• The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

    The Strange Love of Martha Ivers

    ★★½

    I love Barbara Stanwyck (I'm a fanwyck? A Stan-wyck?) and have just seen Lizabeth Scott give two great performances in a pair of solid noirs so the two of them in one film along with noted sexual assaulter Kirk Douglas in his big screen debut should make for a pretty great film, right?
    Instead they made a messy affair about the titular woman (Stanwyck) who sort of accidentally kills her terrible aunt as a teenager and inherits the family fortune…

  • Insidious

    Insidious

    ★★½

    Their first mistake was naming the kids Dalton, Foster and Kali but when the mom has her own weird white name in Renai and the dad is a basic Josh what do you expect?
    This is my fourth James Wan film and third horror from him so I think it's safe to say he isn't the Wan for me.
    Here in particular the camerwork is a little showy, the colors muted and the angles all slightly askew in case you…

  • No Man of God

    No Man of God

    ★★★

    A very mixed experience for me as a lot was done right here like the psychological toll profiling serial offenders must take on a person and it certainly left me with a lot to think about but for the most part it felt like a condensed season of Mindhunter and the camera never stopped moving which grated on me for the entire runtime and in addition to the footage of sometimes related images, sometimes ones that were just seemingly thrown…

  • Eyes of Laura Mars

    Eyes of Laura Mars

    ★★

    With Irvin Kershner the director of the best Star Wars film at the helm and a story by John Carpenter the director of the best horror/sci-fi film and a great cast of Faye Dunaway, a young Brad Dourif, a young but still somehow old looking Tommy Lee Jones, René Auberjonois and Raúl Juliá plus the premise of the titular Laura (Dunaway) having psychic visions of a murderer killing her acquaintances maybe my hopes were too high.
    The clear influence of…

  • Pitfall

    Pitfall

    ★★★½

    After viewing Murder, My Sweet with Dick Powell and Too Late For Tears with Lizabeth Scott I decided to watch Pitfall which stars both Scott AND Powell and the two are very good here. I wasn't sold at first as the story seems kind of like another noir I've seen where an insurance man gets in over his head with a beautiful blonde... however this takes a different tack where Powell's John Forbes is stuck in a rut personally and…

  • Stranger on the Third Floor

    Stranger on the Third Floor

    ★★½

    Cited by its own back cover as the first true film noir (which I've seen claimed by a few films so take that with a grain of salt) this has pretty much every hallmark of the genre but still manages to be pretty messy despite the excellent premise of reporter Mike Ward (John McGuire) being the key witness in a murder investigation after fingering someone but then becomes the key suspect himself after a second body turns up that he…

  • Murder, My Sweet

    Murder, My Sweet

    ★★★

    The second film I've seen based on "Farewell My Lovely" after the Robert Mitchum starring *checks notes* uh, Farewell My Lovely and my third Philip Marlowe feature including The Long Goodbye which this sadly can't help but be compared to both and found lacking despite coming first and it kind of suffers by default. Not to say Murder, My Sweet is bad, Dick Powell as Philip Marlowe does a pretty good job but Mitchum really nailed the world weary Marlowe…

  • Too Late for Tears

    Too Late for Tears

    ★★★½

    I wasn't expecting a lot of the twists and turns which says a lot about how good this film was as all the pieces are there and you know how it'll end up but the journey was intriguing as heck.
    Lizabeth Scott plays Jane Palmer who gets a bag with cash literally thrown into her lap while driving with her husband Alan (Arthur Kennedy) and the two face a conundrum: Keep the life altering amount of money or turn it…

  • The Long Goodbye

    The Long Goodbye

    ★★★½

    I don't know what's more odd: That Elliott Gould's Philip Marlowe spends his first few moments on screen trying to find a particular brand of food for his stuck up cat or that this film is set in the 1970's and has a non-speaking role from pre-fame Arnold Schwarzenegger while Farewell My Lovely with Robert Mitchum as Marlowe released two years later but set 35 years before has a non-speaking role from pre-fame Sylvester Stallone.
    Spooky muscle men cameos aside…

  • The Curse of Frankenstein

    The Curse of Frankenstein

    ★★

    Unbelievably boring retelling of Frankenstein and his monster. Lots of telling and very little showing when it came to the characters and it really didn't come to life (not sorry!) until the last half hour.
    Peter Cushing's Doctor is a complete villain which I liked but so much of the film is spent standing around and talking that my attention kept wandering depsite the slightly new take on the character not being sympathetic at all.
    Even though no one ever…

  • Dracula

    Dracula

    ★★★

    Much like the Universal Dracula from 1931 the best of part of this Hammer version is the count himself and much like the Universal film he is underutilized and the film drags whenever he's off screen which is far too often.
    Despite the smokeshow that is young Peter Cushing as Van Helsing and a kind of scary Christopher Lee (at least when he's dripping blood) the film never really rises above feeling like a copy. The end was the best…

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

    ★★★½

    Alternate title: Good Mulan

    Alternate, alternate title: The Lord of the Rings

    Alternate, alternate, alternate title: Crouching Cthulhu, Hidden Dragon

    Another fairly solid entry and the 25th(?!) in the MCU and there was a lot to like.
    Although the usual third act slump with a giant battle struck again the great cast led by Simu Liu as the titular Shang-Chi and choreography that was actually good for a change and allowed the viewer to understand what was happening in the…