• I’m talkin’ to whoever’s listenin’ out there

    When some wild-eyed, eight-foot-tall maniac grabs your neck, taps the back of your favorite head up against the barroom wall, and he looks you crooked in the eye and he asks you if ya paid your dues, you just stare that big sucker right back in the eye, and you remember what ol' Jack Burton always says at a time like that: "Have ya paid your dues, Jack?" "Yessir, the check is in the mail."
  • Recent Posts


In the opening scene of Rampart, we see LAPD officer Dave Brown behaving rather typically for a character in a corrupt cop movie.  If the genre feels like it’s been overdone, and not necessarily done very memorably since the Sidney Lumet films of the ’70s and ’80s, that’s probably because it has.  Fortunately, much changes … Continue reading

The Innkeepers

Loud noises and jump scares aren’t scary.  They’re just surprising.  Gruesome kills and torture scenes aren’t scary.  They’re shocking.  Even though he’s also responsible for direct-to-DVD dreck like <i>Cabin Fever 2:  Spring Fever</i>, 2009’s <i>The House of the Devil</i> landed writer/director Ti West a permanent spot on my radar.  The truly scary (and fun) ’80s … Continue reading

Listomania! The best of 2011 is finally here!

1.  Drive – My high school English teacher told me there’s no such thing as a “perfect piece of art.”  He might even agree that Drive is about as close as you can get.  It’s my favorite film since Zodiac.  ‘Nuff said. 2.  The Tree of Life – This film takes me to a place few … Continue reading


Haywire is definitely a spy thriller, just one that leans a little closer to the restrained Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy than the Salt-y adrenaline-pumping variety the advertising might lead you to believe.  Sure, it has plenty of hand-to-hand combat and car chases, it’s just done in a way that brings more focus to authenticity than … Continue reading

Contraband Movie Review

Although I’ve always preferred him in dramas like The Departed and Boogie Nights or comedies like The Other Guys and Date Night, Mark Wahlberg has always viewed himself, first and foremost, as a tough-guy action hero.  His latest foray into the genre is a grittier than average heist thriller that earns bonus points for some … Continue reading

This horse went to war.

“Some pig.”  Remember when Charlotte wove that web?  Well, replace “pig” with “horse” and you’ve got the reaction director Steven Spielberg aims to get out of his audience following each and every scene in War Horse, which features about a dozen climaxes, each signaled by a massive crescendo in the romantic score by Spielberg’s longtime … Continue reading

This weekend sucks.

The lone new release hitting theaters this weekend the found-footage exorcism movie The Devil Inside, which I will not be seeing.  I hate found-footage movies.  And I hate exorcism movies.  This movie could not be less appealing to me unless it starred Katherine Heigl and a horse.  Surely Heigl is reading the script for the … Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is unmistakably the second film in director Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes franchise.  I suppose it’s hard to fault it on that level, but that’s also the reason it took me so long to see the movie.  Don’t get me wrong, I liked the first Sherlock Holmes.  It’s just hard … Continue reading

I’ll be back.

I’ve decided to return home to The Pork Chop Express.  I’ve seen over 100 2011 releases, so there has clearly been enough to discuss.  I’ve just gotten away from writing over the past few months and I feel shameful and lazy for it.  I can do better.  My goal for 2012 is to match the … Continue reading

Where am I?

In case you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m abandoning The Pork Chop Express. It’s run out of gas. I’m pulling it into the garage. Pulled the parking brake. Ok.  I’m done. I can now be found here with my good friend Frank (aka Pompous Film Snob).  I just posted an early review of … Continue reading