Author: Don Willmott

Mulligans

Mulligans

It's going to be a perfect summer at the lakeside cabin of Nathan (Dan Payne), his wife Stacey (Thea Gill), their college-age son Tyler (Derek Baynham), and their eight-year-old daughter Birdie (Grace Vukovic in Abigail...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2009

The Bodyguard (2004)

The Bodyguard (2004)

I was misled into watching The Bodyguard by advertising suggesting that the star was Tony Jaa, the gloriously talented Thai martial artist whose work in Ong-Bak is unforgettable. Sadly, this film was made before Ong-Bak,...

Movie Review posted on 7th December 2008

Family Affair: The Complete Series

Family Affair: The Complete Series

If the 1966-'71 sitcom Family Affair is remembered at all these days, it's for the jaunty theme music and for Mrs. Beasley, a doll that had at least as much personality and a longer shelf...

Movie Review posted on 25th October 2008

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I'm old enough to have seen Chitty Chitty Bang Bang during its original theatrical run, and I've just about recovered. Like The Wizard of Oz, this movie has the power both to delight and to...

Movie Review posted on 31st August 2008

Carousel

Carousel

The fact that Carousel is Rogers and Hammerstein's least accessible and darkest musical is what makes it so compelling. It has its lovely melodies and dance numbers, of course, but there's no escaping the fact...

Movie Review posted on 30th August 2008

Socket

Socket

A movie about electric sex would be fine with me. Too bad Socket is seriously lacking in juice. This low-powered sci-fi exercise is actually a soft-core gay skin flick (with full-frontal nudity) masquerading as some...

Movie Review posted on 26th June 2008

Passing Fancy

Passing Fancy

One of several early silent family comedies by Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu released by the Criterion Collection, Passing Fancy is a delightful little tale with charming performances and lots of prewar Japanese atmosphere to soak...

Movie Review posted on 4th May 2008

Lady Chatterley

Lady Chatterley

Anyone hoping that the 2006 reinterpretation of D.H. Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover would feature young gorgeous stars like Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom indulging in erotic adventures must have been let down to discover that...

Movie Review posted on 17th March 2008

Viva Cuba

Viva Cuba

It's rare for Americans to get a peek inside Cuba, so the delightful Viva Cuba is an especially gratifying treat. Unusual vistas, lush tropical scenery, cute kids... what more could you want?In a Havana elementary...

Movie Review posted on 13th January 2008

Nanking

Nanking

Four years before Pearl Harbor, Japan was already on the march in China, grabbing territory in its quest for imperial expansion. After Shanghai fell, Japanese troops set their sights on Nanking, the capital of China...

Movie Review posted on 12th December 2007

Cut Sleeve Boys

Cut Sleeve Boys

Certainly the only film about "the British-Chinese gay experience," Cut Sleeve Boys kicks off when Gavin (Mark Hampton), a closeted computer repair expert, suffers a fatal drug-induced heart attack while performing a sex act in...

Movie Review posted on 29th November 2007

American Pastime

American Pastime

Stumbling upon American Pastime soon after watching Ken Burns' epic World War II documentary The War was a happy coincidence. Burns does a great job telling the relatively unknown story of the Japanese-American internment camps,...

Movie Review posted on 16th November 2007

Lagerfeld Confidential

Lagerfeld Confidential

Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld is a lot like Michael Jackson. How's that for a questionably complimentary comparison? Both are artistic geniuses who have reached the pinnacles of their professions despite their wacky eccentricities. Both are...

Movie Review posted on 24th October 2007

Naked Boys Singing

Naked Boys Singing

Ten naked men in a Rockettes-style high-kick line. Imagine all the flopping around. Actually, you don't need to imagine it. Check out Naked Boys Singing, and you can see exactly what it looks like. This...

Movie Review posted on 19th October 2007

Stolen Life

Stolen Life

How does the Chinese government choose what to censor? If they read scripts ahead of time, one would expect that they'd never let Stolen Life be made. If there's a more bleak depiction of the...

Movie Review posted on 10th September 2007

Mame

Mame

Reviewing Mame, Lucille Ball's late-in-life stab at starring in an enormous movie musical, gives me the opportunity to pull out one of my favorite SAT words: execrable. I mean, I love Lucy, but...One of Hollywood's...

Movie Review posted on 19th June 2007

El Calentito

El Calentito

During Spain's tumultuous post-Franco years, the late '70s and early '80s, the ultraconservative and uptight Catholic society began to crack open, and young people, most notably director Pedro Almodovar, came out to have fun. It...

Movie Review posted on 14th May 2007

Reflections in a Golden Eye

Reflections in a Golden Eye

Based on a Carson McCullers novella, Reflections in a Golden Eye is a sordid Southern Gothic melodrama that peeks into the bedroom windows of the officers of a rural army base and finds... depravity! With...

Movie Review posted on 5th April 2007

Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds

Eating Out 2: Sloppy Seconds

Two years ago when I reviewed Eating Out, I wrote, "You almost want a sequel just to see how hot and heavy it gets when all the characters are finally matched up with their appropriate...

Movie Review posted on 4th March 2007

The Taste of Tea

The Taste of Tea

Get ready for a heavy dose of delightful Japanese whimsy. Clocking in at two hours and 15 minutes, The Taste of Tea is long, but it floats by easily, and it never slows down. The...

Movie Review posted on 27th February 2007

Tsunami: The Aftermath

Tsunami: The Aftermath

As its title suggests, HBO Films' Tsunami: The Aftermath begins not with a crashing wave of water but rather with something far more chilling. A boatload of vacationing scuba divers returns to their Phuket resort...

Movie Review posted on 30th January 2007

Heading South

Heading South

Heading South is a sun-splashed trip to an unusual place -- Haiti -- and an unusual time -- the turbulent '70s, when the Duvalier dictatorship terrorized the country and drove it into the ruin in...

Movie Review posted on 28th January 2007

Bugsy Malone

Bugsy Malone

Fourteen-year-old Jodie Foster had a very busy and very weird year in 1976. There was Freaky Friday for Disney, there was Taxi Driver for Scorsese, and then there was this. Thirty years after its release,...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla (1954)

Godzilla turns 50 this year, and there is much cause for celebration. For the first time, American moviegoers get have the privilege of seeing this essential firebreathing classic in the fully restored and original version...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

A Star Is Born (1976)

A Star Is Born (1976)

Here's another nominee in the increasingly crowded category of Most Unnecessary Remake: 1976's A Star Is Born, with Barbra Streisand and Kris Kristofferson picking over the bones of not one but three previous versions, most...

Movie Review posted on 15th January 2007

Venus

Venus

Not since Harold and Maude has there been an intergenerational love connection as intense as this. In Venus, rapidly deteriorating 75-year-old Maurice (Peter O'Toole) is infatuated by the tough-talking 19-year-old country girl Jessie (Jodie Whittaker),...

Movie Review posted on 21st December 2006

Poster Boy

Poster Boy

Poster Boy is an overwrought drama far more interested in making political points than in entertaining its audience. The story of an arch-conservative Senator whose reelection campaign is threatened by the potential outing of his...

Movie Review posted on 3rd December 2006

Angel Rodriguez

Angel Rodriguez

Angel Rodriguez is a small-scale and elegantly understated look at one troubled urban teen's dilemmas and the equally tough challenges faced by the woman charged to help him. Spanning just two typical days in the...

Movie Review posted on 28th November 2006

Garçon Stupide

Garçon Stupide

You'd think that working in a Swiss chocolate factory would be a sort of fantasy job, but that's the first of many illusions that Garçon Stupide shatters. Just out of his teens and a creature...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

Sybil

Sybil

Thirty years have passed since the premiere of the groundbreaking television movie Sybil, and the release of full 192-minute version on DVD, along with a collection of interesting extras, is an excellent way to celebrate...

Movie Review posted on 23rd November 2006

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