Author Stacia Kissick Jones

A film critic and writer for the better part of a decade, Stacia also plays classical guitar, reads murder mysteries and shamelessly abuses both caffeine and her Netflix queue.

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Brilliant brain surgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr (“it’s pronounced just like it’s spelled”) is still despondent over the death of his young wife when he accidentally hits professional gold digger Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner) with his Mercedes. Eschewing medical ethics and clearly hoping to get a look at her naked, Hfuhruhurr…

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Vincent “Vinnie” Antonelli (Steve Martin) is moving into a lovely single-level home in a darling little California neighborhood that looks right out of The Wonder Years, or maybe Poltergeist. Vinnie and his wife are there courtesy the Federal Government who expect him to testify against a major New York crime lord, but they both…

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Independent 30-something Ann Hamilton (Katharine Hepburn) still lives at home with her father (Edmund Gwenn), a famous scientist who develops technology for companies expanding during the post-war economic boom. Though persistently wooed by Professor Bangs (Dan Tobin), one of her father’s colleagues, Ann looks as…

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Orson Welles’ The Stranger (1946) is a tight little film noir that has been unfairly relegated to second-class status for decades. Lightly lurid and with a performance from Welles so broad as to occasionally elicit chuckles, Welles would later tell Cahiers du cinéma that The Stranger was “one of my films of which I am least the…

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H.G. Wells’ The Island of Dr. Moreau, the late-1800s science fiction classic that posits animals can be transformed into humans, seems now to be a quaint, if horrifying, exploration of humanity. Its publication, however, came during a time when surgeons’ use of vivisection — the broad term for experimental surgery…

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Evelyn Prentice was the third of what would be 14 films starring the legendary romantic comedy duo Myrna Loy and William Powell. Based on a best-selling novel, Evelyn Prentice was no romantic comedy but rather a melodrama based on the infidelities of the rich and fabulous. Rushed into production to capitalize on the smash…

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Manhattan Melodrama is one of those crazy Golden Age movies whose trivia threatens to outshine the film itself. It’s the first film to star William Powell and Myrna Loy, arguably the greatest on-screen romantic-comedy duo in the history of American film. Off-screen, Powell had just divorced Carole Lombard, who in about a year…

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A fantastic achievement in both entertainment and form, William Wellman’s Beggars of Life (1928) received only a tepid response on its original release. Based on Jim Tully’s second (of over 40) books about his years riding the rails, Beggars portrays hobos as all-American representatives of freedom. Not that it’s changed…

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RoboCop, a dark political and cultural satire and director Paul Verhoeven’s first American film, was released in the middle of a summer no one knew was a harbinger of things to come. Filled with arid, empty urban landscapes covered in dust and rust and decay, the disintegrating Detroit of the film, thirty years on, less…

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Letters from Baghdad documents the life of the extraordinary Gertrude Bell, an accomplished mountaineer, archaeologist, intelligence officer, and maybe even spy. Directed with obvious affection by Sabine Krayenbühl and Zeva Oelbaum, Tilda Swinton as the voice of Bell reads excerpts from her letters and diaries, accompanied…

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