Classic Movie Hub (CMH)
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Double Indemnity (1944, Billy Wilder)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 16, 2018

Double Indemnity is mostly a character study. There’s the noir framing device–wounded insurance salesman Fred MacMurray stumbling into his office and recording his confession on a dictaphone. Turns out he met a woman and things didn’t work out. MacMurray narrates the entire film. Occasionally read more

Creation (2009, Jon Amiel)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 9, 2018

Creation is the not the story of how Charles Darwin (Paul Bettany) and the ghost of his oldest daughter (Martha West) collaborated in the writing of On the Origin of Species. That story would make a much better movie. The film opens with a title card explaining it will be about Darwin writing that read more

Superman (1978, Richard Donner), the extended cut

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 4, 2018

The extended version of Superman runs three hours and eight minutes, approximately forty-five minutes longer than the theatrical version (Richard Donner’s director’s cut only runs eight minutes longer than the theatrical). The extended version opens with a disclaimer: the producers prepared this read more

Puppet Master 5 (1994, Jeff Burr)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 3, 2018

Puppet Master 5 opens with the series’s (unfortunately) standard lengthy opening title sequences. There’s nothing exciting about it, just white text on black and Richard Band’s theme in the background. The film’s single surprise in the titles is Band just getting an “original music by” credit. read more

Dirty Harry (1971, Don Siegel)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Feb 2, 2018

Dirty Harry only has one significant problem. It has a bunch of little problems, but it gets past those–sometimes manipulatively, sometimes just nimbly thanks to director Siegel and star Clint Eastwood–but the big one. It can’t overcome the third act. Villain Andy Robinson (I can’t forget to read more

Harvest (1953, James Sheldon)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 28, 2018

Dorothy Gish isn’t just top-billed in Harvest, host (and narrator) Robert Montgomery introduces the episode hyping her presence. So it’s a tad disappointing when it turns out Gish gets less and less to do throughout the hour-long television play. When she does get things to do, they happen off-scre read more

Thor: Ragnarok (2017, Taika Waititi)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 28, 2018

Why does Thor: Ragnarok open with Chris Hemsworth narrating only for him to stop once the title card sizzles? Literally, sizzles. Ragnarok is delightfully tongue-in-cheek and on-the-nose. Director Waititi refuses to take anything too seriously, which makes for an amusing two plus hours, but it does read more

Puppet Master 4 (1993, Jeff Burr)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 27, 2018

Puppet Master 4 is in a race with itself. Can it deliver on the animate puppet action before the cast becomes too intolerable? Can it deliver before the stupid scenes get to be too much? No, as it turns out, it can’t. Puppet Master 4 doesn’t succeed. Not even a Frankenstein making-the-monster homag read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 27, 2018

Superman is a long fifteen chapters. The first two chapters are the “pilot.” They set up Kirk Alyn as Superman. He comes to Earth as a baby–with the Krypton sequences in the first chapter the most impressive thing in the entire serial–and grows up through montage to become Alyn. The first chapter read more

Batman: Gotham by Gaslight (2018, Sam Liu)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 26, 2018

The first act of Gotham by Gaslight is rough. It establishes Batman (Bruce Greenwood) in the Victorian era. He’s fighting with Fagin-types while “Jack the Ripper” is attacking prostitutes. Jim Krieg’s script, which will go on to impress at times, is rather problematic with the first Ripper victim. read more

Enemy Mine (1985, Wolfgang Petersen)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 26, 2018

Enemy Mine has one great performance from Louis Gossett Jr., one strong mediocre performance from Dennis Quaid, one adorable performance from Bumper Robinson (as a tween alien), and terrible performances from everyone else. The film’s most impressive quality is a tossup. It’s either Gossett’s read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 15: The Payoff

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 25, 2018

The Payoff presumably refers to this chapter being the finale of Superman. There’s not much payoff otherwise. Spider Lady Carol Forman isn’t out to blackmail the city, she’s out to cause destruction. She’s given the Daily Planet four hours until she destroys it. She’s has to give them four read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 14: Superman at Bay

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 25, 2018

Superman is never at bay in Superman at Bay. In fact, Superman’s barely in it. When Kirk Alyn does done the tights, it’s stock footage of him changing in the stock room and flying out the window. Same footage as last chapter. The cliffhanger resolution is actually pretty good, with Pierre Watkin read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 13: Hurled to Destruction

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 23, 2018

Hurled to Destruction once again has the Spider Lady’s goons outsmarting the Daily Planet reporters. In the latter category is also Superman, who delivers a dangerous criminal to the Planet for questioning instead of the police. Said criminal attacks Pierre Watkin, leading to a pretty good fist fig read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 12: Blast in the Depths

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 22, 2018

Blast in the Depths resolves the previous chapter’s cliffhanger with a reveal–something happened the viewer didn’t get to see, changing the outcome. It’s a cheat, but Superman hasn’t had a decent cliffhanger so it doesn’t really matter. In fact, the serial’s structured not to have them. read more

Superman (1948, Spencer Gordon Bennet and Thomas Carr), Chapter 11: Superman’s Dilemma

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 21, 2018

Superman’s Dilemma has a scene where Kirk Alyn, as Superman, talks to a conscious Noel Neill. She’s telling him how Tommy Bond stupidly has gotten himself in trouble with the goons again. Bond’s apparently trouble-proof to some degree, however; at the end of the previous chapter, he was being read more

Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge (1991, David DeCoteau)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 21, 2018

Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge is Puppet Master Origins. Set in WWII Berlin, Guy Rolfe is a concerned old man. He sees his neighbors in fear of the Nazis so he got some string and he got some wood, he did some carving and he was good. Anti-Nazi civilians–mostly kids–came running so they could read more

Puppet Master II (1990, David Allen)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 20, 2018

Puppet Master II opens with a mostly successful animate puppets resurrect their long-dead master in scary graveyard sequence. It’s a mix of stop motion and live effects; it just has a nice tone about it. Then the endless opening titles start up and the film loses track of that tone. The Richard Ban read more

Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters (2017, Seshita Hiroyuki and Shizuno Kôbun)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 19, 2018

The first half of Godzilla: Planet of the Monsters is surprisingly good. The film sets the scene during the opening titles–giant monsters attack in 1999, followed later by unstoppable Godzilla, two different space aliens show up to help in exchange for residency on the planet. Godzilla kicks everyb read more

Cop Land (1997, James Mangold)

The Stop Button Posted by Andrew Wickliffe on Jan 19, 2018

Cop Land either has a lot of story going on and not enough content or a lot of content going on and not enough story. Also you could do variations of those statements with “plot.” Writer and director Mangold toggles Cop Land between two plot lines. First is lead Sylvester Stallone. Second is this read more
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