Review: THE LOVES OF HERCULES (1960)

Known internationally as HERCULES VS THE HYDRA, THE LOVES OF HERCULES is a 1960 adventure fantasy directed by Carlo Ludovico Bragaglia. The screenplay, such as it is, is by Luciano Doria. This Italian outing is mostly renowned for starring an expectant Jayne Mansfield and her then-husband Mickey Hargitay. The latter has the distinction of playing […]

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Review: GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON (1960)

Bodybuilder Mark Forest makes his acting debut in GOLIATH AND THE DRAGON, a 1960 adventure fantasy directed by Vittorio Cottafavi. This picture was intended as a Hercules film and was shot as such under the Italian title REVENGE OF HERCULES, but American International Pictures changed the titular character to Emilius/Goliath to tie in with GOLIATH […]

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Review: HERCULES UNCHAINED (1959)

Steve Reeves liberates himself in HERCULES UNCHAINED, a 1959 adventure picture directed by Pietro Francisci. This is the sequel to Francisci’s 1958 HERCULES, which introduced Reeves to the world as the titular character. His second and last appearance as the hero features a screenplay by Francisci and Ennio De Concini, with cinematography by Mario Bava. […]

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Review: HOLLYWOOD MAN (1976)

Jack Starrett’s HOLLYWOOD MAN is an exploitation film about making an exploitation film. It’s also a grubby crime picture that features a terrific villain and an ending to die for. This 1976 flick is definitely of the shoestring variety and it features a screenplay by-committee, with cinematography by Robert C. Jessup and a recurring title […]

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Review: JACKSON COUNTY JAIL (1976)

A grimy road movie laced with blatant insinuations, JACKSON COUNTY JAIL has the distinction of featuring a very young Tommy Lee Jones in one of his earliest roles. It’s directed by Michael Miller with a screenplay by Donald E. Stewart. On its face, JACKSON COUNTY JAIL is unadulterated exploitation and all the better for it. […]

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Review: ASSASSIN’S CREED (2016)

Justin Kurzel’s ASSASSIN’S CREED is a frustrating film. The adaptation of the video game franchise of the same name boasts an awe-inspiring cast and some intriguing visual concepts, plus it brushes past some interesting philosophical and political ideas along the way. But the action is buried in clouds of dust and smoke and the flip-flopping […]

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Review: JASON BOURNE (2016)

JASON BOURNE is an action movie without the smirking eagerness of THE FAST AND THE FURIOUS franchise and an espionage movie without the jolting charm of the Bond pictures. It is well-crafted from a technical standpoint, with director Paul Greengrass and cinematographer Barry Ackroyd keeping things in a constant state of motion. And it doesn’t […]

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Review: STAR TREK BEYOND (2016)

Justin Lin’s STAR TREK BEYOND is a breeze, a fixture of popcorn entertainment that actually delivers. This is the third flick in the STAR TREK reboot series that began in 2009 and the 13th outing in the film franchise overall. It’s often so lightweight that it feels like it could float. The screenplay by Simon […]

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Review: HEADSHOT (2016)

Iko Uwais continues his ass-kicking ways in the frantic HEADSHOT, a 2016 Indonesian actioner directed by Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto. This picture, which was written by Tjahjanto, is fluid, organic and cruel in all the best ways. It carries a familiar plot, but there are surprising layers as the protagonist kicks, punches, stabs, shoots, […]

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Review: KONG: SKULL ISLAND (2017)

KONG: SKULL ISLAND is a franchise movie designed to prop up yet another expanded universe. It’s the second film in Legendary’s so-called MonsterVerse, with the 2014 GODZILLA reboot the first entry. This 2017 picture is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts and features a screenplay by committee, with the 1933 original serving as distant, distant inspiration. It […]

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