Essays

Midnight Run by Martin Brest

The buddy action film is one of the key genres in the movies.  It is also one of the trickiest.  Meant to appeal primarily to men, they too often substitute wisecracks for characterization, violence for insights.  Worst of all, they constantly push macho buttons as a way of avoiding the horrible fear that someone might find the relationship on display as (gasp) homoerotic.

The Ten Commandments by Oscar B. DeMille

There comes a moment in every movie when you have to decide whether you are going to stay the course or go looking for something else to do.  This doesn’t always mean that the movie has given you a great scene to grip your heart, or a bad scene that makes you wonder if doing a puzzle of a polar bear eating vanilla ice cream in a blizzard might not be a more rewarding use of your time.  It simply means that your attention ha

Witness by Peter Weir

Anyone who has ever sat through a college English course has heard this drone: “There are only (fill in the blank) stories out there.  Every one you read is just a variation.”  In my time, I have heard that fill-in-the-blank amount range everywhere from seven to twenty-one so I have no fixed number to offer.  What I do know is that there are core stories that act as the basis for the vast majority of the tales we tell.

A Face in the Crowd Directed by Elia Kazan

A Face in the Crowd Directed by Elia Kazan
By Ron Falzone

A media star, imbued with a love of self even greater than his disdain for everyone else, parlays his on-air popularity into a rapid climb to political power.  It is only when he attains his highest position does the full measure of his antipathy become apparent to his worshipful followers.

The year is 1957.

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