Archives for category: movie reviews

The term “creative destruction” is most often used in business, but there’s a small movie genre in which it applies. A stranger enters a close-knit community and miracles begin to happen. Hysteria – and predictably, jealousy – ensue. They don’t always end well, but a happy ending does not guarantee a great film. “Mr. North” (1988) is simply quirky, despite a loaded cast (Anthony Edwards in a rare-for-him, leading-man role, Virginia Madsen with an adorable Irish accent, Lauren Bacall, Robert Mitchum, etc.). Takes place in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1926, with producer John Huston in full nepotism mode (Danny directs, Anjelica co-stars).

With the success of “Knives Out,” it was a matter of time before Hollywood began spawning more ensemble whodunits. So why not return to a master – Agatha Christie? The 2022 remake of “Death on the Nile” has diversity to please modern audiences, but the ending is more like a Shakespearean tragedy (plus there’s a couple of head-scratching plot holes). Tortured genius Detective Poirot (Kenneth Branagh) is trying to complete an investigation, but bodies keep piling up. Whodunit? Who’s left? Gal Gadot is a shimmering light of a co-star, but there’s too much brooding darkness in this classy but somber production.

“Full Metal Jacket” (1987) is the Vietnam movie that gave us memorable-but-now-impermissible phrases such as, “me so horny, me love you long time,” and “only steers and queers come from Texas, and I don’t see any horns on you.” It’s also the Vietnam movie that is often credited for coming the closest to capturing what combat was actually like in Vietnam. I wasn’t there. I won’t judge. I will say that from a cinematic standpoint, it is better as a work of art than a piece of entertainment. I think writer/director/producer Stanley Kubrick meant for it to be that way.