April Fool’s Day

This isn’t an April Fool’s Day gag but a genuine recommendation, especially if you’re “not into scary movies.” Die-hard horror fans, on the other hand, know that Fred Walton’s 1986 sleeper, which just turned 30 years old, is a real keeper. It’s also an essential genre entry, as it was decades ahead of its time… Continue reading April Fool’s Day

The Counselor

You know you’re watching a film noir when the main character is presented with two choices and never picks the right one. Of course, if people in movies did the right thing, made the correct, morally responsible decisions and acted like good, upstanding citizens, we wouldn’t have a movie. In Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor,” Michael… Continue reading The Counselor


If you only read one graphic novel in your lifetime, make it “Watchmen” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ve been saying this for years, to the annoyance of my friends, but seriously, it lives up to its prestigious reputation. On paper, “Watchmen” is thrilling, complex stuff, but as a movie, its an ambitious mixed… Continue reading Watchmen

Nocturnal Animals

“Nocturnal Animals,” director Tom Ford’s second film, begins with the filmmaker playfully tickling the audience and pushing their buttons. By the time the names of the actors and production team have finished appearing and the introductory moments have faded, the audience may feel they’re in for a big goof. Actually, what develops isn’t a comedy… Continue reading Nocturnal Animals

Ghost Dog- The Way of the Samurai

Forest Whitaker is no one’s first choice to play the role of a samurai, which is why it works so well. To describe Jim Jarmusch’s “Ghost Dog- The Way of the Samurai” is to court ridicule and disbelief that the movie could be anything other than a campy disaster. Whitaker plays a silent but commanding… Continue reading Ghost Dog- The Way of the Samurai

So I Married An Axe Murderer

Cult movies are born in the same way people fall in love. So many choices, yet we become emotionally fixated on The One, tell every one of our friends and family members and, whether they agree or not, we declare, “This is it, the one you all must know! Has anyone else here ever watched… Continue reading So I Married An Axe Murderer

The Black Hole

After the release of “Star Wars” and its monumental, game changing success, seemingly every major film studio cranked out a competitor. While the low-budget “Star Wars” knockoffs are a long list of mostly forgotten duds, the expensive, ambitious examples are noteworthy for all arriving in the same year. In 1979, United Artists sent James Bond… Continue reading The Black Hole

The Kiss

I wasn’t aware that kissing a relative was an actual, universally shared phobia but here it is, a movie that exploits that fear. In Pen Desham’s 1988 horror film, “The Kiss,” Amy, a young, virginal teenager (played by Meredith Salenger) is uneasy about the presence of her Aunt Felice (Joanna Pacula), a long absent relative… Continue reading The Kiss

Strange Invaders

Michael Laughlin’s 1983 “Strange Invaders” never garnered the cult following it deserved, though I’m always running into it. It used to be one of those titles I’d find at seemingly every video rental store in America, the DVD is readily available and it frequently pops up on basic cable. Laughlin intended the film to be… Continue reading Strange Invaders

No Holds Barred

In 1989, I took a long drive with my mother to Lahaina, in hopes of seeing Hulk Hogan.. Our plan was to see “No Holds Barred,” the first-ever wrestling/action movie to star Hogan, one of my childhood heroes. The movie was one of three films playing at the recently opened Wharf Cinema Center, Maui’s first… Continue reading No Holds Barred