VISUAL MEDIA

This review category includes films, television shows, and videos in all genres. Reviews of books about visual media are also collected here. That would include books like Stephen E. Whitfield's classic The Making of Star Trek.

To aid in locating the desired type of work, but not get too complicated, I settled on a four-color scheme for this section. The 4 new background colors apply across each row. Dramatic films are light blue, biographies and documentaries are light green, comedies are light yellow, and musicals are light red. (Books are beige, as elsewhere in the reviews categories.)

List of available reviews of works in or about visual media

Film Biog./Docum. Film Comedy Film Drama Musical Film
DIRECTOR or
PRINCIPAL AUTHOR
TITLE
(Linked to review)
RATING
(0-5)
REVIEW
DATE
ONE-LINE
DESCRIPTION
Attenborough, Richard Cry Freedom 5.0 8/12/2015 A harrowing depiction of the apartheid regime of South Africa and its murder of Steve Biko.
Bach, Joel Years of Living Dangerously 5.0 10/21/2016 This nine-episode Showtime TV series explains why we need to care about climate change.
Baker, Roy Ward Don't Bother To Knock 4.0 3/05/2017 A bravura performance by Marilyn Monroe makes this 1952 black&white film worth watching.
Bowman, Rob Elektra 4.0 3/31/2018 Hatred of the Hand made Elektra an assassin for hire. Now she must face the Hand's most formidable warriors. Her skills alone will not save her; she must also find love in her heart.
Cameron, James The Abyss 4.0 3/07/2017 Superb special effects, good acting, and plenty of action make James Cameron's underwater epic worth watching.
Codd, Matt Epoch 3.5 7/14/2016 Decent special effects, an original premise, and good performances by the leads highlight this 2000 science fiction film.
Coen, Joel Fargo 4.5 7/24/2017 A crime spree so bizarre could only happen in real life — and so it did.
Comfort, Ray Evolution vs. God 0.5 3/05/2017 Purporting to debunk evolution, Ray Comfort spouts nonsense for 35 minutes.
Coppola, Francis Ford Finian's Rainbow 4.0 7/31/2017 Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of the 1947 Broadway play is thoroughly enjoyable.
Curtiz, Michael Casablanca 5.0 6/17/2015 A true classic.
DaCosta, Morton Auntie Mame 4.5 7/21/2017 In this delightful comedy, Rosalind Russell rejuvenated her film career with her energetic performance as the redoubtable Mame Dennis.
DeBont, Jan Lara Croft: Cradle of Life 4.0 6/12/2017 Angelina Jolie's second outing as Lara Croft: better than the first, but still over the top.
Demme, Jonathan The Silence of the Lambs 5.0 4/12/2017 One of the best crime films going.
Derrickson, Scott The Day The Earth Stood Still 3.0 8/14/2017 Interplanetary visitor Klaatu returns in a remake of the 1951 classic — but his purpose has changed.
Edwards, Blake 10 3.0 9/03/2015 A passable romantic comedy, notable mainly as the first major film of gorgeous Bo Derek.
Fleming, Victor Gone with the Wind 4.0 9/01/2015 The film adaptation of Margaret Mitchell's novel is an epic production deserving its accolades — but also a glorified soap opera.
Forbes, Bryan The Stepford Wives 4.0 4/11/2018 Stepford, CT is an ideal refuge from the noise and hassle of New York City — with a deadly secret.
Greek, Janet Spellbinder 4.0 4/12/2017 A well-crafted and tautly paced erotic horror film.
Hackford, Taylor Ray 4.5 4/12/2017 A detailed and unsparing dramatization of the life of the legendary entertainer.
Hathaway, Henry Sundown 3.5 10/21/2017 A well-crafted war drama in the old-school tradition, ably restored by The Film Detective.
Hawks, Howard Man's Favorite Sport? 3.5 4/08/2018 Hudson and Prentiss perform their parts with admirable energy in this durably watchable slapstick romantic comedy.
Higgins, Colin 9 to 5 4.0 9/03/2017 This may be the quintessential feminist comedy of revenge on a male-chavinist boss.
Hill, George Roy Thoroughly Modern Millie 3.5 4/10/2018 A very enjoyable cascade of inspired silliness.
Hooper, Tobe Lifeforce 3.0 8/30/2015 Space vampires ravage London in this action-filled spectacular, notable for a ludicrous plot and the bravura performance of Mathilda May.
Howard, Ron Willow 4.0 6/08/2017 Destiny calls the humble halfling Willow Ufgood to heroic deeds in the service of good.
Huston, John The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 5.0 6/17/2015 Just one of the best westerns on film, and Bogart's best role.
Hyams, Peter 2010: The Year We Make Contact 4.5 7/29/2016 A worthy sequel to 2001, and one with more realistic depictions of space flight.
Jackson, Peter The Lord of the Rings 5.0 6/08/2017 There's not likely to be a better filmed fantasy than this trilogy adapted from Tolkien's famous novels.
Jefferson, Alan The Complete Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Guide 5.0 11/03/2013 For fans of the "dynamic duo" of nineteenth-century British comic opera, this book is not to be missed.
Jewison, Norman The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! 4.5 3/06/2017 This 1966 comedy ably satirizes the Cold-War hysteria of that era.
Kusama, Karyn Aeon Flux 3.5 4/01/2018 Only one living city remains on Earth in 2415, and its inhabitants are sterile. Can Trevor Goodkind's experiments restore humanity's lost fecundity?
Lee, Ang Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon 5.0 6/08/2016 The fate of the sword of power Green Destiny and its master Li Mu Bai are tested in this tale of love and sacrifice.
Levine, Jonathan Warm Bodies 3.5 3/01/2018 Zombies recover and rejoin the human race in this highly original and well-crafted love story.
Liman, Doug Fair Game 4.0 8/17/2015 A biopic of the Valerie Plame affair, in which the Bush administration revealed her CIA covert status, ending her career.
MacKendrick, Alexander Don't Make Waves 3.0 3/05/2017 Sharon Tate decorates this contrived but enjoyable romantic comedy.
Mankiewicz, Joseph L. The Ghost and Mrs. Muir 4.0 7/18/2016 This romantic comedy features bravura performances by Gene Tierney and Rex Harrison.
Marshland, Brad The Next Frontier 5.0 8/30/2015 A serious but light-hearted explanation of what can be done to minimize the effects of climate change
Ozon, François Swimming Pool 3.5 3/01/2018 A middle-aged British crime novelist goes to her publisher's villa in the south of France to recharge and gets some charges she never expected.
Perkowitz, Sidney Hollywood Science 5.0 11/26/2011 This book by Perkowitz is a cogent and reasonably flexible analysis of the scientific accuracy of Hollywood film-making through the years.
Poitras, Laura Citizenfour 4.5 5/21/2017 Edward Snowden is "Citizenfour," and this film tells part of his story.
Preminger, Otto River of No Return 4.0 7/27/2016 Romance and revenge contend in this western which excels because of the byplay between Robert Mitchum and Marilyn Monroe.
Quine, Richard Bell, Book and Candle 3.0 8/24/2015 Witchcraft forms the pivot on which this romantic comedy revolves, as Kim Novak enchants James Stewart.
Quine, Richard Pushover 4.0 7/01/2018 Fred MacMurray plays an honest cop corrupted by Kim Novak's beauty and the loot from her crime partner's bank heist.
Reitman, Ivan Dave 4.5 3/12/2018 A well-crafted comedy with a feel-good resolution, Dave works at any time. But the real-world politics of 2018 make it even more satisfying.
Robbins, Matthew Dragonslayer 4.5 7/30/2017 An excellent and suspenseful fantasy film from Disney studios.
Salles, Walter The Motorcycle Diaries
(My review in Spanish)
5.0 9/12/2015 The South American Wanderjahr of a young Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado, told in a manner quite faithful to the actual history.
Scott, Ridley Prometheus 2.0 6/08/2012 Flashy sets and camera work. Competent acting, Wholly holey (and slightly holy) plot.
Siegel, Don Two Mules for Sister Sara 4.0 8/17/2016 Plenty of action, gorgeous exteriors, and a score by Ennio Morricone make this an enjoyable western.
Thorpe, Richard The Prisoner of Zenda 4.0 7/20/2016 Adventure in the classic Hollywood style, with all the swashbuckling and pomp you expect.
Twohy, David The Arrival 4.5 9/05/2015 A tautly suspenseful plot, plus inventive sets and concepts, are the best features of this 1996 science fiction film.
Verhoeven, Paul Total Recall 4.0 9/06/2017 A largely coherent plot, non-stop action, and good effects redeem this sometimes silly Schwarzenegger vehicle.
Watson, Ian Epoch: Evolution 2.0 7/16/2016 A good performance by David Keith doesn't save this Epoch sequel.
West, Simon Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 3.5 6/15/2017 Angelina Jolie's first appearance as Lara Croft has a skimpy plot but plenty of action and awesome special effects.
Wilcox, Fred M. Forbidden Planet 5.0 8/31/2015 A classic science fiction work that should be on every SF fan's top 20 films list.
Wise, Robert The Sound of Music 5.0 8/23/2015 Musicals don't get much better than this dramatization of the von Trapp family's escape from an Austria newly overrun by the Third Reich.
Young, Terence Red Sun 4.0 6/08/2016 Charles Bronson and Toshirô Mifune join forces against bad guys in this "east meets west" western.
Zemeckis, Robert Contact 4.5 10/24/2016 This engaging film is largely faithful to the Sagan/Druyan novel, and it asks some probing questions.
Zemeckis, Robert Death Becomes Her 4.5 7/06/2017 Competent acting and stunning special effects make this parody of Hollywood vanity enjoyable, but not memorable.
Zhang, Yimou House of Flying Daggers 4.5 4/23/2017 Superb scenery and many acrobatic fights highlight this classic martial-arts drama.
Zinnemann, Fred A Man for All Seasons 5.0 7/27/2017 A superb dramatization of the last seven years in the life of Sir Thomas More.
Zucker, Jerry Ghost 4.5 7/21/2016 Its mixture of comedy and pathos with superb special effects makes this a most enjoyable ghost story.
Quality Ranges for Book & Film Reviews
The books and other media are rated from 0 to 5 in increments of 0.5. (Visual media are also given an integer rating from 0 to 10 to correspond with IMDB ratings.) Colors represent the following quality ranges:
4.0 to 5.0 Quality: HIGH (Color = Aqua) Competent to exceptional; well worth the money
2.0 to 3.5 Quality: FAIR (Color = Lime) Useful/enjoyable despite some flaws; may or may not be worth buying.
0.5 to 1.5 Quality: POOR (Color = Yellow) Seriously flawed; read/watch it if you wish, but don't buy it.
0.0 to 0.0 Quality: YUCK (Color = Fuchsia) Avoid this work at all costs!
Valid CSS! Valid HTML 4.01 Strict To contact Chris Winter, send email to this address.
Copyright © 2005-2018 Christopher P. Winter. All rights reserved.
This page was last modified on 1 July 2018.