Dennis Schwartz'
Short Reviews 
'T'  27

 



TATTOO (director/writer: Bob Brooks; screenwriter: Joyce Buñuel; cinematographer: Arthur Ornitz; editor: Thom Noble; music: Barry de Vorzon; cast: Bruce Dern (Karl), Maud Adams (Maddy), Leonard Frey (Halsey), Rikke Borge (Sandra), John Getz (Buddy), Peter Iacangelo (Dubin); Runtime: 103; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Robert F. Colesberry/Joseph E. Levine /Richard Levine; 20th Century Fox; 1981)

Tattooist (Dern) abducts and tattoos his model (Adams) before he has sex with her. A picture in need of some Freudian analysis. GRADE: C



TAXI DRIVER  (director: Martin Scorsese; screenwriter: Paul Schrader; cinematographer: Michael Chapman; editor: Marcia Lucas/Tom Rolf/Melvin Shapiro; music: Bernard Herrmann; cast: Robert De Niro (Travis Bickle), Cybill Shepherd (Betsy), Jodie Foster (Iris), Peter Boyle (Wizard), Albert Brooks (Tom), Harvey Keitel (Sport), Harry Cohn (Cabby in Bellmore), Norman Matlock (Charlie T), Steven Prince (Gun Salesman), Harry Northrup (Doughboy), Leonard Harris (Sen. Palantine), Murray Moston (Iris' Time Keeper), Martin Scorsese (Demented Taxi Passenger); Runtime: 114; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Michael Phillips/Julia Phillips; Columbia; 1976)

Scorsese captures a New York City of violence and insanity that is intersperced with the angst of Vietnam War veteran cab driver De Niro. A brilliant film.
GRADE: A



TENDERNESS OF WOLVES, THE (Zärtlichkeit der Wölfe) (director: Ulli Lommel; screenwriter: Kurt Raab; cinematographer: Jürgen Jürges; editors: Thea Eymèsz/Rainer Werner Fassbinder; music: Peer Raben; cast: Kurt Raab (Fritz Haarmann), Jeff Roden (Grans), Margit Carstensen (Frau Linder), Hannelore Tiefenbrunner (Police Kommisar), Rainer Werner Fassbinder (Wittkowski ), Brigitte Mira (Frau Engerl), Ingrid Craven (Dora); Runtime: 80; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; Anchor Bay Entertainment; 1973-W.Ger.-in German with English subtitles)

The true story of how a monster like Fritz Haarmann (Kurt Raab) can be allowed to flourish by a society that looks the other way. He is a petty thief, panhandler, black marketeer, con man, police informer, pedophile, and homosexual mass murderer of young boys. Fritz's story is told in the style of a black comedy through the actions of his pimp lover (Roden), his nosy neighbors, the corrupt police, and the flashbacks showing his many misdeeds. The chilling story takes place during Germany's Depression post-WW1, as the charming and enterprising Fritz operated as the "Vampire of Dusseldorf" inducing runaway boys to come to his house for money and food. He would then seduce them and scalpel off their flesh and sell the remains as meat, being allowed to ply his trade freely because of both police complicity and incompetence. Fritz is a look alike for Peter Lorre; in fact, Fritz Lang's M was influenced by his story and was made six years after Haarmann was hung in 1925. Lommel's version, though rewarding and unforgettable, made with the full complement of Fassbinder's regular actors, is not for the squeamish. It is very graphic and filled with disturbing German Expressionistic imagery. GRADE: B



TEOREMA (THEOREM) (director/writer: Pier Paolo Pasolini; screenwriter: based on the novel by Mr. Pasolini; cinematographer: Giuseppe Ruzzolini; editor: Nino Baragli; music: Ennio Morricone; cast: Terence Stamp (Visitor), Silvana Mangano (Mother), Massimo Girotti (Father), Anne Wiazemsky (Daughter), Laura Betti (Emilia, Maid), Ninetto Davoli (Messenger), Andrés José Cruz (Pietro, the son); Runtime: 98; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Manolo Bolognini/Franco Rossellini; Aetos Film/Continental Distributing Inc.; 1968-Italy, in Italian with English subtitles)

Teorema is Pasolini's ("Salo") go at merging mysticism and political allegory and homosexuality. Pasolini is the eccentric filmmaker, communist, poet, and queer, whose intense work is an attempt to present the idealism of Marxism and Christ as one philosophy. Stamp plays the Christ or Devil figure who is the handsome guest in a wealthy Milanese factory owner's home. He seduces everyone in the family gratifying their base desires, including the father, mother, daughter, son, and maid, and then abruptly leaves in the same mysterious way he arrived. This creates a new void in their lives, since he was able to subtly get them to change somewhat in their ways. But his departure has left them alone, unhappy and not fully prepared to grapple with their new found values. Only the peasant maid has the will to survive on her own. The point being that no member of the bourgeoisie can do anything right, even if they have good intentions.GRADE: B



TERROR TRAIN (director: Roger Spottiswoode; screenwriter: T.Y. Drake; cinematographer: John Alcott; editor: Anne Henderson; music: John Mills Cockwell/Larry Cohen; cast: Ben Johnson (Carne), Jaime Lee Curtis (Alana), Hart Bochner (Doc Manley), David Copperfield (Magician), Derek McKinnon (Kenny Hampson), Sandee Currie (Mitchy), Timothy Webber (Mo); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Harold Greenberg; 20th Century Fox/Key Home Video; 1980-Canada)

A pointless revenge horror flick about an obnoxious frat house that hires a train to have a masquerade party in. The students celebrate their graduation in style. In their freshman year, the frat played a cruel prank on Derek and he went bonkers. Now he comes uninvited aboard the train and starts killing off the creeps who did that terrible thing to him. When he kills them, he takes over their disguise. GRADE: C+



THAT DAY, ON THE BEACH (Haitan de yitian) (director/writer: Edward Yang; screenwriter: Nien-Jen Wu; cinematographer: Christopher Doyle; editor: Chen Bowen; cast: Sylvia Chang (Jia-li), Hsu Ming, Teresa Hu (Pianist, Hsin-hsin), Li Lieh, Mao Hsueh-wei; Runtime: 167; Cinema City Co.; 1983-Taiwan) ... Reviewed on 1/6/2002.

An overblown and overlong soap opera melodrama that many credit with launching the Taiwanese New Wave. The debut film by Edward Yang intersperses his own expatriate experience in the States (he worked for a major computer company) with his perceptions of urban middle-class Taiwanese society. Jia-li (Sylvia Chang) is the focus, as her unhappy story comes to light via flashback as she runs into her childhood friend she hasn't seen in 13 years, Hsin-hsin (Teresa Hu), who is now a successful concert pianist touring Europe. She relates her experiences to her, talking to her as she never did before.

Jia-li rejected her father's arranged marriage and married beneath her a rather simple fellow, Dei-wei. Her brother went into an arranged marriage despite being in love with Hsin-hsin. Both marriages did not work out well. After a tedious 167 minutes the mystery of what happened one day on the beach, as Jia-li's hard-working but cheating businessman husband disappeared, is not resolved but she feels ready to move on with her life as she walks away from the beach to start her own business. Her brother tells her the lesson learned from his bitter experience, is "everything depends on yourself." There are moments the film is lyrical, rich with emotions, and gripping, but there are too many other moments that it has nothing to say and is filled with empty clichés and long-winded scenes that don't amount to anything. The feminist point of view projected by Yang, is that the odds are stacked against the women ever finding happiness in such a patriarchal society. But the film was too dull and too ambiguous to do full justice to the message sent. GRADE: C 



THEY SHOOT HORSES, DON'T THEY?(director/writer/producer: Sydney Pollack; screenwriters: from the book by Horace McCoy/James Poe/Robert E. Thompson; cinematographer: Philip H. Lathrop; editor: Frederic Steinkamp; music: Johnny Green; cast: Jane Fonda (Gloria), Bruce Dern (James), Gig Young (Rocky), Michael Sarrazin (Robert), Susannah York (Alice), Red Buttons (Sailor), Bonnie Bedelia (Ruby); Runtime: 121; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Robert Chartoff/Irwin Winkler; MGM/Anchor Bay Entertainment; 1969)

A needy couple enters a competitive dance marathon during the '30s. The dance floor is supposed to be a metaphor for America's ills. The film, however, is too manipulative to have much of an impact. GRADE: C



THINGS BEHIND THE SUN (director/writer: Allison Anders; screenwriter: Kurt Voss; cinematographer: Terry Stacey; editor: Chris Figler ; cast: Kim Dickens (Sherry McGrale), Gabriel Mann (Owen), Don Cheadle (Chuck),  Eric Stoltz (Dan), Elizabeth Peña (Carmen), Rosanna Arquette (Pete), Alison Folland (Lulu), Patsy Kensit (Denise), C.H. Pounder (Judge); Runtime: 117; Sidekick Entertainment; 2001) ... Reviewed on 8/21/2001.

The film is based on an actual incident that happened to director Allison Anders. It's more of a cathartic film than an entertaining one. It's an intense real-life dramatization of a virgin girl brutally gang raped as a teen in Florida, Sherry (Kim Dickens). She is now a young adult rock singer singing about her personal problems (including the rape) and is growing in popularity but who suffers from the aftermath of that trauma. She has become an alcoholic, has tried to block that rape out of her mind without facing it, and has to live knowing that as a result of that rape she can't have kids. Thankfully the flick has some good punk rock music to ease the unease. Cheadle plays the manager of the band and Sherry’s ex-boyfriend and nurturer. Eric Stolz is the unrepentant rapist, who is now incarcerated for armed robbery. His brother (Gabriel Mann) is a writer for a rock 'zine, who treks back to Florida and writes a story about the rape--including his part in it. This gets everyone to confront their part in the rape, and gives Kim a chance to get on with her life and not be stuck on the rape being the most important thing in her life. One out of six women in America have experienced a rape or an attempted rape, and this film soberly details how traumatic that is. The subject matter is certainly relevant. GRADE: C



THINGS I NEVER TOLD YOU (director/writer: Isabel Coixet; cinematographer: Teresa Medina ; editor: Kathryn Himoff; music: Alfonso Vilallonga; cast: Lily Taylor (Ann), Andrew McCarthy (Don Henderson), Seymour Cassel (Frank), Alexis Arquette (Paul), Leslie Mann (Laurie); Runtime: 93; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Eddie Saeta/Javier Carbo; Seventh Art Releasing; 1996-Spain/USA)

An offbeat comedy/drama, about the search for love amidst the misery of living. Lily is the camera store sales clerk whose lover has just dumped her, and Andrew is the lonely real estate salesman and suicide hot-line volunteer whom she talks to on the phone. They form a relationship when he goes into her camera store and they meet without realizing they spoke to each other on the hot-line phone. These oddballs give a very endearing performance, that was both funny and perceptive.
GRADE: B



THIRD GENERATION, THE (Dritte Generation, Die) (director/writer/cinematographer: Rainer Werner Fassbinder; cinematographer: Hans Gunther Bucking; cast: Hark Bohm (Gerhard Gast), Harry Bär (Rudolf Mann), Margit Carstensen (Petra Vielhaber), Eddie Constantine (Peter Lurz), Jürgen Draeger (Hans Vielhaber), Hanna Schygulla (Susanne Gast), Bulle Ogier (Hilde Krieger), Udo Kier (Edgar), Volker Spengler (August); 1979-Ger.)

Rainer Werner Fassbinder's sick/dark comedy based on the premise that the West German state secretly supports a terrorist group to mask and offset its own repressions. The cast consists of RWF's regular ensemble players plus Bulle Ogier and Eddie Constantine. Fassbinder takes a middle-class Berlin terrorist cell which includes Schygulla, who is secretary to international computer dealer Constantine and he nonchalantly watches them in action, until finally betrayed by one of their leaders, August (Volker Spengler). The group's slogan is "The World as Will and Idea." The best quote from a philosopher is taken from Schopenhauer, "The existence of man is not more important than a stone." The story was too muddled to be enjoyable or informative, but you have to give Fassbinder credit for putting a different spin on terrorists. GRADE: C-



THIRD MAN, THE (director: Carol Reed; screenwriter: from the story by Graham Greene/Graham Greene; cinematographer: Robert Krasker; editor: Oswald Hafenrichter; music: Anton Karas; cast: Joseph Cotten (Holly Martins), Orson Welles (Harry Lime), Trevor Howard (Major Calloway), Alida Valli (Anna Schmidt), Bernard Lee (Sgt. Paine); Runtime: 104; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Alexander Korda/Carol Reed/David O. Selznick; Rialto Pictures; 1949-UK)

British noir classic noted for its original Anton Karas zither score and Robert Krasker's camera work. It matches the feel and dark mood of post-war Vienna. Orson is the unforgettable Harry Lime, charmer and black marketeer, while Cotten is the naive hack writer, an old friend of Harry's, who slowly finds out how well he knew the old chap. The scenes in the underground of the Vienna sewers are both surreal and magical. GRADE: A



THIS COULD BE THE NIGHT (director: Robert Wise; screenwriters: story by Cordelia Baird Gross/Isobel Lennart; cinematographer: Russell Harlan; editor: George Boemler; music: Ray Anthony; cast: Paul Douglas (Rocco), Jean Simmons (Anne Leeds), Anthony Franciosa (Tony Armotti), Julie Wilson (Ivy Corlane), Joan Blondell (Crystal St. Clair), ZaSu Pitts (Mrs. Shea), Percy Helton (Charlie); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Joe Pasternak; MGM; 1951)

Schoolteacher (Simmons) becomes secretary to a gangster night-club owner (Douglas), and falls in love with Douglas's partner (Franciosa). An unmoving romance whose flat direction lowlights this Damon Runyonish story. Though, there is a lively musical soundtrack by Julie. GRADE: C-



THIS MAN MUST DIE (director/writer: Claude Chabrol; screenwriter: story The Beast Must Die by Nicholas Blake/Paul Gégauff; cinematographer: Jean Rabier; editor: Jacques Gaillard; music: Pierre Jansen; cast: Claude Chabrol; cast: Michel Duchaussoy (Charles), Jean Yanne (Paul), Caroline Cellier (Helene), Anouk Ferjac (Jeanne), Marc Di Napoli (Philippe Decourt), Louise Chevalier (Mme. Levenes); Runtime: 112; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: André Genovès; Allied Artists Pictures; 1969-France-dubbed in English)

A brilliantly executed revenge film about a wealthy writer (Michel), whose 8-year-old son is killed by a hit-and-run driver; and, he, thereby, dedicates himself to the task of finding that driver and killing him. The story takes place in Brittany. The film is Hitchcockian in style and presents a most psychological take on one's motives. GRADE: B


THIS MODERN AGE  (director: Nick Grinde; screenwriters: from a story Girls Together by Mildred Cram/Ms. Cram/Frank R. Butler/John Meehan/Sylvia Thalberg; cinematographer: Charles Rosher; editor: William Le Vanway; cast: Joan Crawford (Valentine 'Val' Winters), Neil Hamilton (Bob Blake), Pauline Frederick (Diane, Valentine's Mother), Monroe Owsley (Tony), Hobart Bosworth (Bob's Father), Albert Conti (André), Emma Dunn (Bob's Mother); Runtime: 68; MPAA Rating: NR; MGM; 1931)

Lower-class Crawford meets upper-class Hamilton in Paris, but finds her marriage plans are wrecked by the snootiness of Hamilton's family. A fair film, but only because of its high energy level. I laughed at the hollow dialogue for the wrong reasons. This is a formula, money-making film, played to audiences of shop women of that era who fantasize that their lives could suddenly become glamorous. GRADE: C



THURSDAY (director/writer: Skip Woods; cinematographer: Denis Lenoir; editors: Paul Trejo/Peter Schink; music: Luna; cast: Thomas Jane (Casey), Aaron Eckhart (Nick), Paulina Porizkova (Dallas), James LeGros (Billy Hilly), Paula Marshall (Christine), Mickey Rourke (Policeman), Michael Jeter (Dr. Jarvis), Glenn Plummer (Rasta Man); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Alan Poul; Gramercy Pictures; 1998)

Thursday is the day of reckoning, hence the film's title.The moral of the story is that your past catches up with you sooner or later. In the case of Thomas Jane, it's a few years since he moved from Los Angeles to the suburbs of Houston and gave up his violent drug dealing days to be an architect and have a straight girlfriend (Paula). When his unreformed drug buddy Aaron Eckhart returns for a short visit, the action begins and his secret life falls apart. There are some creeps who are after Aaron's drugs and two million in cash. They come calling on Thomas, as he is left holding the stash bag for his friend. He gets raped by Dallas, LeGros nearly chain saws him apart, and Rourke is the crooked cop who will kill him unless he turns over the stolen money. The film is bloody. It seems to be about gore over substance. GRADE: D



TIMES SQUARE LADY (director: George B. Seitz; screenwriters: Albert J. Cohen/Robert T. Shannon; cinematographer: Lester White; editor: Hugh Wynn; cast: Robert Taylor (Steve Gordon), Virginia Bruce (Toni Bradley), Helen Twelvetrees (Margo Heath), Isabel Jewell (Babe Sweeney), Pinky Tomlin (Himself), Nat Pendleton (Mack), Henry Kolker (Fielding), Jack LaRue (Kramer), Robert Elliott (Culver); Runtime: 69; MGM; 1935) ... Reviewed on 9/3/2001.

A breezy gangster comedy with Robert Taylor in his first starring role stealing the film, and the bachelor was also rumored to be romantically involved with recently divorced leading lady Bruce. Virginia is the 22-year-old daughter of Broadway wheeler-dealer King Bradley, who dies and leaves his mostly sporting enterprise to his daughter from Iowa. The managers who run his sporting interests and Taylor who runs his Casa Nova nightclub conspire to swindle her out of her inheritance, as the shady lawyer Fielding manuevers behind the scenes. Taylor at first is a willing participant, but then changes his mind as he falls in love with Bruce. Typical lightweight film of that era, but very entertaining. GRADE: B-


TO CATCH A THIEF (director: Alfred Hitchcock; screenwriters: from the book To Catch a Thief by David Dodge/John Michael Hayes; cinematographer: Robert Burks; editor: George Tomasini; music: Lyn Murray; cast: Cary Grant (John Robie (The Cat)), Grace Kelly (Frances Stevens), Jesse Royce Landis (Mrs. Jessie Stevens), John Williams (H.H. Hughson), Charles Vanel (Bertani), Brigitte Auber (Danielle Foussard), Jean Martinelli (Foussard), Georgette Anys (Germaine); Runtime: 106; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Alfred Hitchcock; Paramount; 1955)

A comedy-thriller from the master, but a more congenial film than his usual fare. Grant as the retired cat burglar, living on the Riviera, catches the thief who is imitating him. What keeps this mundane story from getting too far below Hitch's standards, is dialogue like this: "Why should I steal? I'm rich." "How did you get
rich ?" "By stealing." GRADE: B



TORA! TORA! TORA! (directors: Richard Fleischer/Kinji Fukasaku/Toshio Masuda; screenwriters: from the books "Tora! Tora! Tora!" by Gordon W. Prange and "The Broken Seal" by Ladislas Farago/Larry Forrester/Hideo Oguni/Ryuzo Kikushima; cinematographers: Charles Wheeler/Osamu Furuya/Sinsaku Himeda/Masamichi Satoh; editors: Pembroke J. Herring/James Newcom/Inoue Chikaya; music: Jerry Goldsmith; cast: Jason Robards (Gen. Walter C. Short), Martin Balsam (Adm. Husband E. Kimmel), Joseph Cotton (Henry L. Stimson), E.G. Marshall (Lt. Col. Rufus S. Bratton), James Whitmore (Adm. William F. Halsey), Neville Brand (Lt. Kaminsky), George Macready (Cordell Hull), Sô Yamamura (Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto); Runtime: 144; MPAA Rating: G; producer: Elmo Williams; 20th Century Fox; 1970)

The title comes from the Japanese code words for success. This large scale WW11 movie, depicts the events leading up to and including the attack on Pearl Harbor, told from both country's points of view. The Japanese segments were done by directors Masuda and Fukasaken; and, they are interesting, even though, they soft sell the Japanese position. Nevertheless, we get to see the human side of our former enemies that few Hollywood pictures have attempted to do. What the film fails to do is point the finger on who was to be blamed for the mistakes of not being better prepared for the attack: it does not allow these pols to be villified, therefore we do not learn why Pearl Harbor was left so unprotected by the higher-ups--something much discussed in history circles.  GRADE: C+



TOUCH (director/writer: Paul Schrader; screenwriter: based on the novel by Elmore Leonard; cinematographer: Ed Lachman; editor: Cara Silverman; music: David Grohl; cast: Bridget Fonda (Lynn Faulkner), Christopher Walken (Bill Hill ), Skeet Ulrich (Juvenal), Tom Arnold (August Murray), Lolita Davidovich (Antoinette Baker), Paul Mazursky (Artie), Janeane Garofalo (Kathy Worthington), Gina Gershon (Debra Lusanne), Virginia Worrell (Conchata Ferrell), John Doe (Elwin Worrel); Runtime: 97; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Lila Cazes/Fid Attieh; United Artists; 1997)

An unfullfilling fable about a healer (Skeet), who is an ex-monk, now working with alcoholics, and doing a little of God's work on the side. Fanatical exploiter (Arnold) and con artist (Walken) try to cash in on Skeet's ability to touch people and cure them as he bleeds like the crucified Christ. There are some interesting things said about religion, but the film lacks any vision and oomph to go anywhere but remain mildly intriguing. GRADE: C



TREES LOUNGE (director/writer: Steve Buscemi; cinematographer: Lisa Rinzler; editor: Kate Williams; music: Evan Lurie; cast: Steve Buscemi (Tommy), Mark Boone Junior (Mike), Carol Kane (Connie), Chloe Sevigny (Debbie), Elizabeth Bracco (Theresa), Anthony LaPaglia (Rob), Danny Baldwin (Jerry), Eszter Balint (Marie), Debi Mazar (Crystal), Kevin Corrigan (Matthew); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Brad Wyman/Chris Hanley; Orion Pictures Classics; 1996)

This picture is funny and sad. It's about odd characters and losers who hang around a Long Island bar. This small story is told with wit and an ear for the inner being of these lonely people. These are real people, not the inventions of Hollywood, and it is enjoyable to see what makes them carry on the way they do. A recommended film. GRADE: B



TRULY, MADLY, DEEPLY (director/writer: Anthony Minghella; cinematographer: Remi Adefarasin; editor: John Stothart; music: Barrington Pheloung; cast: Alan Rickman (Jamie), Juliet Stevenson (Nina), Michael Maloney (Mark); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: PG; producers: Robert Cooper/Mark Shivas; MGM; 1991-UK)

A soapy, though intelligently told tale of bereavement and ghosts. The heroine has lost her cello playing lover (Rickman) to a sore throat, but who returns as a playful ghost. He even brings his ghost friends over to watch videos such as the arcane arty flick, Forgetful Venice. You have to love this film for its sweetness and focus on what could happen if one can't get over such a loss. Juliet withdraws; that is, until she meets Maloney, the art therapist. The film then gets a bit schmaltzy. GRADE: C



TRUST (director/writer: Hal Hartley; cinematographer: Michael Spiller; editor: Nick Gomez; music: Phil Reed; cast: Adrienne Shelly (Maria Coughlin), Martin Donovan (Matthew Slaughter), Edie Falco (Peg Coughlin), Gary Sauer (Anthony), Matt Malloy (Ed), Merritt Nelson (Jean Coughlin), John A. MacKay (Jim Slaughter), Marko Hunt (John Coughlin), Suzanne Costollos (Rachel); Runtime: 107; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Jerome Brownstein/Ted Hope/Bruce Weiss; Fine Line Features; 1990-UK/USA)

Shelly plays a spoiled suburbanite who is pregnant by a high school jock. Donovan plays a volatile character who can't get along with his pop or his boss at his computer job. Naturally, these two misfits are fated to meet and try their hand in romance. All it requires is trust. An offbeat kind of sitcom, in the style of Woody Allen; that is, without the Jewish neurotic characters. Very tart, nonsensical dialogue make for a satisfying satirical look at middle-class Americans. GRADE: B+



TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. (director: Kiefer Sutherland; screenwriter: Brad Mirman; cinematographer: Ric Waite; editor: Lawrence Jordan; music: Jude Cole; cast: Vincent Gallo (Ray Lembecke), Mykelti Williamson (Marcus), Kiefer Sutherland (Curtis), Kim Dickens (Addy), Kevin Pollak (Gordon), Grace Phillips (Donna), Max Perlich (Wayne), Rod Steiger (Tony), Martin Sheen (Sir), John C. McGinley (Eddie Grillo); Runtime: 101; MPAA Rating: R; producers: J. Paul Higgins/Kevin J. Messick/Hilary Wayne; Triumph Films; 1997)

Gallo gets out of prison and hooks up with his squeeze, Dickens. They rip-off a drug dealer but to their chagrin, everything goes wrong and they go on the run wanted by both police and the mob. Oh, yes, there is also a kidnapping and a few more murders. An easy film to watch, if you are in a mindless mood.
GRADE: C+



TWENTY THOUSAND LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (director/writer/producer: Stuart Paton; screenwriter: from the book by Jules Verne; cinematographers: Eugene Gaudio/J. Ernest Williamson; music: Brian Benison & Alexander Rannie-new score; cast: Matt Moore (Lt. Bond), Allen Holubar (Capt. Nemo), Jane Gail (Princess Dasker); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Carl Laemmle; Universal; 1916-silent)

Shot during WW 1, in the Bahamas. A film noted for its special effects, a precursor to the modern film. The camera work was done by the Williamson brothers, using an underwater camera. This Jules Verne story places a heavy emphasis on the preparations for war. Captain Nemo is searching for his long-lost daughter. But it is, intriguingly, the story about a submarine that Verne envisioned about 50-years before it was invented. This is a beautifully told tale, in some ways better than Disney's superstar version. GRADE: B+



TWO GUN MAN FROM HARLEM (director/writer: Richard Kahn; cinematographer: Harvey Gould/Marcel Le Picard; editor: William Faris; music: Herb Jeffries; cast: Herb Jeffries (Bob Blake/The Deacon), Clarence Brooks (John Barker), Margaret Whitten (Sally Thompson), Mantan Moreland (Bill Blake), Tom Southern (John Steele), Mae Turner (Ruth Steele), Matthew "Stymie" Beard (Jimmy Thompson), Spencer Williams (Butch Carter), Jesse Lee Brooks (Sheriff); Runtime: 60; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Richard C. Kahn/Alfred N. Sack; Timeless Video Inc.; 1938)

Financed by a white entrepenaur, Alfred Sachs, this popular black Western hits the same spot that similar 'B' type of white Westerns do. Filmed on a tight budget, Herb plays the cowboy who gets framed for the murder of his boss Mr. Steele. GRADE: C



TWO O'CLOCK COURAGE (director: Anthony Mann; screenwriters: story by Gelett Burgess/Robert Kent; cinematographer: Jack MacKenzie; editor: Philip Martin; music: Roy Webb; cast: Tom Conway (The Man), Ann Rutherford (Patty Mitchell), Richard Lane (Haley), Jane Greer (Helen Carter), Roland Drew (Steve Maitland), Emory Parnell (Inspector Bill Brenner); Runtime: 68; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Benjamin Stoloff; RKO; 1945)

Conway develops amnesia after being hit on the head with a gun at a murder scene and is suspected of the murder. A female cabbie (Rutherford) joins forces with him as they search for the killer. Fair mystery story. GRADE: C



TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER (director/writer: Jean-Luc Godard; cinematographer: Raoul Coutard; editors: Francoise Collin/Chantal Delattre; music: Ludwig van Beethoven; cast: Marina Vlady (Juliette Jeanson), Anny Duperey (Marianne), Roger Montsoret (Robert Janson), Jean Narboni (Roger), Christophe Bourseiller (Christophe), Marie Bourseiller (Solange), Raoul J. Lévy (The American); Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Philippe Senne; New Yorker Films; 1967-France-in French with English dialogue)

Reviewing Godard's film, 32 years after its release, it is easy to see how dated it is. The Vietnam War serves Godard well, as he uses that to show how de-humanizing the politics was at the time. The film moves along at a quickened pace, shot in snapshot form. A housewife (Marina) with two kids, expecting a third, is asked by her new husband to go back into prostitution. An OK Godard. GRADE: B-



Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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