The Panic in Needle Park

Yes folks, I’m back from my mini-vacation and ready for some reviewing. So, to get back in the swing of things, here’s my take on Jerry Schatzberg’s “The Panic in Needle Park (1971).”

First, a definition: the ‘panic’ in the title refers to when the supply of heroin dries up, and the junkies are forced to go to extremes for a fix. Into this picture come Bobby (Al Pacino) and Helen (Kitty Winn), two aimless souls caught up in the whirlwind junkie scene.

Continue reading

Apt Pupil

Uneven is probably the best word I can use to describe Bryan Singer’s “Apt Pupil,” the story of a boy who seeks a tour through humanity’s dark side.

Todd (Brad Renfro) is a gifted high school student; he’s so gifted that when his history class spends a week learning about the Holocaust, he hits a university library to learn more about it. And he’s so smart that when he sees a suspicious man on a nighttime bus, he begins an amateur investigation that will lead to shocking truths about humanity and himself.

Continue reading

Ghost World revisted

I have a confession to make.  I hated “Ghost World” when I first saw it, which was not too long after it came to DVD in 2001/2002.

At the time, I fully expected to like the movie; a tale of about high school’s outcasts post-graduation has ME written all over it. And seriously, what’s not to like here? It’s both funny and sad in real-life terms, and the acting, directing, writing are all top notch.

Continue reading