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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. Fear and Desire 1953

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Stanley Kubrick. Starring Frank Silvera, Kenneth Harp, Paul Mazursky, and Stephen Coit.

    Stanley Kubrick’s debut feature. During an unnamed conflict, four soldiers crash-land in enemy territory and confront the horrors of war. According to the IMDb, Kubrick disowned the film, comparing it to “a child’s drawing on a fridge.” Fair enough, if said child possesses Kubrick’s potential. Continue reading...

  2. Salvation!: Have You Said Your Prayers Today? 1987

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Beth B. Starring Stephen McHattie, Dominique Davalos, Exene Cervenka, and Viggo Mortensen.

    An early but impressive performance from Viggo Mortensen. A black comedy script indicting America’s class gap and televangelism. A visual esthetic inspired by contemporary Italian horror. A nightmarish home-invasion sub-plot. A soundtrack driven by New Order and Arthur Baker. How have I never seen this? Continue reading...

    Watched on 27 Nov, 2020
  3. A Holy Terror 1931

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Irving Cummings. Starring George O'Brien, Sally Eilers, Rita La Roy, and Humphrey Bogart.

    Nonsense plot has polo-playing, New York trust-funder O’Brien flying to Wyoming to investigate his father’s murder. After crash-landing his prop-plane in Eilers’s shower, he runs up against Bogie, the foreman of the man he’s in town to see. Continue reading...

  4. Blood Rage 1987

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John Grissmer. Starring Louise Lasser, Mark Soper, Julie Gordon, and Jayne Bentzen.

    It’s Thanksgiving in Jacksonville, Florida. Terry’s twin brother—institutionalized since childhood for a brutal hatchet murder—returns to the family’s garden apartment home. This causes Terry—who actually committed the murder—to embark on a killing rampage. Continue reading...

    Watched on 26 Nov, 2020
  5. The Black Camel 1931

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Hamilton MacFadden. Starring Warner Oland, Sally Eilers, Bela Lugosi, and Dorothy Revier.

    Competent—if unremarkable—Charlie Chan mystery. Lugosi cuts a striking figure as an enigmatic psychic who may—or may not—figure in a starlet’s murder in Honolulu. Continue reading...

  6. Ladies' Man 1931

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lothar Mendes. Starring William Powell, Kay Francis, Carole Lombard, Gilbert Emery, Olive Tell, and Martin Burton.

    Gigolo Powell romances a married older woman and flirts with her daughter played by Lombard. A chance encounter with Francis forces him to reconsider his lifestyle, but perhaps too late. Continue reading...

  7. The Bad Sister 1931

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Hobart Henley. Starring Conrad Nagel, Sidney Fox, Bette Davis, and Humphrey Bogart.

    Bette Davis’s debut feature. Fox plays the titular opportunistic sister in an upstanding Ohio family who falls for con-man Bogart. Davis plays her long-suffering sister in a forgettable part. Bogie’s fox-like in his first heel role, but the predictable plot and flat performances from leads Nagel and Fox sink this effort.

  8. Oh, for a Man! 1930

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Hamilton MacFadden. Starring Jeanette MacDonald, Reginald Denny, Marjorie White, and Warren Hymer.

    Opera diva MacDonald runs roughshod over everyone in her life only to fall for cat-burglar Denny, who she meets when he burgles her bedroom. Denny, of course, has aspirations of a singing career himself. Continue reading...

  9. Wild Company 1930

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Leo McCarey. Starring Frank Albertson, Joyce Compton, Sharon Lynn, and H.B. Warner.

    Albertson plays a powerful tycoon’s gadabout son who falls for a gangster’s moll and finds himself implicated in a nightclub owner’s murder. Opens strong with Albertson playing an engaging drunk, but devolves into a preachy social outrage melodrama. Bela Lugosi’s small role as the unfortunate nightclub owner proves unremarkable.

  10. Spider-Man: Far from Home 2019

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jon Watts. Starring Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Marisa Tomei.

    Unpolished Marvel production careens between bad teen comedy and flat comic book action. The script teems with relentless, repetitive exposition, forced comedy, and trite plotting. This one needed another year in the oven. Stop at Endgame instead.

    Watched on 21 Nov, 2020


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