King's X- It's Love

Never saw this band live, but another very underrated band.


The Wrong Man (12)

A trailer for a pretty good film.

The Wrong Man (11)

The Wrong Man (10)

The Wrong Man (9)

The Wrong Man (8)

The Wrong Man (7)

The Wrong Man (6)

The Wrong Man (5)

The Wrong Man (4)

The Wrong Man (3)

The Wrong Man (2)

The Wrong Man (1)


THX 1138 (9)

THX 1138 (8)

THX 1138 (7)

THX 1138 (6)

THX 1138 (5)

THX 1138 (4)

THX 1138 (3)

THX 1138 (2)

THX 1138 (1)

It's hard to believe the numbskull who brought the world the Star Wars crap also made this literate and provocative film.


Yukio Mishima Docs.

Been watching some of these docs on Mishima. He was only 5'1" and hence the bodybuilding and machismo. I'm reading his books now and he's an excellent writer, just very troubled and weird in his suicidal beliefs.


Rope Trailer

J.Audiard's A Prophet (2009)

I just saw it yesterday in one of the theaters around here. A Prophet got overwhelming positive reviews, in addition to the Grand Prix at Cannes 2009 and the BAFTA for best film Not in the English language.
Though the story of a young guy surviving prison was told a million times before, A Prophet is a well-told story, the main characters (a young French-Arab and an a middle-age French-Italian mobster) are given all time needed to grow and mature and that's the movie's strongest aspect. Unfortunately Audiard's pretentious use of Islamic religious references (mostly verses from Koran, ghostly appearances, and the movie title itself ) reveals his (as expected) ignorance in this aspect. He also claimed in an interview that he wanted to draw attention to Arabs in a different way, but he didn't: this movie is not about Arabs in France or Europe, it's about a specific Arab guy who -during his prison time- wasn't accepted by the two major mobs inside (an Islamic, and an Italian one) for very specific reasons. In addition all the scenes that had ghosts or visions of religious aspects didn't advance or add to the narrative anything (more of a distraction).
Overall it belongs to the same category of European movies ready-to-digest abroad, like The Lives of Others a few years back (though the latter was a better work).

Quick Review:



Strangers On A Train Trailer

An underrated film.

Strangers On A Train (10)

Strangers On A Train (9)

Strangers On A Train (8)

Strangers On A Train (7)

Strangers On A Train (6)

Strangers On A Train (5)

Strangers On A Train (4)

Strangers On A Train (3)

Strangers On A Train (2)

Strangers On A Train (1)


The 39 Steps (10)

The 39 Steps (9)

The 39 Steps (8)

The 39 Steps (7)

The 39 Steps (6)

The 39 Steps (5)

The 39 Steps (4)

The 39 Steps (3)

The 39 Steps (2)

The 39 Steps (1)


Ebert & Marty’s Top 10 of the ’90s

Here’s an interesting clip where they discuss their Top 10 of the ’90s. Kudos to Scorsese for including The Thin Red Line and Eyes Wide Shut.

Hitchcock's The Lodger (9)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (8)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (7)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (6)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (5)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (4)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (3)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (2)

Hitchcock's The Lodger (1)

I first saw this film in the late 1980s, when I first started getting into VHS and films. It's actually quite good, and in many ways surpasses Hitch's 1930s era efforts.


Frenzy- Potato Truck

Frenzy was one of Alfred Hitchcock's later films, and as such it is generally overlooked in his canon. But, in many ways it's a more realistic depiction of a killer than Psycho. That said, Psycho is the superior film.

In my review of the film I wrote:

While many of Hitchcock’s earlier films on murderers are outdated, due to psychological and forensic advancements- even Psycho seems somewhat quaint, Frenzy is fully modern. Rusk keeps trophies of his victims, and even revels in the framing of his friend, to prove his ‘superiority’, especially to Blaney. There are also very subtle clues to Rusk’s deviance early on- such as a glimpse of his wacky mother (ala Psycho and Strangers On A Train), and the plot does unfold believably, not at a Hollywood modern computer game pace, which only points out the flaws toward the end. Hitchcock also revels in real locations like never before. 1970s London looks and feels the way Charles Dickens may have viewed it had he lived a century later. The city is, perhaps, the central character of the film, and lends a realism to Frenzy that many earlier Hitchcock films lack. The only backscreens used are in a few shots from moving vehicles.

Yes, there are a few other flaws, such as Brenda’s odd impassivity as she is being raped and killed, and a few logical problems, mostly plot holes that are ‘resolved’ by the lowest common denominator law of ‘the dumbest possible action’; but compared to standard Hollywood fare, Frenzy is a near-masterpiece, not only as a genre film, but it is the rare Hitchcock film that probes its characters’ psychological depths with a modern realism. That such a formulaic (in the best sense) director was still evolving and adding things like forensic psychology and new camera tricks to his repertoire so late in his career only makes one wonder just how far his oeuvre would have come were he still alive and making films today. Now there’s a really scary thought!

It is true, that i think Hitchcock, in a sense, would have been a better filmmaker if born in a more modern era. Too much of his work is tied down by its reliance on plodding plots and absurd characterizations, due to Freudianism. Frenzy, while not a great film, is definitely a pointer in the direction that a Hitchcock, born in the 1930s, may have headed.

Frenzy Clip

Frenzy Trailer


The Monkees' Head

I've never seen the full film of Head, but I've heard that it's the rare thing that was made by The Monkees that critics did not, and do not, savagely rip.

Yes, I know the band were dubbed The Pre-Fab Four (ala The Beatles), and most of their best songs they did not write. And, yes, only Peter Tork and Mike Nesmith were 'real' musicians. But, the end result is what counts, and at their best The Monkees' best music is on par with the best of any pop band of the 1960s. After all, with folks like Neil Diamond and Carole King writing songs for you, that's a great plus. And given today's American Idol craze, it's kind of silly to think how much vitriol the band engendered over their pre-fab roots.

I grew up watching reruns of their tv show, and it was head and shoulders above the puerility of the films put out by The Beatles, for these guys were actors, and music videos were their real, a decade and a half before MTV.

Yes, I'll be looking for this film online to review. If you beat me to it, let me know your thoughts.

The Doors, Live At The Hollywood Bowl

While this film, which was a big video hit in the VHS days of the 1980s and 1990s, has never taken on the legendary qualities of Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains The Same, it is a quality concert, and gives an 'in' to one of the top rock bands of that era.

Jim Morrison, the lead singer, was, without a doubt, the best lyricist of the last 50 years. Having said that, he was not a good poet. His lyrics, in fact, were better than most of his 'straight' poetry, for they left emotional voids and questions that only the music could fill in. Like a screenplay to a film, lyrics form the skeleton of a good song, with the music as the flesh.

John Densmore, on drums, and Robbie Krieger, on guitar, were solid musicians, but the core of the group was always Morrison and Ray Manzarek, the keyboardist. While Morrison provided the lyrics, most of the songs the group was most well known for were riffs that Manzarek came up with, along with the improvs of Morrison.

While this posting has the main concert, the VHS copies, especially bootlegs, had raunchier songs and Morrison cursing and doing some raunchy things.

Watch the film and see what you think.

The Song Remains The Same

Ok, having been born in the mid 1960s, is there any doubt what rock group I would name as the greatest in history?

No, The Beatles were pop. The Rolling Stones were rock, but never hard rock. The Who was hard rock, but never heavy metal. Only one group, amongst the Big Four in the pantheon of rock music super bands was all of those things, and a quick comparison of the catalogs of the four groups shows that Led Zeppelin was, by far, the most musically diverse and innovative.

The Beatles were great pop singers, but they did not invent pop music. The Stones were bad boys, but was Mick Jagger ever as bad as The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis? The Who did invent something, but, well, rock opera is the sort of thing that was ripe for parody from the start.

But, only Led Zeppelin invented a genre, heavy metal, and while some contemporaries jumped on the bandwagon, and went even heavier (Black Sabbath, Deep Purple), none were as diverse. Led Zeppelin III (the first LP I ever owned) shows how great a band this was, and, ironically, it's often thought of as one of their worst albums.

But, The Song Remains The Same is still the ultimate rock concert film. Yes, the Beatles and The Monkees did 'rock' films, and the Stones filmed their Altamont concert, and Woodstock was a socially relevant film of the concert, but this film set the standard for rock lore; so much so that a decade after its release it was the basis for much of Rob Reiner's This Is Spinal Tap mockumentary.

Watch it yourself and you'll see I'm right.


Marnie (15)

Marnie (14)

Marnie (13)

Marnie (12)

Marnie (11)

Marnie (10)

Marnie (9)

Marnie (8)

Marnie (7)

Marnie (6)

Marnie (5)

Marnie (4)

Marnie (3)

Marnie (2)

Marnie (1)

Marnie Opening

Marnie was one of Alfred Hitchcock'a lesser films, both in terms of popularity and quality. It's not a bad film, but there's nothing that really liftes it out of the ordinary.

In fact, until I did a link in this post for it, I had trouble recalling it's narrative:

While the film flopped at the box office, latter day critics have tried to overcompensate for this fact by declaring the film a masterpiece. It’s not, but it is a good, solid film that is better than originally thought. Its first hour is a nearly flawless study of a female thief, Marnie Edgar (Hedren)- aka Margaret Edgar, Peggy Nicholson, and Mary Taylor, who is sort of what the Janet Leigh character in Psycho may have become had she not been killed so early in that film. Her development is evenly paced and believable, never forced nor rushed. Then, when Marnie is caught by her boss, a widower named Mark Rutland (Sean Connery), and blackmailed into marriage, the film goes downhill, as Marnie’s freakouts over the color red, highlighted by Hitchcock’s over the top usage of red fade-ins and interludes (compare them with Ingmar Bergman’s similar later technique in Cries And Whispers), lead to even greater and sillier melodrama.

This is what really kills the film, penned by Jay Presson Allen, from the novel by Winston Graham. The screenplay and its length- 131 minutes, are just too much, for while one can accept the outmoded technical devices Hitchcock reveled in- such as matte paintings and background screens for rear projections, the gobbledygook stew of guilt and possible sexual abuse is too much, especially given all that has come to light in the intervening decades. By film’s end we learn that Marnie is scarred not only by possible sexual abuse by one of he prostitute mother’s johns, a sailor (Bruce Dern), but also with the fact that she bashed in the man’s skull as he was fighting with her mother- one of the many filmic adaptations and twists of the then recent real life melodrama of Lana Turner and Johnny Stompanato. The sight of all the blood from the dead man’s skull traumatized young Marnie. Her mother, Bernice Edgar (Louise Latham), whose back was permanently injured in the tussle, took the blame for the killing, and Marnie blocked the whole thing out. Ok, so far, a believable premise. Also that Marnie is a frigid manhater is believable, even if the man is a hunky young Sean Connery. But, how the sexual abuse or murder twisted her into a pathological liar, thief (suffering from kleptomania?), and safecracker is simply fantasy, even if all her victims are men.

But, one can go with that- with a suspension of disbelief, if the rest of the tale played out better and more realistically. We see Mark wants to help his love, but why does he even love her? He has his own sister-in-law, Lil Mainwaring (Diane Baker), hot for him, and she is not nearly as laden with psychological baggage as Marnie is, even if she does vindictively set Marnie up for a confrontation with a man, Sidney Strutt (Martin Gabel), whom Mark realized was Marnie’s former employer she stole from, and has to dissuade from prosecuting her. Yet, Mark is as obsessed with her as she is with stealing from men. Then, two thirds of the way through the film, he hires a private eye- never seen onscreen, and easily reveals all the pieces at the end, when he confronts Marnie and her mother, and Marnie breaks down blubbering in an overwrought baby voice. That flush of a toilet you just heard was the screenplay.

Having said that, it's one of those films whose best purpose is likely to serve as a guide to better fare by the director.

Marnie 'Rape' Scene


Scorsese's Shutter Island

I don't consider Scorsese a great artist, he definitely had great moments (Taxi Driver, After Hours), OK moments (Goodfellas), bad moments (Departed).... but Shutter Island is -by far- one of his worst. I never expected I'd compare him to Shyamalan but I couldn't escape it. Shutter Island has all the ingredients of a Shymalan's, and if I was to guess who directed it I'd think of him instead of Scorsese. By ingredients I mean the Cartoonish feel and cinematography, the plastic acting, the pretentious attempt to have a depth (whether in narrative or characters), and of course.... the twist by the end. And -unlike what's promoted- it's a silly and predictable one. After years now I think the only good twist that Scorsese achieved was going that low in movie making. Is it age? I think it is... you get more emotional with age I guess, unlike the claimed "wisdom"... in fact no artist or movie maker got any better at advanced age.

American Boy

The whole film.

American Boy- Ethyl & Regular

American Prince Trailer

American Boy Trailer

Interesting little doc from Marty, on the fellow who played Easy Andy in Taxi Driver.


Osaka Elegy (7)

Osaka Elegy (6)

Osaka Elegy (5)

Osaka Elegy (4)

Osaka Elegy (3)

Osaka Elegy (2)

Osaka Elegy (1)

This is an early Kenji Mizoguchi film, with some good moments but unsure technique. Compared to masterpieces like Sansho The Bailiff and Ugetsu, this is like watching a sketch of greater things to come, a Protoceratops vs. a Triceratops.

Woody Woodpecker

Early version of the bird where he was really Screwball!

Chuck Jones On Charlie Rose

Skip the first segment, with The Yutz From Yale, and hit Chuck!

Chuck Jones Classic

Really inventive; too bad so few cartoons in any era were not like this, save perhaps the Bullwinkle cartoons.


Chuck Jones Documentary (9)

Chuck Jones Documentary (8)

Sorry, but part 7 was disabled for embeding

Chuck Jones Documentary (6)

Chuck Jones Documentary (5)

Chuck Jones Documentary (4)

Chuck Jones Documentary (3)

Chuck Jones Documentary (2)

Chuck Jones Documentary (1)

Chuck Jones Interview (3)

Chuck Jones Interview (2)

Chuck Jones Interview (1)