10 Cloverfield Lane

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Sometimes you feel like a thriller about aliens invading the planet…but other times you feel like a horror film about a murderer who kidnaps people and takes them to a secret lair. Why not have both? Dan Trachtenberg’s 2016 release combines the best (or worst) of both worlds in a successful attempt to keep the viewer on the edge of their seat with suspense. Continue reading

The African Queen

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If ever there was a beautiful tale of the little guy making a big difference, The African Queen surely fits the bill. Shot in Technicolor, this 1951 adaptation of C.S. Forester’s novel of the same name is a gorgeous adventure in duty, struggle, and love when least expected. From the beautifully lush opening to the end scene, this film is full of the visual delights found on location in Africa, where the majority of the movie was filmed.

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To Have and Have Not

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In Vichy France-controlled Martinique, you make a living any way you can. For him, that meant renting out his boat to tourists and refugees. For her, that meant charming her way right into men’s minds and wallets. Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart pair up for the first time in this 1944 production directed by Howard Hawks and adapted for the screen from Hemingway’s novel by William Faulkner and James Furthman. Continue reading

Casablanca

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Deemed the greatest screenplay ever written, this 1942 classic film noir is hard to dismiss as one of the greatest movies ever made. Be aware that, due to the age of the movie, spoilers are inherent to this review. Honestly, if you have not watched Casablanca, I strongly encourage you to do so before you read this, or any, review of it. Continue reading

Cold Mountain

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Some stories will always resonate with the soul. Set against a backdrop of the Civil War, Cold Mountain (2003) is a powerfully touching tale of a war-torn country and the effects war has on a microcosm – in this case, the love of two people who have barely begun their lives together before being swept apart by the universe. Written and directed for the screen by Anthony Minghella, the film adaptation is based on the novel by Charles Frazier and won an Oscar for Renee Zellweger for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. Continue reading

In a Lonely Place

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This 1950 film noir thriller directed by Nicholas Ray and starring Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame literally kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire first and second viewings. This role was said to be the closest to the real Bogie that any of his characters ever came. If so, Bogie was one very complex and difficult man, though none the worse for that. Continue reading

The Hateful Eight (2015)

December 31, 2015
Written by Roger MalcolmThe-Hateful-Eight-Banner

We open on wide sweeping panavision shots of beautiful snow-covered landscapes encompassing the wild frontier of Wyoming in the dead of winter.  The camera eventually cuts to a cross with a snow-covered Jesus, it’s a long shot with no cut as the camera slowly comes down as we see a six-horse team pulling a stagecoach through the winter snow.  As the stagecoach passes disappearing off frame right a breeze of snow passes right to left of frame before the cut of this beautifully constructed shot.  A magnificent s̶e̶v̶e̶n̶ start and we haven’t even been introduced to a single character as of yet from The Hateful Eight.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

December 21, 2015
Written by Roger Malcolmstar-wars-the-force-awakens

Starting much like the original Star Wars: A New Hope, we find ourselves on a desert planet with a droid being given a map of the location of the long lost Luke Skywalker.  In the opening message to the audience we read that after the Empire’s downfall, the First Order has risen out of its ashes.  The Rebellion is now referred to as the Resistance and their leader is General Leia (still played by Carrie Fisher). Continue reading

Clue (1985)

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Written by Erin Lynn

Clue (1985)

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Producer: Debra Hill

Screenplay: Jonathan Lynn

Cast: Mrs. White (Madeline Kahn), Colonel Mustard (Martin Mull), Mr. Green (Michael McKean), Miss Scarlet (Lesley Ann Warren), Mrs. Peacock (Eilenn Brennan), Professor Plum (Christopher Lloyd), Wadsworth the Butler (Tim Curry), Mr. Boddy (Lee Ving), Yvette the Maid (Colleen Camp)

A stormy night rages while a group of strangers converge on a dark and mysterious mansion. Nobody understands why they’ve been invited to a party here, and everyone has been instructed to remain cloaked in the pseudonyms assigned them by their “unknown host”. As if this opening isn’t enough to hook the viewer, the tale gets ever more curious as the story unfolds. As the tagline says, “it’s not just a game anymore”. Continue reading