The Western Story – Part 2: Beyond the Frontier

Over time, the Western films of Hollywood expanded outwards. Many were made in Europe by Italian and Spanish directors (Spaghetti Westerns). Some were adaptations of Japanese Samurai films (The Magnificent Seven). Some were set in Mexico and required drugs to understand (El Topo). Even Communist Eastern Europeans were fond of making their own Westerns that … Continue reading The Western Story – Part 2: Beyond the Frontier

Midnight Movies, Part 3 – Warren Oates as the Cockfighter

Okay, first things first: cockfighting, as with any blood sport that encourages cruelty towards animals, is disgusting and inhumane. For those who don’t know (and are expecting something euphemistic here), a cockfight involves two specifically bred roosters, sometimes strapped with razor blades to their feet, placed in a ring to brawl, often to the death, … Continue reading Midnight Movies, Part 3 – Warren Oates as the Cockfighter

Saturday Afternoon Movies, Part 7 – Hell and High Water (1954 Samuel Fuller)

As Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) reminded us, America in the 1950s could be an uncomfortable and unpleasant time. Not yet fully recovered from the physical horrors of World War II and deep into the psychological terror that was spread about Communism and the threat of nuclear war, this was … Continue reading Saturday Afternoon Movies, Part 7 – Hell and High Water (1954 Samuel Fuller)

War Films, What Are They Good For?

Absolutely everything! Well, when they are done well that is. One fresh example is They Shall Not Grow Old, Peter Jackson’s recent, extraordinary and awe-inspiring documentary presenting World War I footage. Painstakingly restored with colour and realistic sounds added, this film is composed entirely of archival footage from the British National Museum and a soundtrack … Continue reading War Films, What Are They Good For?

The Two Reviews: Us and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs

Us (2019, Monkeypaw Productions and Blumhouse Productions) Written and directed by Jordan Peele. Music by Michael Abels. Featuring Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, and Tim Heidecker. The brilliant Jordan Peele returns to the director’s chair with another horror film. This time about a family holidaying in Santa Cruz, California … Continue reading The Two Reviews: Us and The Ballad of Buster Scruggs