The Astronaut’s Wife

I recently watched The Astronaut’s Wife after not having seen it for ten years and I am happy to report that the film holds up extremely well.  Mixing genre conventions is always a tricky business, but writer-director Rand Ravich manages to make the sci-fi/thriller hybrid work.  Let’s start with the thriller conventions.  Ravich wrings every … More The Astronaut’s Wife

Burn Country

Let’s begin at the beginning, which, in this case, is a bravura opening sequence presenting a scene from a visually aggressive, abstract stage play delivered entirely in angry Polish without subtitles.  Disorienting?  You bet.  One can imagine viewers in a theater wondering if they wandered into the wrong film.  And I was wondering if Netflix … More Burn Country

In Dubious Battle

Full Disclosure: I have been a union leader in one form or another for my entire adult life.  However, that doesn’t mean that I recommend watching all films that advocate for the rights of working people.  Take, for example, Bread and Roses and Harlan County War.  Politically, both films are spot-on.  But they fail aesthetically, … More In Dubious Battle

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