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.
Clint Eastwood: American Icon Collection | 4 Jun 2009 // 3:59 PM
Again in the Eastwood oeuvre, a man who thinks he's in control, and especially around women, finds out he's not quite.
M Squad: Clench-jawed and World-weary | 15 Apr 2009 // 3:59 PM
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.
(Catherine) Deneuvian Depths | 18 Sep 2008 // 4:59 PM
Face slapping, bathroom porn, and obsessive, possessive, manic-depressive, aggressive-aggressive fixations define these Catherine Deneuve non-masterpieces.
The Invaders: Cold War Central with the Vietnam Blues | 28 Aug 2008 // 5:00 PM
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".
When Rules Were Meant to be (Silently) Broken | 31 Jan 2008 // 2:59 PM
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.
Berlin Alexanderplatz //2.Dec.07
The Cult of Personality //1.Nov.07
Avante-garde 2: Experimental Cinema 1928-1954 //20.Sep.07
The Elusive Corpus: Jean Renoir Collection //25.Jun.07
Fighting the Battles of 'Jericho', the Show That Came Tumbling Down | 15 Sep 2015 // 8:30 PM
Jericho wore the influence of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. on its sleeve, but that didn't protect it.
The Life, Death and Afterlife of Video Stores | 28 Jul 2015 // 8:30 PM
In the dust of long gone video stores ghosts of film geeks past forever roam.
On Denaturing Racial Elements in Two '50s-era Films | 25 May 2015 // 8:29 PM
Two fascinating bits of Americana, Black Gold and Face of Fire, are defined by racial themes, yet tackle the subject quite differently.
Calling Mr. Aldrich: The '50s-era Fisticuffs of 'World for Ransom' and 'Ten Seconds to Hell' | 6 May 2015 // 9:30 PM
Robert Aldrich favors the classical presentation of angry cynical characters given to violence and grotesquery, which means he's often "tasteless" and discomfitting.
Farther Than You Think: Mapping the Noir Terrain | 22 Mar 2015 // 8:30 PM
Rope of Sand, Dark City, and Union Station each extend the shadowy reach of film noir.
The Adventures of Two Boys and an Elephant //24.Nov.14
Films for Fans of Visionary Directors //4.Aug.14
60 Nights at the Movies: The Sequel //17.Feb.14
'Til Your Eyes Bleed & Your Ears Explode: 61 Books You Really Should Read & Have Read To You //3.Oct.13
50 Nights at the Movies -- at Home! //13.Aug.13
How Do Film Adaptations of Books, Such As 'The Great Gatsby', Affect an Author's Literary Status? //12.May.13
Do Women Have Sex? 'The Chapman Report' //15.Apr.13
Ruining Their Reputations: Pre-Code Movies Have a Naughty Reputation That's Not Always Deserved //1.Jul.12
Prime Time Larceny: It Takes a Thief //1.Feb.12
Clear! Old-School Medical Drama, Stat! //13.Oct.11
'Cinema' --That's Italian for Cinema //4.Apr.11
King Henry of Hollywood //9.Feb.11
Charlie Chaplin, Tramping Step by Step //12.Jan.11
Fantômas: The Case of the Dastardly Scalawag //19.Oct.10
'The Mothers-In-Law': Just for Good Measure, We'll Give Everyone the Intelligence of a Radish //30.Aug.10
Peyton Place: When Discretion Was Partly a Genteel Quality, Partly a Requirement of the Censor //24.Jun.10
Perry Mason Knows: Anyone May Be Guilty, Evil Lurks Just Beneath the Mask of Respectability //27.May.10
Reality with a Pinch of Salto //4.Mar.10
Silent Revelations //19.Jan.10
Looking Back at the Avant Garde //1.Dec.09
Buster Keaton: The Sound of His Obsession //2.Sep.09
You are Living in the Golden Years of Cinema //23.Jul.09
‘The City’: The Most Seen Documentary //5.Mar.09
Ken Russell at the BBC //21.Jan.09
DIY: Takahiko Iimura //7.Oct.08
American Film Theatre //17.Jul.08
Oh, Throckmorton! Counting Bad Days With "The Great Gildersleeve" | 21 Sep 2015 // 8:10 PM
Gildy's continual laughs, hums, grumbles, yips, and sighs draw his voice from the silky and obsequious into annoyed growls in the new collection from Warner Video.
Two Masters of Hollywood Expressionism Go Back to Europe | 6 Aug 2015 // 8:10 PM
Escape From East Berlin and War-Gods of the Deep both try to escape from tyranny.
The Maltese Spin-Offs: 'Satan Met a Lady' and 'The Maltese Bippy' | 12 Jul 2015 // 8:10 PM
These are not the gospel according to Dashiell Hammett.
'Eddie Cantor Four Film Collection' Moves In and (Thankfully) Out of Blackface | 7 Jul 2015 // 8:10 PM
Beneath the grotesque surface, white performers tried to tap a secret power of blackness in the '30s. This Eddie Cantor four film collection is one such document of that time.
'Bank Shot', 'Cops and Robbers', and 'Harry in Your Pocket' Capture the Evolution of Heist Films | 22 Jun 2015 // 8:10 PM
Starting in the '70s, heist and caper films evolved from the high-society champagne crime of the '30s and '40s to gritty, realistic robbery pictures.
'Sombrero' Is a Forgotten Technicolor Gem //8.Jun.15
'Canyon Passage' Is Not Your Usual Western //16.Jun.14
'It Started in Naples' and It Ended in Capri //15.Jun.14
'City That Never Sleeps' and 'Hell's Half Acre' Try Unusual Methods in Their Storytelling //6.May.14
The King and Queen of Postwar Pop //5.May.14
Let's Talk About a Couple of Lemmons //28.Jan.14
The Bad Man in 'Branded' Is Lying the Truth //13.Jan.14
'Perry Mason' Resonates from Decades Past //7.Oct.13
The Handsome and the Stupid: 'The Tartars' //1.Apr.13
A Touch of Orson, Almost: 'Tip on a Dead Jockey' //27.Feb.13
'The Phynx': Stupefaction Guaranteed //31.Oct.12
Catch Us If You Can: 'Having a Wild Weekend' //5.Sep.12
Kiss-Kiss Bang-Bang Go-Go Raquel!: 'Flareup' //12.Jun.12
Boy, are These Natives Restless: 'Black Moon' //27.Mar.12
'Tall Story': Don't You Believe It //12.Mar.12
Debbie Reynolds in Multiple Musical Doses: 'Give a Girl a Break' & 'The Affairs of Dobie Gillis' //18.Jan.12
We All Get a Bit Defrocked in 'Priest of Love' //18.Jul.11
Be Careful Who You Wish For: 'The Associate' //23.Jun.11
In 'Vampire Circus', One Lust Feeds the Other //22.Feb.11
The 'Man in a Suitcase' Is a Surly Bastard //14.Feb.11
'Johnny Staccato': A Detective on the Downbeat //20.Jan.11
Smiling Ghosts, Hidden Hands & Negro Stereotypes in 'Warner Bros. Horror/Mystery Double Features' //13.Jan.11
Luise Rainer Spirals into Extravagant Tomfoolery in the 'Signature Collection: Luise Rainer' //11.Jan.11
The Morally Fuzzy Territory of Film Noir Lurks in the Shadows of 'Perry Mason: Season 5, Volume 2' //18.Nov.10
'Eleven Men and a Girl' and a Mouth //15.Sep.10
A Knight Without Armour In a Savage Land: 'Have Gun Will Travel: Season Four, Volume Two' //22.Jul.10
A Gospel Calling: Mahalia Jackson Sings //13.Apr.10
Have Gun - Will Travel: Season Four, Volume One //10.Mar.10
Summer Storm //17.Dec.09
The Barbara Stanwyck Show: Volume 1 //14.Dec.09
The Buttercup Chain //17.Sep.09
Paris 36 (Faubourg 36) //16.Aug.09
British Sea Power: Man of Aran //7.Jun.09
Under Full Sail: Silent Cinema on the High Seas //13.Apr.09
Music for Airports & In the Ocean //2.Mar.09
Honey West: The Complete Series //8.Jan.09
Perry Mason: Season 3 - Vol. 2 //7.Jan.09
Weird Tales & Edgar Allen Poe Collections //30.Oct.08
Noriko's Dinner Table //12.Jun.08
Before the Nickelodeon //5.Jun.08
The Exquisite Short Films of Kihachiro Kawamoto //20.May.08
Alain Delon: Five Film Collection //7.May.08
Slave Widow //7.May.08
The Last Supper //30.Apr.08
Black Widow //10.Apr.08
The Second Track //31.Mar.08
The Dragon Painter //16.Mar.08
Post-War Kurosawa: Eclipse Series 7 //13.Mar.08
German Expressionism Collection //6.Mar.08
Bruce Lee: The Early Years 1953/1955 //28.Feb.08
The Untouchables: Season 1, Vol. 1 //7.Feb.08
Eugenie de Sade //6.Feb.08
Syndromes and a Century (Sang Sattawat) //21.Jan.08
Lost and Found: The Harry Langdon Collection //17.Jan.08
Route 66: Season 1, Vol. 1 //20.Dec.07
A Cottage on Dartmoor //5.Nov.07
Discovering Cinema //28.Oct.07
Fox Horror Classics Collection //21.Oct.07
Stories of the American Puppet //27.Sep.07
Snake Womans Curse //26.Sep.07
True Heart Susie //13.Sep.07
Spring in a Small Town //9.Aug.07
The One-Armed Swordsman //28.Jun.07
Tyrone Power: The Swashbuckler Box Set (1949) //28.May.07
Regular Lovers (2005) //20.May.07
The Piano Tuner of Earthquakes (2005) //3.May.07
A Profile of the Great Profile: 'The Mad Genius' and 'The Great Man Votes' | 19 Nov 2015 // 2:30 AM
Two performances from John Barrymore take us from pre-Code camp to prescient political satire.
'The Safecracker' Breaks the War Wide Open | 17 Nov 2015 // 8:05 PM
A field day, and parachute drop, for Ray Milland.
'Lost Girl' and 'Phantom' Got Those Silent Upgrade Blu's | 10 Nov 2015 // 2:00 AM
Two silent classics travel from nitrate to VHS to HD Blu-rays, regaining something of their forgotten glory.
'Pitfall' and 'Flaxy Martin' Have Diametrically Opposed Femmes Fatales | 9 Nov 2015 // 5:00 AM
Pitfall presents a clammy credibility and a grasp of grown-up behavior; whereas Flaxy Martin is a plot full of unpleasant people in an unpleasant world of big-city corruption.
Murder and Marriage in the Hollywood '30s | 5 Nov 2015 // 3:00 AM
In these three '30s-era films we see the wise-cracking reporter role subverted, the stereotyped melodrama played out, and a sympathetic, Pre-Code eye toward adultery.