• The Watch

    The Watch

    There's got to be an angle as to how a script this rancid got produced. Wait, I got it- Ben Stiller buys into the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg concept and convinces Shawn Levy (director of the Night at the Museum series) to produce it. It's also evidently underwritten as a commercial for the likes of: Costco, Tide Pods, EverReady Batteries AND Magnum condoms. There's some laughs in between a litany of male dominated dick jokes (which also happens to…

  • The Chairman

    The Chairman

    ★★

    J Lee Thompson's seems to be on fertile ground in the midst of this adaptation of Jay Richard Kennedy's novel. Ben Maddow's script isn't bad but the basic nuts and bolts of the threat, (If you can call it that) the risks (suggesting a Nobel prize winner would risk his life? Not likely ) and the thrill is more or less kind of a meager one. In the beginning, this spells out to be more Bond like than it was…

  • No End in Sight

    No End in Sight

    ★★★★

    I jumped on watching this as it had the only actual footage of interviews with the one time U.S. Ambassador to Yemen, Barbara Bodine (1997-01) After seeing 'The Looming Tower' I was curious to know about what else she had to say afterwards. Along with the fact that she played a more pivotal role in the investigation of the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole. She was also appointed the 'Coordinator for central Iraq in charge of Baghdad' by the Office…

  • Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens

    ★★★★

    The Maysles' befriended the Beale's at a point when a larger project was in the works. However, when this got scrapped, the Maysles' pulled funds together and over a series of a couple years they put together this documentary about Big and Little Edie Beale. They were both most likely some of the oldest residents of East Hampton but were also the only pair to nearly be evicted from what is essentially a section of Long Island that's devoted to…

  • Grey Gardens

    Grey Gardens

    ★★

    If you are someone who saw the original 1976 documentary film by the Maysles Brothers then you might be somewhat amused (confused, perplexed) by Michael Sucsy choices here. It's a kind of weird docu-drama via flashbacks which highlights (and literally lifts) the dialogue from the doc in the script. In doing so, Sucsy highlights Big Edie's party lifestyle and the break in the marriage to her husband (who was also the partner in her own father's firm although this is…

  • World for Ransom

    World for Ransom

    ★★

    This was a project that Robert Aldrich spun off on a micro budget by working on the TV series 'China Smith.' It starred Dan Duryea as a soldier of fortune who operated out of Singapore. (Aldrich directed 2 of the episodes) Producing this himself he was able to coax most of the cast to do this. Duryea leads a strong cast of performances in what is unfortunately an utter piece of dullsville. Despite the tight handy work of the camera…

  • The Man with the Iron Heart

    The Man with the Iron Heart

    ★★★

    Seeing this adaptation of the telling of the rise and fall of Reinhard Heydrich is a tad bit of deja vu as the feature 'Anthropoid' was released just two years prior. Not unlike lots of historical events that are adapted to films. There never fails to be multiple interpretations that fall almost simultaneously. Usually one gets out ahead so that the second gets shelved and delayed. In Cedric Jimenez's version which is based on the Laurent Binet debut novel from…

  • Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records

    Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records

    ★★★

    This documents the depth of the relationships between two men, their passions for music and their efforts to build a label on their own which for a short time (12 years) was unlike any other in the U.S. It was both an extraordinary effort that seems all but a miracle that it thrived as long as it did but it proves to show how there was a team of people who all believed in the music they loved and despite…

  • One Summer of Happiness

    One Summer of Happiness

    ★★★

    Based on the 1949 novel Sommardansen (The Summer Dance) by Per Olof Ekström. This is the earliest example of the 'Erotic Tragedy' that I've seen. An unrequited love between an urban high school graduate named Goran who comes to work on his uncle's farm for the summer. Only here he meets and becomes smitten with a much younger girl named Kerstin. who lives with her very strict parents. In one of the early segment of the film he defends her…

  • Lake of the Dead

    Lake of the Dead

    ★★★

    Adapted from Andre Bjerke’s 1942 novel of the same name, this feature comes across as more of a psychological murder mystery than horror film despite whatever genre it may have been associated with. A group of friends go up to spend the weekend at a cabin where they will be meeting their mutual friend Bjorn. When they arrive Bjorn is missing and his dog is found murdered in the lake nearby. Bjorn's sister Liljan fears for the worst but the…

  • Vaxdockan

    Vaxdockan

    ★★★

    Translated as 'The Doll,' this is evidently the precursor to 'Mannequin' (1987), the original is far more of a psychological drama rather than comedy when an overnight security guard who rents the attic of a fairly large mansion. His life is turned upside down when he brings home a mannequin that he's become obsessed with. He goes from living in a singular existence to one whose haunted by the notion that the love of his dreams may not be as…

  • Warsaw 44

    Warsaw 44

    ★★★

    jan Komasa is a talented film maker. His fourth feature is something of a whimsical effort but there's some misplaced concepts shown here that throw off the seriousness of the events. Sticking with the gritty realism of war makes sense. Using various special effects to highlight romantic gestures in the midst of a deadly attack really take the viewer out of the moment. This is repeated on a few more occasions which suggests he was either inspired by 'The Matrix'…