December 31, 2011

The Invasion (2007)

Despite my distaste for Nicole Kidman and her plastic face, my desire to see The Invasion, the remake of two previous classic body snatcher films, was very high. There are slight differences to the story that does not detract and the first two thirds of the film was involving. But the last third contained action sequences that came out of nowhere and had a tacked on happy ending that snatched the whole movie-going experience from my body.

December 14, 2011

The Screaming Woman (1972)

Olivia de Havilland earned her creepy-sweet chops before The Screaming Woman, a 1972 ABC Movie of the Week film presentation, but for this creepy-sweet performance she winningly recalls her 1948 Oscar winning role in The Snake Pit as a woman just released from an institution who hears the voice of another women buried under a foundation on her property. The script, loosely based on a Ray Bradbury story, is not a mystery as we are witness to all the comings and goings but there are some genuinely thrilling moments and frightening shots - and de Havilland can scream with the best of them. They really don't make television movies like this anymore so it would behoove you to check it out on my YouTube channel.

Visit for more info on The Screaming Woman

* The Screaming Woman is considered in the public domain.

December 11, 2011

The Well (1951)

The Well is an uncompromising, racially charged drama that pits white against black amidst the investigation into the disappearance of a black female child. Although the idiocy of the white racist characters comes off the worst, the film does not pander by putting the black characters on a pedestal. Yes, this story has been done before (life imitated art a little over a decade ago) but The Well still never ceases to make me well up - with anger and with joy.

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December 3, 2011

Garbo Talks (1984)

The legacy of Greta Garbo is such that the only time Garbo Talks (a movie that uses her appearance on screen as a denouement) comes alive is when Garbo herself is on screen - and she is silently portrayed by an actress! The movie itself is a pastiche of events in the life of a guy as he runs around New York City trying to find the legendary recluse for a visit with his dying mother (Anne Bancroft in an over-the-top performance as a Jewish mother that was almost distasteful). The film's creators ladled on the quirk factor while sprinkling emotion only slightly in this one.