Monthly Archives: April 2014

American Me (1992)

Halfway through American Me, the Edward James Olmos biographical crime drama about Mexican Mafia founder Rodolfo Cadena, a middle-aged Mexican American man named Montoya Santana, Olmos himself, is out on a date with his girlfriend, Julie. Santana is handsome, masculine, decisive, yet he seems almost like a teenager. He doesn’t know how to buy clothes. […]

The Kids Are All Right (2010)

The Kids Are All Right is the story of a straight man and his dick who both blunder into the lives of a lesbian couple and their two kids. The straight man, Paul Hatfield, Mark Ruffalo, is a successful restaurant owner in his 40s who, years before, had donated sperm to a sperm bank for […]

Wendy and Lucy (2009)

Kelly Reichardt, an independent filmmaker living in the Pacific Northwest, specializes in films about the kind of people who never get anywhere near Portlandia, the working-class, the socially isolated, the emotionally unstable, the misfits and semi-homeless. Wendy and Lucy, which was made back in 2009 for only 300,000 dollars, is perhaps Reichardt’s best known film. […]

The Bigamist (1953)

As I watched the ending of Ida Lupino’s 1953 film The Bigamist, I kept thinking of a famous quote by the Anglo Irish Playwright and socialist George Bernard Shaw. “Polygamy,” he said, “when tried under modern democratic conditions, as by the Mormons, is wrecked by the revolt of the mass of inferior men who are […]

The Ox-Bow Incident (1943)

The Ox Bow Incident has so much intense, dramatic focus that even its flaws, like the crappy studio lighting, only seem to lend to it a stripped down authenticity. Based on the novel of the same name by Walter Van Tilburg Clark, William A. Wellman’s brutal masterpiece about three innocent men lynched by a mob […]

Only Lovers Left Alive (2014)

One of the best films of the 1990s was Dead Man. With its gorgeous score by Neil Young, and spooky performance by Johnny Depp, Jim Jarmusch’s black and white masterpiece went back to the site of the original sin, the genocide of the native Americans. Only Lovers Left Alive, which stars Tom Hiddleston as a […]

Noah (2014)

Note: This blog entry was written by Dan Levine. You can find him here. Darren Aronofsky has never been a filmmaker of any considerable talent; his early work showed him to be a prototypical “cult” filmmaker of the sort the US commercial cinema produces regularly, a man so given over to the excess of a […]

Boiler Room (2000)

Boiler Room, a low-key film that was released a month before the Nasdaq crashed in March of 2000, might just be a better Wolf of Wall Street than The Wolf of Wall Street. Giovanni Ribisi plays Seth Davis, a young college dropout who runs an illegal casino out of his apartment in Queens. When his […]

Scarface (1932)

I was going to watch the Howard Hawks and Brian De Palma versions of Scarface back to back, and then write a review where I talked about their differences. But the classic 1932 film starring Paul Muni and George Raft is so similar to the legendary 1983 remake with Al Pacino and Michelle Pffeifer that […]

For Greater Glory (2012)

Andy Garcia, the Cuban America actor who stars Dean Wright’s and Michael Love’s film about the Mexican Cristero Wars, is probably still known best for his role in the The Untouchables. In The Untouchables, the classic 1980s, prohibition-era gangster epic, director Brian De Palma sets up a clear moral distinction. Having a personality makes you […]