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Today in Movie History: July 14

I’m going to start with the X-Men, less because of what their debut onscreen adventure achieves in and of itself than what it heralded for the future of movies. Marvel Comics adaptations had been mired in direct-to-video mediocrity for decades, and while Wesley Snipes’ Blade was the first of their heroes to achieve mainstream movie success, he was more of an …

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Today in Movie History: July 13

We’re giving the top spot today to The Dead Pool, the fifth and presumably the last of the Dirty Harry franchise. It actually ranks as one of the better ones, with a surprising sense of humor to go along with Clint Eastwood’s thundering political context. But that’s not why it tops the list. It tops the list because it contains one of …

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Today in Movie History: July 8

It’s a quiet Friday for film releases, topped only by  Lew Lander’s The Raven, which arose at the height of Universal’s horror cycle. It was the second pairing of Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi after 1934’s The Black Cat, and at the time was considered almost too gruesome for audiences. Lugosi plays a doctor fixated on Edgar Allan Poe, to the point of keeping …

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Today in Movie History: July 7

You know that moment when you look at the column and seriously consider opening it with Species? We’re at that moment now… and we’re resisting. Instead, we’ll start with A Scanner Darkly, Richard Linklater’s rotoscoping animation exercise in pure paranoia that may finally have nailed what Philip K. Dick was talking about in all those stories Hollywood insists on adapting. …

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Today in Movie History: July 6

Forrest Gump. Forrest Motherfucking Gump. Forrest Crime Against Cinema Gump. Forrest “I’m going to deny the embrace of the world that defines human existence as well as snatching the Best Picture Oscar from both Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption to the thunderous applause of a deluded public” Gump. Have you sat down and watched it lately? Actually looked at …

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Movie Review: The Phenom

Review by Rob Vaux Starring: Johnny Simmons, Ethan Hawke, Paul Giamatti, Alison Elliot, and Yul Vazquez Written and Directed by Noal Buschel Running time: 88 Minutes Year of release: 2016 Most sports movies look for meaning in the sport itself. The smart ones examine the men and women who play them, and what drives them to compete the way they do. The Phenom …

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Today in Movie History: July 1

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who adore Big Trouble in Little China, and deluded, misguided souls who make me sad. John Carpenter’s semi-satirical wuxia mash-up tanked upon its initial release, but found a new audience (as so many 80s films did) on home video. It is currently hailed as one of the cornerstones of Western civilization, thanks to a cunning …