Alien 3

Given that Alien: Covenant is coming out on Friday, I thought it would be timely to say something about one of the films in the franchise.  I chose Alien 3 because I’ve always been interested in the primary, general objection to the film at the time of its release, namely that it was “too dark.”  … More Alien 3

Shetland

This post gives me special satisfaction because its subject – the Scottish crime series Shetland – was recommended to me by one of Lanni’s List’s followers.  It seems that the List is starting to fulfill its function as a forum for exchanging ideas and recommendations!  Warms my heart!  Anyway, down to business.  Why is Shetland … More Shetland

Mystery and Mayhem: Great Television Shows Featuring Distinctive Detectives

What’s the best thing about the advent of online media streaming?  Binge-viewing?  Close, but no.  At least not for me.  For me, it’s the access to international mysteries.  Specifically, police procedurals.  Give me a damaged detective, an interesting sidekick, and an engaging rapport between them and I’m a happy camper.  Take, for example, the Swedish … More Mystery and Mayhem: Great Television Shows Featuring Distinctive Detectives

“A rose by any other name”: Great Films with God-Awful Titles

The history of cinema is chock-full of god-awful titles.  No news there.  But how many great films have had to overcome such titles to reach audiences?  More than you might think.  Take, for example, “The Americanization of Emily.”  What was Paddy Chayefsky thinking?!  Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m a huge Paddy Chayefsky fan.  I’ve … More “A rose by any other name”: Great Films with God-Awful Titles

Nocturnal Animals

A character writes a novel as a devastating act of psychological and emotional vengeance.  As a writer by trade and a vindictive bastard by temperament, this is definitely my kind of film!  Susan Morrow, played by Amy Adams, receives a novel written by her estranged ex-husband Edward Sheffield, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.  The novel’s plot … More Nocturnal Animals

From Hell

Appropriating the opium dream framing device from Sergio Leoni’s Once Upon a Time in America, the Hughes Brothers serve up a druggy supernatural thriller involving Jack the Ripper, Freemasons, Prince Albert and Queen Victoria. Do the conspiracy theories make any sense to a sober mind? Not really. Does that matter? Not really, because the film … More From Hell

Lanni’s List Launches

It’s official – my blog is live!  25 years in the making, Lanni’s List enumerates nearly fifteen hundred films that I believe are worth watching.  Each entry provides a title, a rating for film elements such as plot, character and cinematography, and an IMDB link.  The List also includes a hundred and fifty fun Sub-Lists like “Fast Zombies Suck!”: Great Slow-Zombie Flicks and … More Lanni’s List Launches

The Babadook

Social realism meets fantasy horror.  A match made in hell – which, in this case, is a very good thing.  Mister Babadook, a cardboard cut-out from a children’s book, isn’t exactly terrifying.  Neither are the other scare tactics employed by the film, which are basically the tired “things that go bump in the night” found in countless ghost … More The Babadook

Berberian Sound Studio

  A neo-giallo about a nebbish recording post-production sound for a giallo. No idea what I’m talking about? Google it. “Giallo,” not “neo-giallo.” “Neo-giallo” I just coined a second ago. And if you don’t know what a “nebbish” is, then you’ve never seen a classic Woody Allen film and probably shouldn’t be reading this blog. … More Berberian Sound Studio