Drunk on adulation from her Oscar-nominated performance in Lady Sings the Blues three years earlier, how could Ross resist such a star vehicle, especially one that let her design her own costumes: a decision, by the way, that ranks up there with the Watergate break-in as one of the worst ideas of the 1970s? Even Cher must have averted her eyes.
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Some of these boogeymen are the real deal -- Leatherface (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) at the end of the film, Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street) in his finest hour, Jason (Friday the 13th) chasing a towel-wrapped co-ed, Pinhead (Hellraiser) ripping apart some dude. These are memorable horror baddies who haunted us during our youth. Then there are scenes from Wishmaster, Leprechaun, The Guardian, and even The Dentist -- not only is it not scary, it's silly and insulting to the other villains (like Psycho's Norman Bates) in the lineup. The Puppetmaster? And The Ugly? I've never even heard of The Ugly.
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Alfred Hitchcock's first real horror movie not only set off a raging controversy and alarming threats of censorship, but it also ruined the morning shower for a generation of Americans. The shower scene, now one of the most famous and replayed moments in movie history, was just the knife's edge of this masterpiece of fear-dredging, Freudian obsession, and sadistic humor.
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And so it did to Mike Nichols and Buck Henry, collaborators on The Graduate who conspired once again to make one of the greats of cinema. While Catch-22 has none of the cachet of other war movies (and we'll get to that...), it's by far one of the best out there, ranking with Platoon, Full Metal Jacket, and Apocalypse Now as one of the greats.
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