Among movie musicals, “Singin’ in the Rain” stands as the greatest of them all. Its nearest competitors, “The Band Wagon” with Fred Astaire, or even Gene Kelly’s “An American in Paris,” produced a year before “Singin’ in the Rain,” are also just as entertaining today as when they were first released six decades ago. But something about “Singin’ in the Rain” gives it a snap that remains timeless.
The 1960s and 70s were a time of great experimentation and revolt. New and different were in, and young musicians, artists and filmmakers’ battle cry was “why the hell not?” In a similar vein, a Parisian film maker hired a race driver to tear across Paris in the early morning in a Ferrari at speeds up to 120 mph with a 35mm camera strapped to the hood. In that same go for broke manner the producers of the film “The Girl on a Motorcycle” approached their task.
Editor’s Note: When I received a review copy of the new direct-to-video movie Santa Buddies in the mail, I knew exactly who to call. My own buddy Ryan, whom I’ve known since college, tolerates excruciatingly bad movies well, for what reason I cannot tell. I figured that reading his review of the movie would be much more fun than sitting through 88 minutes of CGI-assisted talking dogs. I wasn’t disappointed. Without further ado, here’s the longest analysis of Santa Buddies you’re likely to read on the Internet. Now, I dare you to watch the movie. –Nathan Cone
A seemingly simple film that reveals deeper levels of profundity upon further reflection, Roberto Rossellini's "The Flowers of St. Francis" is basically a series of vignettes that takes Italian neo-realism back to the 13th century.
This year has seen some terrific releases on DVD, but none is better than the Criterion Collection's three-disc set, "The Battle of Algiers." First released in 1966, "The Battle of Algiers" was reissued in theaters across the country in 2004. It enjoyed a too-brief run in San Antonio in May 2004. The film's distributor, Rialto, told me that it didn't do too well in San Antonio so it was pulled after one week.