Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Coco, Three Billboards…, Leningrad Cowboys…, & Faces Places

Amazingly, I really liked all four films. A Coco (2017), Coast Cinema, Fort Bragg This beautiful journey into Mexican traditions of the afterlife (via big-budget Hollywood, of course) manages to be serious, emotional, and fun. Young Miguel (voiced by Anthony Gonzalez) belongs to a family of shoemakers who hate music. But music runs deep in the … Continue reading Movies I’ve Recently Seen: Coco, Three Billboards…, Leningrad Cowboys…, & Faces Places

Chaplin Diary, Part 2: Early Essanay

According to the Internet Movie Database, Charlie Chaplin directed 71 movies. By my count, he did 64. The remaining seven include recuts of previous films, uncompleted works, "features" that were actually compilations of shorts, promotional films, and what we now call public service announcements. Remove those, and you have 64 original movies. After his year … Continue reading Chaplin Diary, Part 2: Early Essanay

The Other Side of Hope has its moments, but…

C+ Drama with comic elements Written and directed by Aki Kaurismäki This Finnish film about refugees and those that help and hinder them runs along two very different story threads. Both of them have their good points, but they conflict so badly with each other that they don't really work together. The strongest thread follows … Continue reading The Other Side of Hope has its moments, but…

Darkest Hour finds the light to push on through

A Historical drama Written by Anthony McCarten Directed by Joe Wright Dunkirk showed us a soldier's point of view of the disaster-turned-victory that saved England from Nazi conquest. Darkest Hour covers much of the same history, but from the point of the nation's leader - the newly-appointed Winston Churchill. We go into this rousing story … Continue reading Darkest Hour finds the light to push on through

The Shape of Water: A great film comes from The Black Lagoon

A Horror thriller Written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor Directed by Guillermo del Toro Only Guillermo del Toro could make a grand, romantic, suspenseful, and horrifying sequel to The Creature from the Black Lagoon. And in doing so, The Shape of Water brings up issues concerning military overreach, the abuse of science, and … Continue reading The Shape of Water: A great film comes from The Black Lagoon