Howard Hawks once described a good movie as one with "Three great scenes, no bad ones." But what do you call a film with three great scenes and two horrible ones? I call it frustrating. If I discover a great film, it's wonderful. If I discover a stinker, I'll never see it again. But when … Continue reading Great Movie; Too Bad It Sucks
Saturday night, I finally saw the film that destroyed United Artists: Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate. It wasn't anywhere near as bad as legend proclaimed. Nor was it as good as recent revisionists insist. The Heaven's Gate disaster changed Hollywood. In 1979, Cimino was riding high as the writer and director of the Oscar-winning Deer Hunter. … Continue reading Heaven’s Gate becomes its own kind of hell
I've never seen any film version of The Great Gatsby. I've read the book, and loved it. But none of the movie adaptations earned much respect; certainly not enough for me to seek them out. Which is odd, because the book seems easy to adapt. It's short. It's almost entirely dialog and action. A screenwriter … Continue reading Who Should Have Directed Gatsby?
The world is full of unwanted VHS cassettes, which is a good thing for Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett. They mine comic gold from the unwanted dregs of the video universe, which they serve up every so often with their Found Footage Festival. The results are often shocking, absurd, and pathetic. But they are also, … Continue reading The Return of the Found Footage Festival
Three MST3K veterans add comic commentary to Plan Nine from Outer Space, allegedly the worst film of all time. I laughed so hard I was gasping for breath. When I started reviewing Blu-ray discs on this blog, my policy would be to stick with classics. I'm not sure if this review is a derivation from … Continue reading RiffTrax Live: Plan 9 from Outer Space
From 1932 through 1948, Johnny Weissmuller starred in 12 Tarzan movies--six for MGM followed by six for RKO, and all now owned by Warner Brothers. The Rafael will present two of these movies--both from the MGM 1930s--over the next two Sundays in a series called Hollywood & Vines: The Movie Magic of Tarzan. Visual effects … Continue reading Tarzan of the 30’s
Spoof Written and directed by Anna Biller Anna Biller wants to out-auteur Charlie Chaplin. Not only did she write, direct, and co-produce this parody of late sixties/early seventies exploitation flicks, but she stars in the title role. She also wrote some of the songs, animated a drug-induced dream sequence, and designed the sets and costumes. … Continue reading Viva