Ethan Hawke in ‘Assault on Precinct 13’ on HBO Max

Assault on Precinct 13 (2005) is a surprisingly taut, tight, effective remake of John Carpenter’s genuine debut feature (I count Dark Star as a practice run). Ethan Hawke stars as a former undercover cop who hit the bottle and retreated to desk work after one case went horribly wrong. Now a gun-shy station commander overseeing […]

Brian Dennehy and James Woods as cop and killer in 'Best Seller,' written by Larry Cohen and directed by John Flynn

‘Best Seller’ – James Woods kills on Amazon Prime

Best Seller (1987) is a modest but smartly-scripted thriller that holds up remarkably well, thanks to near-perfect casting and a savvy script by Larry Cohen, who was better known at the time as a cagey director of high-concept, low-budget exploitation films. James Woods brings charm to the role of Cleve, a pathologically vindictive hitman who […]

‘Ratatouille’ – Food glorious food on Disney+

“I’m a rat, which makes life hard.” That’s an understatement. In Ratatouille (2007), the dynamic animated film from writer/director Brad Bird (The Iron Giant and The Incredibles) and Pixar Studios, Remy (voiced by Patton Oswalt) may be a rat but he’s also a budding gourmand. Where his family is content to raid trash cans and scarf […]