Families in Film Retrospective: The Corleone Family of The Godfather

By Joan Amenn Tolstoy wrote that “happy families are all alike, every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” The Corleone family in “The Godfather” (1972) is not a happy family, despite throwing a lavish wedding party that presents a unified front of prestige and wealth. The children all carry destructive motives of jealousy, insecurity and an inbred thirst for power so how can … Continue reading Families in Film Retrospective: The Corleone Family of The Godfather

Noirvember Retrospective: Laura

By Joan Amenn There are films that are noir and there is “Laura” (1944) which is in a class by itself. Nominated for five Oscars and winning for Best Black and White Cinematography, “Laura” is the kind of film that can be viewed many times over and never grows tired. Much like the portrait of the femme fatale herself, it has charm and elegance, and … Continue reading Noirvember Retrospective: Laura

“Lady Beware”: A Flawed, Feminist Look at Erotic Fantasy

By Brian Skutle The reasons I watched Karen Arthur’s “Lady Beware” (1987) in 1997 were not the reasons that I do now. I had just developed a crush on Diane Lane after “Murder at 1600” (1997), and this erotic thriller was one of the films that fed that- in some ways, for part of the reasons why Arthur would come to disown the film. Over … Continue reading “Lady Beware”: A Flawed, Feminist Look at Erotic Fantasy

30 Years Later, “A League of Their Own” Still Wins

By Brian Skutle When “A League of Their Own” was in theatres in 1992, I remember my mom and grandfather and I going to see it. I thought it was a good movie, and it was something we taped off of HBO to watch. I was going on 15, though, and relatively new to really starting to watch movies on a regular basis, so the … Continue reading 30 Years Later, “A League of Their Own” Still Wins

Jennifer Connelly: Warmth and Heart, Even in Darkness

By Brian Skutle We all have points of reference for when we’re introduced to an actor, and whatever that is has a tendency to imprint on us, and influence us whenever we see them in other movies. If your first time really seeing, say, Robert Downey Jr., was in “Iron Man” (2008) or any of his performances as Tony Stark, you’re not going to be … Continue reading Jennifer Connelly: Warmth and Heart, Even in Darkness

Deep Dive July Retrospective: Moby Dick and the Triumph of the Feminine

By Joan Amenn Ask any high school American Literature major what the most challenging book was on their required reading list and chances are, they’ll reply “Moby Dick.” No wonder then that the film version was not exactly a doggy paddle to adapt either. Director John Huston was no doubt attracted to the male centric story of revenge but the way screenwriter (and famous science … Continue reading Deep Dive July Retrospective: Moby Dick and the Triumph of the Feminine

Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

By Joan Amenn I am a fourth generation Italian American. The stories of my ancestors that I grew up with both mirror and contrast with how my ethnicity have been depicted on screen, much like anyone else’s cultural heritage when subjected to dramatization. Here are some of the films that have special meaning to me. 1. The Godfather Parts 1 & 2 (1972, 1974): I’m … Continue reading Top 5 Favorite Films about Italian American Culture

Magical May Review: Hook

Year: 1991 Runtime: 182 minutes Director: Steven Spielberg Writers: J.M. Barrie (book), James V. Hart, Nick Castle, Malia Scotch Marmo Actors: Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Julia Roberts, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Caroline Goodall, Charlie Korsmo, Amber Scott, Phil Collins, Arthur Malet, Dante Basco By Joan Amenn Well, this was awkward. If there is a list somewhere (and there must be) of problematic films that kids … Continue reading Magical May Review: Hook

Magical May Review: Matilda

I had always thought that the 1996 adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “Matilda” had been a huge commercial hit. It wasn’t until I began researching into the film’s production that I discovered that this was not the case. In fact, the film only grossed $33.5 million in the United States on a $36 million budget. Of course, it shouldn’t matter whether or not “Matilda” was a box office hit, but in a way it makes the film feel even more special. “Matilda” is such a wonderfully delightful film that helped me on such a personal level that I’m so grateful for this film’s existence.  Continue reading Magical May Review: Matilda