The Godfather (1972)

Film Title

The Godfather

Synopsis

An offer you simply cannot refuse

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Cast

Marlon Brando
Al Pacino
James Caan
Robert Duvall
Sterling Hayden
Al Lettieri
Diane Keaton
Abe Vigoda
Richard S. Castellano
Talia Shire
John Cazale

2 Hours 57 minutes, rated R for Gangland Violence Fair Value of The Godfather: $30.00. It is essential American Cinema. Fundamental to an entire genre of movie. But How Good Is it? The first time I saw the Godfather was on a date when I was sixteen years old with my first girlfriend, whom I […]

Castle Cagliostro

Film Title

Castle Cagliostro (1979)

Synopsis

A dashing thief, his gang of desperadoes and an intrepid policeman struggle to free a princess from an evil count’s clutches

Director

Hayao Miyazaki

Cast

Yasuo Yamada
Eiko Masuyama
Kiyoshi Kobayashi
Makio Inoue
Goro Naya
Sumi Shimamoto

1 hr 42 minutes, PG-13 for violence and crime. Fair Value of Castle Cagliostro: $14.00. This Miyazaki adaptation of a French novel is fun and picturesque, almost like a cinematic cousin of a Tintin adventure. How Kid Friendly is this Film? It would probably get a PG in modern standards. There’s guns but not blood, a […]

Pale Rider

Film Title

Pale Rider

Synopsis

Anonymous man ruins capitalism in small California town.

Director

Clint Eastwood

Cast

Clint Eastwood as the Right Reverend Scowl and Squint
Richard Dysart as Moustache Twirler
Chris Penn as Moustache Twirler Jr.
Michael Moriarty as the Common Clay of the New West... you know, a moron.

Fair value of Pale Rider: $2.00. This is a middling Clint Eastwood western, surprisingly old-fashioned, which is really only for the Eastwood completists. And Death Was His Name: After a posse of hired thugs devastate a ramshackle prospecting camp, a young girl prays for justice. Soon enough, Preacher (Clint Eastwood) appears, silently and inexorably fighting […]

True Grit

Film Title

True Grit (2010)

Synopsis

A gnarly and stubborn girl employs True Grit to help track down her father’s murderer

Director

Ethan & Joel Coen

Cast

Jeff Daniels as The One-Eyed Dude
Hailee Steinfield as a national treasure.
Matt Damon as smarmy, and ostensibly Texas
Josh Brolin as the bad guy.

1 Hour 50 Minutes, PG-13 for maiming and violence. Fair Value of True Grit: $15.00. Because you can’t watch Sergio Leone all the time, this tale of Prairie Justice is one of the better of modern westerns. In many ways it is the perfect balance of the comedic and the dark aspects of Coen Brother’s […]

Raising Arizona: Devon’s Take

What Makes Raising Arizona Work? FAIR VALUE of Raising Arizona: $8.00. Like contemporaries A Fish Called Wanda or Brain Donors, Raising Arizona is a relentless slapstick comedy that has high re-watchability. THE COEN BROTHERS BEGIN HONING THEIR CHOPS: In many ways, Raising Arizona is the wooliest, most slapdash of all of the Coen comedies. They […]

Army of Darkness

Film Title

Army Of Darkness

Synopsis

Ash is back in time to go medieval on an army of deadites.

Director

Sam Raimi

Cast

Bruce Campbell
Embeth Davidtz
Marcus Gilbert
Ian Ambercrombie
Patricia Tallman
Richard Grove

One hour 21 minutes, R for copious fountains of blood Fair Value of Army of Darkness: $20.00. If you asked me to name a film that was the perfect embodiment of the charm of midnight movies, it would be Army of Darkness. Perfectly fun, endlessly quotable, and never dull. More cheesy goodness than a Wisconsin […]

Evil Dead 2

Film Title

Evil Dead 2

Synopsis

A continuation of The Evil Dead, where Ash tries to survive in a cabin possessed with evil.

Director

Sam Raimi

Cast

Bruce Campbell
Sarah Berry
Dan Hicks
Kassie Wesley Depaiva
Ted Raimi
Denise Bixler
Richard Domeier

1 hour 24 minutes, R for violence and gore Fair Value of Evil Dead 2: $6.00. It’s one of the classics of 80s horror comedy, not as memorable as it’s sequel, but a live action Warner Brothers cartoon of zombie slapstick. The Bruce Campbell Show: It’s all on the comic chops of the lead, Bruce […]

Three Days of the Condor

Film Title

Three Days of the Condor

Synopsis

A CIA analyst must flee undercover when a team of assassins slaughter his station.

Director

Sydney Pollack

Cast

Robert Redford
Max von Sydow
Faye Dunaway
Cliff Robertson

                               1 hour 57 minutes, R for violence Fair Value of Three Days of the Condor: $6.00. This Sydney Pollack classic is a twisty and cynical spy film, one that prefigures much of the Jason Bourne films in the theme of ‘disavowed spy forced to live off his wits’. Crackling. Golden Age Cinema and the […]

The Farmer’s Wife (1928)

Film Title

The Farmer's Wife

Synopsis

A middle-aged empty-nester has trouble finding another suitable mate

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

James Thomas
Lillian Hall-Davis
Gordon Harker
Gibb McLaughlin
Maude Gill
Louie Pounds

2 Hours 9 minutes Fair Value of The Farmer and His Wife: $0.00. In this early (1928) silent film, a young Hitchcock is both out of his element (mystery) and his medium (dialogue), and so this early drama is generic and basic, largely lacking in Hitchcock’s style. This is a snoozer. Summary of the Concept: […]

Juno and the Paycock

Film Title

Juno and the Paycock

Synopsis

A family earns a big inheritance and forgets their basic values

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

Barry Fitzgerald
Sara Allgood
John Laurie

                                1 hour 34 minutes Fair Value of Juno and the Paycock: $-5.00. 1920s knockoff Bernard Shaw misery porn that lacks in much of the style or timing that Hitchcock would later display. This early Hitchcock film shows why he went to thrillers and suspense- it’s artless and heartless. Summary of the Concept: A poor […]