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Today in Movie History: April 28

Two movies on opposite ends of the emotional spectrum opened today. We’ll start with Woody Allen, whose Bananas doesn’t have quite the same critical heft as some of his other works, but it’s loads of fun for those attuned to Allen’s nebbish shtick and enjoys an enduring reputation among his fans. It opened today in 1971. And then there’s United 93, Paul Greengrass’s gut-wrenching …

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Today in Movie History: April 26

It’s a fairly quiet day in terms of notable releases, marked only by one wonderfully strange little horror-comedy. Dellamorte Dellamore, also known as Cemetery Man, opened today in 1996: featuring Rupert Everett as a hard-boiled cemetery caretaker (yes, apparently those exist) whose charges have a distressing habit of rising from their graves. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, you’d …

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Movies for the Resistance: Ghostbusters (2016)

(Welcome to Movies for the Resistance, a weekly column intended to showcase films with particular pertinence for 2017. One of the fundamental purposes of art in general, and movies in particular, is to serve as a spiritual armory: bringing hope, timely lessons and shared experiences when times are dark. They can move us to positive political action, lend insight to …

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Today in Movie History: April 25

We’re going to start with one of our favorite romances of all time: Amelie, Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s masterpiece of dreamlike whimsy that reminded us to embrace love with the same gusto with which we embrace life. It opened in its native France today in 2001. For a grande romance a little closer to home, there’s Woody Allen’s Manhattan. Though drenched in the creepy overtones …

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Today in Movie History: April 21

We go all silent movie on your ass today, starting with Buster Keaton’s masterpiece Sherlock Jr. It’s a slight story of a lonely projectionist fighting haplessly for the girl he loves: filled with Keaton’s jaw-dropping stunt work, but also the innovative use of the film within a film as a narrative device (Keaton’s character falls asleep and reimagines his dilemma on the screen …

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Today in Movie History: April 20

Star Wars may have changed the face of movies in 1977, but the year’s other most notable film had plenty of staying power as well. Annie Hall, the pinnacle of Woody Allen’s nebbish shtick, ended up scooping Star Wars at the Oscars, and today remains one of the most beloved comedies ever made. Speaking of great comedies, Edgar Wright scored a monster hit with Shaun …

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Today in Movie History: April 19

Two big films and three smaller-but-notable ones today. We start with La Dolce Vita, Frederico Fellini’s ode to Rome, the jet set, and sexy girls splashing around in fountains. It took the world by storm when it was initially released, and for my money remains Fellini’s best film. It was released in the United States today in 1961. For a …

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Movies for the Resistance: Citizen Kane

(Welcome to Movies for the Resistance, a weekly column intended to showcase films with particular pertinence for 2017. One of the fundamental purposes of art in general, and movies in particular, is to serve as a spiritual armory: bringing hope, timely lessons and shared experiences when times are dark. They can move us to positive political action, lend insight to …

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Today in Movie History: April 18

Legend is one of those movies that the Hollywood machine just chewed up and spat out. The initial release was a disaster, critically and commercially, and the film was written off for years. But the release of Ridley Scott’s director’s cut — including the return of the original Jerry Goldsmith score — saw its fortunes improve immensely. These days, it enjoys well-deserved status …

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Movie Review: The Fate of the Furious

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Nathalie Emmanuel, Charlize Theron and Kurt Russell Directed by: F. Gary Gray Running time: 136 minutes Rating: PG-13 Year of release: 2017   In my review of the last Fast and the Furious movie, I opined that the franchise had little left to do but pop Vin Diesel …