By the end of Akira Kurosawa’s 1949 detective drama, Stray Dog, there is not a character that escapes the fray without rolling around in the mud, figuratively and literally. Every decision has consequences, and every action has a reaction. Some, more than others. For the young character of Detective Murikami (Toshirô Mifune), the mistake of […]Read More Akira Kurosawa Series – Stray Dog (1949)
In this conversation, Thomas Manning speaks with Jules Willcox and Marc Menchaca, the stars of the Fantasia Film Festival selection, “Alone,” directed by John Hyams. “Alone” tells the story of a recently widowed traveler (Willcox), who is kidnapped by a cold blooded killer (Menchaca), only to escape into the wilderness where she is forced to […]Read More Jules Willcox and Marc Menchaca Interviews – Alone – Fantasia Film Fest
Adapted from Damon Galgut’s 1995 novel of the same name, director Scott Teems’s film The Quarry comes to you as a gritty, grim, and bleak Neo-Western thriller. With a screenplay co-written by Teems and Andrew Brotzman, this feature exemplifies shades of the Coen Brothers’ 2007 instant classic No Country for Old Men and David Mackenzie’s […]Read More Neo-western “The Quarry” plays by its own rules.
So John Travolta is playing a version of Nicholas Cage who is playing John Travolta. On the other hand, we have Nicholas Cage playing a version of John Travolta who is playing Nicholas Cage. Yes, it gets pretty trippy. But wow, is this fun to watch! John Woo is a master at directing over-the-top, insane, […]Read More FACE/OFF Provides Plenty of Thrills and Feels
Chances are, if you have heard anything about UNCUT GEMS, from co-writers and directors Benny and Josh Safdie, it’s that you may very well have a panic attack while watching it. I am here to say that this motion picture absolutely lives up to the hype. I watched this film by myself, with nobody around […]Read More UNCUT GEMS – Anxiety-Inducing and Oscar-Worthy
I love how Rian Johnson took the “keep your politics out of my movies” trolls from THE LAST JEDI and basically composed an entire narrative commentating on the negative impact of people of this nature, through the lens of one of the most entertaining films of 2019. Talk about a legendary power move. This cast […]Read More KNIVES OUT – Rian Johnson Has “Dunnit” Again
BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE – Written and Directed by Drew Goddard I’m honestly still disappointed that this wonderful piece of art was overlooked during awards season. Certainly one of the most original films of 2018 – and of the decade, for that matter. A Best Original Screenplay Oscar nomination would have been justifiable, […]Read More BAD TIMES AT THE EL ROYALE – Bad Times, but Good Filmmaking
This movie could have just ended after Al Pacino’s monologue in the courtroom opening, and it would have been perfect. Incredibly, it kept going for another 2 hours, and added even more filmmaking mastery with each passing minute. I do not recall ever seeing a film make such consistent, immaculate use of extended, uncut tracking […]Read More Carlito’s Way – We Need to Find a “Way” to Make Films Like This Again
So you’re telling me that Rian Johnson wrote, directed, and edited this modern-day crime-noir masterpiece on a shoestring budget of $500,000? Well good golly Miss Molly, that is one heck of an accomplishment. The direction of this film is spectacular. The cinematography is outstanding, with well-crafted shot composition, framing, and camera movement from DP Steve […]Read More Brick – Rian Johnson’s Directorial Debut
The crime thriller genre has been explored thousands of times, with many different approaches, throughout the history of cinema. Some of the best directors in this category, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Martin Scorsese, Brian de Palma, and Michael Mann, have continued to develop methods of cultivating fresh and original crime features, while still maintaining […]Read More Writer/director Jason Cabell draws from personal experience to create crime thriller “Running with the Devil”.