Latest Columns & Features

FIR’S BEST OF 2016
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2016

What a brilliant cast of characters, and what an extraordinary episodic teleplay. It seems strange to say it: that it was paradoxically possible for a multi-billionaire candidate to be the underdog/whipping boy for the overwhelmingly biased media. But he was. And it made him sympathetic beyond anything critically valid the media had to say. I may not have voted for him, but I was definitely rooting for him. And I relished every near-inexplicable bounce back he exhibited.

WHEELER AND WOOLSEY RKO COMEDY CLASSICS COLLECTION – VOLUME TWO 6 FILM COLLECTION

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A recent leading film re-discovery for modern audiences is the 1930’s comedy movie team Wheeler and Woolsey. Bert Wheeler was a sweet-faced young comic – Zeppo Marx and Jerry Lewis combined. Robert Woolsey was the wise-cracking half who reminds one of George Burns. During the Great Depression they were as popular as The Marx Brothers and Laurel and Hardy. Their humor was racy, blooming with often shocking ethnic and sexual gags.

NETFLIXERS FILMS YOU SHOULD’VE STREAMED ON NETFLIX BUT WERE PROBABLY WATCHING TELEVISION

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TOO LATE
written and directed by Dennis Hauck. Starring John Hawkes, and Crystal Reed.

MY NIGHT WITH WIDOW JANE

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Deep in the heart of Red Hook, at 218 Conover Street (wasn’t Giles Conover one of Sherlock Holmes’ adversaries?), is an elegant yet unobtrusive-looking warehouse built out of red brick. On close scrutiny one might think it suspiciously well kept-up. But its real value remains hidden.

FIR’S CHRISTMAS SEASON COLUMN 2016-2017

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It’s that celebratory season, before and after Christmas and New Year’s, when we go out on forays to find the best DVDs and BluRays worth going the extra bucks for. Here are some:

CAMP DAVID, OCTOBER, 2016.

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Curtis Harrington, director of the soon-to-be-released MATA HARI, returns to feature films after working for several years in television. This is surely cause for celebration for aficionados of bizarre and stylish filmmaking.

HALLOWEEN 2016 COLUMN

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As always, this is the time of year when the distributors release their current or rejuvenated horror flicks for a primed holiday audience. The three best horror flicks of the year thus far, in your editor’s humble opinion, are THE GREEN ROOM, MAI-CHAN’S DAILY LIFE, and DON’T BREATHE.