Thursday 24 Jul
 
 
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OKG Newsletter


Topic: Thriller

Dragon

Starring the ever-valuable Yen.


Action

Rod Lott
Ignore the Weinsteins’ needless re-christening of the Hong Kong film Wu Xia as the ever-generic Dragon. The important thing is that director Peter Chan (The Love Letter) has made not only one of the better martial-arts pictures of the new millennium thus far, but one that holds appeal to audiences not attuned to the genre.
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Place Beyond the Pines

The route of ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is great to good.


Thriller

Phil Bacharach
The Place Beyond the Pines is two-thirds of a great movie. Director Derek Cianfrance’s follow-up to 2010’s Oscar-nominated Blue Valentine is a tense, powerful crime thriller with some weighty stuff on its mind. It speaks to the filmmaker’s know-how that not even a crazily contrived third act can damper its haunting power.
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

FBI Code 98

It's about a bomb, but isn't one.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Despite how Warner Archive has branded it, 1963’s FBI Code 98 is not — repeat: not — film noir. All film noir is crime, but not all crime is film noir. That vaulted subgenre requires darkness, whereas this feature is so light and breezy, it’s practically a recruiting tool for the federal agency. It even has its own marching music.
 
Monday, May 6, 2013

Police Story / Police Story 2

Cop a feel.


Action

Rod Lott
Like many, my first exposure to Jackie Chan was through 1981’s The Cannonball Run. That doesn’t count.
 
Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ID:A

One tasty Danish.


Thriller

Rod Lott
Imagine waking up in a river with a nasty cut on your forehead, a gun, a bag full of millions in cash and no memory of who you are. For many, we call this Monday. For the purposes of this review, however, we call it ID:A.
 
Thursday, May 9, 2013

H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air

Ice it.


Horror

Rod Lott
H.P. Lovecraft’s Cool Air is really Albert Pyun’s Cool Air. The notorious director of the aborted Captain America and the should’ve-been-aborted Kathy Ireland vehicle known as Alien from L.A. is up to his usual inert tricks. It shows from the start, which forces viewers to read six title cards in two long minutes.
 
Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Town That Dreaded Sundown

‘Son, you got a panty on your head.’


Horror

Rod Lott
While it's not entirely successful, The Town That Dreaded Sundown represents a big step up for Charles B. Pierce, the Arkansas filmmaker who made a cinematic cryptozoological splash in 1972's unlikely hit The Legend of Boggy Creek
 
Monday, May 13, 2013

Parker

Stark raving average.


Action

Rod Lott
While it's admirable that Parker is dedicated to the memory of Donald E. Westlake, the legendary crime author who wrote two dozen novels about the character under the Richard Stark pen name, this Parker is not his Parker. It's Taylor Hackford's, and the director continues to apply his nondescript, workmanlike touch to average material (see Love Ranch, Ray, Proof of Life, etc.). He neither improves it nor harms it; he simply keeps it afloat.
 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Die! Die! My Darling!

Watch! Watch! Hammer fans!


Thriller

Rod Lott
File 1965's Die! Die! My Darling! under that now-dead subgenre dubbed "Grande Dame Guignol." The Hammer Films production may lack the dueling duo of two twilight-era titans of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? and the others, but truth be told, Tallulah Bankhead is fierce enough to provide all the fire it needs.
 
Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Bletchley Circle

A code well worth cracking.


Television series

Rod Lott
Nearly a decade after World War II ends, four British women who performed a valuable (albeit hush-hush) service breaking codes for their country find themselves restless and feeling useless in the era’s expected roles of barefoot-and-pregnant subservience.
 
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
 
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