Feb 242015
(This series is going to be in rerun mode most of the time for a while, but I'll try to get a new post in whenever I can. This post originally appeared on March 14, 2010.) This is another of those movies I’d never even heard of. It’s an indie romantic comedy, and as such, you’d expect it to be quirky. But this movie takes quirky to a whole other level. Speaking of quirky, the title character
Feb 172015
It's been well over forty years since I saw THE CHEYENNE SOCIAL CLUB, and I'd forgotten what a pleasant little movie it is. Of course, with James Stewart, Henry Fonda, and Shirley Jones heading the cast, it's no real surprise that this is a very enjoyable movie. Stewart and Fonda play Texas cowboys who are pretty content with their lives, but then Stewart gets a letter from a lawyer and
Feb 102015
(This post originally appeared on January 26, 2009.) I try to catch most of the World War II movies but missed this one when it came out. A young Russian soldier (Jude Law) becomes a sniper during the siege of Stalingrad and demoralizes the Germans so much that they bring in a sharpshooter of their own, an aristocrat played by Ed Harris. Most of the movie is a tense duel between the two as
Feb 032015
(I was going to try not to use any reruns in this series and Forgotten Books this year, but you know how that goes. Road to hell, good intentions, etc., etc. I made it for more than a month, though! This post originally appeared in slightly different form on January 11, 2008.) Okay, you may not believe me on this, but UNDERDOG is a pretty good little film. Sure, it’s a kid’s movie, and it’s
Jan 062015
I've been an Audie Murphy fan ever since I watched a bunch of his Westerns on TV with my dad when I was a kid. I suspect my dad felt a certain kinship with Audie, since they were both from small towns in Texas and the sons of farmers. They were close to the same age, too, although my dad was a little older. Of course, my dad didn't have the same sort of combat exploits—he arrived in Europe
Dec 302014
It's sort of a given that the movies I write about in this series are ones that I like, but every now and then I'll bend that rule a little to talk about a film I thought was pretty bad but at least had something of interest about it. In this case, it's the fact that here I am, 61 years old and a fan of Western B-movies for as far back as I can remember (and I mean that literally—some of my
Dec 232014
Like CHRISTMAS TWISTER last year, one of my daughters recommended an obscure Christmas movie to write about this year. It's BERNARD AND THE GENIE, a love-it-or-hate-it British TV movie from 1991 that seems to have developed quite a cult following. Also like CHRISTMAS TWISTER, it has a considerable amount of oddball charm, but it's a better film overall. Alan Cumming plays Bernard Bottle, a
Dec 162014
(This post originally appeared in different form on December 26, 2009.) This Christmas movie I'd never heard of turned out to be pretty good. It’s set in 1931 and is about a girl from Pittsburgh whose father has to send her to live with her “aunt” (really an old girlfriend) in a small town that has a local ordinance against dogs. Naturally the girl winds up with an adorable dog and makes
Dec 022014
(This post originally appeared on April 3, 2011) I’m no longer surprised when I wind up liking a movie that most of the critics hated. Such is the case with BURLESQUE. I’m not a big fan of musicals where the characters sing when there’s no good reason. But in a movie like this where the story centers around performing to start with, I don’t mind it. Still, I didn’t have huge high hopes for
Nov 252014
This movie was almost universally reviled when it came out earlier this year. Some hated it because it takes so many liberties with the Biblical story of the Flood. Others didn't like it because it's so aggressively dumb. And I'm not here to tell you that it's a good movie. But it's so goofy and over the top that if you can sit back and take it for what it is, it starts to have a certain