What does Black Snake Moan mean?
As explained in the bonus features on the DVD, the "Black Snake Moan" represents personal demons - the "voice that won't go away."
A God-fearing bluesman Lazarus (Samuel L. Jackson),takes to a wild young woman Rae (Christina Ricci) who, as a victim of childhood abuse, has become the town tramp she looks everywhere for love, never quite finding it.
This is an unusually bold film, but it's also a morality tale. Christina Ricci wears little but a pair of skimpy white underpants as Rae, a properly mixed up Tennessee gal who has an insatiable urge for sex. Lazarus, a local farmer (Samuel L. Jackson), with gold capped teeth, grey hair and woolly beard, has his own problems.
When Lazarus finds Rae lying unconscious from drugs, alcohol and abuse near his property, he takes her in. "God seen fit as to put you in my path and I'm going to take this wickedness out of you," he tells her, wrapping a thick industrial chain around her tiny waist, to keep her from running away. Deception, freedom and redemption all weave themselves into a moody tale that held my attention for most of the time, compounded by Ricci's stunning beauty, striking performance and waif-like appearance.
Ricci is like a wild cat in heat as she struggles to free herself from the heavy chain. Her performance is incredibly fierce and free. It is reminiscent of Ida Lupino's bold, performance as a crazed women who looses her mind in 1940's 'They Drive by Night' or Elizabeth Taylor's performance in a Taming of the Shrew. Christina Ricci's performance is unbridled and gritty. What I would give to have a conversation with her as pick her brain about how Christina prepared to dive so emotionally deep to give such a raw and unflinching performance . She is first a rate actress.
Delightfully outrageous, Black Snake Moan is an explosive mixture of sex, race,and redemption in the Deep South. It may be the most peculiar films I have seen. I love the way that both Samuel Jackson and Christina Ricci take chances pushing the boundaries of the content with there no- holds- bar acting chops. Such movies defy all categories and really need to be experienced. Any of you cats want to barrow my blu-ray I will post it to you. 9/10
When Enola Holmes-Sherlock's teen sister-discovers her mother missing, she sets off to find her, becoming a super-sleuth in her own right as she outwits her famous brother and unravels a dangerous conspiracy around a mysterious young Lord.
Director: Harry Bradbeer Writers: Nancy Springer (novel), Jack Thorne (screenplay) Stars: Millie Bobby Brown, Henry Cavill, Sam Claflin
The film has serious production value. The period piece customs are wonderful. The set design and the outstanding cinematography transport the viewer back in time to England, 1884 - a world on the brink of change. The world of this film is a pleasure to disappear into.
There's a choice make by the production to have Enola break the fourth wall repeatedly throughout "Enola Holmes." She's not always sharing plot information, she also with a wink -and a -nod injects humor almost treating the viewer like a trusted confidant. It works brilliantly as Millie Bobby Brown is able build an emotional connection and becomes a very likable character for our emotional investment.
Millie Bobby Brown brings the teenage sleuth to life , with an energetic and effervescent performance as the smart, cunning and ingenious Enola Holmes . The film is well-made, well-paced and beautifully crafted family feature that has something for everyone to enjoy. And hopefully the first of a series of films.
Rating:PG Genre:Documentary Directed By:Barbara Kopple In Theaters:Jan 23, 1977 Wide On Disc/Streaming:Apr 25, 2006 Runtime:103 minutes
This film chronicles the bitter and violent struggle waged by coal miners during a strike in 1973 in Eastern Kentucky against the Eastover Mining Company. The story focuses on the miners and their families' fight for decent living standards in an area where many still live in shacks with no indoor plumbing and work at jobs with little security and dangerous conditions. Where this film is at its best is where it uses historical footage and traditional labor songs to tie the strike to the larger past, and also where it explores other details of these people's lives health issues , living conditions that aren't specific to the strike.I discovered Hazel Dickens form the film 'Harlan County U.S.A. Fantastic hillbilly singer.
Once more, a wise-guy teenager tries to prove he's smarter than any adult-and nearly destroys the whole world in the process-in WarGames. Computer-game aficionado Matthew Broderick inadvertently taps into a hush-hush Pentagon computer, then proceeds to inaugurate his favorite game, "Global Thermonuclear War".
Matthew Broderick's geek-cool persona is perfectly put to use in WarGames. Ally Sheedy was terrific in the title role working and playing off Broderick to splendid success.
The film builds to a tense (and witty) conclusion at the Cheyenne Mountain nuclear bunker in Colorado Springs. WarGames has a perfect script, stunning special effects and a great soundtrack. This movie belongs in a time capsule of 1980's classics. 9/10
Perseus demigod, son of Zeus, battles the minions of the underworld to stop them from conquering heaven and earth.
Writers:Travis Beacham (screenplay), Phil Hay (screenplay)
Stars:Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes
Must say right off the bat that there is no Ray Harryhausen here. The 1981 original will always be my favorite "sentimental" version;hard to beat Stop-motion animation from Harryhausen. That being said....once I reconciled this in my brain I really started to enjoy this remake. This isn't nearly as bad as it's reputation. Quite the contrary. The film has a lot going for it.
The picture quality is very good. 3D aspect is fair. Many of the landscape sections have plenty of that gimmicky depth that so many people seem to like. There are some strange distortions here and there, like scenes where there are crowds of people having a weird embossed look. I watched the film twice Fist in 3D than in 2D format . It's still good enough for me that it's a distinct improvement over the 2D for the 3D enthusiast like my self.
I enjoy just about any Greek mythology flick about the gods. The story is very loosely based on the Greek myth of Perseus. Sam Worthington played a good brooding Perseus. How does't like Liam Neeson as Zeus, the man just delivers in every role he takes on . Mads Mikkelsen brought his usual charisma . Gemma Arterton as love interest for Perseus was a standout. The beauty of Andromeda has brought to life from the stunningly beautiful Alexa Davalos .
The audio is a thunderous and special effects CGI , action sequences are excellent. On that basis alone, it's an enjoyable film.
Dudley Nichols (screen play), Lamar Trotti (screen play)
Will Rogers, Anne Shirley, Irvin S. Cobb, Berton Churchill---------Enjoyable John Ford / Will Rogers period piece of steamboat captain (Rogers) who pilots a ramshackle floating waxworks museum, from which he also dispenses highly alcoholic cure-all medicine. Anne Shirley is particularly good as swamp girl taken in by Roy Rogers. Berton Churchill shines in comic role of river prophet "The New Moses." Climactic steamboat race is a gem. Released posthumously after Will Rogers' tragic death in a plan crash. His memorial is in my home town of Colorado Springs Colorado minutes from my home . 'The Will Rogers Shrine'. Every quarter of an hour an on the hour the shine plays large church style bells in various melodic tunes.
Premiered at the opening night of the Venice Film Festival. It was the first 3D picture to open the festival.
GRAVITY was honored with an American Film Institute Award in 2013 - recognizing it as one of the 10 outstanding films deemed culturally and artistically representative of the year's most significant achievements in the art of the moving image. In addition to Sandra Bullock's Oscar-nominated performance as Dr. Ryan Stone, the film also stars George Clooney - a recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award.
GRAVITY was nominated for 10 Academy Awards. The film took home seven Oscars at the 2014 ceremony, including Best Director for Alfonso Cuarón and Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki. Cuarón is one of two directors who has taken home the Oscar for Best Director, but whose films have never won Best Picture.
Movie Trivia DID YOU KNOW? Director Alfonso Cuarón was inspired by John Sturges' film MAROONED in the making of GRAVITY.
DID YOU KNOW? Originally, Natalie Portman was going to portray the character of Dr. Ryan Stone. When Portman moved on to another project, Sandra Bullock stepped into the role and garnered an Academy Award® nomination for her performance.
DID YOU KNOW? Director Alfonso Cuarón and his team - including visual effects supervisor Tim Webber and cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki - invented techniques to create "elastic shots," combining live action, computer-generated imagery (CGI), computerized robots and a custom-made, 20 by 10 foot cube "light box," containing panels fitted with 4,096 LED lights. Each of the lights had individual controls, projecting beams on the faces of Sandra Bullock and George Clooney to indicate their characters' environment. Action inside the "light box" was filmed with an Arri Alexa digital camera, but 80 percent of the picture was animated by computer, even the clear visors of the actors' spacesuits.
DID YOU KNOW? Unofficially advised by NASA, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and the visual effects crew worked to portray the 90-minute duration of daytime that is consistent with orbits around Earth, and matched light sources with the characters' location above their home planet - including "cool blue lights" when they were orbiting over the ocean and "warmer colors" reflecting the African desert.
DID YOU KNOW? Another innovation of the production was a 12-wire rig with a carbon-fiber harness, in which Sandra Bullock was controlled by puppeteers and filmed by various cameras on a motion-control rig to portray tumbling through space. It was challenging to comfortably position the actors in their harnesses and maintain the impression of weightlessness. According to Bullock, she was isolated and whipped around for prolonged periods of time, but she filtered her solitude and duress back into her performance.
DID YOU KNOW? Many of the film's sound effects were recorded with contact microphones at automobile factories and hospitals.
DID YOU KNOW? In GRAVITY, the voice of Mission Control at the start of the film is none other than Ed Harris, who played actual mission director Gene Kranz in APOLLO 13 and John Glenn in THE RIGHT STUFF.
DID YOU KNOW? Glenn Freemantle, who won the Oscar® for Best Achievement in Sound Editing, achieved his distinct sound by recording vibrations. He said, "We even had an acoustic guitar in a tub of water...we put contact mics on the guitar, we put them on the sides of the bars, we put hydrophones inside it and then we would touch, all different things against the bodies of the guitar...to get the sounds that you hear in the film."
This film is a winner with epic action and tantalizing drama .
A young Chinese maiden disguises herself as a male warrior in order to save her father.
The cinematography is absolutely gorgeous .Filming taking place in New Zealand and China. With a production budget of $200 million, it is the most expensive film ever made by a female director.
Director: Niki Caro Writers: Rick Jaffa (screenplay by), Amanda Silver Stars: Yifei Liu, Donnie Yen, Li Gong, Jet Li
Amazing set pieces. Every frame is like a work of art , stunning to look at . The film score is top notch . This film is not a musical and that decision to remake Mulan (2020) as a historical action drama really pays off in the end .Bringing the audience a fresh and new cinematic experience differentiating this fresh story from the charming Mulan (1998) American animated musical original.
The action and martial arts fight sequences are very well done. Yifei Liu as the live action Mulan I read did 90% of her own stunt work . She rides horseback , wields a sword (Single-handed jian and scabbard of the 18th-19th century.) very convincingly. These are the type of skills the casting director were looking for specifically when they interviewed over a thousand candidates for the role of Mulan. Yifei Liu is perfection in her role. Her acting is some what "stoic" which in my opinion represent the Chinese culture perfectly. Yifei Liu was tremendous bringing the legend of Mulan to life .
Disney's live-action adaptation of Mulan has earned a PG-13 rating. This would make Mulan the first of Disney's live-action films - based off of animated classics - to earn above a PG rating. This brings in the needed drama and action ramping up the intensity and grit to really make this film shine. I thoroughly enjoyed this epic-scale story about the power of being yourself in a world not ready to accept that, a tale that will likely always have resonance." 8/10
Directors: John Huston, Raoul Walsh (uncredited) Writers: Howard Koch (screenplay), Ellen Glasgow (novel) Stars: Bette Davis, Olivia de Havilland-------
This is an impressively splendid melodrama. Featuring two of Hollywood's greatest actresses (both dual Oscar winners) in Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. Stanley (Bette Davis) and Roy (Olivia de Havilland) Timberlake are sisters. (The origin of their masculine names is never explained). Stanley is a wild thing famous for careening around in the car her uncle gave her. Spoiled rotten, the wealthy Stanley runs roughshod over her sister. The day before her wedding (Davis) steals her sister's (De Havilland) husband. The limit comes when Stanley, driving in excess of the speed limit, strikes two pedestrian causing serious Carnage.
Bette Davis better is at best when she is bad; and she is really rotten here. Olivia De Havilland's calm and lady-like but strong performance is a perfect foil to Davis's histrionics. .Ms. De Havilland is an actress that always played convincingly in everything she did, as is the case here. It was such a treat to watch two of Hollywood's greatest actresses on screen together. 8/10
Director: Jerry Lewis Writers: Jerry Lewis, Bill Richmond Stars: Jerry Lewis, Milton Berle, Sammy Davis Jr. , Zane Buzby, ,Milton Berle, Foster Brooks, Dick Butkus
Jerry Lewis reprises his previous movie persona, this time as Warren Nefron, a man unable to successfully kill himself, while Herb Edelman is Dr. Jonas Pletchick, the psychiatrist out to cure him of his failure, in this Jerry's signature ,absolutely hilarious slapstick comedy.
It's so clear to see how he influence modern comedian Jim Carrey it's uncanny . Many of Lewis' past routines crop up again through the device of flashbacks, as he sits in the doctor's office and remembers vignettes from his past. It was only released theatrically overseas under its original title, Smorgasboard. The film was released in France. As usual, the French love his humor and flocked to see this film when it was first released.
It's a bizarre, nearly avant-garde exercise in stringing together gags and, then of course, pushing those gags to surreal excess. I found the 'Smorgasbord' to be extremely hilarious and really showcase Jerry's brilliance as a writer and comedic actor.
Some of the best scenes were ; Jerry witnesses a bank robbery. The head crook (also played by Jerry) notices the bank's security cameras. The criminals become obsessed with the security cameras and perform an elaborate dance routine in front of them. The police arrive and join the dance. Another hilarious scene his shrink tells Lewis "He's playing with half deck"; "He doesn't have both oars in the water";"You've made too many Swan dives into empty pools"! Smorgasbord the last feature film written and directed by Jerry Lewis turns out to be one of his best comedic films . 9/10
It's such a fun zombie movie, I'm amazed it didn't get a full theatrical release.
Ving Rhames, Nick Cannon, and Mena Suvari star in director Steve Miner (Friday the 13th Part II, Halloween: H20)'s remake of the apocalyptic gore-fest that originally concluded George A. Romero's zombie trilogy back in 1985. A small American town has been infected with a deadly virus, and the military is determined to contain the sickness by establishing quarantine. When the situation spirals out of control and the infected residents develop a taste for human flesh, the military and surviving residents must band together to battle an enemy whose goal is not simply to kill, but to consume as well.
Director: Donna Deitch Writers: Jane Yolen (novel), Robert J. Avrech (teleplay) Stars: Kirsten Dunst, Brittany Murphy, Paul Freeman
Hannah Stern (Kirsten Dunst), an American-born Jewish adolescent, is uninterested in the culture, faith and customs of her relatives; however, Hannah begins to reevaluate her heritage when she has a supernatural experience that transports her back to a Nazi death camp in 1941. There, she meets a young girl named Rivkah (Brittany Murphy), a fellow captive in the camp. As Rivkah and Hannah struggle to survive in the face of daily atrocities, they form an unbreakable bond.
Overall, the films art direction, cinematography and story line remained consistently good throughout the film. Excellent acting and no glossing over what happened in the camps.
Of the many holocaust-related movies, this film is unique in its transportation of a modern girl into 1940s Poland. It is very well done, contrasting the frivolous modern lifestyle with the hardships of the 1940s.
Death Wish 3, holy shit balls, what a mindfuck this movie was. It's like they decided to just go all out and say "Fuck it! Let's give 'em something they'll remember!", as opposed to it's restrained hard-edged approach in the first two films in the series. Death Wish 3 is nuts, in the best possible way.
Architect/vigilante Paul Kersey takes on the members of a vicious Los Angeles drug cartel to stop the flow of drugs after his girlfriend's daughter dies from an overdose.
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Writers: Brian Garfield (characters), Gail Morgan Hickman
Stars: Charles Bronson, Kay Lenz, John P. Ryan
Charles Bronson is best known, of course, as an onscreen badass, a pistol-wielding action hero who was making chumps quake in their shoes long before Schwarzenegger and and Willis. Bronson make them both look like pussies :-)
Bronson, to his credit, delivers yet another solid performance. It's effortless. He plays calm and cool like nobody else, almost to the point of being a robot. But when he puts on the charm, or has that little twinkle in his eye, he can make you forget he's about to kill you. By this time, Bronson is showing some serious age, yet it doesn't slow him down or prevent him from being a bad.a.s.s. Quite the contrary, age and experience has only made him more capable. It's hard to think of anyone else in this role.
Death Wish IV is one of my favorite Death Wish films. It's 80's Trash through and through and it's glorious; in the same kind of way Rocky IV and Rambo III are awesome, because they perfectly capture the extreme cheesy part of the 80's decade, and relish in it's absurdity. Death Wish sequels are solidly entertaining in an ironic, so-bad-it's-good, what-the-hell-were- we-thinking-in-the-1980s kind of way.
Howard Hawks's "Bringing Up Baby" is the go-to example of screwball comedy that critics and film-lovers reference most as the definitive model of the genre. Quirky, original, perfectly timed, and with hilarious performances from the likes of Cary Grant and the incomparable Katharine Hepburn. It has been said that Hepburn struggled with a comedy performance, but as a mark of her talent, this never shows through. She is absolutely brilliant in this movie, blending slapstick, witty repartee, and even a little 'come hither' romance in a wild, frenetic script. She even does a mean gangster impression towards the end. Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and a leopard, hey, what more could you want? One of the highest high points of the entire screwball comedy genre, with its sharp script and wonderfully balanced leads. Recommended for all. This film is an absolute joy. 10/10
Director: Walter Grauman Writer: Luther Davis Stars: Olivia de Havilland, James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley---------
Released during the period when aging actresses were being recruited for pulpy thrillers, this movie is probably the least horrific of the bunch, but it's pulpy AF. It features Olivia de Havilland, Ann Sothern, Scatman Crothers, and a very young James Caan doing his best Brando impression. The opening credits themselves are a paradigm of insane imagery and sounds of rotten America: a young African-American girl running her roller skates on a sleeping bum's legs; a radio announcer laments "Is there an anti-Satan missile?"; and a dead dog rots in the middle of a busy suburban street. The movie is a mess. Massive plot points are left unresolved. The acting is ludicrously broad. And the characterizations are wildly over-the-top.
And yet, I love it. It's pulpy lunacy that descends into batshit crazy chaos. From the credits ripped off from Saul Bass to the score ripped off from the Twilight Zone. This film, along with "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?" transcended the genre. Olivia de Havilland plays a inappropriately doting mother of a grown man, and she becomes trapped in her private elevator when the power goes out on the holiday weekend. Her house is then invaded by a crazy wino with "repent" tattooed on his hands, a "plump" prostitute played by Ann Sothern, a one-eyed pawnbroker, and a trio of teenage junkies led by James Caan sporting pantyhose on his head. They bathe, fight and kill each other while de Havilland quotes her own overwrought and melodramatic poetry to herself ("He who unleashes the terror, reaps the terror!"). Occasionally she pleads with them, "I'll pay you to stop this animal orgy!". And she even pities them, "You're one of the bits of awful produced by the welfare state. You're what so much of my tax money goes to feed and care for." Olivia de Havilland is still stunning beautiful ; she was 47 during filming.
Lady in a Cage holds up as an entertaining, overwrought piece of shlock cinema. Little is known about its origins or production. Here's hoping a bluray release soon emerges with an updated transfer and some bonus content.
This Spider-Man movie is the first Spider-Man movie in the Marvel canon. The prior two Spider-Man franchises are irrelevant to this series. Spider-Man, introduced in Captain America: Civil War, is part of the final phase of the Marvel Universe leading up to Avengers: The Infinity War/Endgame. Marvel opted to skip the origin story of Spider-Man and instead, framed this film to be more of a coming of age tale for Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his quest to become part of the Avengers.
Technically the film is very impressive from start to finish and there are some truly great scenes scattered throughout the picture. The action scenes are all highly exciting and it's the perfect use of CGI.
The performance by Holland was excellent and I thought he was perfect during the scenes where the character is actually being a nerd and conflicted with various emotions. Keaton was also great in his role as he perfectly played the villain. Robert Downey, Jr. could sleepwalk in his role as Tony Stark and was fun as usual.
It's nice light comic book fare. Others in the cast involve: Marisa Tomei as Peter Parker's Aunt May; Gwyneth Paltrow appears as Pepper Potts, Tony Stark's assistant/girlfriend; Chris Evans reprises his role as Captain America appearing in educational PSA videos that Peter ends up watching during school; John Favreau reprises his role as Happy Hogan, head of security for the Avengers; and Disney star Zendaya plays one of Peter's classmates. 8/10
Legendary film director, Sam Peckinpah directs Western film legends, Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea in this magnificent Western adventure filmed on location in the Inyo National Forest near Bishop, California. Scott and McCrea are two aging lawmen hired to guard a gold shipment, and rescue a beautiful mistreated bride from a family of gun-blazing brothers. Both Scott and McCrea are at their best in their seperate careers, along with beautiful scenery photographed by cinematographer, Lucien Ballard, and flawless performances. Also starring Mariette Hartley, Ronald Starr, Edgar Buchanan, R.G. Armstrong, James Drury, John Anderson, L.Q. Jones, Warren Oates, John Davis Chandler, Jenie Jackson, Percy Helton, Byron Foulger, Michael T. Mikler & Frank Hagney. This was Randolph Scott's last film. Randolph Scott died on March 2, 1987.
Director: Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr.
Writers: Jack H. Harris (original idea), Dan E. Weisburd
Stars: Ward Ramsey, Paul Lukather, Kristina Hanson--------
Dinosaurus! comes from producer Jack H. Harris and director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. Harris and Irvin S. Yeaworth had previously collaborated on the quintessential 1950s B-budget monster movie The Blob (1958) and had then gone onto make the quite good phantom mad scientist effort The 4D Man (1959). Dinosaurus! would be their third and final collaboration together.
Dinosaurus! came on the tail end of the 1950s cycle of revived dinosaur films that began with The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms (1953). Hurricane pulls up perfectly preserved dinosaur bodies from the ocean floor; Tyrannosaur and Brontosaurus, and a caveman. Lightning strikes, dinosaurs come to lift and terrorize bad actors. Caveman comes to life also, befriends kid, and ends up riding the brontosaurus. Dinosaurus! has a fairly awful reputation but contrarily I rather liked it.
The special effects come from Tim Baar, Wah Chang and Gene Warren. The dinosaurs (there's only two ) are of the stop motion variety and you won't ever mistake them as being done by legendary effects man Ray Harryhausen.
The juvenile nature of the film, along with some naff neanderthal-based comedy, make it just a little too cloying at times, but as a fan of dinosaur movies in general, and especially those that make use of stop motion animation, I couldn't help but be entertained.