Flicks To Hold You Over Introduction...

Years ago when I started this column on The Indy Experience, it was with a goal. I often went to the video store looking for movies to hold me over until Indy4. It's a tall order to fill, where else can you find a movie as perfect as the Original "Raiders Of The Lost Ark?" Where can you find adventure, political intrigue, the recovery of lost artifacts and tongue and cheek humor laced with romance? Why can't someone review movies from the perspective of a fan of that Tour-De-Force? Hence the title of the article and the aim, reviewing movies that should hold you over until Indy 4...

Since starting The Fedora Chronicles, the goal has changed slightly and expanded a bit: Where can you find movies that capture the spirit of adventure and the style of a by-gone era. Most movies I review have what I'm looking for, others don't and I try to explain why.

The title of this column remains the same, regardless of what movies come and go... because we're always looking for something to hold you over... either to hold you over through the night or while waiting for your next adventure to begin.

~Eric 'Renderking' Fisk

Most Recient Flicks

Overlord (2018) | November 2018
In the category of Nazi Zombie films, “Overlord” is easily the “Citizen Kane” of them all!

"The Post" | January 28th, 2018
Eric Renderking Fisk reviews that a movie actually spoke to him as a publisher of a website.

“Background To Danger” | January 10th, 2018
Eric Renderking Fisk reviews the George Raft movie from 1943 about spies in Southern Europe and a devious Nazi plot. He also discusses every writer's remorse: the work that never was.

"Blade Runner 2049" | October 9th, 2017
Eric Renderking Fisk writes: "“Blade Runner 2049” is the kind of Cyberpunk movie David Lean might have made about the future if he had access to our modern tools and pool of talent. It’s “Doctor Zhivago” with androids, holograms and flying cars. But in a good way!"

Deepwater Horizon, reviewed by Eric Renderking Fisk | January 3rd, 2017

The Road (2009): Eric 'Renderking' Fisk reviews one of the most hauntingly beautiful movies about the end of the world...

Be sure to also checkout our review of "Stranger Things..."

Flicks To Hold You Over review: Amanda Knox on Netflix

"Soaked In Bleach: The Fedora Chronicles Flicks
Eric Renderking Fisk reviews what could be one of the best Film Noir styled documentaries ever made.

Star Wars (1977) - Flicks To Hold You Over review by Eric Renderking Fisk: Looking back at The Original Star Wars, not as Space Fantasy, but as one of the most important anti-establishment films of the Mid-70's and an allegory about the times it was made.

Period Films

"Atonement," - a period film that shouldn't work, but does. It lifts us up, breaks our hearts and asks us to rethink what the truth really means. It also re-examines what hardships The Greatest Generation endured and what they gave up...

"Cangeling" - As much as I respect and admire Christine Collins and her struggle to bring her son back home as well as those who helped her fight to keep her dignity and regain her civil rights, all the while understanding her pain and suffering and the cruelty she endured in her greatest moment of need, I'm debating on whether or not this film really needed to be made... Read More...

Resistance Published February 18, 2009 - "The costumes, set design and cinematography all make this movie feel some how "real," like any good period film we feel transported back into that era. It's not a romanticized version of World War II with-in the civilian resistance who wear perfect hero costumes and over-the-top sets. [This is best described as the 'Jello' of World War II intrigue movies. More...

Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull. "Well, here it is... the movie many of us have waited a long time for... the third and maybe last sequel of "Raiders Of The Lost Ark." The actual movie that the title of this column here and on The Indy Experience has referred to: "The Flicks To Hold You Over..." all the others reviews were for movies to "hold you over" until this  was finally made and released. It's a surreal feeling, I'm actually writing the review to this film that makes me feel as if this part of our journey together is at an end."  Read The Rest Of The Review...

"Come See The Paradise" - It's hard to look at this film and still feel like an enthusiastic cheerleader for The Golden Era, hoping to revive the style and the substance of those decades and hope that Big Band Swing and fedora's come back into the main stream. At the same time, this motion picture is both stark and beautiful in the way it demonstrates that in the dark times good people can over come hardships and obstacles.

Enigma: One of the best World War 2 stories not yet told on screen was that of the German “Enigma” code machine –until now. This is the ultimate spy story, the stuff that James Bond movies are made of… secret code machine, teams of eccentric geniuses (few who are on the brink of insanity) feverishly searching for the master codes for the encryption machines, cloak and dagger, double agents and double crosses, and other intrigue. What also makes this the ultimate spy story is that it really happened – while civilization and millions of lives was at stake.

Hoodwinked isn’t a bad film, nor is it unfunny… there are some great laugh out loud moments at the expense of some of the characters such as the Austrian actor turned woodsman, the diabolical rabbit (a nod to "Monty Python And The Holy Grail?") and many of the blundering animal police men. But just as I’ve said before, "Hoodwinked" feels tired and already played out. There are a few salutes, tributes and just plain satires of classic and vintage movies scattered through out… but when the movie ended and there was a door open for there to be sequels or even a whole "Hoodwinked" franchise… I can’t say that I was excited...

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom (1984) | Reviewed December 2017
I'll throw down and say this knowing I'll take some crap over it... "Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull" is a much better movie and more tolerable than Temple Of Doom. That's not to say that Temple of Doom is a really bad, horrible movie. And that's not to say that Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull is a fantastic work of celluloid either. (Read More...)

The Journey Of Natty Gann: Natty Gann is a road movie; it’s a chick’s road movie but not to the extent of "Thelma and Louise" or "Crossroads." The title character played by Meredith Salenger isn’t almost raped in the parking lot of a honky-tonk resulting in a countrywide shooting spree. Thankfully this movie has something called a plot and 99.9% of anything that didn’t have something to do with this plot- but would only serve to titillate the male audience- was left out.

King Kong (2005) - I have a confession to make about this movie – I loved it right up until the point that they – the crew of The Venture – returned to New York City with the beast, King Kong. In fact, much of the entire movie was literally a perfect period adventure movie right up until then. After that? It was just too much to sit through for more than 200 minutes.

"Hope And Glory" - As the barriers and morals of life fall away between the sexes, the quiet evenings are pierced with air-raid sirens and falling bombs that are shattering buildings and landmarks, we're allowed in to the lives of these very real people. We, as the audience, experience their hardships and see them brought closer together by the chaos and impending doom. At times it seems that the best thing that ever happened to these people and their relationships is the war due to the way they're forced to rethink what's really important in life. Read More...

Last Man Standing is supposed to be a remake of Akira Kurosawa's samurai classic “Yojimbo”, which I can only assume is correct be cause I’ve never seen it... But what I can say is that there are times when I’ve watched this I’ve thought that maybe the makers of this film had more “Raiders Of The Lost Ark” (but with out any treasure) in mind. That's either ironic, coincdence or , since George Lucas has said on countless occasions on how Kurosawa inspired him in the past (If anything, Star Wars- Episode IV: A New Hope is a remake of Kurosawa’s “Hidden Fortress”.)

"The Pianist" - There are strong and powerful scenes and exchanges between Szpilman and the German officer that Illustrate the good a man can do when powered by guilt and shame and perhaps in a search for redemption..."

"The Post" - Eric Renderking Fisk reviews that a movie actually spoke to him as a publisher of a website.

Power, Passion & Murder.” It’s a frustrating, chaotic mess. The best way to describe it would be to imagine a second or third rate film crew following behind a top-notch movie company as they were filming a beautiful period film, and picture a second-rate writing team hammering out the script to correspond with what sets were available with no regard towards the greater narrative...

Red Gold - Just read the book before a studio buys the rights and "dumbs" it down...

Road to Perdition clearly illustrates what all good fathers know, that doing what ever they must do to help their children becomes second nature the day they are born. Children add an extra dimension to the lives of fathers, making their offspring’s well being far more important then their own. Tom Hanks does a brilliant job to portray this concept as his character moves from villainous hit man with heart to the near perfect father struggling for the right words to convey how he loved both son equally but differently.

Snow Falling On Cedars (Revised July 2007) This movie isn’t for the faint of heart, nor is it a blockbuster. But Cedars is so perfectly filmed, perfectly catching the life and atmosphere of living up north, capturing the essence of a wintry twilight between afternoon or evening when the snow is knee deep and the roads are impassable. It’s also another “Slice of Life” movie that illustrates what happened in America around the time of World War II and is essential for every Vintage Aficionado and history enthusiast for that period...

"With a title like "Summer Of '42," I would hope that this would at least some attempt at recapturing the feel or the flavor of the era. What was it like to fall in love during the first summer of America's involvement in World War II, what where the living conditions on this vacationer's island, how did these people who were "summering" from other parts of the North-East region cope with food rations and the threat of Nazi subs raiding the island? After "Summer Of '42," you still won't know.

The Untouchables: "... The Untouchables is a fictionalized account of how Elliot Ness and his group of Untouchables were able to bring Chicago’s biggest bootlegger to justice Elliot Ness was assigned to the Chicago area to break the back of the mob and bootleggers during the prohibition era. Once he discovers the greed and corruption within his team, he enlists the help of Malone played with sheer brilliance by Sean Connery. The two recruit George Stone portrayed with utter coolness by Andy Garcia and Charles Martin Smith as Oscar Wallace, the accounting genius who finds the secondary means of getting at the crime boss Al Capone."

Classic Films

Across the Pacific: from the time this flick was filmed, the terror came from a fascist state from Europe and an Imperial regime in the pacific, not some obscure band of international criminals armed with a perverse idea of religion. Who would have thought back then that a bunch of Islamic fundamentalists would be more terrifying then book burning, goose stepping morons?

The Day The Earth Stood Still." - This dialog still gives me goose bumps whether or not it's read or spoken out-loud. The words are just as powerful today as when they were first spoken on the set and the motion picture was released. We are given a choice, "join us and live in peace, or pursue your present course and face obliteration." The end of the motion picture is both dire and hopeful at the same time. And at the time when "The Day The Earth Stood Still," there was a very real possibility that we would face our own destruction, not by aliens wishing to force their own pacifism on us for their own good, but by an atomic holocaust by our own hand." [Continued]

"Laura." - The Fedora Chronicles Flicks To Hold You Over: "'Laura' fits perfectly into the mold of "Film Noir," it's about murder, obsession, unrequited love, class-envy and social status... with maybe just a hint of the potential for necrophilia. - Usually, the word "Creepy" and "thoroughly  Entertaining" don't go together in a positive review for a movie. Unless it's film noir. "Laura" is almost perfect and essential Film Noir, enjoyable while at the same time making you question your humanity and what it means to be sane." Click to read more...

"Kiss Me Deadly." "Kiss Me Deadly" is the ultimate Film Noir film. Just as The Maltese Falcon is obviously about a treasure from the past, The treasure everyone seeks or is hiding in "Kiss Me Deadly"  is about the new modern atomic era or an object that's beyond the comprehension of those who have acquired. The object in the suitcase could serve as a metaphor for the fears and danger of the new atomic age and the entire film could serve as a metaphor for what could (and will) happen if science surpasses society's wisdom." Click to read the whole review...

Where The Side Walk Ends - If "The Maltese Falcon" and "Kiss Me Deadly" are the bookends of the Film Noir Genre, "Where The Sidewalk Ends" helps to better define it. When you think of this genre, this The Otto Preminger film's images are what usually comes to mind.

Contemporary Films

Contemporary Movies that became cultural phenomenon's during their original release or provide an opportunity for Fedora Chronicles to comment on the social issues explored in these movies...

"13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi," | January 4th, 2017
How could someone like myself who would most likely be a tourist in the wrong place at the wrong time – as would most likely be the case if I had actually been in Benghazi – keep my chin up and my fedora during this action? Because after watching this movie and seeing how special forces veterans had a difficult time makes me question my own masculinity and if I should find new ways to "man up."

The Big Chill: I make no apologies or try to hide the fact that when I first saw this movie about my parents' generation, I hated it. I loved to loath it and scoff at it. Everything that's wrong about the baby-boomers, Children of The Greatest Generation and the "Age Of Aquarius" is jammed packed into an hour and a half of celluloid. But now...

“Capricorn One” - "This is hard to imagine. After I saw this movie the first time when I was 11 or 12 years old, the only thing I could remember about this conspiracy theory movie were the confusing images about Mars, and James Browlin eating a freshly killed rattle snake in cave somewhere out in the desert. When you're 40-something and you've grown more cynical about the government and you can't swing a dead webmaster on the internet with out hitting a site with a crazy conspiracy theory, this motion picture packs a little more punch."

Dark Skies: one of the most 'realistic' movies about alien abduction in a long time.

Deepwater Horizon: Our review of the most intense, dramatic, and traumatizing docudrama in recent history.

"Moon" - Science Fiction is at its best when it takes normal people like you and I and puts them in extraordinary circumstances and teaches something about ourselves. To the movie studios I ask - Give us space adventures, but also allow them the opportunity to make us think. Give us more "Moon."

The Omen... enough said.

David Lynch's DUNE: ... the cinematic version was just eye candy for fans of the book. Since then it's become a cult-classic and Eighties Nostalgia.

“Bridge to Terabithia,”   ...takes you to a place in all of our imaginations, and then further into the depths of your very soul just before it rips your heart out with it's bitter-sweet ending. This is a wonderful movie that handles heavy concepts in a not too heavy handed way.

The Road (2009): Eric 'Renderking' Fisk reviews one of the most hauntingly beautiful movies about the end of the world...

Saturday Night Fever: A commentator might be able to look at this movie, point to it and say that this was a major step in society's down-fall. It's hard to fight that argument when too many under-aged children saw the film and started acting out what they saw in school and at summer camp... But I digress.

Star Wars (1977) - Flicks To Hold You Over review by Eric Renderking Fisk: Looking back at The Original Star Wars, not as Space Fantasy, but as one of the most important anti-establishment films of the Mid-70's and an allegory about the times it was made.

SPECTRE: reviews what might be the best, last Bond movie starring Daniel Craig...

Spotlight: what might be the best movie about a criminal investigation performed by a newspaper, Spotlight. Worthy of An Oscar for Best Picture.

"Stranger Things..." A geat tribute to The X-Files, Stephen King, John Carpenter, and Steven Speilberg.

"Superman Returns..." - "Even if you can fly faster then a speeding bullet and infinitely more powerful then a locomotive, what's the point when it seems at times the world either says it doesn't want or need you any more if it isn't outright against you?

In Signs, M. Night Shyamalan picks up the mantle of making pure Pop Corn movies, a mantle that seems to have been handed down to him by Steven Spielberg, who -  as we all know by now - has moved on to make more serious movies such as Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List. In the event that there is a script co-written by M. Night Shyamalan still floating around for the next Indiana Jones movie… I hope it gets made before it’s too late. Signs proves he has the talent to get it done.

"The Wrath Of Khan" - Both Wrath of Khan and Raiders of the Lost Ark represent a better time for Paramount, a brief hey-day that would later prove to be one of the most successful periods of the Studio’s history.

War Of The Worlds: With "War Of The Worlds," Mr. Spielberg was going back to his home turf and getting his "A-Game" back on while making an updated yet loyal adaptation of H.G. Wells’ book! Its a rabid Fan-boy’s dream come true, isn’t it? The results were both fantastic and disappointing… it’s a road movie, it’s a family drama, and it’s a disaster flick. It's not his best..."

2001: A Space Odyssey is of course a story about a journey, but not of one man’s trip such as Odysseus’s.  2001 is about the progression of the human race and three progressive stages of development, each portrayal demonstrates the various beginnings of each phase: Cavemen discovering the use of tools, Man's exploration and exploitation of Space, One man's journey through "The Star Gate" and finally as a new born "infant" as a symbol of the very beginning of the next phase of evolution.


Amanda Knox on Netflix: The further we look into the story of Amanda Knox the more we should be looking back in situations in our own lives that could have gone way out of hand.

Cropsey: Review of the movie about a Staten Island urban legend that actually came true...

Making A Murderer: The mini-series from Netflix that's captured the imagination of the western world.

Soaked In Bleach: Eric Renderking Fisk reviews what could be one of the best Film Noir styled documentaries ever made.