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 […]

Hobson’s Choice (1954)

The later career of David Lean–typified by monumental epics like Lawrence of Arabia and Dr. Zhivago–is of little interest to me. Instead, I’m a great fan of Lean’s earlier gems. Brief Encounter is one of my very favorite movies by any director and I’ve always been fond of Summertime and Blithe Spirit. Hobson’s Choice, another […]

Who Really Directed It?

I love lists almost as much as I love movies. I’ve started compiling a list of movies directed by people other than the credited director. Many movies are credited to multiple directors (Singin’ in the Rain and There’s Something About Mary are but two), but those don’t count. I’m talking about situations where, for one […]

The Aviator (2004)

The Aviator (2004) is a period epic that isn’t hurt by it’s technical mastery, especially rare for a biopic or historical movie of this grand a scale. UnlikeTitanic, this one has heart and soul and doesn’t feel like it’s way too long. Above all else is a masterful Oscar-nominated performance by Leonardo DiCaprio, with strong […]

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. […]

It’s A Wonderful Life (1945)

Singin’ In The Rain is the best musical, Casablanca is the greatest love story, Vertigo is the best thriller, Bringing Up Baby is the best screwball comedy, Double Indemnity and Out of the Past are the tops in film noir, Chinatown is the best modern film noir, Tokyo Story is the finest non-English-language movie, Annie […]