Posts by: Matt Singer

Movies, Briefly: Night and the City (1950)

By

We meet Night and the City‘s protagonist Harry Fabian (Richard Widmark) in his natural state: on the run from his creditors.

Things are bad for Harry before the movie begins and they will only get worse. He spends most of the movie on the run, robbing Peter to pay Paul.

...more

Movies, Briefly: Brute Force (1947)

By


Brute Force is a robust, testosterone-soaked action picture.

It’s about as manly as movies get, and yet it paints such a different picture of masculinity than the one seen in the robust, testosterone-soaked action pictures of my youth. Those were movies like Commando or Bloodsport, where men were measured primarily by how they filled out a birthday suit while kicking people in the neck.

...more

2

Movies, Briefly: Play Misty For Me (1971)

By

When Clint Eastwood made Play Misty for Me he was a cowboy. He got his start on television with Rawhide and of course became an international star in Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns.

In the six years between the final Leone movie and Misty, Eastwood played four more cowboys (Hang ‘Em HighPaint Your WagonTwo Mules for Sister SaraThe Beguiled), a couple soldiers from World War II (Where Eagles DareCoogan’s Bluff) and a cop out of the west who wore a cowboy hat (Coogan’s Bluff).

...more

Movies, Briefly: The Kids Are Alright (1979)

By


“Rock and roll’s never ever stood dissecting and inspecting it at close range. It doesn’t stand up. So shut up.”

Jeff Stein’s documentary, The Kids are Alright, lives up to that statement from The Who frontman Roger Daltrey, who shares it near the climax of the film in a chapter the DVD calls “Final Words.”

There isn’t much interview footage in Kids, and what there is is mostly rather silly – the band standing on their hands, or taking the piss out of each other, or joking about their “medicine” with Ringo Starr.

...more

Movies, Briefly: Footsteps in the Dark (1941)

By

Footsteps in the Dark is just so wonderfully absurd; there’s maybe eight minutes in this movie that could exist in the real world: they rest is pure poppycock.

It concerns a wealthy married banker (played by Errol Flynn) who moonlights as popular mystery novelist, F.X.

...more

Movies, Briefly: Surrogates (2009)

By

Surrogates feels like the least interesting film you could possibly make out of some very interesting material. It presents a world, adapted from the graphic novel by Robert Venditti and Brett Weldele, full of bold ideas and rich thematic possibilities, then ignores that world completely for an hour and a half to tell an off-the-shelf hard-boiled mystery story.

...more

1

Movies, Briefly: An Affair to Remember (1957)

By

Though its final act revolves around a thoroughly aggravating plot contrivance (“Just tell him Deborah Kerr! TELL HIM!”) and there’s two dopey musical numbers by children’s choirs for no reasons whatsoever, An Affair to Remember is, without question, one of the most romantic movies I’ve ever seen.

...more

Movies, Briefly: Octopussy (1983)

By

When people claim Casino Royale is a “realistic” Bond movie, they don’t mean it’s realistic in any sense that relates to the real world, because it’s not and it doesn’t.

They mean it’s more realistic than 1983′s Octopussy, which makes Casino Royale look like it was directed by D.A.

...more

Movies, Briefly: I Was A Male War Bride (1949)

By

What a pleasure to find an old Hollywood movie whose primary conflict is the battle of its two leads to get laid.

I don’t mean it in the lovey-dovey romantic ideal sort of way, I mean I Was A War Bride is about the impossible logistics of two people knocking boots in the middle of an armed conflict.

...more

Movies, Briefly: Vanishing Point (1971)

By

I’m not a big fan of the moment early in the film where Barry Newman’s Kowalski drives past himself in a different car and disappears into thin air (“Holy crap! He just vanished! THAT MUST BE THE VANISHING POINT!”) and in 2010 it’s hard to consider Cleavon Little’s telepathic disc jockey as anything other than a magical negro character.

...more

5

YouTube Art: Scarface: The TV Edit

By

Oh man, do I loves me some bad dubbing. You know what I’m talking about; when a basic cable channel shows an R rated movie on their station but has to edit all of the profanity out to make the film TV-appropriate.

...more

1

In Defense of The Color of Money (1986)

By

The Color of Money features two kinds of trick shots: the ones on the pool table and the ones in the camera. “Fast” Eddie Felson puts on a clinic on shot selection on camera and Scorsese’s puts on another off.

It is not Martin Scorsese’s best film, but it might be his best photographed.

...more

The Rumpus Review of The Informant!

By

For his role in Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! as corporate executive turned whistleblower Mark Whitacre, Matt Damon gained something like thirty pounds.  He didn’t need do it to look like the real Whitacre because none of us know what the real Mark Whitacre looks like.

...more

Movie Briefly: Deliver Us From Evil (2006)

By

dufe123

Deliver Us From Evil is a documentary, but it could be filed in the video store under the horror section. Few fictional bogeymen in the history of movies can hold a candle to a real-life monster like Oliver O’Grady, a former Catholic priest and serial child molester.

...more

1

Movies Briefly: Not Quite Hollywood, 2009

By

nqh

If, as Quentin Tarantino believes, the real core of exploitation cinema is found in images so crazy you cannot believe your eyes, then the new film about the history of Australian exploitation, Not Quite Hollywood, not only documents its subject, it embodies it as well.

...more

Movies Briefly, Stripes (1981)

By

murraystripes

Few movies deserve an “Extended Cut” but I can think of few that deserve one less than Stripes, which was already twenty minutes longer than necessary in its original theatrical edition. Rather than expanding the film to a bloated 126 minutes, Sony should have created the first “Abridged Cut”: 80 tightened minutes of the best basic training high jinks and Bill Murray improvisations.

...more

1

Movies Briefly, The Proposal (2009)

By

bullockreynolds

The title The Proposal has two meanings; it refers to the improvised marriage between shrew boss Margaret (Sandra Bullock) and exasperated assistant Andrew (Ryan Reynolds) devised to stave off her deportation, as well as to their jobs in the world of book publishing.

...more

Movies Briefly, Suspiria (1977)

By

argento1

It boggles my mind that Dario Argento directed a movie called Deep Red and it is not this picture. How is that possible? How could any movie not set entirely in a darkroom be more about the color red than this one?

...more

1

Salesman (1968)

By

salesman1

This picture about traveling Bible salesmen had me thanking God I didn’t go into retail. At least not the kind in Salesman: you’re separated from your family, working out of shared hotel rooms, trying to convince poor Catholics they need to own a $50 (or, inflation adjusted, $300) Bible.

...more

Thoughts on Antichrist

By

anti1

I took notes during the first Cannes press screening of Lars von Trier’s new film Antichrist but I don’t have them in front of me right now. I don’t need them. This movie is many things: shocking, troubling, angry, maybe even a little funny (though I’m still not sure whether the laughs are intentional or not).

...more