Class of ’53: Stalag 17


In my childhood I grew up  on a lot of classic television. Some which many know, the likes of The Cosby Show, Sanford and Son & The Jeffersons. Some not that many know of, like Faulty Towers, Keeping Up Appearances and Black Adder. One show, which I’m uncertain which category it falls into, was Hogan’s Heroes. It’s a show placed in a German POW (prisoners of war) camp with an array of American characters all trying to just get by. THAT’S THIS MOVIE! And I didn’t know that. Continue reading

Class of ’53: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

This is the beginning of my semi-spontaneous series of films from the year 1953. I’ve selected nine (9) films to watch from the year of 1953 that I’ve never seen. I doubt I’ll blog about all of them but we’ll see what shakes out from this.


This may be my fourth/fifth film by Howard Hawks that I’m watching, it’s definitely my third film starring Marilyn Munroe and I’m starting to believe that both aren’t quite my cup of tea entirely.

Let me take that back. I’m wrong. Hawks has given me the whimsy of Only Angels Have Wings, the tenacity of His Girl Friday, the lunacy of Bringing Up Baby and the dark beauty of Rio Bravo. So why am I thinking that this might not work out? A 4 for 5 batting average ain’t bad (or so my baseball friends tell me).On the other hand seeing Marilyn in playing the famed dumb blonde that people satirize her for. It was insufferable. Continue reading

Blindspot: The Great Dictator (1940)

The Great Dictator 2

Two years ago I watched City Lights, my very first Charlie Chaplin film. There’s something about firsts that stay with us. No matter what we’re always seeking to replicate that feeling while at the same time always remembering the joy it brought us. It’s an impossible feat for anything to accomplish on it’s second or third attempts at hitting that very same experience again. So why is it I feel so bitter sweet about this one? Continue reading

Blindspot: Sholay (1975)

Sholay - 1

The reason why I love films like The RockDrunken MasterThe Good The Bad and The Ugly and even Blazing Saddles is that more than anything else the films have that “did you see that?” quality to them. They’re ridiculous, flashy and keep us moving in a way that doesn’t ask too much of the audience. Sholay is a film that does just this and possibly more. Infusing western cinema with the idea of the vast western, riffing on well known motifs, and sometimes even lifting complete shots from films such as Once Upon a Time in the West and The Magnificent Seven we see the answer to the question of what would be if India adopted Westerns with a tone of Blaxspoitation cinema and threw some musical sequences in the middle of it all.

It seems apt that I make Sholay my blindspot entry from the month of May, because it feels like the perfect summer movie. It feels as if someone was in a lab constructing this film from all the best elements of entertainment for maximum enjoyment while at the same time lost in how to reign in any sense of control over what they were doing. When half-way through the film we discover the reason for Thakur’s (Sanjeev Kumar) reason for his need to have Gabbar (Amjad Khan) captured you feel as though we’ve seen a too much. Continue reading

‘Bad Words’ Seems Like the Right Kind of Asshole

Jason Bateman has been an actor I can never quite peg down to be honest. He has this off-kilter way too nice a guy dad in Arrested Development, and after that he always seems to play these comedic roles that almost asks him to be as unfunny as possible. He’s always played the proverbial butt of all the jokes in his films I find. Here however he’s continued to play that same wrong end of the stick guy, but he owns it. He owns his own weird thing in doing a children’s spelling bee on technicality and it just looks so amazingly right. He has the right brand of asshole written for him, so I’m down.

What do you think of the ‘Bad Words’ Trailer?