Kiefer_Sutherland

Today in Movie History: July 31

It’s big day for the 80s. We’ll start with The Lost Boys, Joel Schumacher’s teen vampire romp that became an indispensable shared experience for Generation X. I’ll be honest: it’s not great, especially when compared to Kathryn Bigelow’s brilliant Near Dark which came out the same year. But Schumacher did find a dangerous vibe to a movie aimed squarely at adolescents… and he had …

mister-roberts

Today in Movie History: July 30

The big film today from an artistic perspective is Mister Roberts, John Ford’s tale of of lieutenant (Henry Fonda) on broken-down WWII cargo ship who longs for combat, but finds himself thwarted by the ship’s captain (James Cagney). Frankly speaking, it’s not among Ford’s best, but the cast is in fine form and the film picked up a slew of Academy …

pee-wee

Today in Movie History: July 26

I was the exact wrong age for Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure when it first came out: 13 and oh so ready to stop being a kid. But every other age should be delighted by Pee-Wee’s ramshackle journey to find his beloved bicycle: reminding us in his unique Pee-Wee way to look at the world the way a child does from time to …

caddyshack3-front

Today in Movie History: July 25

We’ll start with the greatest golf movie ever made, the greatest movie featuring a gopher puppet ever made, and the 34th greatest stick-it-to-the-Man comedy ever made. We’re talking about Caddyshack and it opened today in 1980. I used to marvel at how Stephen King could crank out 10,000 words a day without breaking a sweat. Turns out, he was loopy on …

PrivateRyan

Today in Move History: July 24

The pole position today unquestionably goes to Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg’s ode to the Greatest Generation with a permanent spot on the short list of his absolute masterpieces. The bravura opening sequence remains one of the most harrowing depictions of combat ever put on film (emulated by fellow directors for decades), and the story that unfolds afterwards depicts the grunt’s eye …

midnightrun

Today in Movie History: July 20

We’ll start today with Midnight Run, a personal favorite about a down-on-his-luck bounty hunter (Robert De Niro) tasked with bringing a mob accountant (Charles Grodin) across country before being nicked by the feds, the Mafia or De Niro’s sleazy rival. The madcap chase is expertly delivered by director Martin Brest, who mined the comic chemistry of his two leads to …

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Today in Movie History: July 19

We’ll start with the junkies. Trainspotting, Danny Boyle’s celebrated adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s equally celebrated novel, helped cement the careers not only of Boyle but of many of his cast, including Ewan McGregor (never better), Robert Carlyle and Kelly MacDonald. It also showed a side of Scotland rarely seen in the movies, and has become — along with Requiem for …

Joker

Today in Movie History: July 18

Mid-July is blockbuster time — usually when the last of the heavy hitters shows up to crush the box office before giving way to the earthier guilty pleasures of August. A pair of great sequels mark the day, notably The Dark Knight: Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to his already impressive Batman Begins. In then ensuing decade, it’s become the stuff of …

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Today in Movie History: July 17

The premise was ridiculous. The specifics sounded dumber than a bag of rocks. And that title? What were they thinking?! So it looked thirty years ago right up until the moment Peter Weller’s cybernetic crime-stopper marched on screen to keep the streets of old Detriot safe. RoboCop delivered (among other things) a brilliant sci-fi actioner, a savage satire of 80s culture, a viable comic-book …