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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. WolfCop 2014

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lowell Dean. Starring Leo Fafard, Amy Matysio, Sarah Lind, and Corinne Conley.

    Ridiculous in the best way. An alcoholic sheriff’s deputy becomes a werewolf and uses his newfound powers to clean up his small town. Continue reading...

    Watched on 02 Oct, 2020
  2. Street of Chance 1930

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John Cromwell. Starring William Powell, Jean Arthur, Kay Francis, and Regis Toomey.

    A great character caught in a bad story. Powell plays “Natural” Davis, New York City’s premier gambler, renowned for his charm and ethics. As a mark says early, “It a pleasure to lose your money to him.” I should love this movie. Powell in a Runyonesque role, the always reliable Kay Francis as his love-interest, and an extended poker scene as the climax. But the story has Powell’s hayseed younger brother arrive with dreams of beating the big-city game. You can see where it’s going. Kudos to the script for avoiding the telegraphed ending, but I couldn’t help wishing for a less melodramatic plot.

  3. Murder! 1930

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Starring Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, Phyllis Konstam, and Edward Chapman.

    Hitchcock’s third sound picture. Marshall plays Sir John, a noted stage actor serving on the jury weighing the case of a young actress accused of murder. The case appears open-and-shut, but Sir John has doubts. After ceding to peer pressure and voting guilty, his conscience compels him to launch his own investigation. Continue reading...

  4. Thor: Ragnarok 2017

    A: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Taika Waititi. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, and Mark Ruffalo.

    Best Doctor Strange movie.

    Watched on 26 Sep, 2020
  5. One on Top of the Other 1969

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lucio Fulci. Starring Jean Sorel, Marisa Mell, Elsa Martinelli, and Alberto de Mendoza.

    Lucio Fulci’s first thriller wows with confident pacing, stylish camera-work, and strong performances. I went in cold and suggest you do likewise. The less you know, the better. Continue reading...

  6. Hatchet 2006

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Adam Green. Starring Kane Hodder, Joel David Moore, Deon Richmond, and Amara Zaragoza.

    Takes the ’80s slasher formula, adds a liberal dose of humor, and executes with a talented cast and a boatload of heart. Sure, subbing arid southern California for a Louisiana swamp drains the budget and constrains the shot selection, but the practical effects are top-notch, inventive, and gruesome.

    Enjoyed it enough to buy the Blu-Ray for the bonus features (which don’t disappoint).

  7. For the Defense 1930

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John Cromwell. Starring William Powell, Kay Francis, Scott Kolk, William B. Davidson, Thomas E. Jackson, and Harry Walker.

    Powell plays Bill Foster, a slick defense lawyer so well-respected in the underworld that when his car’s stolen, the crooks return it after getting a look at the registration. Continue reading...

  8. The Dawn Patrol 1930

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring Richard Barthelmess, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Neil Hamilton, and Frank McHugh.

    Howard Hawks’s first sound picture. Barthelmess plays a cynical World War I pilot at odds with commanding officer Hamilton. When orders send Hamilton to a different outfit, Barthelmess assumes Hamilton’s position and struggles under the burden of command.

    Hawks bursts into the sound era with terrific (for the time) dialogue, dynamic aerial photography (love the POV bomb shots), and the burgeoning Hawksian theme of men enduring grim fates as a duty. Remade eight years later with Errol Flynn in Barthelmess’s role.


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