Author Archives: Paul Gaita

About Paul Gaita

Paul Gaita lives in Sherman Oaks, California with his lovely wife and daughter. He has written for The Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Variety and The Fix, among many other publications, and was a home video reviewer for Amazon.com from 1998 to 2014. He has interviewed countless entertainment figures from both the A and Z lists, but his favorites remain Elmore Leonard, Ray Bradbury and George Newall, who created both Schoolhouse Rock and the Hai Karate aftershave commercials. He once shared a Thanksgiving dinner with celebrity astrologer Joyce Jillson, and regrettably, still owes the late character actor Charles Napier a dollar.

Movies Till Dawn: New Year, (Mostly) New Movies Part 2

“Suspiria” (2018, Lionsgate Home Entertainment) Timid American dancer Dakota Johnson enrolls at a prestigious dance school in Germany, where her training by a formidable Tilda Swinton gradually reveals a more sinister intent. Like last year’s “Hereditary” and “Mandy,” this audacious … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Old Fears for the New Year

“Zombie” (1979, Blue Underground) Voodoo rites on a Caribbean island cause the dead to rise from their graves and consume the living. Jaw-dropping (and in its most ghastly scene, eye-popping) special effects by Giannetto de Rossi are the most memorable … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: New Year, (Mostly) New Movies

“Mid90s” (2018, Lionsgate) Confident directorial debut by actor Jonah Hill, who depicts, in granular detail, middle-schooler Sunny Suljic‘s attempts to find much-needed acceptance with a group of older skateboarders. Hill has the Clinton Era cultural details down pat (especially the … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: High Tension for the Holidays 2018

“Await Further Instructions” (2018, Dark Sky Films) Fractious British family discovers that their tense holiday celebration has become more unpleasant due to an unseen force that issues increasingly violent demands through their television set. An appropriately nasty parable for nasty, … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: 2018 Gift Guide for Eclectic Insomniacs Part 2 (Nostalgia and Nightmares Edition)

As ’80s teen comedies go, I’d rather watch “Valley Girl” (1983),  Martha Coolidge‘s salty-sweet tribute to life in the San Fernando Valley, than John Hughes’ c.v. The performances are charming (especially leads Deborah Foreman and a pre-fame Nicolas Cage, but … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Back in Black (and White)

“The Man Who Cheated Himself” (1950, Flicker Alley) Rookie detective John Dall (“Gun Crazy“) investigates the killing of Harlan Warde, husband to socialite Jane Wyatt, who committed the murder with the help of her lover: Dall’s older brother and fellow … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: 2018 Gift Guide for Eclectic Insomniacs (Small Screen and Three Stooges Edition)

Goofball TV comedy or existential treatise on the human condition? In the case of Dan Harmon‘s “Community” (2009-2015), both are applicable. The series, about a gaggle of outcasts at a small junior college, embraced a dizzying array of high and … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Arthouse Confidential Part II

“Gas Food Lodging” (1992, Arrow Academy) Unvarnished snapshot of life in a dead-end town, as seen through the tired eyes of a single mother (Brooke Adams) and her daughters (Fairuza Balk and Ione Skye). Getting through the day-to-day on their … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Short and Sweet and (Mostly) Brand New, Part 2

“Skate Kitchen” (2018, Magnolia Home Entertainment) Shy New York tomboy Rachelle Vinberg finds acceptance and confidence – and considerable drama – when she joins an all-female skateboard crew. Dramatic feature debut of Crystal Moselle (“The Wolfpack“) benefits greatly from her … Continue reading

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Movies Till Dawn: Short and Sweet and (Mostly) Brand New

“Blindspotting” (2018, Lionsgate) Stars Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal, who also co-wrote this ambitious film, are hot-and-cold friends trying to stay out of trouble in Oakland, which is depicted as a landscape of thinly veiled traps to ensnare young men … Continue reading

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