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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Croupier (1998)

    Croupier 1998

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Mike Hodges. Starring Clive Owen, Nick Reding, Nicholas Ball, and Alexander Morton.

    Clive Owen plays Jack, an aspiring writer who takes a job as a croupier in a London casino. He soon decides the job would make an excellent book. But his protagonist’s perverse addiction to watching people lose bleeds into Jack’s sense of morality. Complicating matters, a mysterious punter played by Alex Kingston offers Jack a lucrative but dangerous proposition. Continue reading...

    Watched on 25 Sep, 2021
  2. A still from Last Stop on the Night Train (1975)

    Last Stop on the Night Train 1975

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Aldo Lado. Starring Flavio Bucci, Macha Méril, Gianfranco De Grassi, and Enrico Maria Salerno.

    Two girls traveling on an overnight train cross paths with two dangerous young men. What begins as sleazy exploitation escalates to a brutal rape sequence. It’s a Last House on the Left remake I didn’t see coming. But, by that point, the film had demonstrated enough competence that I grit my teeth and endured. I’m glad I did. Though structured as a rape-revenge picture, the ending proffers an acerbic condemnation of class-based justice that haunted me. Worth watching if you’re up for the challenge.

    Watched on 24 Sep, 2021
  3. A still from Bob le Flambeur (1956)

    Bob le Flambeur 1956

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville. Starring Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey, Daniel Cauchy, and Guy Decomble.

    Bob is an aging hood turned compulsive gambler. He drives a nice car, wears nice clothes and always has money in his pocket. He keeps a foot in the underworld but maintains a friendship with the local police chief. But Bob’s luck is running out. Facing bankruptcy, he hatches a desperate plan to rob a coastal casino. Continue reading...

    Watched on 22 Sep, 2021
  4. A still from Deathdream (1974)

    Deathdream 1974

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Bob Clark. Starring John Marley, Lynn Carlin, Richard Backus, and Henderson Forsythe.

    Andy, a young Vietnam draftee believed killed-in-action, returns home to grateful parents in a small Florida town. Though he appears fine on the outside, Andy is… different. Detached, icy, unfeeling and possessed with a terrible desire to kill. Continue reading...

    Watched on 21 Sep, 2021
  5. A still from Good Times (1967)

    Good Times 1967

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by William Friedkin. Starring Sonny Bono, Cher, and George Sanders.

    William Friedkin’s debut feature. A post-Hard Day’s Night pop musical that sees Sonny and Cher spoof the western, Tarzan, and hard-boiled detective genres. Continue reading...

  6. A still from Brink of Life (1958)

    Brink of Life 1958

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Eva Dahlbeck, Ingrid Thulin, Bibi Andersson, and Barbro Hiort af Ornäs.

    Ingmar Bergman directs this story of three women sharing a maternity hospital room. The monologue-laden script lacks visual action. Bergman compensates by filling the screen with close-ups and the performers rise to the challenge. Still, the trite ending underwhelmed. Eva Dahlbeck’s final collaboration with Bergman.

  7. A still from Point Break (1991)

    Point Break 1991

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Kathryn Bigelow. Starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, and Lori Petty.

    Keanu Reeves plays Johnny Utah, an FBI agent fresh out of Quantico assigned to the Los Angeles robbery division. He’s paired with a gruff veteran partner, Pappas, played by Gary Busey. Together they tackle a years-long series of bank robberies. Pappas harbors a much-maligned theory that the perpetrators are surfers and Johnny believes him. Johnny goes undercover, posing as a surfer and finding a friend in the charismatic Bodhi, played by Patrick Swayze. Of course, Bodhi’s behind the robberies, and Johnny’s soon in too deep. Continue reading...

    Watched on 18 Sep, 2021
  8. A still from Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

    Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday 1993

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Adam Marcus. Starring John D. LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, and Steven Williams.

    A bad Friday the 13th film, but not a bad possession film. This entry makes no effort to pick up where part eight left off, instead Jason opens the film alive and chopping. But government agents are waiting and, in a hyperbolic sequence, blow him to pieces. Continue reading...

  9. A still from Arrebato (1979)

    Arrebato 1979

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Iván Zulueta. Starring Eusebio Poncela, Cecilia Roth, Will More, and Marta Fernández Muro.

    Roger Ebert said, “It’s not what a movie is about, it’s how it is about it.” I’m not sure what Arrebato is about, but I love how it is about it. Continue reading...

    Watched on 16 Sep, 2021
  10. A still from Carrie (1976)

    Carrie 1976

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Brian De Palma. Starring Sissy Spacek, Piper Laurie, Amy Irving, and John Travolta.

    I’d seen Carrie at least twice prior. I remembered it as a competent, albeit unremarkable Stephen King adaptation. Having now seen director Brian De Palma’s prior films, I came away from this viewing with a renewed appreciation. This is De Palma’s baby, for better and worse. Continue reading...


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