Drama · Science Fiction

The Brave Person in Every Sci-Fi Movie

Something we admire about sci-fi films is the courage one or more characters must display to defeat the monster. Battling a sci-fi monster is not easy, whether it’s a giant insect, a mutant sea creature, or an alien from outer space. Despite all danger and difficulty, one or more characters must eventually say, “Enough,” and… Continue reading The Brave Person in Every Sci-Fi Movie

Drama · Holiday

Making a Holiday Film? Watch This One First

Dear Reader, we can’t wait until your holiday film is in post-production. We have our favourites, but we’re waiting for your holiday film – the one you’ve written and/or directed and/or starred in. We know you’ll sidestep the usual holiday film clichés. What’s this? You haven’t started filming? You’re stuck for ideas? Well, you’ve come to… Continue reading Making a Holiday Film? Watch This One First

Drama · War

The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca

Look at the people in the above photo. These are actors portraying refugees in a fashionable nightclub in French Morocco during WWII. This photo was taken in Soundstage 7-8 at Warner Bros. Studio in California. Look at how these actors are dressed. These are refugees of Means; they are not poor. If they were poor,… Continue reading The Beautiful Refugees of Casablanca

Drama

The Human Comedy: The 1943 Original vs. the 2015 Reboot

Remember that rule in Creative Writing 101 about every story having a Beginning, a Middle and an End? We (as in, yours truly) are fond of this formula; it’s what we’ve come to Expect. But not everyone cares about it. American author William Saroyan, for instance, didn’t follow this rule in his 1943 novel, The Human… Continue reading The Human Comedy: The 1943 Original vs. the 2015 Reboot

Drama

Greta Garbo’s Study in Self-Loathing

It’s only fair to tell you, Dear Reader, that we (as in, yours truly) have an unaccountable bias against Greta Garbo. We’re baffled by it. Every time we start watching a new-to-us Garbo film, we cross our arms and silently challenge The Great Garbo to impress us. But by the end of the film, we’re… Continue reading Greta Garbo’s Study in Self-Loathing

Don't Bother · Drama

When a Narcissist Falls in Love

When Paula’s Cinema Club disses a movie, we pay attention. So when she wrote a less-than-glowing review of The Constant Nymph (1943), we couldn’t wait to see this film. It can’t be that bad, we thought. It is. Here’s the basic premise: Charles Boyer plays a narcissistic Swiss musician who marries Alexis Smith, the wealthy niece of a… Continue reading When a Narcissist Falls in Love

Drama

Ingrid Bergman and the Most Boring Love Affair in the Movies

Have you ever spent time with a couple who talk and talk about their perfectly rapturous relationship? By the end of the evening, you’re placing bets on how long this union can possibly last. There is such a couple in the 1939 drama, Intermezzo: A Love Story, starring Ingrid Bergman and Leslie Howard. Now, please… Continue reading Ingrid Bergman and the Most Boring Love Affair in the Movies

Drama

Pick a Vice, Any Vice: Night Nurse (1931)

We often say old movies are much tamer than today’s movies. But hang on a minute. We just screened a film from 1931 that is pretty darned salacious. Night Nurse is a pre-code film about a young woman (Barbara Stanwyck) who graduates from a nursing program and takes a job as a night nurse to… Continue reading Pick a Vice, Any Vice: Night Nurse (1931)

Drama

Stella Dallas’ Big Decision

Stella Dallas (1937) is a drama determined to make you teary-eyed. If the first sad scene doesn’t do the job, just wait a few minutes. This film has one of the most memorable endings from the classic Hollywood era. But we’re not going to spoil the ending because you need to see it for yourself.… Continue reading Stella Dallas’ Big Decision

Drama · Thriller

Jack Nicholson vs. the Dept. of Water and Power

Chinatown (1974) is not a Feel Good film. Jack Nicholson stars as 1930s-era private detective Jake Gittes, a cynical and persistent investigator who stumbles upon corruption in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. The film is loosely based on the so-called California Water Wars of the 1920s, when water was being diverted from… Continue reading Jack Nicholson vs. the Dept. of Water and Power