PUNQ has written 2,474 reviews for films during 2013.

  • A Notorious Affair

    A Notorious Affair

    ★★

    One of those movies where the actors and the clothing are more interesting then the story. Kay Francis looking hot in a riding costume. Basil Rathbone excellent as the sleazy violinist. And most interesting of all, the leading lady in the film - Billie Dove in a rare talkie! She looked lovely and it's a shame she didn't stay longer in the business because she could have continued her great stardom had she wanted to. This movie however is a rather soppy melodrama going nowhere.

  • Night Work

    Night Work

    ★★

    A typical entertainment film from the early days of sound where the plot feels loose and formula random. This one is for Eddie Quillan to shine. And he manages to carry this well. Especially when the story moves to spending time at the orphanage. Had some special bonding time with the kids. Honestly some of those kids where more natural actors then many or the adult actors during the first few years of the talkies. I was impressed. The girl was sweet too. Sally Starr, a cross between Clara Bow and Janet Gaynor. Plus short musical number from Marjorie Kane helped give this a positive vibe.

  • Borderline

    Borderline

    ★★★

    A cool mood piece. A style one would not associate with the UK. The feeling and atmosphere is more what you'll find in French silent cinema. Fairly straight forward story. A white man is allegedly caught having a relationship with a black girl and his wife uses it for all it's worth manipulating his emotions for revenge. Which results in the real tragedy.


    The film is very much rooted in the silent cinema way of telling it's story. Could possibly…

  • Verdun: Visions of History

    Verdun: Visions of History

    ★★★

    For the 10th anniversary of the end of the Great War, Léon Poirier completed this visual illustration of the battle of Verdun, which was one of the important battles of 1916, especially for moral. He don't use many real actors. Instead many veterans of the war from both sides are used to relive their old glory. The center-point is the war. Not the few characters we get to know. It's the war, realistic and symbolic, that's the top billing for…

  • Flight

    Flight

    ★★

    Dawn of sound and Frank Capra makes one of those aerial films that was so damn popular at the time. There was made so many that it's hard to even set them apart and Ralph Graves, who has the lead here did two that year. Flight and The Flying Fleet (1929). Pretty much the same story over and over. And naturally since it's 1929 the sound acting was less then natural. But you get sympathy for the backwards man Graves…

  • Mexicali Rose

    Mexicali Rose

    ★★½

    Among the earliest roles for Barbara Stanwyck, and she sure had her moments in this one as the flirtatious senorita! No shame at all about her games. To get back at border gambling baron Sam Hardy, she marries his kid brother. Simple as that. And that's pretty much how simple this story is. Not much to it besides brotherly love and that bitch.

  • The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

    The Last of Mrs. Cheyney

    ★★

    I saw the 1937 version of The Last of Mrs. Cheyney earlier this month. Now I had the chance to see the original talkie version. The '37 version had Robert Montgomery, Joan Crawford and William Powell. The '29 line-up wasn't bad either. Norma Shearer, Basil Rathbone and Hedda Hopper. There is not much difference in the way the story is told, but if you gonna choose one to see, take the 1937 version. One simple reason for that. This one…

  • The Dawning Sky

    The Dawning Sky

    ★★½

    A sweet little tearful melodrama from Japan at the end of the 1920s. Don't know much about the people involved, but they do a nice job with this. A widow has to abandon her new born child forced on by the grandfather. The old man tells the kid her mother is dead and raise her himself. Many years later their paths cross again when the mother becomes the priest in the little village where they have since settled, and it slowly dawns on them the blood ties they have. Simple little story, but so sweet.

  • Crack-Up

    Crack-Up

    ★★

    Not one of my favorite Peter Lorre performances. Kinda strange considering he plays a mentally retarded person with a trumpet, except it's just a front as he's really a spy. That should guarantee something great. But neither the weirdo personality nor the story fulfill it's promise. The spy thing becomes a little too complicated and then they end up in the middle of nowhere with no purpose. Okay, this has it's disappointments, but it's still Lorre being mad and a claustrophobic atmosphere, so I'm sure most will find something to arouse their curiosity.

  • The Marriage of Corbal

    The Marriage of Corbal

    A story about a boy, Hazel Terry, who is really a girl, being caught in the middle of The French Revolution. Apparently men hundred of years ago had big problems figuring out women too. They felt a weird attraction to this young boy. Which was one of the things that made this uncomfortable. The other was Danish Nils Asther trying to be French with a absolute dreadful French accent which killed it even more for me. Add to that a low budget for this British production and it becomes close to a waste of time....

  • The Man Who Lived Twice

    The Man Who Lived Twice

    ★★½

    Ralph Bellamy, a cop killer, wants to find a way to get out of his problem and asks a doctor to experiment on him, in return for giving him plastic surgery so no one will recognize him. The experiment means tampering with his brain to turn him into a honest citizen. The operations is a success.... what happens now? Well, a couple of former pals gets suspicious because he sounds and still look a little like him. Ward Bond and…

  • The New Frontier

    The New Frontier

    ★★

    John Wayne's second film for Republic and it's a clear step up from the Lone Star westerns he did before. And now re-released in best quality possible, The New Frontier becomes a decent short western. Of course it's got it's cheap marks with the usual plots, below average acting and nothing original added to the formula, but for a western from that period this is as good as it gets.