Michael Barrett is a San Antonio-based freelance writer who tries not to leave the house. He has degrees from Trinity University in San Antonio and University of California at Davis. He watches one film a day. In addition to his features and reviews on PopMatters, see also his PopMatters column, Canon Fodder. Since the early ‘90s he has written a monthly video column for the San Antonio Express-News, and his national publications include Library Journal and the Chicago-based Nostalgia Digest.
Thursday, June 4 2009
Again in the Eastwood oeuvre, a man who thinks he's in control, and especially around women, finds out he's not quite.
Wednesday, April 15 2009
Lee Marvin almost floats through his space, bending his graying hatchet-head forward on his tall lanky body, his loose limbs on the point of uncoiling into savagery when some mug pulls a rod or throws a punch. He's a dangerous gentleman.
Thursday, September 18 2008
Face slapping, bathroom porn, and obsessive, possessive, manic-depressive, aggressive-aggressive fixations define these Catherine Deneuve non-masterpieces.
Thursday, August 28 2008
The aliens carry silver dollars with lights which function both as cell phones and as gadgets that can make anyone drop dead from an instantly diagnosable "brain hemorrhage".
Thursday, January 31 2008
The films produced by Thanhouser may seem fragile in their faded beauty and quaint devices, but their very age and quaintness become strengths to who admire the style and vigor of silent cinema.
Monday, February 23 2015
This is a traditional family sitcom, which means it's not funny.
Monday, November 24 2014
At its best, Maya serves as a window into an era of kids' adventure series with unusually authentic production values and undercurrents of thoughtful attention to cultural differences.
Wednesday, September 24 2014
The Party, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and Juggernaut give us good clean fun about slavery and brothels.
Monday, August 4 2014
In film, "visionary" has become a marketing adjective, like "iconic". Here, on the matter of visionary directors, we separate the claret from the beaujolais, if you will.
Tuesday, May 27 2014
The Loved One gives viewers that "sick kick", and Decline and Fall of a Bird Watcher perfectly captures Waugh's tone of cruel, facetious, and lunatic whimsies.
Monday, March 2 2015
This woman-centric western isn't a lost masterpiece, but rather an entertaining and sometimes fascinating pleasantry.
Wednesday, September 17 2014
In Torneur's classic film, the femme fatale knows she's an object in a world of violent men she has no reason to respect.
Thursday, September 11 2014
Anti-romances of those who shouldn't be together.
Thursday, July 31 2014
Slander hasn't dated much at all; it still engages the viewer with something harsh and sordid under its veneer of '50s gentility.
Monday, July 21 2014
Despite their flaws, A Fever in the Blood and Wall of Noise reveal the crucial role of the film editor.
Wednesday, March 4 2015
As the silent era was ending, Hollywood turned out slick, predictable, pleasingly made entertainments punched out of perfect formulas. Two examples, The Cossacks and Why Be Good?, are newly available from Warner Archive.
Wednesday, February 25 2015
This quietly kinky and off-the-wall horror flick is one of the late, great Boris Karloff's last times in front of a camera.
Tuesday, February 24 2015
From luxurious estates (The Long Hair of Death) to mental asylums (Slaughter Hotel), these two Italian scare flicks depict women fighting against institutional power and sexism.
Wednesday, February 11 2015
This movie, which mines the dated territory of professor/student relationships, trivializes education while looking swank.
Tuesday, February 10 2015
This Alain Robbe-Grillet film can get under the skin of anyone susceptible to its languid spell.