spiderisland March 28

Horrors of Spider Island (1960)

Germany isn’t often associated with exploitation cinema, but they actually have a fairly “storied” history of cranking out the stuff. Most notably perhaps is producer Wolf C. Hartwig, who brought several B-movies to life. One of his productions is Horrors of Spider Island, a 1960 science fiction “horror” flick that was recut for American audiences […]

moore March 27

Bondmania: Live and Let Die (1973)

The James Bond series from Eon Productions rolls into some different territory with Live and Let Die. This 1973 production is notable for a number of reasons, the most pressing of which is the debut of one Roger Moore as 007. Connery had been lured back to the franchise for the subpar Diamonds are Forever, […]

patriot March 26

The Patriot (1998)

Steven Seagal enters the direct-to-DVD fray with The Patriot, a tedious entry in the canon that finds him under the direction of Dean Semler. The 1998 flick is supposedly based on The Last Canadian, a science fiction novel from William C. Heine, but it has a western feel that seems a bit of a stretch […]

song March 23

Song of the South (1946)

Disney’s first feature film to use live actors winds up being a doozy. Song of the South is often cited as being one of the most controversial movies ever put out by the House of Mouse. The 1946 flick features live action and animation under one roof and is based on Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle […]

zardoz1 March 23

Zardoz (1974)

What do you say about a movie like Zardoz? This 1974 flick is directed by John Boorman and seems an exercise in weird self-indulgence. It stars Sean Connery in his second post-Bond role and really finds the actor trying to step out into the strange. The screenplay is a Boorman original, which seems to be […]

bebes kids March 22

Bébé’s Kids (1992)

Bébé’s Kids comes from the mind of the late comic Robin Harris and really should be a better film than it is. The 1992 picture is directed by Bruce W. Smith and features an entirely African American cast, which is interesting when you consider how rare it is to find black characters in animated movies. […]

stork club March 21

The Stork Club (1945)

Hal Walker is perhaps most famous for directing a few Martin and Lewis pictures and a few Crosby and Hope films, but he also helms The Stork Club. This 1945 movie is essentially a vehicle for Betty Hutton and it features no shortage of her musical and comedic displays. The plot is fairly typical, but […]

diamonds are forever March 20

Bondmania: Diamonds are Forever (1971)

Diamonds are Forever is probably one of the goofiest movies in the James Bond run – and that’s saying a lot. After the intricate strangeness of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, this Guy Hamilton-helmed picture is the kick-off point to the more farcical portions of the series. It’s also a British ode to Los Angeles […]

seagal March 19

Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

Before Steven Seagal was The Glimmer Man and before he served as an EPA agent, he returned to the screen as Casey Ryback for this 1995 sequel to his big hit Under Siege. Three years after the original, Seagal is back in this lesser entry entitled Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. This is absolutely a […]

NIMH March 18

The Secret of NIMH (1982)

Don Bluth makes his directorial debut with 1982’s The Secret of NIMH, an animated feature based on Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. The book was based on research on rat populations from the National Institute of Mental Health, with Dr. John B. Calhoun’s studies taking centre stage.

oliver and co. March 17

Oliver and Company (1988)

Oliver and Company is one of those Disney pictures that doesn’t get a lot of love. The 1988 film is dismissed as shoddy and isn’t often mentioned among the House of Mouse’s great movies, but it’s not that bad of a flick. Of course, I’ve always been a fan of Disney’s more understated outings.

dumbo1 March 17

Dumbo (1941)

Based on a children’s tale written by Helen Aberson and illustrated by Harold Pearl, Dumbo is Disney’s fourth feature in the Animated Classics series. The 1941 picture is cute enough and has some good moments, even if it is somewhat awkwardly paced. There’s also a subtext that remains controversial to this day.

the wind rises1 March 15

The Wind Rises (2013)

Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises is a complicated examination of the creation of beautiful things. It’s about how said beautiful things can be used for destructive purposes and it’s about the creative process itself. The 2013 animated feature is based somewhat on the life of Dr. Jiro Horikoshi, an engineer who designed many Japanese fighter […]

seagal March 14

Fire Down Below (1997)

Believe it or not, Fire Down Below has very little to do with gonorrhea. This 1997 action movie directed by Félix Enríquez Alcalá and starring Steven Seagal does feature some of the same environmentally-minded material as On Deadly Ground, however, and it’s got a country-fried flavour that has a touch of heat to it.

glimmer man March 14

The Glimmer Man (1996)

Steven Seagal stars in The Glimmer Man, a 1996 attempt at the odd couple cop genre. This picture is directed by John Gray with a screenplay by Kevin Brodbin. It’s pretty standard fare for Seagal and it works a formula he’d utilize throughout his career by placing his diplomatic “Buddhist” character against a set of […]

secret service March 13

Bondmania: On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

The sixth picture in the 007 is perhaps one of the strangest outings of the bunch. It’s not so much that the part of James Bond is played by George Lazenby, a then-unfamiliar actor and model, but that does indeed make a difference. It’s not even so much the presence of Peter R. Hunt as […]

outofthefurnace March 12

Out of the Furnace (2013)

While it boasts some serious talent, from producers Ridley Scott and Leonardo DiCaprio to its stellar cast, Out of the Furnace is just an okay movie when all is said and done. Even as Pearl Jam’s “Release” bookends the film, Scott Cooper’s 2013 thriller struggles through too many side roads and generates too little momentum.

blazingsaddles March 10

Blazing Saddles (1974)

Featuring everything from the undeniable symphonic bliss of campfire farts to the breaking of the fourth wall only to require a taxi back to the main event, Mel Brooks’ Blazing Saddles is one of the funniest films ever made. This 1974 comedy simply wouldn’t be made today and there’s something special about that.

Homefront March 07

Homefront (2013)

By all rights, Homefront should be a straight-to-DVD movie. Somehow this 2013 actioner manages a cast that includes James Franco, Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder in prominent roles opposite Jason Statham’s meaty everyman. And Gary Fleder directs a screenplay by Sylvester Stallone, which in turn is based on a novel by Chuck Logan.

you only live twice1 March 06

Bondmania: You Only Live Twice (1967)

With the fifth film in the 007 series, 1967’s You Only Live Twice, things really start to get silly. This picture is directed by Lewis Gilbert and features a screenplay by author Roald Dahl. While the flick has Ian Fleming’s novel of the same name as its primary source material, most of what occurs in […]

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