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Violent City

by Glenn Erickson

Director Sergio Sollima sets the template for twenty years of violent action cinema for Rough Tough Charles Bronson. Precise stunt scenes and clever direction are at the service of a script that can’t produce a convincing line of dialogue. It’s a mishmosh of sex, bullets and car chases. Bronson is betrayed by his love for…

Americana with Larry Karaszewski

by Randy Fuller

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, in lieu of fireworks leaping from these digital pages, we have wine pairings for three films which concern the good ol’ U.S. of A. Paul Newman stars in WUSA, along with…

Miller’s Crossing

by Glenn Erickson

Feature number three for the Coen Brothers is an eccentric gangster saga with a wonderful slate of mugs — Gabriel Byrne, John Turturro, Albert Finney, Jon Polito, J.E. Freeman, Steve Buscemi — slinging highly entertaining hardboiled dialogue. The witty, insightful story is at heart not a comedy, and the direction impresses in the formal sense…

In the Heat of the Night 4K

by Glenn Erickson

Walter Mirisch earned his Oscar for this Sidney Poitier hit directed by Norman Jewison. The tense mystery thriller was also a significant cultural step for Civil Rights, Hollywood-style: Poitier’s Virgil Tibbs claims the right to not turn the other cheek. Stars Rod Steiger, Lee Grant, Warren Oates and Larry Gates are in top form. Kino’s…

The Brain from Planet Arous

by Charlie Largent

The Brain from Planet Arous Blu ray The Film Detective 1957 / 1:33:1, 1.85:1 / 71 Min. Starring John Agar, Joyce Meadows, Robert Fuller Written by Roy Buffum Directed by Nathan Hertz (Juran) In 1957, Screen Gems released 52 of Universal’s classic horror films to television in a package called Shock! Typically broadcast around the…

Touch of Evil 4K

by Glenn Erickson

One of Orson Welles’ best has arrived in 4K!  Kino Lorber has revived Universal’s 3-version study of the bordertown crime & corruption drama, that knocks us out with Welles’ colorful, weird characters, intricate scene blocking and infinitely creative camera work. Almost all of the extras from the earlier DVD and Blu-ray editions are here, with…

Yet More Movies You Never Heard Of

by Randy Fuller

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, we once again delve into the bottomless pit of movies close to the hearts of the TFH gurus, but of which you may not be aware. This time around, I fear…

The Brotherhood

by Glenn Erickson

Lewis John Carlino’s family-oriented Mafia tale was filmed four years before The Godfather: Kirk Douglas is a loose-cannon capo who bosses his own brother Alex Cord and won’t listen when his fellow kingpins talk about modernization. Irene Papas and Susan Strasberg are married to the mob, while veteran hoods Luther Adler and Eduardo Ciannelli provide…

The Impossible

by Glenn Erickson

Easily one of the best movies of its kind, J.A. Bayona’s minute-by-minute tale of survival poses an immediate challenge to audiences: could I survive that?  The genuinely terrifying true story of one family lost in the middle of a devastating disaster is even more relevant now, with similar disasters seemingly happening daily. The near-flawless direction…

Columbia Noir # 5 Humphrey Bogart

by Glenn Erickson

This grouping of Bogart’s Columbia output has one bona fide noir, a pair of exotic ‘romantic intrigue’ thrillers and three social issue pictures. It’s a good set, with films directed by John Cromwell, Nicholas Ray and Mark Robson, and with leading ladies Lizabeth Scott, Florence Marley, Marta Toren, Jody Lawrance and Jan Sterling. And the…

Love Slaves of the Amazons

by Glenn Erickson

“Woman Warriors in Brutal Death Battle!”  This adventure thriller has no reputation to speak of, and is mainly notable as a strange chapter in the topsy-turvy life of Curt Siodmak, who as a producer-writer-director, filmed this and another equally absurd jungle romp on location in Brazil. How Siodmak got these pictures going is a mystery…

Batman Returns

by Alex Kirschenbaum

For my money, director Tim Burton and star Michael Keaton’s second Caped Crusader collaboration Batman Returns (1992), written by recurring podcast guest Daniel Waters and TFH Guru Sam Hamm, might very well be the best theatrical Batman flick ever. The Dark Knight has appeared in 15 theatrical feature films as of this writing, if you include…

Screwballs

by Randy Fuller

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, we find some wines that pair well with screwball comedies – wines that taste good going down as well as coming out our noses when we laugh. This nation needed a…

Shaft 4K

by Glenn Erickson

Richard Roundtree’s two-fisted detective tale burst on the scene announcing that a craze called Blaxploitation was on the way. No matter that the movie is somewhat slow and drab — John Shaft was the identification figure denied black audiences for 60 years, a hero who takes no guff from nobody and consistently tells The Man…

Pastor Hall

by Glenn Erickson

Kudos to Powerhouse Indicator for releasing this dramatic propaganda piece based on an actual German churchman imprisoned for refusing to kowtow to the Nazi authorities. It’s a primer on fascist power from early in the war, one of the first features by the Boulting Brothers. PI’s extras package enlarges our interest ten-fold: the pastor’s objection…

Tortured Artists

by Randy Fuller

Pairing‌‌‌ ‌‌‌wine‌‌‌ ‌‌‌with‌‌‌ ‌‌‌movies!‌‌‌ ‌‌‌See‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌hear‌‌‌ ‌‌‌the‌‌‌ ‌‌‌fascinating‌‌‌ ‌‌‌commentary‌‌‌ ‌‌‌for‌‌‌ ‌‌‌these‌‌‌ ‌‌‌‌‌movies‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌and‌‌‌ ‌‌‌many‌‌‌ ‌‌‌more‌,‌‌ ‌‌‌at‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Trailers‌‌‌ ‌‌‌From‌‌‌ ‌‌‌Hell.‌‌‌ This week, pour up wine pairings for three movies concerning the lives of fine artistes who had it rough. Isadora is the 1968 biopic of dancer Isadora Duncan. She gained worldwide fame as…

The Tales of Hoffmann

by Glenn Erickson

The term ‘filmed opera’ in no way describes this phantasmagoria. Powell & Pressburger re-envisions the Offenbach work with dance sequences refracted through a cinematic prism. It’s high art made for the movies, without the condescenscion seen in Disney’s Fantasia. The stars are Moira Shearer and Robert Helpmann. Powell perfects techniques from Black Narcissus and The…

True Romance 4K

by Glenn Erickson

The edgy screenplay for this flashy, rough-edged ‘lovers, drugs & guns’ saga served to jump-start Quentin Tarantino’s movie career; he’s identified it as his most autobiographical work. Tony Scott slicked up the visuals and ironed out the nonlinear narrative but it’s still a QT epic through and through. And that cast of suspects is phenomenal:…

Predator

by Alex Kirschenbaum

What would it take to overpower the world’s toughest special forces soldiers? A hunter from out of this world, of course. That’s the spark that ignited Predator (1987), one of the all-time great sci-fi action adventures.  Released 35 years ago today, the film’s legacy is now secure: it has spawned three direct sequels and an upcoming…

Killer’s Kiss 4K

by Glenn Erickson

Ultra HD puts Stanley Kubrick’s second feature film in a new light — his B&W images of New York lend a ‘Weegee’ flavor to the tale of a prizefighter who comes to the rescue of a dance hall girl. Kubrick does better sticking to the urban streets he knows so well; the cast scores via…

The Foreign Adventurism Western

by Glenn Erickson

What happens the moment gunmen go South of the border in American westerns?  Implied foreign policy, that’s what!  Updating an old ‘MGM Video Savant’ article from 1999, CineSavant takes a look at a fistful of big Hollywood shoot-out epics that formed less-than-optimal public impressions of international relations. You know, the Friendly Neighbor Policy, only with…

Raiders of the Lost Ark 4K

by Glenn Erickson

4K discs are selling like hotcakes so it’s only natural for studios to give Home Theater fanatics the biggest vintage blockbusters. George Lucas and Steven Spielberg’s hyper-efficient, no-loitering juggernaut is a return to the joys of serial action thrills, one ‘did you see that?’ bravura sequence after another. Harrison Ford’s Indiana Jones is pitted against…

The Wicker Man

by Charlie Largent

The Wicker Man Blu ray Viavision [Imprint] 1973 / 1.85 : 1 / 93 Min. Starring Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland Written by Anthony Shaffer Directed by Robin Hardy While away on assignment in Scotland, a melancholy company man experiences a life-changing, and possibly supernatural, transformation. This tale of magic and metamorphosis isn’t Bill…

The Guilty + High Tide

by Glenn Erickson

The Film Noir Foundation puts across more impressive rescues in concert with the UCLA Film and Television Archive: a pair of independently-produced noirs released by Monogram in 1947, modest of budget but firmly rooted in the noir style. The Guilty is a Cornell Woolrich ‘ironic twist’ mini mystery involving troublemaking twins and a soldier suffering…

The Untouchables 4K

by Glenn Erickson

This big screen, big star crowd-pleaser is a whopping entertainment yet too disjointed to satisfy as a gangster movie. It can ignore history to make its points, but what is gained by killing off the only characters we really love?  Audiences didn’t feel shortchanged: Sean Connery and Robert De Niro deliver strong characterizations and Ennio…