Tuesday, December 24, 2019


KRAMPUS - Krampus is a demon/ goat who punishes naughty children in pre-Christian Germanic folk tales. He’s celebrated on Krampuskarten with festivals, greeting cards and parades. Sounds great. But, in large part, Krampus -- the movie --disappoints. It attempts to capture the spirit of the 80s horror/ comedy classic film entitled Goonies. What’s wrong with it? It’s too gimmicky, there are too many jump scares and the CGI images are overdone. Forty minutes into the movie nothing has happened other than a dinner and a snow storm. Moments that have horror potential are actually missed opportunities. I really wanted to like this movie but it wasn’t funny and it also wasn’t scary. A cool idea? Yes. A good movie? Clearly, no. 

Friday, December 20, 2019


Review of The Merchandiser by Myra G – “In this case, the Merchandiser is a department store decorator. It is almost Thanksgiving and Fred Dorman's job is to dress the store for Christmas. Fred is a loner, but not by choice. He knows he's an ugly man who has had no luck with women. He thinks it's perfectly alright to sleep with a mannequin that he's smuggled home. The store decorations and windows are so perfect he is sure he will get a raise. Instead, when he reaches out to the store's pretty bookkeeper, what he gets is a domino effect as things get hopelessly out of control. I can see this story being presented by Alfred Hitchcock. Very well done.”

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Phantastes by George MacDonald (1858)

PhantastesPhantastes by George MacDonald
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Phantastes by George MacDonald (1858)
A young man is pulled into a dream world, hunting for the Marble Lady, an idealized beauty. After many adventures and temptations he gives up his ideals.

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Friday, December 6, 2019


JOKER - This material has been fashioned into comic books, merchandise tie-ins, live action flicks, animated movies, TV series, books and video games. The Joker was created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson, in Batman’s debut issue, published in 1940 by DC Comics. Directed by Todd Phillips and starring Joaquin Phoenix, the setting of Joker (2019) is razor sharp:  Manhattan in the early 80s. Imbued with sleazy porn theaters, sidewalk assassinations, garbage strikes and police corruption. Many character defects contribute to his craziness: jokes that don’t land, his childhood abandonment, weird dance moves, bizarre sense of style, and uncontrollable laughter at inappropriate times. Joaquin Phoenix takes exceedingly challenging material for an actor, and transforms himself. He’s pitiful at first, but becomes the embodiment of the Joker, in a swirling descent into madness. The film has many critics, complaining it condones violence. I will offer an alternate opinion: it can’t be gratuitous if it’s essential to the plot. Joker is a triumph of originality in movie making, in an era of cookie cutter comic book remakes. Yes, you heard that right. An original remake. An antihero becomes heroic, and accomplishes this solo, for all the wrong reasons. Somehow 80 year old source material has been formed into something fresh and new. In this nihilistic world, society steps over the most unfortunate, or does worse. You might think the audience would dislike Arthur Fleck. But you’d be wrong. Who is to blame for the Joker’s atrocities? Perhaps it’s a little bit on all of us.