INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS — SHOCKTOBER!

ColeSmithey.comWelcome!

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comColeSmithey.com

ColeSmithey.comBy far the best version in the franchise, Philip Kaufman’s venerable revamping of Don Siegel’s 1956 black-and-white sci-fi horror classic delved deeper into nitty-gritty details of a pod-induced mass transformation of humans into emotionless doppelgangers.

In so doing, Kaufman gave his movie the visual lift it needed to instill palpable dread and fear in an audience that didn’t know what hit them.   

ColeSmithey.com

The filmmakers use a recurring image system of spider-web similes, which act as a unifying filter of discord. San Francisco has been turned upside-down over night. Everything is different. Garbage collectors are busy on every street collecting the grey fuzzy waste from swapped-out bodies.

ColeSmithey.com

Donald Sutherland plays San Francisco health inspector Matthew Bennell with a cozy sense of paternal confidence that makes him seem immune to anything that could possibly usurp his empathetic soul. Civilization’s sudden loss of compassion to a population of cold conspiratorial aliens, incapable of something as simple as laughter, proves a terrifying idea when played out to its logical extreme.

ColeSmithey.com

Casting Donald Sutherland in the lead role proved to be a coup for Kaufman. Strains of Sutherland’s iconic performance in Nicholas Roeg’s deeply disturbing psychological thriller “Don’t Look Now” (1973) carried over into "Body Snatchers."

ColeSmithey.com

Thematically, the film’s allegory regarding viral-groupthink has plenty of wiggle-room for interpretation because it is so profoundly vague yet universal. It’s easy to imagine authority figures such as police and politicians inhabited by aliens, because they so frequently express an utter disregard for the value of human life in favor of corporate profits for the one-percent.

ColeSmithey.com

A significant genre-imposed rule of the movie is that its characters can’t fall sleep lest they succumb to possession. Doing so enables one of the recently arrived pods-from-space to produce an exact physical replica that will come to life after sucking the subject’s body dry of its meat, bones, and brains.

ColeSmithey.com

Matthew Bennell’s health department co-worker Elizabeth Driscoll (Brooke Adams) notices a change in her husband. She alerts Matthew to her concerns just as it seems society has begun to flip. A man in a business suit inexplicably sprints through traffic.

ColeSmithey.com

Kaufman sets his audience’s teeth on edge with an inventive soundscape, involving things like heartbeats. Sounds move between the film’s Dolby Stereo format, making the audience feel as if the action is taking place around them.

ColeSmithey.com

Kaufman’s remake gets cameo endorsements from Don Siegel, and from Kevin McCarthy, the lead actor from the original "Body Snatchers" movie. Siegel plays a pod-changed cab driver taking Matthew and Elizabeth for a little ride. Kevin McCarthy’s character is the same as in Segel’s movie except that he seems even more desperate now.

ColeSmithey.com

Philip Kaufman's “Body Snatchers” is famous for a couple of offbeat scenes that you hardly believe when you’re seeing them.

Not Rated. 80 mins. 5 Stars ColeSmithey.comCozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

 

June 09, 2024

ROCK 'N' ROLL HIGH SCHOOL

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com"Rock, rock, rock, rock, Rock 'n' Roll High School!"

Those immortal words, written by The Ramones, kick off a super-charged coming-of-age comedy as chaperoned by, well yes ladies and gentlemen, The Ramones.

'70s era cultural signifiers abound in this Roger Corman-produced bonanza of low budget delights.

"Fun, fun, rock 'n' roll high school.

Fun, fun, oh baby.

Fun, fun, fun, fun.

Rock, rock, rock, rock, rock 'n' roll high school."

ColeSmithey.com

That the Punk band from NYC were soaking up California rays while making the movie, only adds to its fun vibe. The Ramones are at the height of their powers, tearing up the screen with determined musical attitudes shaped by Girl Groups of the '60s. Think, The Shangri-Las.

Who knew Punk was so sincerely romantic?

ColeSmithey.com

The proof in the Punk pudding nods toward be the beautifully innocent romantic intent in The Ramones' fantastic songs.

ColeSmithey.com

The teen dreams of the '70s are in roaring display, squeezed into every frame like a super yummy PB&J.

ColeSmithey.com

P.J. Soles is awesome as Riff Randall, The Ramones' biggest fan, or groupie if you will or if you won't. Romantic sparks fly in an out-of-this-world musical fantasy sequence with Joey singing "I Want You Around" to Riff in her bedroom.

Hot.

ColeSmithey.com

A girl's Punk dream comes to life, with Johnny playing acoustic guitar accompaniment to Joey's intimate love ballad.

ColeSmithey.com

I had the good fortune to be at Richmond Va's radio station-awarded "Rock 'n' roll high school, Richmond Open High School. Aimee Mann was in the equivalent of my home room. As such, the radio station gave us a free screening of "Rock 'n' Roll High School" at the Biograph Cinema in my VCU college neighborhood, the Fan District.

They gave us these great hot pink lettering on black t-shirts.

ColeSmithey.com

Oh, the memories of things teenaged Cole did in that t-shirt in 1979, my sophomore year at Open High. And yes, we did claim to get high openly.

Chills baby, straight up chills.

ColeSmithey.com

Mary Warnov gives a next level performance as Miss Togar, the high school's evil school principal. It's notable that Mary Warnov and her co-star Paul Bartel went on to make the romping BDSM sex comedy "Eating Raoul" together three years later.

ColeSmithey.com

It's clear that everyone involved with this miraculous Punk Rock document, is having a great time really going for it with everything they've got.

That the "Rock 'n' Roll High School" soundtrack is a truly perfect record, goes with the territory.

Rock out kids, "school's out for summer, school's out forever."

ColeSmithey.com

"I hate the teachers and the principalDon't wanna be taught to be no foolRock, rock, rock, rock, rock 'n' roll high school."

Rated PG. 93 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

5 Stars

March 22, 2024

ANATOMY OF A FALL — CANNES 2023

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com"Pueblo chico, infierno grande" translates to small town, big hell.

Such is the remote French community of Grenoble that German outsider Sandra Voyter (Sandra Hüller) finds herself when her troubled husband Samuel Maleski seemingly commits suicide.

The townspeople refuse to accept that their hometown boy could have offed himself. The interloper wife must have murdered Samuel (played by Samuel Theis).

ColeSmithey.com

This is one brilliantly written and directed courtroom drama.

ColeSmithey.com

Sandra is a successful author, Samuel is a university lecturer; jealousy rattles the relationship.

ColeSmithey.com

Sharp dialogue and tricky plot twists keep you on the hook.

"Anatomy of a Fall" won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2023, so you know you're in for a treat.

ColeSmithey.com

Sandra Hüller gives a riveting performance in this slow-burn drama.

Ice is the only thing in the world that is what it's cracked up to be, until blood melts it, that is.

Rated R. 151 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

March 10, 2024

AMERICAN FICTION

Welcome!

ColeSmithey.com

Groupthink doesn't live here, critical thought does. This ad-free website is dedicated to Agnès Varda and to Luis Buñuel. Punk heart still beating.

Get cool rewards when you click on the button to pledge your support through Patreon.

Thanks a lot acorns!

Your kind generosity keeps the reviews coming!

ColeSmithey.com

 

ColeSmithey.com2023 stands as perhaps the best year for satire.

"American Fiction" puts a fine point on that fact with a laugh-out-loud movie that covers a lot of satirical ground.

First time writer/director Cord Jefferson adapts Percival Everett's 2001 novel "Erasure" with snappy results.

Jeffrey Wright plays Thelonious "Monk" Ellison, a black fiction writer fed up with the state of black writers publishing books that pander to downtrodden black stereotypes.

ColeSmithey.com

Job and family troubles send Monk on a journey toward a new chapter of self-fulfillment and improved personal relations with friends and family.

ColeSmithey.com

"American Fiction" joins 2023's list of truly inspiring films that prove Cinema is far from dead despite Hollywood's worst efforts over the past 20 years.

ColeSmithey.com

May there never be another comic book movie, and plenty more great movies from Cord Jefferson.

ColeSmithey.com
Three cheers for "American Fiction."

Perfection.

Rated R. 105 mins.

5 Stars

Cozy Cole

ColeSmithey.com

Featured Video

SMART NEW MEDIA® Custom Videos

COLE SMITHEY’S MOVIE WEEK

COLE SMITHEY’S CLASSIC CINEMA

Throwback Thursday


Podcast Series