Saturday, May 20, 2017

Jaws (1975)

When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

A brilliantly executed monster movie that launched the director's even more brilliant career.

On renewed viewing: it is remarkable how an old-hat exploitation story is surehandedly turned into an exciting and highly entertaining movie, perfectly balancing humor and shocks.

Halliwell**: "In the exploitation-hungry seventies this film took more money than any other. In itself, despite genuinely suspenseful and frightening sequences, it is a slackly narrated and sometimes flatly handled thriller with an over-abundance of dialogue and, when it finally appears, a pretty unconvincing monster."

Maltin****: "A rare case of a bubble-gum story...scoring as a terrific movie...Hold on to your seats!"

Who's That Girl?

Photographer: Ed Ross

Letícia Birkheuer

A day in the life, May 16

A day in the life, May 16, objet trouvé

Iselin Steiro

ph: Mikael Jansson

New York

New York City of the 1960s

Natasha Poly

First Lines: Robert Byron - The Road to Oxiana

Here as a joy-hog: a pleasant change after that pension on the Giudecca two years ago.

Patti Hansen

A day in the life, May 15

A day in the life, May 15, sticker

Zooey Deschanel

New Stuff: Bone Tomahawk

Ara Choi

Ph: Kim Eo Mi

Friday, May 19, 2017

Deep Impact (1998)

Unless a comet can be destroyed before colliding with Earth, only those allowed into shelters will survive.

Mediocre and quite tedious doomsday movie that makes one long for the apocalypse - and disappoints in that aspect, too.

On renewed viewing: If you don't take it too seriously, the movie can be mildly entertaining.

Halliwell*: "Something of a feel-bad disaster movie, in which the world is almost destroyed, while the audience is slowly drowned in the sticky syrup of sentimentality. What is truly striking is the poverty of imagination: the end of all life is a theme worth more than the trivial psychodramas on display."

Maltin***: "Exciting yarn...Freeman is the rock-solid U.S. president, Duvall a veteran astronaut on a space mission to explode the comet; their authorative presence adds weight to this saga, while Leoni seems a bit of a flyweight as the ambitious TV newswoman who breaks the story."

Sally Jonsson

New Stuff: Passengers

Alice Gilbert

ph: Anya Holdstock

Afraid to Talk (1932)

Corrupt politicians resort to murder and blackmail when a young boy accidentally witnesses them taking payoffs.

Lively, fast-paced drama that relentlessly decries political corruption, a message still valid to this day.

Maltin***: "Eye-opening pre-Code melodrama...Sparks fly in this unsubtle shocker..."

Veronica Lake

New Stuff: The New Yorker

(art: Roz Chast)

Who's That Girl?

Art: Al Williamson

Caroline Corinth

ph: Billy Kidd

A day in the life, May 14

A day in the life, May 14, after the storm

Anabel Krasnotsvetova

New York

Rebecca Lepkoff, Lower East Side, New York City, c.1945

Tiiu Kuik

Thursday, May 18, 2017

First Lines: Theodore Roosevelt - Through the Brazilian Wilderness

One day in 1908, when my presidential term was coming to a close, Father Zahm and I had been cronies for some time, because we were both of us fond of Dante and of history and of science - I had always commended to theologians his book, "Evolution and Dogma."

Monday, May 15, 2017

Fernanda Liz

ph: Takay

A day in the life, May 13

A day in the life, May 13, objet trouvé

Mini Anden

ph: Andreas Kock

Something Evil (1972)

A young couple moves into a farmhouse in rural Pennsylvania, but they don't know that there is an unseen presence in the house, and that it wants to take possession of the wife.

Above-average TV horror thriller, effectively staged with a good central performance by Sandy Dennis.