bogie April 23

Deadline – U.S.A. (1952)

A prescient motion picture from 1952, Deadline – U.S.A. explores the newspaper business through the lens of a crime drama. Directed and penned by Richard Brooks, the film seems to be based on the New York Sun newspaper. That paper closed up shop in 1950, but not before its 1897 editorial “Is There a Santa […]

rescuersdownunder April 22

The Rescuers Down Under (1990)

As the sequel to the 1977 film The Rescuers, Disney’s 1990 release The Rescuers Down Under lacks the understated charm and simplicity of its predecessor. In a sense, this Hendel Butoy and Mike Gabriel feature feels like a warm-up for other entries in the Renaissance period that began a year prior with The Little Mermaid.

mummy April 18

The Mummy (1999)

A brisk, pulpy B-movie, The Mummy excels because it’s almost embarrassingly entertaining. Directed by Stephen Sommers, this 1999 flick spawned two sequels and a spinoff series to match a rollercoaster and an animated TV show. The original plan was to update the 1932 film of the same name, but obviously things changed.

jaws April 17

Bondmania: Moonraker (1979)

Lewis Gilbert directs his third and final Bond movie with 1979’s Moonraker. Loosely based on Ian Fleming’s 1954 novel, this 007 film has a science fiction edge that was meant to capitalize on the popularity of a little something called Star Wars. It is an escapist yarn that does away with most of the Fleming […]

bismarck1 April 16

Sink the Bismarck! (1960)

Directed by Lewis Gilbert, Sink the Bismarck! is a bit of a different war movie. The 1960 picture runs more like a procedural than an exhilarating on-the-ground experience, which makes the culminating naval showdown all the better. The picture is based on Last Nine Days of the Bismarck by C. S. Forester and is the […]

wayne April 14

Wayne’s World (1992)

Based on the Saturday Night Live sketch of the same name, 1992’s Wayne’s World is a well-aimed and sharp bit of comedy. Directed by Penelope Spheeris, this picture marks the debut of Mike Myers and is a worthy deconstruction of the corporate influence on media and popular culture in general. It features more than a […]

bond April 10

Bondmania: The Spy Who Loved Me (1977)

Lewis Gilbert, who slipped into the director’s chair for 1967’s You Only Live Twice, helms one of Roger Moore’s finest 007 outings in The Spy Who Loved Me. This 1977 picture features some massive set pieces and only uses the title from Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name, which was due in large part […]

exitwounds April 09

Exit Wounds (2001)

After the tepid experiment that was The Patriot, Steven Seagal returns to full-on action with Exit Wounds. This 2001 movie comes directed by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Bartkowiak and produced by Joel Silver. That tag team also hooked up for Romeo Must Die a year earlier, so Exit Wounds continues the urban martial arts theme.

the hobbit1 April 08

The Hobbit (1977)

Long before Peter Jackson decided to tackle J. R. R. Tolkien’s 1937 book The Hobbit for a trilogy of bloated movies, Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin, Jr. created an animated television film adaptation. The 1977 movie comes a year ahead of Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings, an animated attempt at the first two […]

lord of the rings1 April 07

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Ralph Bakshi’s The Lord of the Rings is a glorious attempt and a labour of love that finds the animator and director once again backed into a corner. This 1978 animated fantasy picture uses a combination of cel animation and rotoscoping to tell roughly the first half of J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic of the […]

coolworld April 05

Cool World (1992)

A perplexing film in just about every way, Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World is kind of a disaster. It is the sort of disaster that has at least some creativity living in its loins, which is more than can be said for a lot of the mainstream animation out there, but it’s also a disaster in […]

philomena1 April 04

Philomena (2013)

Directed by Stephen Frears, Philomena is a film of uncommon grace and simplicity. It’s the sort of motion picture that isn’t made or seen often enough. It is a picture of thought and consideration, something for audiences seeking something authentic.

Rio April 04

Rio (2011)

A formulaic, surprisingly bland, entirely uninspired effort, Rio is sadly a lacklustre animated film. It comes directed by Carlos Saldanha and should be a lot hotter than it is, but almost everything about this production from Blue Sky Studios reveals cold shortcuts. The movie lacks the magic of better animated features and has an overfilled […]

golden gun1 April 03

Bondmania: The Man with the Golden Gun (1974)

Guy Hamilton helms his last of four James Bond pictures with The Man with the Golden Gun, the ninth entry in the series. Released in 1974, there are a number of captivating aspects to this flick but it struggles with pacing and contains a few significant snags.

prehistoric April 02

Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet (1965)

So the first thing you need to know about Voyage to the Prehistoric Planet is that it came out of the scraps of Pavel Klushantsev’s 1961 Russian film Planeta Bur. That picture was purchased by Roger Corman, who recut it somewhat and handed it over to director Curtis Harrington (working here as John Sebastian).

nukem April 02

Class of Nuke ‘Em High (1986)

Directed by Richard W. Haines and Lloyd Kaufman (as Samuel Weil), Class of Nuke ‘Em High is probably one of the signature films in the Troma Entertainment arsenal. It is the company’s follow-up to The Toxic Avenger and wound up becoming one of the most successful VHS releases for the outfit.

vaughn March 31

Delivery Man (2013)

One of many remakes of Ken Scott’s French-Canadian film Starbuck, Delivery Man is a Vince Vaughn vehicle stuffed with treacly gobbledygook and insipid comedy. It’s an ultimately lukewarm affair, but it should amuse those think Apple commercials are “touching.”

marked ones March 31

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones (2014)

Since 2009, the found footage series that started with Paranormal Activity has been making an annual appearance around Halloween. While there is a Paranormal Activity 5 slated for an October 2014 release, there’s also Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones to contend with. This 2014 flick is a spinoff of the Oren Peli-created pictures.

lastuni March 30

The Last Unicorn (1982)

A strange but ultimately delightful film, The Last Unicorn is based on the Peter S. Beagle novel of the same name from 1968. The 1982 picture comes with a screenplay by the American author and animation by the good people at Topcraft, who eventually went on to form Studio Ghibli with Japanese master animator Hayao […]

pocahontas1 March 30

Pocahontas (1995)

Another entry in Disney’s Renaissance period is Pocahontas. This 1995 motion picture is one of the most beautifully animated features in the House of Mouse’s catalogue, with the design of the titular character alone requiring a small army of animators. The music is also terrific, especially the insightful “Colors of the Wind” as written by […]


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