Dirty Harry

Siding with ‘Dirty Harry’ on the Use of Violence in Movies

Think anyone in the history of movie-watching ever felt sorry for serial killer “Scorpio” in the 1971 Don Siegel policier Dirty Harry? What, no one at all? Not even when Clint Eastwood’s Inspector Harry Callahan tortures the guy by stepping on his injured leg after shooting him on a football field? Or when he stabs…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Blade Runner

Nudity, ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and the Hollywood Gaze

The biggest problem with Denis Villeneuve’s misfire of a sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is not its sizeable length. Nor is it the fact that the music at the climax misguidedly referenced Vangelis’ wistful primary theme from Ridley Scott’s original 1982 film Blade Runner—a melody that calls attention to the fact that Hans Zimmer…

By Simon Hardy Butler

Why the Space in Outer-Space Movies Should Be Silent

In space, the tagline for Alien (1979) once noted, no one can hear you scream. Apparently, everybody can hear Death Stars and intergalactic starships explode, though, while laser beams pew-pew-pew through the ether. Someone, please, someone give the world a film where the no-atmosphere environment is nice and quiet. Hollywood offers a culture of standards.…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Fahrenheit 451 closing credits

The Problem with Closing Credits

Just once in my life, I’d like to see a movie where the closing credits appear in the middle of the picture. Not that such a move would make them more interesting. But at least the placement would be novelty enough. As you can see, I’m not a big fan of closing credits—at least, not…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Sanjuro

Message Movies: Liking Films Despite Their Perspectives

You’ve got to admit that CURNBLOG’s readers have a deep memory. Witness a comment posted by “Carlos” in response to my recent article on the movie The Promise (2016) and a statement I made in it that said this: I don’t usually urge cinephiles to run after movies with messages for altruistic purposes, as I,…

By Simon Hardy Butler
The Promise

Why the Armenian-Genocide Film ‘The Promise’ Is Crucial Cinema

It’s easy to be skeptical about preachy “man must” movies. You know: “Man must” not make war. “Man must” not ruin the Earth. “Man must” not be cruel to other people. The Promise (2016) is not a “man must” movie. Rather, it’s “must-see.” The film, which follows a love triangle as it progresses during the…

By Simon Hardy Butler
Goodfellas

The Color of Blood: Why Gore’s Hue Might Affect Cinematic Believability

Does the color of blood in a violent scene affect a movie’s credibility? I’ve been asking this question for a while after mulling a variety of great films that feature unrealistic-looking hemo-splatter yet remain some of the most believable pictures of all time. The Godfather (1972) has a scene in which the crime-family head Vito…

By Simon Hardy Butler