En Kvinnas Ansikte (1938): The Swedish original of A Woman’s Face features a compelling young Ingrid Bergman in a tale of the high price of redemption. See my face-off review of the 1938 Swedish and the 1941 Hollywood adaptation here. RECOMMENDED.

Miracles for Sale (1939): Gary at crackedrearviewer recommended this film, the final directing gig for Tod Browning of Dracula (1931) and Freaks (1932) fame. It’s a fun little picture about magic, psychics, and murder. It’s short, fast-paced, and very B. RECOMMENDED for Browning fans only.

Horror pioneer Tod Browning

The Crooked Way (1949): I’m not a fan of John Payne, and this, his first noir, didn’t help. Payne plays a post-war amnesiac slowly drawn into his past life of crime despite his lack of memory and his best intentions. He features one pouty expression for the entire film, the plot drags, and the ending feels unearned. Fans of Sonny Tufts will get a pleasant surprise, however, at his portrayal of villain Vince Alexander. NOT RECOMMENDED.

John Payne’s unchanging, wounded-dog expression in The Crooked Way.



Deadpool (2016): The dark humor of this film is its supreme asset, where our “hero” Mr. Pool (played in perfect comic-book form by Ryan Reynolds) clowns through love, sex, torture, and triumph with equal relish. The origin story took up a bit too much of the film for my taste, but it gave the film more depth and plot than any of the Avengers or related films. My only other complaint is how the film pretends it is a low-budget indie. Yes, I get the joke and its perfect for Deadpool, but in this “Feel the Bern” season, there’s also problematic politics afoot when a 58-million-dollar film uses clever credits and other fourth-wall-breaking elements to make you feel you’re in on a small creative project with its creators rather than watching yet another blockbuster making the wealthy wealthier. Nonetheless, definitely RECOMMENDED.