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Today in Movie History: February 22

Do you want the awesome first, or just the freakishly pathetic? Right, awesome it is. The Incredible Shrinking Man opened today in 1957, marking a high point of 1950s science fiction. The effects were astonishing at the time and still hold up quite well, while the script by Richard Matheson (based on his own novel) manages to fit existential questioning …

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Today in Movie History: February 16

I confess a soft spot for Clive Barker’s Nightbreed, a strange and marvelous little horror film that puts Barker’s talents for the weird and unusual on full display. A tale of beautiful monsters and evil men, it features (among other things) a surprisingly good performance from fellow horror director David Cronenberg as (what else?) a crazed serial killer. It opened today …

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Today in Movie History: February 9

A fairly quiet day for movie releases, marked by a remarkably unremarkable Western. Cimarron, a turgid tale of the Oklahoma land rush and the various soap opera theatrics that which followed, opened today in 1931. It’s interesting mainly because it was released before the Hays Code, which means it’s reasonably steamy for its era, and it succeeded in walking off with …

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Movies for the Resistance: Sherlock Holmes (2009)

(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 the inexplicable, …