for me when it comes to entertainment. This goes for movies, as well as TV and music. (For instance, I should have liked the West Wing, but I could never get through an episode. It seemed so calculated.) Well, anything called “Capraesqe,” […]