More stories

  • in

    The Nostalgia Files: ‘Last Action Hero’ (1993)

    Last Action Hero Written by Zak Penn, Adam Leff, Shane Black, and David Argott Directed by John McTiernan USA, 1993 The concept of a film within a film is an idea that provides for truly interesting cinema. Films that are self-referential, satiric, and make fun of their own genre are often hilarious, thought-provoking, and downright […] More

  • Lauren Bacall

    Lauren Bacall, Old Hollywood Legend, passes away

    Lauren Bacall, starring alongside her husband Humphrey Bogart in Old Hollywood Classics like The Big Sleep, Key Largo and To Have and Have Not, has passed away at the age of 89. The Humphrey Bogart Estate and Twitter account had the news: With deep sorrow, yet with great gratitude for her amazing life, we confirm […] More

  • in

    ‘Key Largo’ features a smartly directed face-off between two Hollywood titans

    Key Largo is both pulpy and thought provoking. The obvious allusions to sexual and physical abuse, the overt racism demonstrated towards Native Americans (one of the odder inclusions to the story), the misogyny, all of these are balanced out by an intelligently woven battle between two wildly different personalities. True enough, Maltese Falcon and Asphalt Jungle have a greater sense of style about them and in that sense Key Largo might be considered a ‘lesser’ film, but lesser John Huston is plenty better than most other films in any event. More

  • in

    ‘Ocean’s Twelve’ a deliciously self-aware sequel musing on the challenges of stardom

    Ocean’s Twelve has a reputation that will always precede it; some have called it an anti-sequel, and publications like Entertainment Weekly have dubbed it one of the worst sequels of all time. Though both reactions are, perhaps, understandable, neither is remotely accurate. Ocean’s Twelve is an inherently self-aware sequel, possibly the most self-aware follow-up in modern history. What Steven Soderbergh, screenwriter George Nolfi (whose original script, Honor Among Thieves, was completely unrelated to Ocean’s Eleven and was sold initially before that remake had been released), and the slightly larger-than-before ensemble cast did was make a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film that was wholly cognizant of the fact that it was a sequel to a critically and commercially lauded caper film. Ocean’s Twelve toys with audience expectations, because to cave into them would’ve promised something potentially more disturbing and commonplace than what many perceived to be an ambitious creative flop: something boring. More

  • in

    ‘High Sierra’ is where wannabe nice guys finish last

    Last week’s column entry, White Heat, was a film directed by Raoul Walsh which exemplified some of the very best assets of both the gangster and noir genres within the same picture. Given that the latter evolved, in part, out of the former, it only seemed natural that by the end of the 1940s, when the gangster pictures were less prominent at the theatre and noir was picking up considerable steam, the two would coalesce seamlessly. More

  • in

    ‘The Big Sleep’ is saved from the depths of incomprehension by Bogart and Bacall

    Fictional private detective icon Philip Marlowe, a creation from the mind of famed author Raymond Chandler, was one such character who always succeeded in putting millions of puzzle pieces together. 1944 saw the release of a great film adaptation of a Marlowe story, Murder, My Sweet, with Dick Powell playing the aforementioned private dick. 1946 was the year a Philip Marlowe adventure with a lot more star power behind it was bought to the silver screen, The Big Sleep, directed by legend Howard Hawks and starring none other than Humphrey Bogart. More

  • in

    Forty 1940s Films #1: ‘All Through The Night’

    “40 films from the ‘40s” is a movie challenge to watch and write about one film from that era weekly. Why the ‘40s? That decade is fascinating, because of the juxtapositions between films released during WWII and those released after. Half the decade was spent scrambling to keep nations afloat during war and the second […] More

  • in

    No Statute of Limitations For Spoilers

    *Exclaimer: Please don’t read this if you haven’t seen Inception, The Empire Strikes Back, Planet of the Apes, The Wizard of Oz, Saw, Gone With the Wind, Casablanca, The Usual Suspects or The Sixth Sense – As a probable testament to my poor academic acumen, I cannot, in good memory, recall the particulars of the situation […] More

  • in

    ‘The Treasure of Sierra Madre’ shows how greed can make a great film

    The Treasure of Sierra Madre Directed John Huston Written by John Huston U.S.A., 1948 Gordon Gekko, the central figure of Oliver Stone’s famous Wall Street, once uttered the phrase ‘Greed is good.’ That same individual was, understandably, also that film’s antagonist. To willfully adhere to the aforementioned philosophy is one thing, yet the reality of […] More