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, 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.
Thursday, March 20 2014
When you pay for Probe's services, you're not only getting the agent of the week but also a passel of experts with their tiny cameras, microphones, and zirconium-shelled "audio implants".
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.
Monday, June 30 2014
These adventurous women only wear some kind of underwear or nightie in front of the windows for that funny little peeping tom across the courtyard.
Tuesday, January 27 2015
Although their DVD releases are bare-bones, Island in the Sky and Betrayed both benefit from their recent restorations from Fox and Warner archives.
Friday, January 23 2015
In its examination of issues of multiculturalism, The Emerald Forest continues to acquaint complacent Americans to troubling geopolitical issues 30 years after its release.
Thursday, January 22 2015
Robert Altman's '70s noir is a terrific, sad, and mischievous movie.
Wednesday, January 14 2015
This entry in the '50s noir cycle is an exercise in paranoia from a woman's point of view.
Tuesday, January 13 2015
No amount of melodramatic hysteria or Ella Fitzgerald's singing can save Pete Kelly's Blues from its bland angle on its subject.