Welcome to my 12 Days of Christmas series! I thought I'd introduce some of my favorite anti-Christmas-spirit movies and a few proper Christmassy ones to celebrate what is actually my favorite holiday. (Food, pretty lights, and it lasts practically all month! It's really just the, um, people I don't like much.)
"Payback" is writer/director Brian Helgeland's homage to American crime films of the 70s. Our anti-hero, Porter, starts out being left for dead, so I suppose everything after that is technically an improvement.
This is my entry in the delicious Food in Film Blogathon, hosted by Silver Screenings and Speakeasy. Check out the many treats from Day 1, Day 2, and Day 3! Let’s just start by acknowledging that Peter Greenaway‘s “The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover” is not for everyone. And that’s okay.
A contribution to the very cool Duo Double Feature Blogathon! Watching two stars as gifted and likeable as Willam Powell and Jean Harlow together is always a treat. Unfortunately, it's a treat we only got to see twice, as Harlow died terribly young, at 26, and at the height of her career.
"North by Northwest" (1959) ticks off a lot of Hitchcock’s favorite boxes: a Sexy Blonde; modes of transit (in spades); elaborate chase scenes; espionage; and a Wrong Man. And yet, it seems always to have lingered in the shadow of "Vertigo" (1958).
The film has a complicated history, including a frosty reception upon its first (and second release). But even if the film weren’t importantly historically, with one of the first moments of moving technicolor (rather than hand-tinted film), it allows us to watch Chaney in all his sympathetic, oddball glory.
On his best day, Peter Lorre's Dr. Gogol has at least one foot in la-la land. A refined madman, he's got Lorre's soft, soothing voice and self-effacing manner. Gogol is, however, equally likely to slip into hysterics at the drop of a hat.
Just a laboratory and a dream...and a lot of disemboweling. Udo Kier's Baron Frankenstein is a mad scientist by way of a porn film. Frankenstein, as portrayed by Kier, is the crazed cousin of Shelley's anti-hero, godfather to the grown-up children of "Spider Baby" (1967).