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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Horror of Dracula (1958)

    Horror of Dracula 1958

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Terence Fisher. Starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Michael Gough, and Melissa Stribling.

    Howard Hawks’s recipe for a good movie comprised “three great scenes and no bad ones.” Hammer’s first entry in its Dracula franchise gives us exactly that. Continue reading...

  2. A still from The Family Stone (2005)

    The Family Stone 2005

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Thomas Bezucha. Starring Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Jessica Parker, Claire Danes, and Diane Keaton.

    Dermot Mulroney brings his uptight, upper-crust girlfriend (played by Sarah Jessica Parker) to his tight-knit, liberal family’s Christmas get-together, where he plans to ask for his grandmother’s wedding ring. The film mixes family drama and romantic comedy but commits to neither. The stellar cast’s innate charisma shines, but the film feels ashamed of its rom-com ambitions. It raises some interesting points around inclusion, tolerance, and dialogue, only to fall back on reductive tropes. It’s a rom-com dressed up in a family drama; as if it yearns to prove it’s about more than meet-cutes, but meet-cutes are all it offers.

    Watched on 05 Dec, 2020
  3. A still from Black Christmas (1974)

    Black Christmas 1974

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Bob Clark. Starring Olivia Hussey, Keir Dullea, Margot Kidder, and John Saxon.

    It’s grown on me. I wrote a snarky review in 2011 that bemoaned the final girl’s “fit of acting” as she goes up the stairs instead of out the door, but time has been kind to Black Christmas. Continue reading...

    Watched on 04 Dec, 2020
  4. A still from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns (2013)

    Batman: The Dark Knight Returns 2013

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Jay Oliva. Starring Peter Weller, Ariel Winter, David Selby, and Wade Williams.

    An animated adaptation of Frank Miller’s seminal graphic novel that sees a middle-aged Batman (voiced by Peter Weller) emerge from a ten-year retirement to reclaim Gotham. Continue reading...

    Watched on 03 Dec, 2020
  5. A still from Border Patrol (1943)

    Border Patrol 1943

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lesley Selander. Starring William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Jay Kirby, and Russell Simpson.

    William Boyd returns as Hopalong Cassidy, now a Texas Ranger who uncovers a shady mining town controlled by a despotic mayor, played by Russell Simpson. Continue reading...

  6. A still from Hoppy Serves a Writ (1943)

    Hoppy Serves a Writ 1943

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by George Archainbaud. Starring William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Jay Kirby, and Victor Jory.

    Robert Mitchum’s inauspicious debut. He plays a grunt in an outlaw gang that’s fled into Oklahoma, where Texas sheriff Hopalong “Hoppy” Cassidy, played by William Boyd, lacks jurisdiction. Mitchum’s part amounts to a single forgettable line. Continue reading...

  7. A still from Fear and Desire (1953)

    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 feature debut. 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...

  8. A still from Salvation! (1987)

    Salvation! 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
  9. A still from A Holy Terror (1931)

    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.

    George O’Brien plays a New York socialite who flies his prop-plane to Wyoming to investigate his father’s murder. After crash-landing in Sally Eilers’s shower, O’Brien runs up against Humphrey Bogart, who plays the foreman of the man O’Brien flew in to see. Continue reading...

  10. A still from Blood Rage (1987)

    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


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