Side Shots Film Blog

Side Shots Film Blog is a movie review blog from Identity Theory managed by Matthew Sorrento. Subscribe: RSS | Email

The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers

Dude Abides cover

The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers makes a mostly successful case for the brothers’ classic films as a treasure trove of teachable moments about the human condition.

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Fassbinder “Wired” into Speculative Fiction

Beneath all science fiction lies a dilemma, one solved by the best storytellers: whether the speculative devices are more interesting than the characters created to experience them.

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Book Review: Plague Town: An Ashley Parker Novel

Plague Town

Dana Fredsti, novelist and former swordswoman in charge of training on Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness, manages to squeeze some fresh juice out of an idea that Buffy did better on the small screen.

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The Freestyle Art of Suzuki – Branded to Kill (1967) and Toyko Drifter (1966)

Suzuki's Branded to Kill

Suzuki’s approach adheres to Godard’s dictum that all one needs for a movie is a girl and a gun.

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Listening to The Conversation

The Conversation movie poster

Critics have missed some thematic points that are worth exploring to further illustrate the worthiness of Coppola’s still-undervalued character study.

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Further Thoughts on Howard Hawks’ Scarface (and In Praise of Robin Wood)

Howard Hughes Scarface

As Wood noted frequently, genre is largely based on ideology; it’s fostered through popular entertainment and in the film, directly stated by the chief.

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Black Death, Lost in its Own Darkness

Black Death

As in life, some promises are hard to keep onscreen. This is true in the case of Walter Hill’s cult pic The Warriors.

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Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead…Until a Second Act Prize

Fat Sick and Nearly Dead Filmmakers

The food science/health documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead makes the filmmaker-subject motif – in which the man behind the camera spends as much time in front of it – appear to be the norm.

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Film Essay: The Natural Supernaturalism of the 13 Assassins

13 Assassins

At a fundamental level, 13 Assassins dramatically illustrates the deadly nature of conflicting political loyalties.

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Director Alexander Payne Retrospective in Philadelphia

Sadly, it’s been a while for Alexander Payne.

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The Casual Other: Behind Minor John Hughes

Great Outdoors

John Hughes’ rise has been well documented.

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A Dark Moment For Louis Malle: Black Moon on DVD

Black Moon

A Fellini moment was due for a journeyman director like Louis Malle.

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Film Book Review: Shade Rupe’s Dark Stars Rising: Conversations from the Outer Realms

No one would argue with calling this massive, invaluable tome “exhaustive,” though there might be a few who would squawk with using the word “definitive.”

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DVD Review: The Exterminator

The Exterminator DVD

One of the first exploitation films to be shown endlessly during the early days of cable, 1980’s The Exterminator is also one of the more grim entries in the genre. Gory, jaded and ambivalent on the merits of the vigilante, it anticipated Bernard Goetz by a few years.

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Review: The Names of Love

Names of Love

Picture this: a secluded scientist waits in a checkout line for his new love interest to return with an item. An unusual pickup for him, she had invaded his radio interview about bird flu (he’s an expert) and then asked him to bed when they had drinks.

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