Stallone Month: Victory, aka Escape to Victory

The Vietnam War wreaked havoc on the United States — its sense of self-worth; its trust in leadership, both civilian and military; and its ideas of what constitute heroism. Vietnam was the first war we fought where the awful violence wasn’t hidden from us. It was also our first tick in the loss column. There are a whole host of complex emotions that war put us through. It’s no surprise, then, that war films made after the Vietnam War ended are quite different than those that came before. There were still a few holdouts, however — anachronisms from the earlier style. Continue readingStallone Month: Victory, aka Escape to Victory”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

Today Shitty Movie Sundays is featuring another Irwin Allen disaster flick. What makes this one different is that Allen wasn’t just the producer of today’s film. He also directed. It wasn’t his first time in the director’s chair, having helmed a couple of halfway decent sci-fi flicks in the past. But, I don’t think it would have made much difference who was at the helm for this stinker. John Ford could have directed this flick and it still would be packed to the gills with stupid. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Beyond the Poseidon Adventure”

The Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention

Christopher Nolan has wrapped up his epic interpretation of the Batman saga, and the viewing public has benefited greatly. After two of the most epic and well-made superhero films of all time, and fine films in their own right, the tale comes to an end this summer. Nolan, and his screenwriter brother Jonathan, should be credited with legitimizing and dragging into believability an aged franchise that at times wears its history and legacy as a seventy-year-old burden. Continue reading “The Foam Rubber Wholesalers Convention”

The Empty Balcony: Mona Lisa

Mona Lisa isn’t a typical British gangster film. Many of the hallmarks are there, to be sure. Gritty London scenery, almost impenetrable accents, and Michael Caine and Bob Hoskins. But many of the things a viewer expects from the plot of a British gangster film are absent. There’s no big heist being planned. There’s no grisly murder to revolve the story around. There’s violence at times, but it isn’t the gratuitous kind. It doesn’t rule the film. When it comes, it’s a necessary outcome of the story. Mona Lisa tells a story wrapped within a recognizable genre, but it uses that genre as a tool to tell the tale of a complex personal relationship. Continue readingThe Empty Balcony: Mona Lisa”