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Frank's Movie Log

My life at the movies.

  1. A still from Onibaba (1964)

    Onibaba 1964

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Kaneto Shindô. Starring Nobuko Otowa, Jitsuko Yoshimura, Kei Satô, and Jûkichi Uno.

    This review proves a challenge. I appreciate what Onibaba is about, and the formal rigor director Kaneto Shindo employed, but the film didn’t work for me. Continue reading...

    Watched on 17 Dec, 2020
  2. It Rains on Our Love 1946

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Barbro Kollberg, Birger Malmsten, Gösta Cederlund, and Ludde Gentzel.

    Delightful sophomore feature for Ingmar Bergman. Kollberg and Malmsten play two lonely young strangers who sleep together, feel a connection, and strive to build a life together. Bergman’s decision to have his mysterious, omniscient narrator—known only as “Man with umbrella”—appear as a character in the story lends a whimsical hue. It presents a biting exposé of the hypocrisy in contemporary Swedish society but never feels cynical. The courtroom finale had me cackling with glee. Continue reading...

  3. Kill a Dragon 1967

    D+: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Michael D. Moore. Starring Jack Palance, Fernando Lamas, Aldo Ray, and Kam Tong.

    I reviewed Kill a Dragon over a decade ago during this site’s first incarnation. My logs tell me folks are looking for that review, so I revisited it. I had no recollection of the film, nor any sense of déjà vu re-watching it. This may serve as review enough. Continue reading...

    Watched on 16 Dec, 2020
  4. Maléfique 2002

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Eric Valette. Starring Gérald Laroche, Philippe Laudenbach, Clovis Cornillac, and Dimitri Rataud.

    Maléfique opens with a man named Carrère saying goodbye to his wife and young son. He is a white-collar criminal and today marks his first day in prison. We meet his cellmates: Lassalle, an older librarian of few words, Marcus, a brash young man whose large breast implants clash with his brawny physique, and Pâquerette, a man-child with a penchant for eating things.

    After establishing these characters and their interpersonal dynamics, the plot kicks into gear. The men discover a moldy diary that doubles as a spellbook. Eager to escape, the men try some incantations but discover magic carries a high cost. Continue reading...

    Watched on 15 Dec, 2020
  5. Crisis 1946

    B-: 4 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Ingmar Bergman. Starring Inga Landgré, Stig Olin, Marianne Löfgren, and Dagny Lind.

    Ingmar Bergman’s first feature. Landgré plays Nelly, an 18-year-old girl raised by piano-teacher Lind in a small village. Nelly—who yearns for something more—sees an escape when her estranged mother arrives to claim her. But happiness eludes Nelly in the big city, where a complex triangle forms between her, her mother, and her mother’s gigolo boyfriend. Continue reading...

  6. Die Hard 1988

    A+: 5 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by John McTiernan. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, and Reginald VelJohnson.

    “It will blow you through the back wall of the theater!” Does anyone remember that tagline from the film’s trailers and print ads? It makes no sense, yet it’s my go-to description for folks new to Die Hard. Continue reading...

    Watched on 12 Dec, 2020
  7. Christmas Evil 1980

    B+: 4 stars (out of 5)

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

    Christmas Evil isn’t the sleazy Santa slasher you’d expect. Continue reading...

    Watched on 11 Dec, 2020
  8. Lust of the Vampire 1957

    C+: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Mario Bava and Riccardo Freda. Starring Gianna Maria Canale, Carlo D'Angelo, Dario Michaelis, and Wandisa Guida.

    Mario Bava’s directorial debut. A hybrid mystery and mad-scientist picture. In contemporary Paris, young women are turning up drained of blood. The press labels the killer a vampire. Michaelis plays a reporter determined to uncover the culprit. The case leads him to his estranged cousin, her gothic castle, and the secrets they hold. Continue reading...

  9. Colt Comrades 1943

    D: 2 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Lesley Selander. Starring William Boyd, Andy Clyde, Jay Kirby, and Teddi Sherman.

    Follows Border Patrol and Hoppy Serves a Writ in the Hopalong Cassidy series. Hoppy and his deputies buy a ranch and settle down, only to run up against a crooked cattle baron played by Victor Jory.

    Weakest of the three Cassidy films I’ve watched so far. Lots of filler shots, lingering takes, and Clyde’s flat slapstick. That said, Mitchum shines in his meatiest (albeit shortest) part in the series thus far, playing yet another outlaw grunt.

  10. Jack Frost 1997

    C: 3 stars (out of 5)

    Directed by Michael Cooney. Starring Scott MacDonald, Christopher Allport, Stephen Mendel, and F. William Parker.

    In 2016, I gave Jack Frost a one-star review, calling it “bad, even by movie-about-a-killer-snowman standards.” I was wrong. Continue reading...

    Watched on 09 Dec, 2020

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