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

Alien: Covenant

A few weeks ago, I expressed my hope that Alien: Covenant would return to the “Lost Patrol Template” employed to excellent effect in the franchise’s first installment, Alien.  Alas, that didn’t happen.  Instead, Alien: Covenant gives us more of the interminable exposition that characterized Prometheus.  Who but the most obsessive of fanboys and fangirls could … More Alien: Covenant

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

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