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Bug Month Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on May 1, 2021

 The Hellstrom Chronicle (1971) Dr. Nils Hellstrom (Lawrence Pressman) serves as our guide to the overlooked world of insects and arachnids in this pseudo-documentary, directed by Walon Green and Ed Spiegel. Supposedly shunned by the academic community for his controversial theories, Hellstrom read more

Mimic

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Apr 27, 2021

 (1997) Directed by Guillermo del Toro; Written by Guillermo del Toro and Matthew Robbins; Based on the short story, “Mimic,” by Donald A. Wollheim; Starring: Mira Sorvino, Jeremy Northam, Alexander Goodwin, Giancarlo Giannini, Charles S. Dutton and Josh Brolin; Available on Blu-ray read more

Tarantula

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Apr 18, 2021

(1955) Directed by Jack Arnold; Written by Robert M. Fresco and Martin Berkeley; Story by Jack Arnold and Robert M. Fresco; Starring: John Agar, Mara Corday, Leo G. Carroll, Nestor Paiva and Ross Elliott; Available on Blu-ray and DVD  Rating: ***½  Dr. Matt Hastings (John Agar):  read more

Phase IV

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Apr 7, 2021

 (1974) Directed by Saul Bass; Written by Mayo Simon; Starring: Nigel Davenport, Michael Murphy and Lynne Frederick; Available on Blu-ray and DVD  Rating: ****  Note: This article is an expanded version of a capsule review, originally posted in November 2014.  “They̵ read more

March Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Mar 30, 2021

The Flesh and the Fiends (1960) Director/co-writer John Gilling’s lurid dramatization of Burke and Hare’s real-life exploits is consistently compelling, remaining one of the best versions of the tale. George Rose and Donald Pleasence play the notorious pair of ne'er-do-wells who supply D read more

Announcing the Christopher Lee Blogathon

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Mar 27, 2021

 Note: As my friends on Twitter can attest, it’s been a bit of a rough week, with my family’s beloved cat, Buster, missing. Despite this unfortunate setback, I have decided that “the show must go on,” so I can give everyone ample time for the following event… Afte read more

Tales that Witness Madness

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Mar 9, 2021

 (1973) Directed by Freddie Francis; Written by Jennifer Jayne; Starring: Jack Hawkins, Donald Pleasence, Georgia Brown, Suzy Kendall, Peter McEnery, Joan Collins, Kim Novak and Michael Petrovitch; Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: **½ “Up until now, apart from the patients, I&# read more

Beauty and the Beast (aka: La Belle et la Bête)

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Mar 2, 2021

 (1946) Written and directed by Jean Cocteau; Based on the story by Madame Leprince de Beaumont; Starring: Jean Marais, Josette Day, Mila Parély, Nane Germon, Michel Auclair and Marcel André Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: ***** “To find trees where there are none, or something read more

French February Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Feb 25, 2021

 Port of Shadows (1938) Jean (Jean Gabin), an AWOL soldier, hitches a ride to the port town of Le Havre, with the intention of assuming a new identity and hopping on a cargo ship bound for Venezuela. In a short span of time, he meets new friends (including a dog who stays glued to his side) and read more

Gandahar (aka: Light Years)

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Feb 21, 2021

 (1987) Directed by René Laloux; Written by René Laloux and Roland Topor; Based on the novel Les Hommes Machine Contre Gandhar, by Jean-Pierre Andrevon; Starring: Pierre-Marie Escourrou, Catherine Chevallier, Georges Wilson and Anny Duperey; Available on DVD (Region 2) Rating: **** “Wha read more

Delicatessen

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Feb 11, 2021

(1991) Written and directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro; Starring: Marie-Laure Dougnac, Dominique Pinon, Jean-Claude Dreyfus, Karin Viard, Ticky Holgado, Silvie Laguna and Rufus; Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: ****  “The story came about, as I said many times back then, be read more

Japan-uary X Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Feb 1, 2021

 Ugetsu (aka: Ugetsu monogatari) (1953) Director Kenji Mizoguchi’s Feudal-era yurei (ghost) story resonates with the viewer long after it’s over. Genjurô (Masayuki Mori), a poor pottery maker dreams of making a fortune selling his wares in the big city. After evading roving samurai read more

Summer Days with Coo (aka: Kappa no Kû to Natsuyasumi)

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Jan 27, 2021

 (2007) Written and directed by Keiichi Hara; Story by Yuichi Watanabe and Masao Kogure; Based on the stories "Kappa Daisawagi" and "Kappa’s Surprise Journey," by Masao Kogure; Starring: Kazato Tomizawa, Takahiro Yokokawa, Naoki Tanaka, Naomi Nishida, Tamaki Matsumoto and Natsuki Uematsu read more

Fish Story

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Jan 21, 2021

 (2009) Directed by: Yoshihiro Nakamura; Written by Tamio Hayashi; Based on the novel by Kôtarô Isaka; Starring: Atsushi Itô, Kiyohiko Shibukawa, Noriko Eguchi, Hidekazu Mashima, Gaku Hamada, Mikako Tabe, Mirai Moriyama, and Kengo Kôra; Available on Blu-ray (Region B) and DVD. Rating: **** read more

Perfect Blue

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Jan 10, 2021

 (1997) Directed by Satoshi Kon; Written by Sadayuki Murai; Based on the novel Perfect Blue: Complete Metamorphosis, by Yoshikazu Takeuchi; Starring: Junko Iwao, Rica Matsumoto, Shinpachi Tsuji and Masaaki Ôkura; Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: **** “I don’t think that it read more

Disaster December Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Jan 1, 2021

 The Wave (aka: Bølgen) (2015) No, it’s not about the ubiquitous stadium crowd activity, but a killer tidal wave that strikes the touristy Norwegian village of Geiranger. After accepting a new job in the big city, Kristian (Kristoffer Joner) can’t seem to let go of his old position read more

Rollercoaster

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Dec 28, 2020

(1977) Directed by James Goldstone; Written by Richard Levinson and William Link; Story by Sanford Sheldon, Richard Levinson and William Link; Suggested by a story by Tommy Cook; Starring: George Segal, Richard Widmark, Timothy Bottoms, Henry Fonda, Harry Guardino and Susan Strasberg; Available on B read more

Short Take: Crack in the World

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Dec 20, 2020

 (1965) Directed by Andrew Marton; Written by Jon Manchip White and Julian Zimet; Story by Jon Manchip White; Starring: Dana Andrews, Janette Scott, Kieron Moore and Alexander Knox; Available on Blu-ray and DVD Rating: ***½ “Someone once said, if a man had a chance to spend his lif read more

Fly the Unfriendly Skies: The Airport Movies

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Dec 10, 2020

 During a time when global travel is inadvisable or outright restricted, most of us can only dream about flying off to exotic, faraway locations, let alone enjoying frivolous travel within our own country. Back in the weird and wacky 1970s, Hollywood set its sights on every conceivable sort of read more

November Quick Picks and Pans

Cinematic Catharsis Posted by Barry P. on Nov 29, 2020

 Scarlet Street (1945) Fritz Lang’s cynical noir drama is as bleak as they come, taking us to the darkest corners of human nature. Edward G. Robinson stars as Christopher Cross, a meek, middle-aged bank teller stuck in a loveless marriage to a domineering widow (Rosalind Ivan). His life t read more
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