• This Week’s Review: Political Themes

    This Week’s Review: Political Themes

    The recent violence in Washington, DC, reminded the Curmudgeon of several movies with political themes; e.g., “All the President’s Men,” “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” and, on a darker note, “Seven Days in May” and both versions of “The Manchurian Candidate.” Another film, based on Allen Drury’s novel, “Advise and Consent,” was based on the politics …

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  • This Week’s Review: Recovering

    This Week’s Review: Recovering

    As you may have heard, the Curmudgeon barely survived a vicious attack by his old enemies: ulcers, pneumonia, embolisms, and a few other medical problems. He is happy to report that his fangs are recovering nicely and his reserves of invective are replenishing themselves slowly but steadily. His snarl is not yet back to its full …

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  • This Week’s Review: Robert E. Howard

    This Week’s Review: Robert E. Howard

    The Curmudgeon managed to track down a DVD of a film he had missed in the early 1990s, probably because it never made it to the Houston market or received little attention when it arrived; this is ironic because the film deals with a Texas writer of whom many curmudgeons are fond, the late Robert E. …

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  • This Week’s Review: James Bond Film

    This Week’s Review: James Bond Film

    The Curmudgeon has learned, much to his regret, that there is more than one virus lurking at the threshold. When he’s too weak to read or watch a DVD, you know life is sour. After seven days of discomfort, he did manage to watch one of the more obscure James Bond epics, 1983’s “Octopussy.” While not …

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  • This Week’s Review: Alfred Hitchcock

    This Week’s Review: Alfred Hitchcock

    The Curmudgeon, in his formative years, was culturally deprived because his parents did not consider films directed by Alfred Hitchcock fit his tender sensibilities. The first Hitchcock work he ever saw was the CBS show, “Alfred Hitchcock Presents.” No wonder the Curmudgeon-to-Be acquired the notion that murder was screamingly funny. The first Hitchcock theatrical film he ever …

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  • This Week’s Review: “Still Life”

    This Week’s Review: “Still Life”

    Several readers have been prodding the Curmudgeon to read the mystery novels of Canada’s Louise Penny. They are worth reading, but it is necessary to read the 16 books in chronological order; Penny’s subplots often take three or four novels to come to fruition. The interconnectedness of the novels poses problems for anyone trying to adapt …

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  • This Week’s Review: Chadwick Boseman

    This Week’s Review: Chadwick Boseman

    The Curmudgeon is rarely at a loss for words, particularly sarcastic words, but the untimely death of Chadwick Boseman from colon cancer left him reeling. Boseman’s brief life has had an impact far beyond anything we can yet realize. I first became aware of his abilities when I saw in “42” and “Marshall” and was …

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  • This Week’s Review: “Elmer Gantry”

    This Week’s Review: “Elmer Gantry”

    For once, the Curmudgeon found a film about which he cannot spew venom even though it was the target of considerable vituperation in 1960, Burt Lancaster’s version of Sinclair Lewis’s “Elmer Gantry.” Sixty years later, the film still packs a punch and it is easy to see why many found it offensive. The fledgling curmudgeon saw …

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  • This Week’s Review: “Taras Bulba”

    This Week’s Review: “Taras Bulba”

    The Curmudgeon has long been aware that he is a little too fond of massive epics, be they biblical, historical, science fiction, and other sub-genres prone to excess. One that he hasn’t fussed about during this summer of our discontent is an 1962 American version of Nikolai Gogol’s story published as either “The Cossack Chief” or …

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  • This Week’s Review: “Exodus”

    This Week’s Review: “Exodus”

    The recent horror in Beirut caused the Curmudgeon to think about various films about the Middle East and its problems. It was a serious shock when he discovered that Otto Preminger’s adaptation of Leon Uris’s “Exodus” is not currently available in DVD except as part of a far too expensive anthology package of Paul Newman …

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