Author Archive: Jef Burnham

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).

rss feed

The Inspector Lavardin Collection

The Inspector Lavardin Collection

| April 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

It’s over forty minutes into Chicken with Vinegar (Poulet au vinaigre, 1985) before Inspector Lavardin (Jean Poiret, The Last Metro) at last makes his cinematic debut, unceremoniously pulling into a gas station to fill up. Although sweet, charming and certainly well-intentioned, Lavardin appears, at first, somewhat pedestrian as far as fictional detectives go—hardly the sort […]

×
Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings

Stan Lee’s Mighty 7: Beginnings

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

I’ll concede that the 2007 releases of Stan Lee Presents: Mosaic and Stan Lee Presents: The Condor were, shall we say, somewhat underwhelming as far as superhero movies go. Still, I own them and I’ve watched them a couple times each anyway. And in no small part it’s because of my adoration for the man […]

×
The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups

The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Crack Ups

| April 16, 2014 | 0 Comments

Following StarVista’s wholly unsurprising success with their 2013 releases of The Carol Burnett Show: Carol’s Favorites and The Carol Burnett Show: This Time Together on DVD, they’re poised to replicate that success once more with the third of their 6-disc Carol Burnett Show releases: Carol’s Crack Ups. When it comes to nostalgic television, I don’t […]

×
Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

| April 2, 2014 | 0 Comments

Broadchurch came to my attention for the same reason many of our readers were no doubt drawn to it: the presence of long-time Doctor Who star, David Tennant, in the series’ lead role. Yet I soon learned the series co-starred fellow Doctor Who alum, Arthur Darvill, and was written and created by Chris Chibnall, who […]

×
Ms. 45

Ms. 45

| March 24, 2014 | 0 Comments

Abel Ferrara’s 1981 film, Ms. 45, takes some time to appreciate, as most Ferrara films do in my experience. After all, the film’s protagonist is raped twice in the first eleven or so minutes, and one of those instances occurs before we even learn definitively that she’s mute. After killing her second attacker, Thana goes […]

Monsters: The Complete Series

Monsters: The Complete Series

| March 19, 2014 | 0 Comments

Each episode of Monsters opens with an unconventional and highly meta title sequence: from an establishing shot of the Earth on high, we pull in through the atmosphere on to a suburban neighborhood, and then move in closer still toward an average suburban home. The family residing there, we discover, is not unlike that of […]

×
The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Deluxe Blu-ray Edition

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Deluxe Blu-ray Edition

| March 18, 2014 | 0 Comments

Surpassed in iconicity only by his title role in 1925’s The Phantom of the Opera, Lon Chaney’s performance as Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923) was a defining moment in the actor’s prolific, but all-too-short filmic career. Renowned for his ability to transform himself entirely through the use of makeup and by altering […]

×
The Visitor (1979)

The Visitor (1979)

| March 4, 2014 | 0 Comments

To call The Visitor (1979) unique is both an enormous understatement and an outright lie. In it, director/co-writer Giulio Paradisi (who served as assistant director on Fellini’s 8 ½) cobbles together scraps of narratives from a half dozen other movies and tempers them with his own half-formed notions of proper cinematic storytelling. And in doing […]

×
The 300 Spartans

The 300 Spartans

| February 25, 2014 | 0 Comments

I freely admit that Zack Snyder/Frank Miller’s historically-inaccurate, LGBT-insensitive (yet supremely homoerotic), machismo bullshit, green screen nightmare 300 (2006) is entirely lost on me. Its characters are thin or, where fleshed out, are so rooted in stereotypes and broadly drawn that bonding with them as viewers ought to proves nearly impossible. It doesn’t help either […]

×
Romeo and Juliet (2013)

Romeo and Juliet (2013)

| February 17, 2014 | 0 Comments

It’s all pouting lips and swelling orchestral strings in Carlo Carlei’s 2013 filmic adaptation of William Shakespeare’s romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Boasting an adapted screenplay by Downton Abbey-creator Julian Fellowes and the likes of Paul Giamatti, Stellan Skarsgård and Damian Lewis among the players, my expectations for this adaptation were high—perhaps too much so. […]

×