Author: Paul Brenner

The Caller

The Caller

Richard Ledes's cool and haunted neo-noir The Caller at least for half its running time goes down like a smoky Old Fashioned. But as the film winds down, the cocktail turns out to have been...

Movie Review posted on 5th June 2009

Séraphine

Séraphine

As French na?ve painter Séraphine Louis, Yolande Moreau dominates Martin Provost's Séraphine like Séraphine's "secret red" color dominates her emotionally pure canvases splashed with flowers and fruits.Moreau is by turns frumpy, impish, poetic and beatific...

Movie Review posted on 4th June 2009

Son of Paleface

Son of Paleface

When one ponders the wacky western film romp, one thinks immediately of Blazing Saddles.Forget Blazing Saddles. I'm putting my big, fat western wallet down on an early Frank Tashlin film from 1952 starring the ineffable...

Movie Review posted on 31st May 2009

Road to Rio

Road to Rio

In Road to Rio, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour appear in their fifth "Road" picture with Road to Rio closing out the 1940s and the dependable series, after which there were only a...

Movie Review posted on 29th May 2009

The Road To Rio

The Road To Rio

In The Road To Rio, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamour appear in their fifth "Road" picture with The Road To Rio closing out the 1940s and the dependable series, after which there were...

Movie Review posted on 29th May 2009

Sanjuro

Sanjuro

One of the biggest hits in Akira Kurosawa's film career was 1961's Yojimbo, the genre smasher with Toshiro Mifune's instantly legendary performance as Sanjuro, that shambling and bedraggled ronin who roams the countryside looking for...

Movie Review posted on 28th May 2009

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight

Roman poet Horace said it best -- at least according to the famed New York graphic designer Milton Glaser. The purpose of art, for Horace, is to inform and delight. Glaser, the New York City...

Movie Review posted on 21st May 2009

M. Butterfly

M. Butterfly

In Mel Brooks' The Producers, the characters played by Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel pay a visit to the Park Avenue home of eccentric theatrical director Roger De Bris, who greets them in a flowing...

Movie Review posted on 17th May 2009

El Dorado

El Dorado

Howard Hawks's penultimate film is a canny reshuffling of his own Rio Bravo as he performs a loose and extended mediation on his favorite themes of loyalty and professionalism.John Wayne plays Cole Thornton, a gun...

Movie Review posted on 17th May 2009

Management

Management

How can you not like a film that has lines like "You can touch my butt but then you gotta go"? And screenwriter Stephen Belber's first film as director, Management, is a very likable film...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2009

Patton

Patton

In one of the most iconic images in film history, an imperious general festooned with stars, ivory-handled revolvers, and colorful medals, strides onto a stage in front of an immense American flag (a small figure...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2009

Bart Got A Room

Bart Got A Room

High school coming-of-age films have recently been overflowing movie screens like stuffed toilets. They can be hard-edged and true like Adventureland. Or raunchy yet soft and fuzzy like Superbad. Or they can be totally wacky,...

Movie Review posted on 9th May 2009

The Window

The Window

It's not much of a stretch when a film features a succession of loudly ticking clocks that the film will be about the last day of a dying man and not about Frank Miller coming...

Movie Review posted on 5th May 2009

Black Sheep (1996)

Black Sheep (1996)

Chris Farley's tragic, untimely death at age 33 sparked a newfound admiration of his talents, but loving eyes can't appreciate (or overlook) something as painfully unfunny as Black Sheep, the second and final pairing of...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2009

A Grin Without A Cat

A Grin Without A Cat

In the 1970 protest anthem "Chicago," Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young plead to an idealistic youth to head to Chicago and take to the streets in protest with the plaintive chorale, "We can change the...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2009

A Wink And A Smile

A Wink And A Smile

In Rodgers and Hart's Pal Joey, an ex-stripper turned society gal relives her past, singing the spritely and sarcastic tune "Zip!" -- "Zip! Walt Lippman wasn't brilliant today / Zip! Will Saroyan ever write a...

Movie Review posted on 30th April 2009

East Side, West Side

East Side, West Side

In the early 1930s, director Mervyn Leroy was one of the men responsible for the gritty, careening Warner Brothers house style, but by 1949, Leroy was one of main hack directors for MGM and a...

Movie Review posted on 29th April 2009

Maintenance

Maintenance

Good news for all of you serial killers out there. There is finally a film for you! Rush out to your local DVD store and pick up a copy of Maintenance today. You won't regret...

Movie Review posted on 21st April 2009

Sprawling from Grace

Sprawling from Grace

Once Upon a Time in the West could actually have been the birth of the New Urbanist movement, since Claudia Cardinale's murdered husband planned an entire town mixing commercial and residential areas around a transit...

Movie Review posted on 20th April 2009

Is Anybody There?

Is Anybody There?

In John Crowley's Is Anybody There? Michael Caine is Clarence -- a bitter, retired magician slipping into senility and consigned to a family-run old age home. Upon arrival he surveys the landscape of human decrepitude...

Movie Review posted on 17th April 2009

Oblivion

Oblivion

In Oblivion, Heddy Honigmann's paean to defeat, the film's master of ceremonies, Jorge Kanashiro, a bartender in an upscale restaurant across the street from Peru's Presidential Palace in Lima, demonstrates mixing the ingredients for the...

Movie Review posted on 15th April 2009

Fugitive Girls

Fugitive Girls

In the Ed Wood-scripted Fugitive Girls, Wood and director A.C. Stephens give Quentin Tarantino a run for his money. Wood and Stephens ganged up before for the mid-'60s spook a-go-go romp Orgy of Dead...

Movie Review posted on 12th April 2009

Forever

Forever

In Heddy Honigmann's meditative and measured Forever, her touching tone poem to Paris's famed Père-Lachaise cemetery, the camera picks up a bit of graffiti that reads, "The Artists are Sad; Comfort Them." The artists buried...

Movie Review posted on 12th April 2009

Seas Beneath

Seas Beneath

John Ford directed this early sound film programmer that is short on any kind of plot that makes sense but crackles with high seas action.In this World War I yarn, unflinching U.S. Navy Captain Bob...

Movie Review posted on 10th April 2009

Anvil! The Story Of Anvil

Anvil! The Story Of Anvil

Forget This is Spinal Tap. Here's the real deal... even though one the name of one of the performers is Robb Reiner. Sacha Gervasi's ebullient documentary about two cantankerous bruisers now in their mid-50s, who...

Movie Review posted on 10th April 2009

An Unlikely Weapon

An Unlikely Weapon

In one of the iconic photographs of the Vietnam War, South Vietnamese General Nguyen Nygor Loan is shown shooting a Vietnam guerilla in the head at point blank range. The horrific grimace of the captive...

Movie Review posted on 10th April 2009

Four Men and a Prayer

Four Men and a Prayer

In Four Men and a Prayer, director John Ford doesn't have one. Saddled by Darryl Zanuck with a claptrap mystery adventure plot involving the dishonorable discharge and subsequent murder of a proud British career officer...

Movie Review posted on 9th April 2009

Lymelife

Lymelife

In Lymelife, Cynthia Nixon, as real estate agent Melissa Bragg in a New York suburb in 1979, looks skinny and a shade skanky, like an aging out-of-town version of a T. Rex groupie. And yet...

Movie Review posted on 8th April 2009

The Hidden Fortress

The Hidden Fortress

Long ago and far, far away, in a worn-torn feudal Japan, two graspingly venal peasant stooges, Tahei (Minoru Chaiki) and Matakishi (Kamatari Fujiwara), have escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp and are trying to get back...

Movie Review posted on 6th April 2009

The Yakuza

The Yakuza

In 1974, the advertisements for Sidney Pollack's Americanized Japanese gangster movie The Yakuza stated, "A man doesn't forget. A man pays his debts." Well, not in today's economy. But in 1974 paying debts meant something...

Movie Review posted on 3rd April 2009

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RIP Aretha Franklin - Seven Of Her Most Captivating Songs

RIP Aretha Franklin - Seven Of Her Most Captivating Songs

We pay tribute to the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, who passed away this week at the age of 76.

Album of the Week: Conquering 'Stage Fright' with The Band

Album of the Week: Conquering 'Stage Fright' with The Band

'Stage Fright' was released on August 17th, 1970.

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Is Netflix's 'Outlaw King' Starring Chris Pine The New 'Braveheart'?

Is Netflix's 'Outlaw King' Starring Chris Pine The New 'Braveheart'?

We can't wait until the Fall for this gritty historic thriller.

7 Stars That Swapped A Football Career For Music

7 Stars That Swapped A Football Career For Music

From Robbie Williams to Olly Murs, these musicians are still football mad.

Paul McCartney - Fuh You Lyric Video

Paul McCartney - Fuh You Lyric Video

It's a far cry from The Beatles' 'I Wanna Hold Your Hand', but Paul McCartney has unveiled a risque new single entitled 'Fuh You'.

Madonna At 60 - Her 10 Best Singles

Madonna At 60 - Her 10 Best Singles

Which of Madonna's many hits do you think is the best?

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