Skip to content

Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from The Black Camel (1931)

    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. Bela Lugosi cuts a striking figure as an enigmatic psychic who may—or may not—figure in a starlet’s murder in Honolulu. Continue reading...

  2. A still from Ladies' Man (1931)

    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.

    William Powell plays a gigolo romancing a married older woman and flirting with her daughter played by Carole Lombard. A chance encounter with a socialite played by Kay Francis forces him to reconsider his lifestyle, but perhaps too late. Continue reading...

  3. A still from Bad Sister (1931)

    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. Sidney Fox plays the titular opportunistic sister in an upstanding Ohio family who falls for a con-man played by Humphrey Bogart. Davis plays her long-suffering sister in a forgettable part. Bogie’s vulpine in his first heel role, but the predictable plot and flat performances from Fox and lead Conrad Nagel sink this effort.

  4. A still from Oh, for a Man! (1930)

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

  5. A still from Wild Company (1930)

    Wild Company 1930

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

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

    Frank 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.

  6. A still from Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)

    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 script suffers from repetitive exposition, forced comedy, and trite plotting. This one needed another year in the oven.

    Watched on 21 Nov, 2020
  7. A still from Hatchet III (2013)

    Hatchet III 2013

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by BJ McDonnell. Starring Danielle Harris, Kane Hodder, Zach Galligan, and Caroline Williams.

    Picks up where part 2 ends. The bigger budget manifests in location photography and formal rigor that match the script’s ambitions. Crowley is a hulking, roaring beast. The script’s usual mix of humor and violence includes some well-timed self-deprecating jabs. A belabored side-plot involving the original films’ heroine and a reporter drags but almost pays off with a laugh-out-loud cameo. Edges the original for my favorite of the series thus far.

  8. A still from The Criminal Code (1930)

    The Criminal Code 1930

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring Walter Huston, Phillips Holmes, Constance Cummings, and Boris Karloff.

    Howard Hawks’s second sound picture. A competent prison-reform drama that nevertheless feels like a work-for-hire job. Walter Huston’s electric as a former district attorney turned prison warden, and Boris Karloff maximizes his role as a grudge-bearing convict. But Phillips Holmes doesn’t register as the hard-luck protagonist. Ditto Constance Cummings as his love interest.

  9. A still from Avengers: Endgame (2019)

    Avengers: Endgame 2019

    A: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo. Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, and Chris Hemsworth.

    A satisfying conclusion to 11-years of Marvel films. The “time heist” plot proves secondary to a series of images and moments recreating the pre-adolescent awe I experienced reading the source comics. Not as resonant as Infinity War, but just as entertaining.

    Watched on 14 Nov, 2020
  10. A still from Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)

    Friday the 13th Part 2 1981

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Steve Miner. Starring Betsy Palmer, Amy Steel, John Furey, and Adrienne King.

    Still no hockey mask, but we have Jason (sporting a burlap sack over his face) stalking a group of camp counselors.

    This entry has grown on me. I originally preferred the first film’s dingy atmosphere and documentary style, but I’ve come around to this sequel’s superior execution. The supporting cast proves more memorable, and the script provides the final-girl with real agency.


← Newer 1 171819 26 Older →