I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978): Criterion Collection [Blu-Ray]

Robert Zemeckis’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” is a charming, if flawed tribute to the Beatles and the rampant Beatles Mania that ran throughout much of the late sixties. I’m sure Zemeckis bear witness to a lot of the “Beatlemania,” and his film seems to come from a place of experience. For folks that loved movies like “American Graffiti” or “Dazed and Confused,” Zemeckis’ 1978 comedy is one of those movie set over the course of a night that centers on a group of teenagers that are so devoted to the Beatles, they risk just about everything to see them on the Ed Sullivan Show.

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Captain Marvel (2019)

After the downbeat ending of “The Avengers: Infinity War,” there stood some beacon of hope in the post credits scene where Nick Fury pressed a pager, signaling someone from outside Earth. That someone was Captain Marvel, Marvel Comics’ most dynamic and entertaining super heroine who is finally brought to the big screen. Not only does “Captain Marvel” stand on its own as a great, fun movie about empowerment and learning how to conjure up your inner strength, it sets the platform for Captain Marvel charging in to “Endgame,” and it also sets up the foundation for phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

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Fighting With My Family (2019)

As someone who grew up with a family that adored wrestling, I had a very good time learning about Paige and the down to Earth working classic family she grew up in. “Fighting With My Family” is the adaptation of the documentary that tells the tale of Paige and how she grew up working with her parents, both of whom built their own home grown wrestling federation. Paige, the most popular of her brood, eventually rose to become a WWE star, allowing for a great tale of the working class rising to fame. With some liberties taken Stephen Merchant’s “Fighting With My Family” is almost as good that also works as a tribute to the power of family.

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In Search of William Beaudine

For too many years, filmmaker William Beaudine’s reputation was maligned with false stories of sloppy work and a “one-shot” approach to shooting. In reality, Beaudine was a talented and versatile creative artist who began his career with D.W. Griffith, directed such icons as Mary Pickford, Jean Harlow and W.C. Fields, and worked in the British film industry and for Walt Disney.
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Shorts Round Up of the Week – 2/25/19

For the February 25th edition of “Shorts Round Up of the Week” there are reviews for a hilarious comedy, a zombie thriller, and a trio of foreign Supernatural chillers, two of which are becoming feature film productions.

If you’d like to submit your short film for review consideration, submissions are always opened to filmmakers and producers.

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The 1930s’ Female Comedy Teams

During the early 1930s, producer Hal Roach created a series of two-reel comedies that teamed Thelma Todd with ZaSu Pitts, then Thelma Todd with Patsy Kelly, and then Patsy Kelly with Pert Kelton and Patsy Kelly with Lyda Roberti. These comedies were unavailable for years, but now they are on DVD and are the subject of “The Hal Roach Comedy Shorts of Thelma Todd, ZaSu Pitts and Patsy Kelly” by James L. Neibaur, who is our guest on this episode of “The Online Movie Show.”

The episode can be heard here.

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The Bootleg Files: McLintock!

BOOTLEG FILES 674: “McLintock!” (1963 Western starring John Wayne).

LAST SEEN: On YouTube.

AMERICAN HOME VIDEO: On both public domain labels and in official commercial release.

REASON FOR BOOTLEG STATUS: It’s complicated.

CHANCES OF SEEING A COMMERCIAL DVD RELEASE: There was an official commercial release, but the film is still being bootlegged.

Earlier this week, John Wayne was the subject of news headlines and social media buzz – which is no mean feat, considering that the star passed away 40 years ago. The new focus on Wayne was due to politically incorrect comments on race and sexual orientation that he made in a 1971 interview with Playboy Magazine. Back in the day, nobody thought twice about the interview – contrary to popular insistence, people did not read Playboy for the articles. But today, of course, it seems that the mainstream media has a racism outrage quota to fill. And when the demand for racist behavior to condemn outpaces the supply of current incidents, clickbait scoundrels scour the archives – or, in a certain Chicago case, hire a pair of oversized Nigerian brothers – in order to stir new waves of frenzy.
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Instant Family (2018)

“Instant Family” was one of the biggest surprises of 2018 for me. It seemed like a goofy vehicle for Mark Wahlberg to soften his image at the time, but it surprisingly ends up being one of the best drama comedies of the year. It’s not only such a funny and sweet film, but it’s also a remarkable testament to how much society under values and under appreciates foster parents, and the good they can do for children. While imperfect at times, director Sean Anders approaches the tale of the foster family with immense respect, and delivers a film that really did have me laughing, crying, and ultimately satisfied.

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