Oct 282014
 
Since Halloween is later this week, I wanted to write about a horror movie, and they don't get much more overlooked and obscure than DON'T OPEN THE DOOR!, made in 1974 for an extremely low budget in Jefferson, Texas, by producer/director S.F. "Brownie" Brownrigg. It's the story of a young woman who moves in to take care of her elderly, ill grandmother, only to find that there's a crazy killer
Oct 212014
 
Is there a movie that absolutely everybody else in the world has seen, and somehow you've missed it? For me that movie was BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S. Never saw it, despite the hundreds of times it was on TV when I was growing up. But my daughter Joanna loaned me her DVD of it, and now, well, I've finally seen it, too. I won't bother talking about the plot (since all of you have already seen it,
Oct 142014
 
(This post originally appeared in slightly different form on August 13, 2008) This movie took me by surprise. It barely played in the theaters, I don’t recall reading any reviews of it, and as likable as he is, Colin Firth never struck me as an action hero. But then we watched it and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Firth plays Aurelius, the Roman soldier in charge of Caesar’s personal guard – Caesar
Oct 072014
 
(This post originally appeared in different form on December 30, 2008.) I’ve always liked Jean-Claude van Damme’s movies, and I’m not sure how we missed this one when it came out ten years ago. It’s right up my alley, with a plot like a yarn by Robert Carse or Georges Surdez in ADVENTURE or ARGOSY. Van Damme’s a boxer who doesn’t take a dive when he’s supposed to (do the boxing heroes of
Sep 302014
 
(This post originally appeared in somewhat different form on December 21, 2007) It’s hard to go wrong with Cary Grant, of course. In this one he plays a Manhattanite born and bred (no one mentions the British accent, naturally), an advertising man who decides to move his wife and two daughters out of the crowded rat race of the city. So he and the always charming Myrna Loy as his wife buy an
Sep 232014
 
(This post originally appeared on August 26, 2007) When I was a kid, I was a fan of boy-and-his-animal yarns, like the horse books by Walter Farley, dog books by Jim Kjelgaard, and even, yes, OLD YELLER. The movie DUMA is clearly in that tradition. Set in Africa and based on actual events, it’s the story of young Xan, who adopts an orphaned cheetah cub and raises it. The usual sort of
Sep 162014
 
(This post originally appeared on April 4, 2009) Those of you who really wanted to see this movie have probably already watched it. Those of you who haven’t and are undecided . . . well, I have a hunch you’ll either love it or hate it. I don’t think there’ll be much middle ground on this film. It opens with a nameless stranger (Clive Owen) sitting at a bus stop munching on raw carrots. A
Sep 092014
 
I barely heard anything about this one when it came out, so I guess that qualifies it as an overlooked movie, overlooked at least by me. It's appropriate that an early scene is set at a drive-in movie theater, because despite being set in the present and based on a video game, in its heart and soul NEED FOR SPEED is a 1950s hot rod movie. You've got a tough but good-hearted protagonist, his
Aug 262014
 
NIGHT PASSAGE is famous as the movie that caused a rift between its star James Stewart and the director who was supposed to helm it, Anthony Mann. Mann quit the picture early on and was replaced by James Neilson. It's not generally regarded as being up to the standard of the earlier Stewart/Mann Western collaborations, but as an hour and a half of entertainment, it's pretty darned good.
Aug 122014
 
(This post originally appeared on July 25, 2009, about another movie from our Tennessee Williams mini-marathon five years ago.) This is one I had seen before, but it’s been close to forty years since I watched it, and on late night TV at that, cut up for commercials and probably shortened to run in a two-hour time slot, as well. So it was almost new to me. There’s not nearly as much Tennessee