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Non-Review Review: Throw Momma From the Train

Throw Momma From the Train feels like something of a dry run for Danny DeVito. The actor had previously directed a cable television movie, The Ratings Game, but Throw Momma From the Train represented his theatrical directorial début. While not nearly as effective as his follow-up, the classic War of the Roses, Throw Momma From the Train sustains itself with an interesting premise and two charming lead performances that help cover for a script that isn’t anywhere near as darkly comic as it would like to think that it is.

Snatching DeVito from the jaws of victory...

Snatching DeVito from the jaws of victory…

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Non-Review Review: The Wolf Man (1941)

Even a man who is pure in heart and says his prayers by night,

May become a wolf when the wolfbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright.

Although hampered by perhaps the weakest leading performance of the “great” Universal horror films, I maintain that The Wolf Man has the strongest script of any of the classic Universal monster movies. Although, like so many other horror films produced by the studio, it went through any number of re-writes and executive meddling before reaching the screen, I think Curt Siodmak’s script deserves a great deal of credit for doing several very import things. On one level, it presented one grand unifying story archetype for werewolf tales, to the point where it is almost that subgenre’s Dracula. However, it also plays as a fascinating and compelling psychological drama, with an element of humanity and complexity that shines through Jack Pierce’s phenomenal make-up work.

Lon Chaney as the wolf man. Or me, early on a Sunday morning…

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