Archives for the month of: October, 2013

As Breaking Bad has finally wrapped up, leaving me mostly satisfied and somewhat relieved to be free of the final season’s relentless tension, I’m realizing that something I’ve been waiting for throughout the series is never going to come to fruition: a truly rounded Latino character.

Gus is a match for Walt

Walt and Gus are a match.

Yes, I am a Gustavo Fring aficionado; to be more specific, I experienced a phase in which I was more a Gus obsessive. For me, Gus is the most magnetic and elusive of all the Breaking Bad characters, but after his spectacular departure in the nursing home blast, I’m left wondering if part of his mystery was just carelessness on the part of Vince Gilligan. Fring’s Read the rest of this entry »

Dr. Woodard has been murdered, Sam is despondent, and Maggie (Kathryn Leigh Scott) is putzing around the house in the most outlandish outfit yet to grace Dark Shadows by 1967.


I showed this clip to a co-worker, who, rather than focus on Maggie’s Ohrbach’s-provided attire, expressed disappointment that Sam and Maggie were “normal people” (not vampires, ghosts, or whatever else she imagined Dark Shadows to be entirely composed of).

That dress isn’t normal!” I decried. “Is it even a dress? I can’t tell if the seemingly velour top is connected to what appears at first glance to be a bedspread with a floral quilt pattern. Is it a floor-length skirt?”

I found Maggie’s choice of clothing for hanging around the house to be far more alarming than most of the supernatural phenomena on the Read the rest of this entry »

While the news of Burke Devlin’s plane being lost in the Amazon might have come as a terrible shock, I am left reeling by the Pucci look that Elizabeth Collins Stoddard is wearing to receive the tragic news. I assume the dress is a knock-off. I haven’t noticed that Ohrbach’s, the department store providing the Dark Shadows wardrobe, has ever gone for big designers, but this could be that jump now that in October of 1967 Barnabas has turned the Read the rest of this entry »

Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947); directed by Stuart Heisler; story by Dorothy Parker and Frank Cavett; screenplay by John Howard Lawson with additional dialogue by Lionel WiggamSmash-Up

I had high hopes for hysterical melodrama in this cautionary tale of alcoholism, and given Susan Hayward’s track record, I shouldn’t have been disappointed. I was. The central problem is that the star doesn’t have enough unbridled drunk scenes. She can act with abandon – just look at I Want to Live! – but here she’s more restrained, trying to find the honor and dignity in her character. But honor and dignity are boring in near isolation, and if Susan Hayward isn’t going to ramp up the histrionics, the rest of the film Read the rest of this entry »

Love Bug - split!

directed by Robert Stevenson; screenplay by  Bill Walsh and Don DaGradi; story by Gordon Burford

Quite different from the film I remember from my childhood.

First, it’s a children’s film that doesn’t have a child in a single frame. I’d like to order more of those.

Second, Herbie doesn’t really have that much of a personality and isn’t even really recognized as a sentient being until an hour through the movie – when he attempts suicide by hurling himself off the Golden Gate Bridge. That Read the rest of this entry »

The Ugly Dachshund (1966); directed by Norman Tokar;  screenplay by Albert Aley


The movie is essentially a string of old Warner Brothers cartoon skits where animals destroy everything in the house, played out in sad non-animation by four Dachshunds, a Great Dane, and an unfortunate Dean Jones. Suzanne Pleshette has the thankless role of Jones’s shrewish wife, while Mako has an insulting  part as a caterer’s Read the rest of this entry »