Monthly Archives: June 2011

Capsule Reviews: June 21 – 23

The Phantom Carriage (Victor Sjöström, 1920) – 3.5/5 Sjöström’s silent morality play proves a classic example of style over substance (and not in the pejorative sense). Based on a popular novel written as a hygienic diatribe against “consumption” (TB, not … Continue reading

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Capsule Reviews: June 17 – 20

Spies (Fritz Lang, 1928) – 4/5 In effect remaking his own Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler (1922), Lang interlards rip-roaring action pieces—the most impressive among them, a third-act train wreck—with a pretty conventional “romance between opposing sides” subplot, which never takes … Continue reading

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Capsule Reviews: June 15 – 17

Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (Nathan Hertz, 1958) Village of the Giants (Bert I. Gordon, 1965) Queen of Outer Space (Edward Bernds, 1958) Mars Needs Women (Larry Buchanan, 1968) Two trends dominate the latest batch of TCM’s Drive-In Classics series … Continue reading

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“Golden Age Thinking”: Midnight in Paris (Woody Allen, 2011)

Midnight in Paris, the latest chapter in Woody Allen’s ongoing Euro-travelogue, commences with an old-fashioned overture—a lengthy montage of postcard-pretty Parisian street scenes set to a Sidney Bechet clarinet number—hearkening back to the opening scenes of Manhattan (1977), the Woodman’s … Continue reading

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Capsule Reviews: June 10 – 14

The Wasp Woman (Roger Corman, 1959) – 2/5 Quickie cash-in fueled by the runaway popularity of the previous year’s The Fly. By locating his action in a cosmetics empire run by a middle-aged female fashion icon obsessed with cracking the … Continue reading

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Capsule Reviews: June 7 – 9

Black Narcissus (Michael Powell, 1947) – 5/5 One of the great exemplars of Technicolor cinematography (provided by Jack Cardiff, who also lensed Powell’s equally ravishing follow-up The Red Shoes [1948]) – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. A … Continue reading

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Into the Abyss of Time: Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog, 2010)

Let’s get the negativity out of the way upfront: Cave of Forgotten Dreams’ 3D effects – although philosophically understandable – are nevertheless frequently murky, rendering the dark cavernous spaces and fitful lighting even more obscurant, as well as inconsistent – … Continue reading

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