A+ List: Rio Bravo (also Red River)

Director Howard Hawks proved his talent in many genres, including westerns. He made four of them, and the first two, Red River and Rio Bravo, are masterpieces. Both belong on my A+ List of all-time greats. And yet, they're so different that it's hard to imagine they were made by the same director. Red River … Continue reading A+ List: Rio Bravo (also Red River)

Heaven’s Gate becomes its own kind of hell

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

A+ List: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Also Ran & Rashomon)

In late January, I revisited Raiders of the Lost Ark, and discovered that it didn't really belong in my A+ List of all-time greats. Thursday night, I revisited that series' second sequel, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. It has been my favorite in the series since I saw it in first run. With a … Continue reading A+ List: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (Also Ran & Rashomon)

National Film Registry picks another 25

Every year, the Library of Congress' The National Film Registry creates a list of 25 films worthy of preservation. And then, more importantly, the organization preserves them. The films are chosen for "their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance." In other words, they're not all masterpieces, but they're all important. This year's selection includes popular classics, … Continue reading National Film Registry picks another 25

The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box

The Marx Brothers used comedy to deflate the pompous and tear down the establishment. They turned respectable, upper-class society into anarchy and surrealism. They also made us laugh. The brothers honed their comedy in vaudeville, jumped to Broadway, and made the leap to Hollywood at the height of the talkie revolution. They made their first … Continue reading The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box