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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Summer Interlude (1951)

    Summer Interlude 1951

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Maj-Britt Nilsson, Birger Malmsten, Alf Kjellin, and Annalisa Ericson.

    Maj-Britt Nilsson plays a dancer reflecting on a coming-of-age summer romance with Birger Malmsten. A small, quiet film buoyed by fearless performances, beautiful cinematography, and a script that conveys the joy of young love without feeling reductive. The ending underwhelmed, but I respect the choice.

  2. A still from Higher and Higher (1943)

    Higher and Higher 1943

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Tim Whelan. Starring Michèle Morgan, Jack Haley, Frank Sinatra, and Leon Errol.

    Frank Sinatra’s debut. Not his first screen appearance, but his first proper role. Granted, he’s playing a fictionalized version of himself, but this proves for the best. Continue reading...

  3. A still from Dionysus in '69 (1970)

    Dionysus in '69 1970

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Brian De Palma and Richard Schechner. Starring Remi Barclay, Samuel Blazer, Jason Bosseau, and Richard Dia.

    Brian De Palma films the Performance Group’s stage play adaptation of Euripides’s The Bacchae. Experimental theater fans might enjoy it, but I found it pretentious and opaque. De Palma uses a perpetual split-screen to simulate the theater-in-the-round experience, but it proves a poor analog. William Finley’s performance—his final monologue in particular—provided the lone highlight.

  4. A still from Deadpool 2 (2018)

    Deadpool 2 2018

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by David Leitch. Starring Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, and Julian Dennison.

    Ryan Reynolds returns as Deadpool, a disfigured mercenary with superhuman healing abilities and a heart of gold. Or at least bronze. This time he’s drawn to protect an angry mutant boy, played by Julian Dennison, from Cable, a time-traveler played by Josh Brolin. Cable’s here to assassinate the boy, as he grows up to murder Cable’s family. Continue reading...

    Watched on 20 Mar, 2021
  5. A still from Zack Snyder's Justice League (2021)

    Zack Snyder's Justice League 2021

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Zack Snyder. Starring Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, and Amy Adams.

    Much improved. The tone proves more consistent throughout, and including big-bad Darkseid ups the narrative stakes, while the expanded backstories supply more robust emotional stakes. Continue reading...

    Watched on 19 Mar, 2021
  6. A still from Benny's Video (1992)

    Benny's Video 1992

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Michael Haneke. Starring Arno Frisch, Angela Winkler, Ulrich Mühe, and Ingrid Stassner.

    Labeling director Michael Haneke’s sophomore effort “shocking” or “chilling” feels reductive. Haneke’s story of a young teen with an obsessive penchant for violent video proffers a detached—but not dispassionate—look into an abyss. Continue reading...

  7. A still from Child's Play (1988)

    Child's Play 1988

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Tom Holland. Starring Catherine Hicks, Chris Sarandon, Alex Vincent, and Brad Dourif.

    A single mother gifts a lifelike doll to her son for his birthday, unaware the toy houses a notorious serial killer’s consciousness. Continue reading...

  8. A still from Maker of Men (1931)

    Maker of Men 1931

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Edward Sedgwick. Starring Jack Holt, Richard Cromwell, Joan Marsh, and Natalie Moorhead.

    I watched Maker of Men because it features an early credited performance from John Wayne. Had I known how small his part was, I may have reconsidered. Continue reading...

  9. A still from This Can't Happen Here (1950)

    This Can't Happen Here 1950

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Signe Hasso, Alf Kjellin, Ulf Palme, and Gösta Cederlund.

    Director Ingmar Bergman disowned this clumsy spy thriller, preventing a proper home video release, and forcing me to watch it on YouTube. Good thing. I would have regretted spending money on this turkey. Continue reading...

  10. A still from The Cry Baby Killer (1958)

    The Cry Baby Killer 1958

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Justus Addiss. Starring Harry Lauter, Jack Nicholson, Carolyn Mitchell, and Brett Halsey.

    Jack Nicholson’s debut. He plays a teenager who opens the film laid-low in an alley after his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend’s gang jumps him. After a friend helps him back to his feet, Nicholson confronts the gang at their dive restaurant hangout. A scuffle ensues. One of the gang has a gun. Nicholson grabs the gun. The gang grab for Nicholson. Shots fire. Continue reading...

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