Category Archives: Film Ruminations

(mini) Film Ruminations: The Tree of Life (2011), Super 8 (2011), A Serious Man (2010), etc.

I do not write reviews for the majority of films I watch.  My reasons are somewhat nebulous considering it’s the summer and I certainly have time.  I see my blog more as a way to re-examine and bring to the forefront sci-fi books and films generally more esoteric and infrequently reviewed.  But certain winds shift direction for brief windows of time.  So here we go, a rundown of the more popular films I’ve seen in theater or re-watched recently.

The Tree of Life (2011), dir. Terrence Malick, rating 7.75/10 (Good)

tree_of_life_poster-xlarge

Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life (2011) juxtaposes extensive sequences Continue reading

A Film Rumination: The Man Who Changed His Mind (variant titles: The Man Who Lived Again, Brainsnatcher, Dr. Maniac), Robert Stevenson (1936)

7/10 (Good)

Boris Karloff!  Mind transplants! Headstrong female scientists! 30s sci-fi horror! A watchable yet seldom seen film! What’s not to like?

The Man Who Changed His Mind (1936) is the second Robert Stevenson (later of Disney fame), Anna Lee, and John Loder feature I’ve seen — the first, Non-Stop New York (1937) wasn’t nearly as Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Non-Stop New York, Robert Stevenson (1937)

5/10 (Bad/Average)

This “lost” (for good reason) little film is vaguely watchable for one aspect alone — a massive futuristic art-deco transatlantic plane which can fly from London to New York in 18 hours!  Non-Stop New York (1937) is an early film from illustrious director Robert Stevenson (Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Love Bug, Continue reading

A Film Rumination: He Who Must Die (Celui Qui Doit Mourir), Jules Dassin (1957)

He_Who_Must_Die-796781802-large

7.5/10 (Good)

American director Jules Dassin — famous for his 40s and 50s film noir works Brute Force, Rififi, Night and the City, The Naked City – departs from his normal stomping ground with an adaptation of Nikos Kazantzaki’s 1948 novel The Greek Passion.  Dassin left the US for France because of his Communist affiliations — hence, the film is in Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Transatlantic Tunnel (variant title: The Tunnel), Maurice Elvey (1935)

6.5/10 (Average)

Maurice Elvey’s Transatlantic Tunnel (1935) inhabits the forlorn ranks of seldom seen early science fiction films.  Is it a masterpiece of the genre?  No.  Is it worth watching for fans of early sci-fi?  Definitely!  The production value is remarkable (which surprised me) and a few scenes remain to this day awe-inspiring Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl, Manoel de Oliveira (2009)

7.5/10 (Good)

The Portuguese master Manoel de Oliveira is the oldest filmaker still making films — he’s 102 at the moment!  Even more surprising is the fact that his most productive years have come since the 1990s (often two films a year).  Eccentricities of a Blonde-haired Girl (2009) is the first of his I’ve seen and won’t be my last.  Despite the fact that Eccentricities has its fair share of flaws it is a gorgeous and timeless tale Continue reading

A Film Rumination: Sidney Lumet (June 25, 1924-April 9, 2011) and mini-reviews of the films of his I’ve seen

The great American director Sidney Lumet (1924-2011) passed away today and in honor of his long and productive  career (albeit with brief lulls of average work) here are a few mini-reviews of the films of his I’ve seen in order of preference. I’ve not seen many of his acknowledged masterpieces including Serpico, The Hill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, The Pawnbroker, etc.

1. Network (1976)

9.5/10 (Masterpiece)

Network (1976) is by far my favorite Sidney Lumet film Continue reading