The Birds

The Birds is generally regarded as an Alfred Hitchcock classic despite the uninspired casting of Tippi Hedren and Rod Taylor in the lead roles. Hedren, a fashion model whom Hitchcock hired after seeing her in a TV commercial, is particularly awkward and unconvincing as bratty socialite Melanie Daniels. It’s  ...

Billy Elliot

Suggested reading: A Director Calls (1997), Wendy Lesser (about director Stephen Daldry) Billy Elliot wraps a stock formula in a nicely observed script by Lee Hall that avoids the obvious cliches, then adds a charismatic young actor in the central role surrounded by skilled supporting  ...

Black and White

Whatever else you want to say about him, James Toback knows how to get your attention. The writer/director's new film opens with an interracial menage a trois performed in broad daylight in Central Park and observed by a passing trio of adolescent boys. Welcome to Part Two in a  ...

The Blair Witch Project

Click the poster to buy at MovieGoods.com With all of the practice it’s had, and with all of the money and technology at its disposal, it would seem that Hollywood should know by now how to scare the piss out of audiences any time it  ...

Blood Simple

The reissue of Joel Coen’s and Ethan Coen’s 1984 Blood Simple contains a brief tongue-in-cheek prologue in which a tweedy Clifton Fadiman clone puts aside a leather-bound tome long enough to extol the merits of "this exquisite masterpiece." (It’s the filmed equivalent of the put-on prefaces that accompany published  ...

Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

The original Blair Witch Project was more of a stunt than a movie - a very effective stunt for its many admirers, who pushed the box office take of the micro-budgeted indie into the stratosphere. By now, everyone knows the premise: a group of documentary filmmakers vanish in the  ...

Blow

Ted Demme’s new gangster epic Blow opens with a step-by-step depiction of a big-time drug smuggling operation, from the harvesting of a Colombian coca field to the touchdown of a coke-laden cargo plane at an American airport, all played out as The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”  ...

Body Shots

"There are movies that define every decade," according to the posters for the debut film from Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Michael Cristofer, Body Shots. To its credit, the poster does not go on to claim that this is one of those movies. If Body Shots defines any decade, it's the  ...

Les Bonnes Femmes

Donald J Pliner Handbags Infinity Medium Quilted Hobo Claude Chabrol’s Les Bonnes Femmes is a valentine written in poisoned ink, and the cinematic equivalent of Tough Love. It sinks its teeth down to the acrid core of its characters, yet chews them with  ...

Bonnie and Clyde

Click the poster to buy at Movie Goods.com Bonnie and Clyde is a tightly woven story, the deceptively simple screenplay by Robert Benton and David Newman deserving of the awards it won. (One can't help but to wonder why they failed to equal this effort  ...