NIGHTMARE ALLEY – Reviewed by T. J. Callahan

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Nightmare Alley is the remake of a 1947 noir thriller that starred that swashbuckling heartthrob, Tyrone Power. Bradley Cooper steps into the role trying his best to be wickedly suave as a carny with a murderous past who learns the tricks of the traveling sideshow trade to swindle the rich as a manipulating mind reader. He’s a high plains drifter grifter.

Director Guillermo del Toro has assembled such an all star cast, how can you not be tempted to risk a walk down Nightmare Alley. Along with Cooper, there’s Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, Rooney Mara, Ron Perlman and Mary Steenburgen…sounds more like the cast of an Irwin Allen disaster flick.

But as wonderful as these actors are, Nightmare Alley is a bit of a disaster…in more ways than one. While some stars chew up the scenery, others are wasted and have no chemistry with each other. This Nightmare Alley is sloooow burn noirlite that wakes you up with a few nightmarish scenes, but allows your mind to wander in between mind readings.

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T. J. Callahan

Longtime Houston radio personality, T.J. Callahan switched gears from traffic and news reporting as a member of the award winning Hudson and Harrigan Show on KILT to directing you to the right movie theatre as the resident film critic for The Sam Malone Show on AM 1070 The Answer in Houston. Since 2009, T.J. has exclusively critiqued premiering films on such stations as KRMD in Shreveport, La., KILT in Houston, WCKT in Sarasota, Fla., as well as on The Chris X Blayney Show on The Liberty Eagle Radio Network and streaming on Radio Brave. Entertaining and informative, T.J. gets right to the point and lets you know whether the latest epic is worth your time. Listen to her live every Thursday morning at 9:20 central on KNTH. T.J. is also a proud member of the Critics Choice Association, the Houston Film Critics Society and a board member and 2017 inductee to the Texas Radio Hall of Fame.