Tag: Movies

Movies 101: My “movie course in a box”

My friend Ariel confessed to me over dinner several months back she had never seen several movies that I considered seminal classics. Why she hadn’t done so was understandable. Ariel is much younger than me, over a decade. She grew up when the Internet wasn’t a new thing, but “newish”, and she had other things to Read More

Is there any way to know if a studio made a profit on a movie, beyond conjecture?

No, because of the wonderful system called Hollywood Accounting. Studios have been sued – repeatedly – around this practice, the most famous suit where this was a factor being Buchwald v. Paramount, which had Art Buchwald suing the studio who made Coming to America, claiming the studio stole his idea. Buchwald won, was awarded initial Read More

They Might be Giants is an underrated gem (and not just the name of a band)

I’m an unabashed fan of the work of Arthur Conan Doyle and his most famous creation, Sherlock Holmes. I think Holmes is one of the most exceptional characters in all fiction, and the fact that Holmes has been reinterpreted and continuously reinvented over the past 125-plus years reflects the power and strength this character still Read More

Battle Beyond the Stars is a Star Wars knock-off that’s hardly worth revisiting

I was playing with a new outdoor projector setup and was looking through Netflix to test it out. What movie could I use to run it through its paces? What film had a great variety in shot selection that would really show me what it could do? For some reason, I picked Battle Beyond the Read More

A look at some Neglected Directors

I’ve written about some underrated and/or neglected movie directors like John Carpenter, Bob Fosse and Orson Welles before, but when I put my latest Neglected Cinema column to bed, I realized that there were many other directors who haven’t gotten a proper appreciation by the general public… directors who need some “love,” as it were. Read More

F For Fake is Orson Welles’ forgotten masterpiece

I love Orson Welles. He is one of the most amazing people of the 20th Century, a larger-than-life figure who’s had a dozen books written about him (I’ve read quite a few of them). His life could be accurately described as a “Shakespearean” tale of triumph and tragedy (which, considering the many times he performed Read More

Speed Racer brings a cartoon to vivid life in a surprisingly divisive way

One of the first movies I purchased on Blu-Ray was Speed Racer. Not because I was a fan – I hadn’t seen it before I bought it – but because it was on sale for less than $10. I was building a (now excessive) collection of HD titles, and I thought, “Why not?” It would Read More

On James Bond movies and continuity…

Trying to figure out and align James Bond continuity is like making a vodka martini from Siamese vodka… it can be done, but it’s not going to result in something that is very palatable or satisfying. I remember one of the first attempts, a crazy theory promoted by many fans, one that aligned all the Read More

Was the concept of "Rosebud" an anticlimax to Citizen Kane?

I think that anyone who thinks the reveal of Rosebud at the end of Citizen Kane is anticlimactic are missing the primary point of the movie. Citizen Kane is not a traditional narrative. Charles Foster Kane is revealed to the viewer through the views of the people who knew him in life, and WE are Read More

1970’s Scrooge is a magical take on the classic Dickens tale

We all rewatch movies. Why? To relive that initial experience? To analyze the acting, directing, or screenplay? Or are we simply creatures of habit, replaying on a favorite film like one would slip on a pair of comfortable slippers? The reasons why vary with the individual and the film, but a main reason I rewatch Read More

Penn and Teller Get Killed is an odd look into the minds of the master magicians

“Don’t pout! I’ve got a goddamn knife in my stomach!” I love Penn and Teller. They are incredibly talented, witty and brilliant entertainers. That their socioeconomic and political views align almost 100% with mine makes me appreciate them all the more. I was lucky enough to finally see them in person early this year, in Read More

Why did Disney choose to create new characters in Wreck-It-Ralph instead of using existing video game characters?

The answer is simple, and to explain it I will quote Yogurt from Spaceballs: "Merchandising! Merchandising!" If Disney used existing characters from classic video games as the protagonists, they would have to share/pay substantial licensing fees to the companies that own those characters when they try to sell toys and other items based on those Read More

Disney buys Star Wars: One fan’s perspective

Slow news day. As we are all still reeling in the east coast from Hurricane Sandy, and seeing the devastating aftermath, there is no logical reason at all to get worked up over an announcement of yet another corporate acquisition. Millions of people are without power, Thousands are without homes, and many people have lost Read More

In the Mouth of Madness is Lovecraft, John Carpenter style

John Carpenter has read the works of H.P. Lovecraft. That point is abundantly clear when you watch his loving homage to the works of Lovecraft, In the Mouth of Madness. Starring Sam Neill as a private investigator, the movie opens with Neill’s character being dragged into an insane asylum. What happened before that point is shown Read More

On Her Majesty’s Secret Service is Bond at his most underrated

Tomorrow October 5th is “James Bond Day”, a new international holiday that also happens to occur just before the release of the new Bond film Skyfall (wow, what a coincidence). To celebrate Bond day I rewatched one of my favorite Bond films, the underrated and under-appreciated On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. OHMSS, as I will Read More

The Ruling Class is a dark, overlooked classic

As I sat down to rewatch The Ruling Class, the 1972 British black comedy, I remembered the first time I watched it. It was at the suggestion of a good friend, who said to my 19-year-old self, “If you consider yourself an Anglophile, you HAVE to see The Ruling Class.” I took his advice and Read More

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