Classic Movie Review: Pathfinder
While watching a Criterion Film on an app on your phone is something akin to listening to Beethoven’s Fifth on a blown out Walkman, I must say that my purchase of the FilmStruck app has been a pretty great investment thus far. This week alone I watched Joan Crawford and Henry Fonda in Daisy Kenyon, my 10th viewing of Bogart in In a Lonely Place and this evening I indulged my taste for obscure foreign adventure films by watching the 1987 Norwegian hunting thriller Pathfinder.
Movie Review: The Hitman's Bodyguard
The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a very divisive film. Not because it has any challenging themes but rather because it is both a laugh riot and quite a bad movie. At once, The Hitman’s Bodyguard is very, quite intentionally, funny and quite poorly directed. I call the film divisive not because audiences will either love or loathe the film in equal measure but rather because I am divided personally by the fact that I repeatedly laughed quite loud during the film and by the fact that the film’s green screen effects, storytelling, and casting are so shoddy that at times I physically wretched.
Movie Review: The Big Easy Turns 30
This week in 1987 The Big Easy starring Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin and directed by Jim McBride was released nationwide following a brief run on the awards circuit in late 1986. The film tells the story of a corrupt New Orleans Police Detective named Remy McSwain, played by Quaid, who’s about to learn that corruption doesn’t really pay. Ellen Barkin is a District Attorney tasked with investigating Remy’s corruption and that of his fellow New Orleans brothers in Blue.
Examining Isabelle Corey in 'Bob Le Flambeur'
In 1956, model Isabelle Corey got her big break in the movies when legendary director Jean Pierre Melville discovered her in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Melville cast Corey as Anne in his classic noir Bob Le Flambeur. Corey would go on from there to star in Roger Vadim’s And God Created Woman, alongside the legendary Brigitte Bardot before moving to Italy to work with some of that country’s legends including Franco Rossi, Vittorio De Sica and Roberto Rossellini. Corey made 16 films in 15 years before quitting the business in 1961.
Popular Movie Review Podcast 'I Hate Critics' Changes Name
For those that are only still becoming familiar with my work as a critic, you may not know that I am also a podcaster. I know very original, a movie critic with a podcast. It's hosted by music critic Bob Zerull, film fanatic Josh Adams and myself, offering three unique perspectives on movies, new and old. The show has become relatively popular and recently, Bob, Josh and I, made an important decision to change our name. We were called I Hate Critics: A Movie Review Podcast. We are now calling ourselves Everyone's A Critic and below is my explanation why. At the bottom of the article, you will find links so that you can listen to the show and let us know what you think of the show, the new name and anything else you might be interested in commenting on.
Classic Movie Review: Bob Le Flambeur 1956
The classic on this week’s Everyone’s a Critic Movie Review Podcast is, arguably, the very first film of the French New Wave, Bob Le Flambeur, translated as Bob the Gambler. Bob Le Flambeur is a classic American style heist film seen through the lens of a French admirer of American movies, Jean Pierre Melville. It is Melville’s French sensibility, the way he focuses not on the heist but on the atmosphere of a heist that separates Bob Le Flambeur from American heist movies which had and have turned safe-cracking and men smoking in back rooms leaning over complex drawings into classic film tropes.
Revisionist History: Arguing Tutti Frutti with Malcolm Gladwell
“Tutti Frutti, Aw Rooty, Tutti Frutti, Aw Rooty, A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop-a-wop-bam-boom!" –Little Richard 1955. On a recent episode of his exceptional podcast Revisionist History, journalist Malcolm Gladwell was discussing why country music embraces sadness while rock n’roll tended toward generalism in songwriting. Gladwell’s point was to emphasize the awe-inspiring power of music, especially sad music like that of his other subject on the show, the so-called “King of Tears,” songwriter Bobby Braddock. Braddock is the powerhouse behind such songs as "D.I.V.O.R.C.E" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today," heavily featured on Gladwell’s show.
Movie Review: Celebrating 30 Years of Dirty Dancing
“It’s nothing, Marjorie, go back to sleep.” As I watched Dirty Dancing for the first time in several years, this seemingly throwaway line from Jerry Orbach to Kelly Bishop, as the parents of Jennifer Grey’s Frances “Baby” Houseman, struck me. Orbach's Jake, a wealthy doctor, has just returned to his bungalow at this Catskills Hotel after having given treatment to Cynthia Rhodes’ Penny who has just undergone what at the time was referred to as a back-alley abortion. This was after she’d been knocked up by Robbie, a selfish snob doing time to raise money he doesn’t need for his Ivy League education.