Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mother (2017)

Mother may be my favorite comedy of the year. It’s essentially the haunted house and characters of Shirley Jackson and the kitchen sink emotional violence of Sam Shepherd whipped together into an over-the-top mix of creation and toxicity. There’s a lot here, from relationship problems to haunted houses to Michelle Pfieffer being awesome to a scary frog. It’s goofy fun.

Monday, September 11, 2017

All Through The Night (1942)

It runs a little long, but this is a really solid mix of comedy and gangsters action as a bunch of New York mobsters take on Nazi fifth columnists during World War II.  Excellent combination of dramatic and comedic actors like Conrad Veidt, Humphrey Bogart, Jackie Gleason, Peter Lorre and others make this a good little comedic thriller.

★★★ 1/2

1942 - Directed by Vincent Sherman.  Written by Leonard Speigelgass and Edwin Gilbert.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)

This originally appeared in the comments section of the late, lamented The Dissolve. 

Let’s Dissolve The Criterion Collection!

Picnic At Hanging Rock (1975)
Directed by Peter Weir
Written by Cliff Green from the novel by Joan Lindsey
Criterion Spine #29

Note: I wrote this using the most recent Blu-Ray edition that came out in June 2014. Completely gratuitous self-promotion on this is that I got it at the semi-annual half-price sale at a Barnes & Noble *and* got to flip off Jenny McCarthy, there to sign whatever the hell she was promoting, on my way out the door. So there’s that.

I think it’s always interesting to contemplate artists, such as a director like Peter Weir, to whom you saw their career almost in reverse. I had seen plenty of Weirs works when I was younger, such as the underappreciated Witness and the horrifically over rated Dead Poets Society, but I’m not sure I was ever really that aware of him until The Truman Show, a movie I maintain is one of the better science fiction movies of the last quarter century. At that point, I started noticing his body of work more and decided to dig in a little deeper. It’s at this point, somewhere in 2000, that I first saw Picnic At Hanging Rock.