Film Noir Friday: Laura (1944)

A twisted and twisting tale of obsession and murder, Otto Preminger’s Laura is film noir dynamite. This 1944 motion picture was nominated for five Oscars, including Best Director and Best Supporting Actor. It eventually scooped the award for Best Cinematography thanks to the scintillating work of Joseph LaShelle.

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Hot Pursuit (2015)

An infuriating and lazy exercise in mechanical comedy, Hot Pursuit is an awful movie. Directed by Anne Fletcher with a screenplay by John Quaintance and David Feeney, this 2015 flick attempts to brand itself as a female-centric Midnight Run. It purports to be some sort of opposites-attract buddy comedy, with Sofia Vergara and Reese Witherspoon […]

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The Maze Runner (2014)

Based on the 2009 novel of the same name by James Dashner, The Maze Runner is yet another entry in the dystopic young adult genre carving its way through cinemas. This 2014 picture is directed by Wes Ball with an intended sequel set for release in September of 2015. A final film in the series […]

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Godzilla (1954)

Ishirō Honda’s Godzilla is arguably one of the most important Japanese films of all time. While today, representations of the stomping prehistoric monster have been rebooted to become synonymous with fun displays of mass destruction, the 1954 original was part ludicrous monster flick and part catharsis for a shattered country.

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The Great Silence (1968)

Blood stains the snow in Sergio Corbucci’s The Great Silence, a 1968 western that is as bleak as its uncharacteristic locale. It explores the fragile formation of justice in untamed lands, pitting a mute gunslinger against a squad of callous bounty hunters. The action is underscored by Ennio Morricone’s score, which is chillingly forthright.

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Visitor Q (2001)

Takashi Miike is credited with seven or eight films in the year 2001, including the previously discussed The Happiness of the Katakuris. Family was the theme in that outing and it wound up being a vibrant and bizarre musical comedy. Family is also the theme of Visitor Q and it is again a tale of […]

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Jurassic World (2015)

There are precious few minutes of promise in Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World, the long-awaited fourth outing in the Jurassic Park film series. But that promise quickly fades into a quagmire of ruin, turning this 2015 movie into a disappointing experience that stomps from the silly to the downright excruciating.

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Superman: The Movie (1978)

Richard Donner’s vision of the titular character in his 1978 film Superman: The Movie is one filled with hope and wonder. There are no devastated city blocks, no disseminated innocents fleeing collapsing towers. There is, rather, an almost pastoral pace with visions of Smallville’s boundless fields contrasted with the sky-high megaliths of Metropolis and the […]

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The Expendables 3 (2014)

Sylvester Stallone and all his brawny pals are back for another run with The Expendables 3, the 2014 follow-up to 2012’s The Expendables 2. The first Expendables picture emerged in 2010 when reunions and action team-ups were big business, but the franchise has managed to live on and looks to continue to do so. That’s […]

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Top Five (2014)

Chris Rock writes, directs and stars in 2014’s Top Five, a clever motion picture that involves real people having semi-real conversations about real subjects. Sometimes the dialogue is a little too on-the-nose, like the characters are doing bits, but most of the comedy works and the emotional tone generally feels authentic.

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Film Noir Friday: Raw Deal (1948)

Anthony Mann once again joins with cinematographer John Alton to turn up gritty noir gold with 1948’s Raw Deal. This is a tale that twists with a simmering relationship dynamic and an escaped convict yarn. Both strands dovetail neatly to explore the psyches of its lead characters, delving into a world where freedom is ephemeral […]

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Insurgent (2015)

Based on the trilogy of novels by Veronica Roth, the Divergent series rolls into the station with its second entry. 2015’s Insurgent picks up where 2014’s Divergent left off, only there’s a new director and the stakes seem a little higher. German director Robert Schwentke does the honours, helming the Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman and […]

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Fudoh: The New Generation (1997)

Based on a manga by Hitoshi Tanimura, Takashi Miike’s Fudoh: The New Generation is a blood-soaked celebration of violent excess. The 1997 movie is kind of a precursor to Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale with its exploration of generational gaps and the sacrifices children make for their elders. These are certainly common themes in the taiyozoku films […]

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (2015)

As the sequel to 2009’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Andy Fickman’s Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 has been universally and predictably panned by critics. This 2015 comedy is no classic and has a tendency to play its one or two notes to death, but it’s also not nearly as dreadful as some might have you […]

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X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

Brett Ratner steps in to direct X-Men: The Last Stand, the third film in the Marvel Comics superhero series. This 2006 outing follows 2003’s X2 and 2000’s X-Men, both of which were helmed by Bryan Singer. The screenplay is by Simon Kinberg and Zak Penn, based on a couple of ­X-Men comic book arcs.

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