The Indelible Shining

Great movie despite Stephen King’s protestations* — it’s one of those rare occasions when the movie out shines, so to speak, the book, which I found mostly laughable and long (as I do with most of King’s books) — and despite the horrible decision to cast Shelley Duvall, which, of course, resulted in her horrible acting. Kubrick abused the hell out of her during production because of it.


Pauline Kael wrote in the New Yorker that Kubrick’s devotion to technique distanced the audience from the domestic horrors of his story. The Washington Post called it “elaborately ineffective.” Gene Siskel said it was “boring” and occasionally “downright embarrassing.” Toronto’s Globe & Mail: an “overreaching, multi-levelled botch.” In its first year of existence, the bad movie-centric Razzie Awards nominated The Shining for worst director and worst actress.

From unloved curiosity to beloved classic: The surprising 40-year legacy of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, INLANDER, May 21, 2020

#allworkandnoplaymakeskurtrethinkhispriorities


*Spoilers of both book and movie

The Bogart Advantage

It’s a close call but this might be one of those rare instances where the movie outperforms the book. The flick does have an unfair advantage though with Bogart as the lead…


For a crash course on a category that can be hard to pin down, Nicholas Ray’s psychologically complex “In a Lonely Place” has it all, starting with a sneering Bogart.

Even trying to categorize “In a Lonely Place” is tricky: It has elements of murder mystery, melodrama and Hollywood insider scoop. Yet it is certainly one of the most forthright films to deal with domestic abuse ever to come from a major production company, let alone in the early 1950s. Here is a movie so rough-minded, so willing to be unsympathetic that it opens with its protagonist, a screenwriter named Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart), threatening to get into a brawl with a stranger.

New York Times , April 30, 2020

THE BOGART SUSPENSE PICTURE WITH THE SURPRISE FINISH – (original tag line)

A classic California noir with a feminist twist, this prescient 1947 novel exposed misogyny in post-World War II American society, making it far ahead of its time. [Amazon Publisher description]

#alonetogetherinalonelyplace

Only in my dreams…

Just had one of those bizarre trapped-in-between-sleep-and-consciousness morning dreams that starred Sam Rockwell and Dwight Yoakam. Not sure why but I think I was fanboying and trying to get them to star in my next movie.

Regardless, I now have Dwight’s song stuck in my head and, in the spirit of friendship and camaraderie, I offer it here so it can be stuck in yours as well…

#yourwelcome

Finally saw Joker

I’ll keep this short:

  • It’s a masterpiece.
  • All the controversy surrounding its release – incel triggering and/or otherwise – is laughable.
  • My faith in Hollywood’s ability to create magic has been restored.
  • I wish I could have attended its Cannes premier so I could have participated in the 8-minute standing ovation it received at the conclusion of its showing.
  • If, at a minimum, it, Todd Phillips, and Joaquin Phoenix don’t win all major awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor respectively, then the awards are completely irrelevant.

#convincemeimwrong

Arthouse Films in general are nutty…

But Arthouse Horror Films are, if you’d excuse the vernacular…

Off the mother fn nutty hook, yo.

And thank god for that.

Been on an arthouse horror film binge lately from a dire and desperate need (yeah, I like redundancies so what of it?) to clear the palate of that rancid franchise aftertaste.

Watched this lovely gem last night and I hope someday when I grow up I will be able to create something so horror(-fully?)(-ibly?) masterful…

Continue reading “Arthouse Films in general are nutty…”

THE LESSER DEAD by Christopher Buehlman — A Review

BOOK | FICTION | HORROR
THE LESSER DEAD
CHRISTOPHER BUEHLMAN
AUDIOBOOK
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★


The secret is, vampires are real and I am one.
The secret is, I’m stealing from you what is most truly yours and I’m not sorry… 


New York City in 1978 is a dirty, dangerous place to live. And die. Joey Peacock knows this as well as anybody—he has spent the last forty years as an adolescent vampire, perfecting the routine he now enjoys: womanizing in punk clubs and discotheques, feeding by night, and sleeping by day with others of his kind in the macabre labyrinth under the city’s sidewalks.

The subways are his playground and his highway, shuttling him throughout Manhattan to bleed the unsuspecting in the Sheep Meadow of Central Park or in the backseats of Checker cabs, or even those in their own apartments who are too hypnotized by sitcoms to notice him opening their windows. It’s almost too easy.

Until one night he sees them hunting on his beloved subway. The children with the merry eyes. Vampires, like him…or not like him. Whatever they are, whatever their appearance means, the undead in the tunnels of Manhattan are not as safe as they once were.

And neither are the rest of us.

Amazon Book Description
Continue reading “THE LESSER DEAD by Christopher Buehlman — A Review”

Alter

Yeah, I DNF most horror films because, let’s face it, most horror films are crap…

But last night I watched a rather decent one written and directed by Irish/Welsh film maker Liam Gavin called A DARK SONG.

A determined young woman and a damaged occultist risk their lives and souls to perform a dangerous ritual that will grant them what they want.
Continue reading “Alter”

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood – A Review by Fast Film Reviews

I was going to write my own review for the meandering mess of a movie called Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, but after yesterday’s disaster of a review I just didn’t have the heart… or pain tolerance… to write another one so soon. And let’s face it, you know and I know writing reviews isn’t exactly my forte, so…

Instead I decided to reblog for your entertainment and instruction this wonderfully written and compelling review of the flick written by popular film critic Mark Hobin of Fast Film Reviews. It’s a wonderfully written and compelling review that also happens to mirror my sentiments of the faulty flick near spot on.

Read, heed, and enjoy…

Fast Film Reviews

once_upon_a_time_in_hollywood_ver7STARS2.5A new Quentin Tarantino film is an event.  Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been billed as his ninth picture.  So apparently Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 are now considered one film.  The auteur has declared his plans to retire after he has made 10 total.  Much of the critical establishment has worshiped at the altar of this much-lauded filmmaker.  Personally, I haven’t always been a fan of the way he succumbs to his excessive impulses.  His last production, The Hateful Eight, was a mean-spirited tale of truly reprehensible individuals.  To its credit, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is decidedly more good-natured.  It’s a tale that longs for a bygone era.  But that isn’t for the Golden Age of directors like William Wyler, Frank Capra, and George Cukor.  No Tarantino reveres the men of 1960s Hollywood like Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone and John Sturges who made…

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BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO — A Review of Sorts

BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO
FILM | MOVIE | BRITISH | HORROR
WRITER: PETER STRICKLAND
DIRECTOR: PETER STRICKLAND
STARRING: TOBY JONES
IFC FILMS UNLIMITED
RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


If Kafka were to have written movies…

He would have written a movie like Berberian Sound Studio.


Now if you know me, you know that calling a movie Kafkaesque, and calling this movie Kafkaesque is an understatement, is all I really need to say about it since, you know me, I am pretty much a slave to anything ol’ Franz has put to paper.

But I’m also a slave to the word count so, for the sake of it, I guess I should say a few things more.

Continue reading “BERBERIAN SOUND STUDIO — A Review of Sorts”

If I were the ruling megalomaniac of the world…

I would appoint a very select and trusted group of high-level advisors who were each intimately familiar with my intellectual and creative sensibilities and desires and whose sole purpose would be to continually study and field test all germane and pertaining resources and outlets so that they could come to a consensus among themselves and make their recommendation to me no later than 8:00 pm each day as to what movie or TV show I should view for the evening.

Yeah…

If only I were the ruling megalomaniac of the world…

#toomuchofmylifeisdevotedtofindingsomethinggoodtowatch


FEATURED IMAGE COURTESY OF JAN ANOTIN KOLAR OF UNSPLASH.COM

Superpowers Activated

In the process of magically transforming my novel into a screenplay…

So as I continue to work the mysterious magic of turning the words from the pages of my most recent novel into words on the pages of what will hopefully soon be my most recent screenplay (with the ultimate and even more hopeful goal of magically turning those words from the screenplay into magical images on a screen), I am tangentially listening to a screenwriting howto book by Viki King with the impossibly-sounding title of How to Write a Movie in 21 Days: The Inner Movie Method [about]

I’m just about done with the book and when I am it will have been the third screenwriting howto book I have read.

The first two, The Screenwriter’s Bible [about] and Save the Cat [about] I own; the one I’m reading now, I borrowed from Overdrive.

And you know what…

Continue reading “Superpowers Activated”