phantom

Today in Movie History: October 31

For obvious reasons, few films of note have actually opened on Halloween. Competition from trick-or-treaters, parties and similar celebrations means that theaters are usually empty, with the occasional exception of some quickie horror movie hoping to cash in on the zeitgeist. The two exceptions both fall into the realm of the very, very weird. The first, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, united …

requiem_for_a_dream

Today in Movie History: October 27

There’s a useful term when it comes to Requiem for a Dream: a great movie that you never want to see again. Director Darren Aronofsky set out to create the final cinematic word on drug addiction. The results are so agonizing to watch that even hard-core film nuts need to cowboy up to give it a look. That’s kind of the point. …

theterminator

Today in Movie History: October 26

Mighty oaks often grow from little acorns, and when the slick little sci-fi thriller The Terminator opened one quiet October Friday, no one thought much of it. Its director had helmed only one project before — the less-than-immortal Piranha 2: the Spawning — and the star was that jumped-up Austrian from Conan the Barbarian who looked like his 15 minutes was just about up. The …

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Today in Movie History: October 25

Horror films come and horror films go, but there’s only one Halloween: a quickie exploitation grinder that became a masterpiece in the hands of the legendary John Carpenter. It relies on pure technique, as a trio of babysitters are slowly stalked by a masked killer, and though credited with the rise of the slasher genre in the 1980s, none of its followers ever …

butch

Today in Movie History: October 24

The 1960s saw a slow revision of the western as a genre, as the likes of Sergio Leone took it in a different, darker direction and even stalwarts like John Ford found undercurrents more in keeping with the time than their previous work. That came to a head with Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid a breezy, almost comedic romp marked by …

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Movie Review: Jack Reacher — Never Go Back

Review by Rob Vaux Starring: Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Aldis Hodge, Danika Yarosh and Patrick Heusinger Directed by: Edward Zwick Running time: 118 minutes Year of release: 2016 You certainly can’t fault Jack Reacher: Never Go Back for a lack of confidence. It’s one of those not-quite-as-good sequels that no one really asked for, a follow-up to the Tom Cruise actioner from …

the-rightstuff

Today in Movie History: October 21

The Right Stuff was billed as a major Oscar contender upon its release, and critics rightfully hailed it as one of the best films of the decade. Its Academy campaign was derailed, however, by the now-absurd premise that it was helping then-senator John Glenn (whom the film depicts) launch a presidential campaign. But its box-office failure and short-handed night at the Oscars …

pulpfiction

Today in Movie History: October 14

The word “game changer” gets thrown around a lot with flavor-of-the-month movies that tend to fade with time. But the phrase has rarely applied more aptly than it has to Pulp Fiction, which cemented the rise of indie cinema in the 1990s, altered the face of crime drama forever, and permanently put Quentin Tarantino on the map. It’s perfection incarnate, and …

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Bread and Circuses? Why Movies Like Rogue One Make a Difference

The latest Rogue One trailer has arrived, with all the pomp and circumstance one would expect. With the rest of reality going completely bananas, it comes amid questions we wouldn’t have considered just a few months ago. Specifically, how can we watch the Rebel Alliance fight the Empire when the real world is scarier than ever? Why should we put …