• Following Us

  • Categories

  • Check out the Archives

  • Awards & Nominations

Non-Review Review: Selma

Selma is a fascinating look at the Civil Rights Movement, and at the life and times of the Reverend Martin Luther King Junior.

Adopting the increasingly common approach of narrowing its focus to a rather tight sequence of events, Selma offers an interesting and insightful glimpse at the protest in Selma, Alabama – culminating in a planned march from Selma to Montgomery in March 1964. That was a pivotal moment for the Civil Rights struggle, as the cameras of the nation focused on the brutally wielded by local authorities against those marching peaceably. Selma focuses on that national moments as a vehicle to explore the Civil Rights movement as a whole.


To be fair, Selma does have its problems. There is a sense that the film is perhaps too concerned with the character of Lyndon B. Johnson, even ultimately affording him something of a heroic moment at the climax. The carefully-maintained period feel is undermined by the decision to dub Yesterday Was Hard On All Of Us by Fink over a crucial moment. In contrast, the period-specific (or close enough) songs by Otis Redding, the Impressions or Duane Eddy add context and texture to the film; the tracks by The Fink and Common (featuring John Legend) feel superficial.

However, these are minor problems. Selma features a tight script, solid direction and a host of fantastic central performances. Eschewing the sentimentality or softness associated with these sorts of prestige pictures, Selma deserves to be considered among the best of the awards season prestige pictures. Its diminished presence on Academy Awards ballots seems sadly telling.

selma1 Continue reading

The X-Files – Darkness Falls (Review)

Darkness Falls is the best script Chris Carter has written so far. It it is far superior to Fire or Space or Young at Heart or The Jersey Devil or even The Pilot. It’s quite possibly the strongest normal “monster-of-the-week” episode that Carter ever wrote, discounting his work on “special” episodes (like Post-Modern Prometheus or Triangle) or even some mythology stories (I’m quite fond of Redux).

Darkness Falls is – at its most basic – just a very strong monster-of-the-week installment, hitting all the right buttons to provide an atmospheric horror thriller.

If a tree falls in the woods...

If a tree falls in the woods…

Continue reading

Non-Review Review: Targets

Targets still feels quite a bit ahead of its time, which is quite something for a film intended to transition between the classic horror monster movies and the more sinister and grounded modern horrors. Indeed, Boris Karloff’s last starring role seems to prefigure a shift in the type of horror movies flooding the cinemas, years ahead of the more iconic and mundane “slasher” icons who succeeded Dracula and Frankenstein as the monsters at the matinée. Targets is an intriguing and remarkable little film, charmingly understanded and perhaps appealing for the lack of pomp it attempts to generate.

The horror!

Continue reading