Death Proof
Film

Death Proof

The premise: Stunt babes versus Stuntman Mike (as played by Kurt Russell, icy hot and deliciously duck-tailed). The movie elevates the exploitation-device-as-feminist-tract. It’s a guy flick for chicks, a valentine to the drive-in, the Vanishing Point car, and the breakout star (Zoe Bell); but this is Kurt’s ride all the way. Death Proof was the most fun I had … Continue reading

Vertigo
Film

Vertigo

Many Alfred Hitchcock films are great entertainments, but they are contraptions next to Vertigo. Full of dread, and highly personal for all of us, it is Hitchcock at his most profound. This is Scottie’s story. He is a single man (James Stewart) living in San Francisco, a retired detective who suffers from vertigo. One day a … Continue reading

Public Enemies
Film

Public Enemies

Or: I Am A Fugitive From The History Channel. John Dillinger looked like a wolf; Johnny Depp is a ballroom sheik. Billie Frechette was Dillinger’s moll, small, plain, and scrappy; Marion Cotillard is a blank beauty searching for a character. The couple has no chemistry, no liveliness. Directed to look hard at each other, they can’t … Continue reading

The Fury
Film

The Fury

Brian De Palma loves pulp. And though he leans on certain tricks of the trade (e.g., split-screen and slow motion; a restless camera and a male gaze), he uses them gracefully. They show that he honors the medium; they’re meant to engage. Mostly he seeks to entertain, and he wants to do more than roll … Continue reading