REVIEW: In a Lonely Place [1950]

There’s no sacrifice too great for a chance at immortality. Just because you might be innocent of one crime doesn’t mean you’re a saint who’d never commit another. We’ve seen this type of complex premise as recently as “The Night of”, a miniseries about racial prejudice and police neglect wherein the accused (and audience) is unaware of whether he committed murder. And as facts of the evening in question are put into context, details also surface about the defendant to color him in a different light than initially assumed. Our…

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REVIEW: The Maltese Falcon [1941]

“You’re a good man, sister” Based on pure coincidence from a conversation that had nothing to do with John Huston’s classic debut The Maltese Falcon, watching Rian Johnson’s Brick later in the same night couldn’t have been more perfect. The latter a modern noir described as Dashiell Hammett in high school, the parallels were hitting me left and right without my realizing that the scribe who inspired it actually wrote the novel the former was based upon. Exchanges are mirrored in Brick—like the lead detectives confronting the law in a…

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REVIEW: Casablanca [1943]

“Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time.” This is doubtfully a remark to make my case, but although I remembered very little about Casablanca from my first viewing years ago—besides Sam the piano player starting “As Time Goes By” at Ilsa’s request to procure Rick from the other room of his café—it really is one of the best films ever made. From Michael Curtiz’s direction, to Max Steiner’s score, to Arthur Edeson’s gorgeous black and white, to the cast’s ability to infuse humor into a very…

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REVIEW: Michael Jackson’s This Is It [2009]

“A little more booty” It’s hard to believe that Michael Jackson passed away just four months ago. I don’t say that because I miss the guy—honestly, he hadn’t been in my consciousness since all the child molestation hoopla made him more a joke that talent—but because the footage shot of rehearsals for what was to be his final curtain call tour has already been spliced together into a tribute documentary. Not to say that This Is It is a complete “cashing in” on his death, but one can’t look at…

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REVIEW: Brick [2006]

“Where do you eat lunch?” This is a film I have been highly anticipating for over a year. After first hitting the festival circuit in January of 2005 it went through the cycles, finally getting a stateside limited release at the end of March 2006. Buffalo, I ask you now to open your eyes to a masterpiece of cinema as Brick finally debuts at the Amherst Dipson. Brick is a not a film as much as a symphony where each instrument is tuned to the beat of the conductor. Each…

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