’80s Teen Movies

Life moves pretty fast. Sage advice of a hallowed teen from the mid-1980’s, when Reaganomics’s voodoo charmed ideologies, a generation of kids were being raised at the shopping mall, and Huey told us to get back in time. Hollywood noticed these changes and, like John Bender piercing his ear in triumph, transformed pop-culture into the…

The Syndicate

The Pictures was author Guy Bolton’s entry into pure, noir fiction. The read was golden as it was retro. Why then does his follow-up, The Syndicate, lack any of that LA snap? The Pictures was smooth, single-malt brewed to a James Cain beat. As a sequel, The Syndicate is as memorable as that last Coors…

The Pictures

Along with the built-in worldwide adoration, actors during Hollywood’s Golden Years apparently had immediate and abundant access to booze, drugs, and illicit women, all of which was enjoyed at a premium. Woe, however, to the john caught, for if the studio’s fixer couldn’t provide an out, the mob would, particularly with a bullet, knife, and/or…

Thrill Girl

Thrill Girl has all the ingredients of a great genre read. Set in 1950’s LA, you got the war-hero-turned-beat-reporter, a leggy blonde, gruesome murders, ex-Nazis, and smoking. A lot of smoking. So much that the pages are saturated with tobacco. Stirred, definitely not shaken, within, author Jack Curran mixes an exciting tale of murder, vigilantism,…

The Setting Sun of High Noon

The weight of Glenn Frankel’s second book in looking at the historical Hollywood is truly outlined in High Noon’s sub-title: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic. Frankel provides a deep-dive directorial-style narration into the making of the Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly Western classic High Noon, but this account’s true showdown occurs as Congress…

The "Fake Picture" becomes a real hit

In the film Argo, producer Lester Siegel, played by Academy Award winner Alan Arkin, puts forth real effort into making a fake film a success as a perfect ruse to rescue six wanted Americans hiding at the Canadian Ambassador’s residence during the 1979 Iranian hostage crisis. The triple-threat of Ben Affleck (Argo‘s Producer-Director-Star) must have…

Clever thriller. Pass the popcorn.

As with most suspension-driven thrillers, there is always that built-in awareness, an unspoken agreement that occurs at the ticket kiosk or when pushing the “Open/Close” button on the Blu-ray player, that a dose of suspension-of-disbelief as hefty as the salt on that bag of popcorn is as sure to occur as is a montage sequence…

Prepare to Rock Out!

Rock Star is a well-told Hollywood-style rendition of the true-to-life tale based on how Ripper became Rob Halford‘s replacement for Judas Priest. Within, Mark Wahlberg pours on his boyish charm and performs with believable admirably, something he has been known to do since Boogie Nights. Stephen Herek, no stranger to musically-themed movies, wonders the audience…

A Wim Wenders film for the MTV Generation

I was mostly interested to see if Bono could write a movie script as well as he does lyrics. Look out, Hollywood, this Irish lad can write! Million Dollar Hotel was funny, tragic and all together imaginative bringing out overlooked performances by an incredible cast: Jeremy Davies, Milla Jovovich, Amanda Plummer, Gloria Stuart, Bud Cort, Julian  Sands…