Hi. Thanks so much for stopping by for some opinions, some facts, some fun. We put the accent on fairness, skipping highbrow snob snorts, p.c. bleats and ax-grinding. While I don’t isolate in a darkened room, spilling a diet soda while talking back to the screen, and can run, jump & throw a ball like other people, over six decades I’ve somehow managed to see more than 6,500 movies. I like to share my takes on the stories they tell and the people who’ve told them.
We’ll struggle to keep write-ups balanced enough to applaud what works in films that may not be fully successful and nudge what may be lacking in those that mostly get it right. We favor putting things in historical and thematic context. As to synopses, let’s keep those as brief as possible. It’s a cheat when reviewers use up six paragraphs and several minutes of your life to over the plot in detail. Here’s a concept: let’s be surprised by what happens. War Of The Worlds—Martians attack the Earth. Bingo! All I need to know. Now, is it good or bad, and why, why not?—that’s what counts. I want people to read all the way to the end of a piece, get a few clues and some handy info without losing their patience or feeling the experience of seeing the movie was ruined. Cut to the chase, turn off your phone, can the chatter and roll ’em.
We’ll often note ages of cast members at the time the film was made, sort of placing these screen-people we feel we “know” in their own stage of development as artist or person. “Yikes, Lancaster was 44 and he could still jump over that log like a teenager!”
Comments are welcome, as I’m keen to share viewpoints and impressions, but getting into ego dueling hissy-fits is not worth it: the dwindling supply of life sand is too precious, better spent re-watching The Wind And The Lion or The Magnificent Seven for the fortieth time. Want to trade lines from It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World or The Wild Bunch, compare Bernard Herrmann to Jerry Goldsmith or just plug a farce, adventure or monster movie you like? You came to the right place.
Oh, and we’re only concentrating on feature films from the sound era. We’re silent on silents. We aren’t including documentaries, shorts, made-for-TV films (with a handful of exceptions) or mini-series. Go to other sites to find info on exploitation schlock, torture porn horror junk, serials and, while many will bemoan it, we make bare mention of animated pictures, unless they are blended with live-action. So, Who’s Afraid of Roger Rabbit and Mary Poppins make the cut, but greats like Bambi and Toy Story find a home elsewhere. As with the exclusion of notable silent movies, that’s not a reflection on their quality.
Some of my musings you’ll agree with, others you’ll dismiss, but do come along on memory trips to steamy jungles, raging seas and distant planets, to boudoirs and battlefields, peals of laughter and screams of fright. Rumble with Jets and Sharks, try to reach ‘The Big W’ before Ethel, see ‘the varmint’ with Linus, take Aqaba by camel and Ft. Knox by Galore. Cheers, Mark