Tuesday, December 29


Directed by Paolo Sorrentino
2015 Comedy Drama
2 hours 3 minutes
From Fox Searchlight Pictures

Michael Caine
Harvey Keitel
Rachel Weisz
Paul Dano
Jane Fonda
Alex Macqueen

Saturday, December 26


Directed by Todd Haynes
2015 Drama
1 hour 58 minutes
From The Weinstein Company

Cate Blanchett
Rooney Mara
Sarah Paulson
Kyle Chandler
Jake Lacy

Friday, December 25


Directed by David O. Russell
2015 Comedy Drama Biography
2 hours, 4 minutes
From 20th Century Fox

Jennifer Lawrence
Robert DeNiro
Edgar Ramirez
Diane Ladd
Isabella Rossellini
Virginia Madsen
Elisabeth Rohm
Bradley Cooper

Tuesday, December 22

Lucy in the 40s

There was a professional life before I Love Lucy.  Lucille Ball  liked to intimate there wasn't.  She said she was washed up in Hollywood when she turned to television and that she had grown tired of making B films.  There were 24 movies in the 40s and a number of good ones.  We know what the lady could do in comedy but she was an actress whose dramatic turns always made me sit up and take notice and whose singing and dancing skills were evident.  Let's notice some of her work from those long-ago days...

Friday, December 18

REVIEW: The Danish Girl

Directed by Tom Hooper
2015 Biographical Drama
2 hours
From Focus Features

Eddie Redmayne
Alicia Vikander
Matthias Schoenaerts
Ben Whishaw
Amber Heard

Tuesday, December 15

Character Actors: Lorre & Greenstreet

They made a whopping 10 films together and that ought to qualify them as a screen team.  Two of those films are world-famous and in the spirit of all good character actors, they gave their films... well, some character.  Both were certified oddballs which made them most recognizable to the public.  When one became aware of their presences in a movie, one knew what to expect.  We could always count on Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet to deliver the goods.

Friday, December 11

REVIEW: In the Heart of the Sea

Directed by Ron Howard
2015 Adventure
2 hours, 1 minute
From Warner Bros

Chris Hemsworth
Benjamin Walker
Cillian Murphy
Brendan Gleeson
Tom Holland
Ben Whishaw
Michelle Fairley
Paul Anderson
Charlotte Riley

Tuesday, December 8

Dana Andrews

One of the most reliable of actors, Dana Andrews could certainly claim the 40s as his decade.  He owes some of his good fortune to the fact that he was exempted from the service because of family status (wife and four kids), allowing him to slide into top roles that very well may have gone to others had they been around.  He is one of the film noir icons but did just as well in family dramas, war films, women's stories, westerns, sci-fi and even a musical. I have immensely liked a number of his films and one of his best roles is in one of my 50 favorites. 

Friday, December 4

Bogie & Bacall's 4 Films Together

What a pair.  There haven't been too many screen teams, let alone married-to-one-another screen teams, to cause this kind of excitement.  The public didn't seem to mind that Humphrey Bogart was 24 years older than Lauren Bacall or that he was married, unhappily so.  They made four films together, three of which were quite wonderful.  There were plans to do more but he died at age 57 in 1957.  It was a fascinating relationship, watched at the time by the entire world, it seems.  We're lucky to have these films to see all the magic they dispersed.

Tuesday, December 1

Good 40s Films: Road House

1948 Film Noir
From 20th Century Fox
Directed by Jean Negulesco

Ida Lupino
Cornel Wilde
Celeste Holm
Richard Widmark