I rented this because of its fascinating subject.  Bettie had the sweetest, most innocent face and smile imaginable, yet she was the pin-up queen of the 1950s, rarely photographed fully dressed, often in the buff.  And then she upped and disappeared.  I mean, completely dropped off the map.  The mystery has been solved, and the answer isn’t terribly satisfying.  I thought the film would get inside her head but it doesn’t.  Ultimately disappointing.



A takeoff on slasher films that plays on the stupid behavior of characters in those films – “Let’s have our threesome in that mausoleum over there” – and they take the cliché of the villain who keeps coming back after being killed to hilarious extremes.  That sort of thing.  It has its moments, but runs a little too long.



I should say right off that I’ve never liked Superman.  He’s too powerful, too goody-goody, and wears tights and a cape.  (Blech.)  That said, I liked this film.  Well, not completely.  The Lex Luthor new-continent subplot is iron-lung lame.  The Lois-Supey story holds the film together – that and the fact that Lois has borne Supey’s child while he was away.  (That’s not a spoiler – everyone but the title character and Lois’s partner has scoped this out 10 minutes in.  Part of the fun is waiting for the kid to prove you right.)



All the faults of the Ellroy novel (and I’m an Ellroy fan despite his excesses and eccentricities) are magnified in the film.  None of the relationships worked for me here, although the intricate storyline (with definite Chinatown overtones and a Kiss Me Deadly ending) has its moments.  I would have FF’d more, but I love Philip Marlowe-era LA and it was lovingly depicted here.  A gorgeous film and as noir as they come.



Another strange one. A combination monster movie cum family drama with some humor. The humor didn’t work for me, but some of the family stuff did – some nice character arcs. Pretty neat monster. I liked the way things became personal and especially liked the way the film keeps you off balance by killing off sympathetic characters when you least expect. I got impatient with some of the family stuff, so that’s when I FF’d. But I recommend it for a different take on the giant monster genre (almost antipodal from Cloverfield).


Coming of age in Brooklyn during the mob wars in the 80s.  Not bad.  Some decent acting, but a predictable script.  Three mismatched but lifelong buddies.  If you figure one of them’s not gonna make it, you figure right.  And no surprise which one.



A London-based “Death Wish” (unfortunately more like the fourth installment than the first) with Sean Bean.  My first problem was that it was shot with a high-def camcorder that gave it a strange look that put me off.  The second was the meandering, unfocused screenplay.  Still, it has its moments, and the mistakes the characters make are ones you’d expect.