Woo-sung Jung, Byung-hun Lee, and Kang-ho Song in the Korean action blast from Kim Jee-Woon

‘The Good, the Bad, the Weird’- Kim Jee-won’s “Oriental Western” on Netflix

Kim Jee-won’s The Good, the Bad, the Weird (South Korea, 2008) is a self-proclaimed “Oriental Western.” That about pegs this treasure hunt right out of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly by way of Peking Opera Blues and Dragon Gate Inn, set in thirties Manchuria and filled with Korean expatriates, Chinese bandits, Japanese occupiers, […]

Ian McDiarmid and Iain Glen are Henry and John Fielding in the British crime drama

‘City of Vice’ – London’s first police force on Amazon Prime

More evidence to support the proposition that truth is stranger (and more interesting) than fiction: after a successful career as one of the most influential novelists of his day, author Henry Fielding was appointed London’s Chief Magistrate and, with his younger half-brother John, created London’s first police force, the Bow Street Runners, in 1749. Why […]

Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Jim Sturgess, Doona Bae, Ben Whishaw, and others star in the film by Lana and Lilly (formerly Andy) Wachowski and Tom Tykwer

‘Cloud Atlas’ on Netflix

Cloud Atlas (2012) wants nothing for ambition. Jumping between six distinctive stories in six different eras, with a cast that plays different (yet connected) parts in the various storyline, it’s at once literal and evasive, a film that wears its heart on its beautifully stitched sleeve and its meaning in its design and yet finds […]

Nigel Terry is King Arthur and Cherie Lunghi his Guinevere in John Boorman's 'Excalibur.'

‘Excalibur’ on SVOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The myth and legend of King Arthur has long been a favorite fascination of popular culture, the source of countless novels and movies and the inspiration for an iconic Broadway musical that became the nickname for John F. Kennedy’s too-short inspirational time as American President: “Camelot.” Forget the real-life history, the very mention of King […]

Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan star in 'Anthropoid,' directed by Sean Ellis.

‘Anthropoid’ – Killing Heydrich on Amazon Prime

Anthropoid (2016) isn’t the first film to dramatize the real-life operation to assassinate SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich, the architect of the Final Solution and Hitler’s third in command in the Nazi hierarchy. That honor belongs to Fritz Lang, who made the highly fictionalized and highly charged Hangmen Also Die in 1943, barely a year after the […]

Charlie Hunnam stars in the 2002 'Nicholas Nickleby' from director Douglas McGrath

Blu-ray: ‘Nicholas Nickleby’ on Twilight Time

Nicholas Nickleby (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) (2002) – You can’t fault Douglas McGrath for his ambition. Determined to bring Charles Dickens’ 900 page semi-autobiographical novel to the screen, he condenses, chops, and briskly skips through what’s left of a dense pattern of improbably colorful characters, and still winds up with a Dickens of a tale. The […]

David Carradine and Barbara Hershey in Martin Scorsese's "Boxcar Bertha"

Martin Scorsese’s ‘Boxcar Bertha’ on Amazon Prime and Hulu and Blu-ray/DVD

Boxcar Bertha (1972) – Martin Scorsese was just another college film school grad with a student feature under his belt (Who’s That Knocking at My Door) when producer Roger Corman tapped him to direct AIP’s entry in the Bonnie and Clyde craze of depression era gangster films. It was a straight work-for-hire job and it will […]