• The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It

    ★★

    The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, more than anything, makes one wonder why a person would decide to start a curse. Far removed from fun, they basically agree to deliver a soul to a demon in exchange for...having some fun with causing chaos? You can chaos in other ways because, much like a bank, that demon is coming to collect if you do not succeed. Really re-defining getting foreclosed on. Either way, this is at the crux of…

  • Cruella

    Cruella

    ★★★½

    Seen in Theaters

    A Disneyfied version of glam rock with a clear “girlboss” message, Cruella is a winner that will undoubtedly make a huge impression on its target audience. It would undoubtedly have been better if it were not directed by a man, but as a lover of gaudy needle drops, it is hard to find fault with it even if it is an overly modern choice. After I, Tonya’s killer soundtrack, it is nice to see Gillespie keep up…

  • The Mark of Zorro

    The Mark of Zorro

    ★★★★

    The 1940s: 73/100
    1940 Ranked

    Tyrone Power was such a natural leading man. It is no wonder some of the best actresses of all-time were often leading ladies alongside him, whether Rita Hayworth (Blood and Sand), Maureen O’Hara (The Black Swan), or Gene Tierney (The Razor’s Edge). Here, he is paired with Linda Darnell, who he had teamed with a year prior in Day-Time Wife. Of course, her being in these films is really indicative of the changing mores of…

  • King Solomon's Mines

    King Solomon's Mines

    ★★★½

    The 1950s, Pt. II: 25/100
    1950 Ranked

    One of MGM’s two big on-location shoots for 1950, King Solomon’s Mines found directors Compton Bennett (until he was fired) and Andrew Marton trying to keep this one on the rails. The fact it is not an outright disaster given the diseases and issues with filming on-location that arose is a testament to somebody’s skill. According to TCM host Alicia Malone, it was also MGM’s first shoot on the African continent in 20…

  • The Gazebo

    The Gazebo

    ★★★★

    The 1950s, Pt. II: 24/100
    1959 Ranked

    The Gazebo is sort of an oddball film and is an absolute gem. This dark comedy from 1959 finds Glenn Ford playing the frantic Elliott Nash. He is a successful television writer and director, but his nerves are such that he is a cinch to have a heart attack in time. Worsening things is an apparent financial crisis striking his home, as he is insistent that he needs an advance on a script…

  • Destination Tokyo

    Destination Tokyo

    ★★½

    The 1940s: 72/100
    Ranked: Delmer Daves

    Though an apt watch for Memorial Day weekend, Destination Tokyo is alright. Starring Cary Grant as Captain Cassidy, he leads the USS Copperfin on a special mission from San Francisco to Tokyo. Their objective is to retrieve key intel on Japanese ship and military installations in Tokyo Bay ahead of a planned bombing of Tokyo, the first such assault on Japan by the United States. Directed by Delmer Daves, Destination Tokyo is very much…

  • Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins

    Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins

    ★★★½

    The 1970s: 96/100
    1975 Ranked

    Rafferty and the Gold Dust Twins is the epitome of everything 1970s cinema. It is not so much a story-driven film, but one defined by characters and mood. It is laid back and relaxed, never in a hurry yet moving briskly at the same time. Here, it focuses on a man named Rafferty (Alan Arkin). He is exhausted. Working as a driving instructor giving road tests to middle aged and terrible drivers, he passes his…

  • Blue Sky

    Blue Sky

    ★★★½

    The 1990s: 20/100
    1994 Ranked

    Oh poor Tommy Lee Jones. This man has been THROUGH IT in Blue Sky. He plays Major Hank Marshall, a rather good man who is stationed in Hawaii with his family. He works on nuclear tests and has been writing reports recently that have drawn the ire of top Army brass, as he insists that underground testing would be safer to avoid any unexpected civilian casualties. Hank also has a smoking hot wife. Jessica Lange…

  • Duel at Diablo

    Duel at Diablo

    ★★★

    The 1960s, Pt. II: 5/100
    1966 Ranked

    Duel at Diablo understands, but it does not get the socially-based topics it comments upon. This western from director Ralph Nelson is well-intentioned, but largely in a 1960s way where it is still racist and sexist, but knows it is and tries to correct it but does not go nearly far enough before contradicting itself in the end. In other words, it is mixed up and, despite trying, represents merely a minor step…

  • Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

    Dirty Mary Crazy Larry

    ★★★

    The 1970s: 95/100
    1974 Ranked

    Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry is a film that really made me wish I was smoking a joint, had hair that was too long, and was just vibing in the back of a theater in 1974 with a group of friends. The seats, naturally, would be uncomfortably sticky and it would be in the middle of the afternoon on a hot June day. School was just let out for the summer and in between whatever the…

  • Mare of Easttown

    Mare of Easttown

    ★★★★½

    Tragedy stalks the streets of Easttown. It is a small town in Delaware County, Pennsylvania marked by drug abuse, suicides, considerable grief, familial strife, missing/kidnapped women, and now: murder. Erin McMenamin (Cailee Spaeny) has been found stripped and killed by the creek. The list of suspects is long and one that Detective Mare Sheehan (Kate Winslet) must traverse. Mare grew up in this town, was once a celebrated high school basketball star, and is now the embattled Detective. The case…

  • Those Who Wish Me Dead

    Those Who Wish Me Dead

    ★★½

    Taylor Sheridan returns to the director’s chair after the successful Wind River, delivering another tense thriller in Those Who Wish Me Dead. It is partially a disaster film, following as smoke jumper Hannah (Angelina Jolie) guides a young boy through a Montana wildfire, but adding to the tension is the fact that this boy, Connor (Finn Little), is being hunted. There are two assassins, Patrick (Nicholas Hoult) and Jack (Aidan Gillen), hot on his trail. They have already killed his…