The Godfather: Part 2

Film Title

The Godfather: Part 2

Synopsis

Arguably better than the first, making it the greatest movie ever made. 

Director

Francis Ford Coppola

Cast

Al Pacino
Robert Duvall
Diane Keaton
Robert DiNero
John Cazale
Talia Shire
Lee Strasberg
Michael V. Gazzo
G.D. Spradlin
Bruno Kirby

3 hours 22 minutes, R for numerous murders Fair Value of The Godfather Part II : $18.00. It’s overlong and the pacing can drag, but it’s an immaculately acted film with several stunning set pieces. Focus on the Family: The first Godfather was a study in the parallels between Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando) and his […]

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 […]

Psycho

Film Title

Psycho

Synopsis

Never be taking a shower during a knife fight

Director

Alfred Hitchcock

Cast

Anthony Perkins
Janet Leigh
John Gavin
Vera Miles
Martin Balsam

An early—perhaps, only—highlight in Resident Evil: Code Veronica features a palace sitting below a private residence atop a hill on a southern ocean island facility overrun by the bioengineered monstrosities it helped create. That gothic castle looms in the background, and as you, the player, forge an eventual path toward the perched building, the eerie […]

12 Angry Men

Film Title

12 Angry Men

Synopsis

In a stifling Jury Room 12 men deliberate the fate of a murder suspect

Director

Sidney Lumet

Cast

Martin Balsam
John Fiedler
Lee J. Cobb
E.G. Marshall
Jack Klugman
Edward Binns
Jack Warden
Henry Fonda
Joseph Sweeney
Ed Begley
George Voscovek
Robert Webber

In movie jargon, the words “classic” and “masterpiece” are accolades that are tossed around quite a bit. Sometimes they are well deserved, sometimes not, and often the status is indeterminate. In the case of 12 Angry Men, there is no reasonable doubt at all about the verdict. This classic is a masterpiece and one of […]

Matters of Survival: A Note on In a Lonely Place & Bigger Than Life

In a Lonely Place (1950) and Bigger Than Life (1956), two of Nicholas Ray’s finest films, are about two men made to feel “ten feet tall” in order to survive. For Dixon Steele (Humphrey Bogart) in Place, it happens in a war; World War II, to be precise. For Ed Avery (James Mason) in Life, […]

The Legacy Of Silent Film

When Louis and Auguste Lumiere first showed their short film The Arrival of a Train in 1895, they certainly had no inkling that, almost a hundred years later, it would be the film-within-a-film in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Nor could Carl Theodor Dreyer have suspected that his 1928 feature The […]

The Flight Of The Phoenix (1965)

Film Title

The Flight Of The Phoenix

Synopsis

A plane crash in the Sahara results in a clash of wills to survive.

Director

Robert Aldrich

Cast

James Stewart
Richard Attenborough
Peter Finch
Hardy Kruger
Ernest Borgnine
Christian Marquand
George Kennedy
Ian Bannen
Ronald Fraser
Gabriel Tinte


James Stewart can be solidly forgiven for films like It’s A Wonderful Life because of efforts like Vertigo and this film, The Flight of the Phoenix. It is not a wonderful life, but it is a wonderful film, with top notch acting and dialogue that you would expect from a classic film. The Flight of […]

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: […]

Vertigo (1958)

Film Title

Vertigo

Synopsis

A traumatized former police detective falls hopelessly in love with a woman who doesn’t exist

Director

Alfred HItchcock

Cast

Jimmy Stewart
Kim Novak
Barbara Bel Geddes
Tom Helmore
Ellen Corby

“The language of the camera is the language of our dreams.”-James Baldwin. No director was more fluent in that language than Alfred Hitchcock. Vertigo is the most conspicuous example of his fluency. Vertigo is a Pygmalion and Galatea story. The question in this case, who is Pygmalion and who is Galatea? When, is a better […]

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 […]