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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Raw (2016)

    Raw 2016

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Julia Ducournau. Starring Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, and Laurent Lucas.

    I was fine with the cannibalism, but everything else irked me. Continue reading...

    Watched on 09 Jan, 2022
  2. A still from Headhunters (2011)

    Headhunters 2011

    A-: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Morten Tyldum. Starring Aksel Hennie, Synnøve Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, and Julie R. Ølgaard.

    An elite corporate head hunter finances his lavish lifestyle by stealing art from his prospects. This setup serves as a fulcrum for a clockwork plot. To reveal anymore would spoil the film’s myriad surprises. Continue reading...

    Watched on 05 Jan, 2022
  3. A still from Five Fingers of Death (1972)

    Five Fingers of Death 1972

    B: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Chang-hwa Jeong. Starring Lieh Lo, Ping Wang, Hsiung Chao, and Chin-Feng Wang.

    A prestigious Kung Fu tournament. Two rival schools, one of which will stop at nothing to win. A promising young student. Imposing villainous fighters with exotic techniques. Despite the abundant tropes, the film surprised me. Continue reading...

    Watched on 05 Jan, 2022
  4. 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.

    Commentary watch. Recorded in 2001 with director Bob Clark. A few minutes in, after describing how the camera’s moving on screen, he admonishes his prior comments as “all terribly didactic.” I smiled, won over. He reveals Gilda Radner had Andrea Martin’s role, but dropped out for Saturday Night Live. This proves the extent of his behind-the-scenes disclosures. Instead, he focuses on the cinematography and the performances on screen. His stern defense of the film’s third act didn’t change my opinion, but I appreciated how much he believed in it.

    Watched on 24 Dec, 2021
  5. A still from Christmas Evil (1980)

    Christmas Evil 1980

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lewis Jackson. Starring Brandon Maggart, Jeffrey DeMunn, Dianne Hull, and Andy Fenwick.

    Commentary watch. Recorded in 2006 with writer/director Lewis Jackson and John Waters. Waters disappoints, coming in unprepared, having not seen the film for several years despite being a huge fan. He often shifts into a passive viewer, laughing at what’s on screen instead of commenting. That said, as an independent filmmaker himself, the questions Waters does ask often prove insightful. For his part, Jackson, unprompted, points out several bits I’d never noticed, such as how he had several interior sets painted with green walls to keep a red-green color scheme, and Home Improvement mom Patricia Richardson in a bit part.

    Watched on 24 Dec, 2021
  6. A still from Two-Fisted Law (1932)

    Two-Fisted Law 1932

    F: 1 star (out of 5)

    Directed by D. Ross Lederman. Starring Tim McCoy, Alice Day, Wheeler Oakman, Tully Marshall, and Wallace MacDonald.

    Tedious, idiot plot opens with Tim McCoy losing his ranch to a crooked land baron played by Wheeler Oakman. McCoy then departs to prospect for silver, but returns in time to save love interest Alice Day from Oakman’s schemes. Long in talk and short in action. John Wayne has a bit part as one of McCoy’s sidekicks. Walter Brennan has an even smaller role as a sheriff’s deputy.

  7. A still from The Rich Are Always with Us (1932)

    The Rich Are Always with Us 1932

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Alfred E. Green. Starring Ruth Chatterton, George Brent, Bette Davis, John Miljan, and Adrienne Dore.

    George Brent plays a writer in love with an heiress played by Ruth Chatterton. She loves him too, but can’t stop mothering her philandering husband. Bette Davis plays Chatterton’s kid sister who’s also sweet on Brent. Continue reading...

  8. A still from The Crowd Roars (1932)

    The Crowd Roars 1932

    C-: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Hawks. Starring James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak, and Eric Linden.

    James Cagney plays a hotshot race car driver whose ego can’t handle kid brother Eric Linden’s talent. Ann Dvorak plays Cagney’s long-suffering girlfriend. Joan Blondell plays Dvorak’s friend and Linden’s love-interest. Continue reading...

  9. A still from C.H.U.D. (1984)

    C.H.U.D. 1984

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Douglas Cheek. Starring John Heard, Daniel Stern, Christopher Curry, and Kim Greist.

    A police captain teams up with a soup-kitchen owner to investigate disappearances. A fashion photographer explores abandoned New York City subway tunnels to photograph the homeless denizens. A corrupt official stops at nothing to cover up a secret project. A mysterious man eats a quarter as an act of intimidation. For a creature feature, C.H.U.D. packs a lot of plot. Continue reading...

    Watched on 20 Dec, 2021
  10. A still from Scarface (1932)

    Scarface 1932

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Howard Hawks and Richard Rosson. Starring Paul Muni, Ann Dvorak, Karen Morley, and Osgood Perkins.

    Paul Muni plays Tony Camonte, a low-level mafia hood who explains, “In this business there’s only one law you gotta follow to keep out of trouble: Do it first, do it yourself, and keep on doing it.” The “it” in question is murder, and Tony does plenty as he shoots his way to the top of Chicago’s underworld. Continue reading...

Pagination

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