Category: films

Olivia de Havilland, last Old Hollywood star, was much more than Melanie Wilkes

Olivia de Havilland, the last surviving star of Hollywood’s Golden Age of the 1930s and ‘40s, passed away over the weekend at the age of 104. Most of the headlines went something like this one in the New York Times: “Olivia de Havilland, a Star of Gone With the Wind, Dies at 104” If your knowledge... Read more »

Was pulling Woody Allen's memoir the right thing to do?

As a lawyer and journalist, I was troubled and disturbed when I read about the Hachette book publisher cancelling the publication of Woody Allen’s memoir. Hachette had been on the receiving end of a hailstorm of criticism from Mia Farrow’s son, reporter Ronan Farrow, and some of its own staff, who reportedly staged a walkout... Read more »

Some thoughts on the diminishing relevance of the Oscar ceremony

Quick—name the film that won Best Picture of 2017 (and don’t look it up). Had to look it up, didn’t you? Hollywood stages the Academy Awards. America yawns. Again. I was going to title this post “The Diminishing Relevance of the Oscars,” then I wondered: is it really the award itself, or the ceremony? Winning... Read more »
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Tarantino's Manson movie invites more apprehension than anticipation

When I first read that director Quentin Tarantino was shooting a film centered around the 1969 Charles Manson murder rampage, I rolled my eyes. Why, Quentin, why? Tarantino, the former video store clerk turned directing genius, is one of my favorite filmmakers. But not only has this particular story been done to death (no pun... Read more »

Oscar of Yesteryear: Who Won and Who Should Have Won

<b>1998 Best Picture Winner: SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE.
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein (enough said about him) basically bought the Oscar for this Miramax production. Does anybody even remember this mediocre comedy starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes? If they do it’s most likely for Judi Dench’s Oscar-winning but too-brief appearance as Queen Elizabeth I.  Or for Paltrow in drag as a boy. </b>
Every time the Academy Awards roll around, I can’t help thinking about all the films, actors, and actresses who were more deserving of taking home the Oscar–in my humble opinion–than the ones who actually did. It seems the winners are often not chosen on merit, but on popularity and trendiness. A lot like the cool... Read more »

Freaks, Aliens & Things: Ten Must-See Classic Horror Films

“One of us, one of us…” 

This 1932 film about traveling circus “freaks” is just a little over 60 minutes long, but it’s one of the most profoundly disturbing films ever made. The ending alone makes the movie. The revenge exacted on the cruel and scheming female trapeze artist by the freaks will have you going, “But that can’t be right.”
It’s almost Halloween, my favorite holiday, which means horror movies, my favorite film genre. For years I’ve been reading other people’s top-horror-films-of-all-time lists, and been like, “How could they leave that movie out???” and “Poltergeist, really?” So back by popular demand (well not really, but it’s fun to say that), here are my Top Ten scarefests,... Read more »
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How 'Secret Life of Pets' Helped Me Understand My Cat's Distress

It’s funny how the most seemingly insignificant things like animated movies can give you an “A-ha” moment. I recently saw “The Secret Life of Pets,” a cute movie about urban pets of all kinds and the adventures they get themselves into when their owners are at work. It centers around a contented little terrier named... Read more »

'A Dog's Purpose' Deserves a Chance Despite Controversy

Two recent pet-related films gave me the inspiration for a post. But since covering them both in one would make it way too long, I’m going to break them up over two.  One is “A Dog’s Purpose” and the next one is “The Secret Life of Pets.” I have not seen A Dog’s Purpose. By... Read more »