Blog Archives

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Recommending 2001: A Space Odyssey is always problematic. It’s a difficult film to watch, and not one which should be a casual weeknight choice. Criticisms (often ignored by critics and academics) commonly made against it are accurate: the movie is long, strange, and can be boring to many viewers. The first twenty-five minutes or so

Scarface (1983)

Brian De Palma is a fairly unusual director who oscillates from making great critically-acclaimed films (Carrie), to overrated critically-acclaimed films (Dressed to Kill), to exploitation movies (Sisters), and occasionally mainstream Hollywood fare for good measure (Mission: Impossible). He is one of the ‘70s American New Wave auteurs, and, as such, wears his influences proudly on

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist stands in the pantheon of greatest horror films ever made, maybe even at the top. Much has been made about this film over the years; it was a cultural phenomenon upon release, with some waiting in line for hours to get tickets, and inspired an increasingly secular nation to consider that the devil

Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saturday Night Fever became such an iconic moment in the American pop culture landscape it is easy to overlook exactly why it was popular in the first place. The film has been so often parodied and satirized for the last 39 years that genuinely loving it is a secret guilty pleasure. Believe it or not,

How to Steal a Million (1966)

This movie is just so damn charming. It’s one of those you watch, keep watching, and are not exactly sure why. The film is neither Audrey Hepburn’s best nor Peter O’Toole’s by a long shot, but it has such a simple charisma and cuteness that it lures you in and makes for a nice evening’s

The Shining (1980)

Ok, let’s face it: you should have already seen The Shining. If by some chance of fate, you have missed the opportunity to view this cinematic achievement, it’s streaming on Netflix. No more excuses. You’re probably already familiar with the general plot: guy watches over big empty hotel with his wife and young son over

Bedazzled (1967)

This one’s for fans of witty, dry, British humor. Bedazzled was co-written and co-stars Dudley Moore and Peter Cook, two of the comedians responsible for the wave of British satire in the 1960s. They made the film after their famous run in Beyond the Fringe, but before each had risen to major international stardom. Without

Laura (1944)

Laura is one of the most interesting of the 1940s film noirs. The great genre films, the ones that stand the test of time, are those that are remarkable for both how they adhere to and break from generic conventions. Although this film is titled by the lead female character’s name, the focus isn’t really

The Graduate (1967)

After almost fifty years of accolades and praise it’s hard to imagine some folks out there still haven’t seen The Graduate. If you have yet to enjoy this classic of American cinema, now’s the time. Even for those who have seen it before, the movie is an immersive experience that deserves a second (or third)

The Burbs (1989)

Be forewarned: ‘The Burbs is ridiculous… the best kind of ridiculous. It reaches the level of cinematic insanity where you have no other choice but to sit back, give your brain a well-deserved rest, and laugh for reasons you can’t quite comprehend. Enjoy this film and hate yourself later for being immensely entertained by something