For Noirvember

Though I haven’t focused on it lately, I also write about films (often classics). I earned a master’s degree in cinema studies, really just for fun. Recently I was accepted into a stable of writers at Film Inquiry and they agreed to let me write a “Beginner’s Guide to Film Noir.” It was great fun…
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LET'S MOVIE: Gaslight (1944)

Old movies have always been a part of my life. Ever since I was a little kid, I have been watching them. My parents let me see Rear Window  and North by Northwest before I was five. I watched them over and over and over. And I still watch White Christmas any time of the year. The acting,…
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REVIEW: MR HOLMES (2015)

I am always wary of “fan fiction” of beloved characters, but Mr Holmes is brilliant. McKellen strikes a balance between the classic and arrogant Sherlock we know and love and a realistic, pitiable, complicated man. It’s 1947 and Holmes has long ago retired to his bees in Devon, with little to entertain his inquisitive mind. When…
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REVIEW: SAVING MR. BANKS

  I’m sure I’m not the only one who jumped down her staircase, umbrella in hand, in an attempt to be Mary Poppins.  At age four, when I found this did not give me the lift required, I intended to jump from the roof.  Luckily my mother was very suspicious of my need for the…
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REVIEW: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL (2013)

This movie makes me fear even more for the future of the Star Wars franchise.  What has happened to Disney?  Instead of inspiring wonder and amusement, they too seem to have gone the way of bland mediocrity, an opiate for the cinematic masses.  If it weren’t for Pixar, there would be no creative output from…
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REVIEW: LES MISERABLES (2012)

I was on the fence about whether I was going to see this one until I learned it was directed by Tom Hooper, whose The King’s Speech was stunning.  I thought he would be good choice to bring out the subtly of the characters.  I also knew he could evoke era and it would be…
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THOUGHTS ON "LINCOLN" (2012)

Just about any film will have its strengths and weaknesses, but some of these I never expected from veteran Spielberg. Its main strength lies in the acting.  Daniel Day-Lewis is, unsurprisingly, fantastic as Abraham Lincoln.  He humanizes the president that we are all too familiar with as a piece of money or a stone face…
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BRIEF REVIEW: JANE EYRE (2011)

Director Cary Fukunaga has given a new generation a gorgeous version of this classic tale.  Since its publishing in 1847, under the pseudonym Currer Bell, Jane Eyre has fascinated both readers and storytellers.  This adaptation is beautifully shot, very well-acted, and enhanced by a stunning score from Dario Marianelli (Atonement, I Capture the Castle).  The set…
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