Rosanna Arquette and Madonna in Susan Seidelman's 'Desperately Seeking Susan'

‘Desperately Seeking Susan’ on Amazon Prime

Desperately Seeking Susan (1982) is remembered for giving Madonna her first starring role; she’s the Susan of the title, a free spirit in thrift store chic fashions who connects up with her musician boyfriend through personal ads in the local weekly papers. This modern bohemian take on the classic screwball comedy (complete with amnesia, mistaken […]

Colin Farrell and Jessica Chastain in Liv Ullman's 'Miss Julie'

Jessica Chastain is ‘Miss Julie’ on Netflix

You can imagine Miss Julie (2014), Liv Ullman’s screen adaptation of the August Strindberg play, as a call back to the classic 1951 Swedish screen adaptation by Alf Sjöberg, who was a mentor to Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish master who directed Ullman to some of her greatest performances. Ullman directed Bergman’s screenplay in Faithless and […]

‘A Most Violent Year’ on Amazon Prime

A Most Violent Year should have been an Oscar contender. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor (“Margin Call”) and set in the crime-ridden culture of early 1980s New York City (which was the most violent year on record in the city’s history), smart, shadowy tribute to the crime dramas of the seventies and early eighties, […]

Michael Douglas as Liberace and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson in Behind the Candelabra

‘Behind the Candelabra’ on Amazon Prime

Steven Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra made its world premiere at Cannes and its American debut on the small screen. A passion project of Soderbergh’s for over a decade, it was finally made for HBO on a limited budget when all the studios passed on the project (“They basically said it was too gay,” explained Soderbergh […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is Conan the Barbarian on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger is the original ‘Conan the Barbarian,’ now on Netflix

Arnold Schwarzenegger was the defining action hero of Hollywood from the mid-1980s through the 1990s, yet before he made his breakthrough, he seem the most unlikely American screen icon to lumber his way up the Hollywood ladder. The former Austrian bodybuilder turned Mr. Universe and Mr. Olympia (he retired his crown undefeated) seemed destined to […]

Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy in WarGames

Tween Summer Flashbacks: ‘WarGames’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’ on Netflix

Is it mere coincidence that David Lightman, the high school hacker played by Matthew Broderick in WarGames (1983), comes from the future tech hub of Seattle, home to Microsoft and Boeing? Lightman, a kid not above hacking the school computers to change a grade or two, inadvertently hacks the nation’s super top secret military supercomputer […]

Arnold Schwarzenegger is The Terminator on Netflix

“I’ll be back” – The original ‘The Terminator’ on Netflix

After three underwhelming sequels to James Cameron’s hard-wired hardware time travel thriller The Terminator in the past dozen years, it’s time to remind ourselves just how tight and clever and entertaining the original film was. Made for a mere $6 million and released in the fall of 1984 by a small independent sudio to instant […]