Goonies

Today in Movie History: June 7

Goonies. We hear tell they never say die, and while rose-colored glasses may help its reputation far more than a sober look at it today, it’s hard to argue with a cult classic after 30+ years of unadulterated love. For Gen-Xers, it’s a touchstone of our era. For everyone else, it’s a ripe slice of 80s cinema at its 80s-est. …

Cagney

Today in Movie History: June 6

“Once a song and dance man, always a song and dance man,” James Cagney famously remarked. That could explain why an actor renowned for playing gangsters earned his only Oscar for… well, just read the quote. Yankee Doodle Dandy, a heavily bowdlerized biography of songwriter George M. Cohan, arrived as a bracing bit of Old Glory for a nation that …

truman_primary

Today in Movie History: June 5

Peter Weir’s career constitutes one of the more fascinating in modern films, and he was never better than with The Truman Show, a eerily prescient look at life in the digital era. it features Jim Carrey as a man who has unknowingly lived his entire life as the subject of his television show, complete with parents, friends, co-workers and romantic interests …

Kirk-Spock-Wrath-of-Khan

Today in Movie History: June 4

Two future classics opened on the exact same day today in 1982: a period when you literally could open giant movies on the same weekend and expect them both to thrive. We’ll start with Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, widely regarded as the high point of the entire Star Trek phenomenon. After the underwhelming response to Star Trek: The Motion Picture, …

Seven-Years-itch-subway

Today in Movie History: June 3

As Billy Wilder comedies go, The Seven Year Itch never packed the punch of, say, Some Like It Hot or The Apartment. It’s amusing enough, but the Hays Code pulled the teeth from the Broadway play on which it was based, about a married man tempted by… well shit, by Marilyn Freaking Monroe. That leaves it minor Wilder at best, save for that …

Moulin-Rouge1_610_407shar_s_c1

Today in Movie History: June 1

Though it didn’t foster a full-bore revival of the Hollywood musical, Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge! succeeded in updating the baggy old genre for an entirely new generation. Luhrmann’s trademark attention span deficit and the expert addition of modern pop songs into the mix turned an exercise in empty style into a beloved modern classic, and while I struggle with the film’s abrupt …

Fletch

Today in Movie History: May 31

What can one say about Fletch, arguably the best film Chevy Chase ever made with a deep and abiding cult following to back it up? It’s as funny as it always was… though it does highlight a tendency of 80s cinema to present some frankly repugnant characters as heroes. Chase’s Irwin Fletcher is self-important, obnoxious, exploitative and sometimes downright cruel. Luckily for the …

NemoPR180712

Today in Movie History: May 30

For the second day in a row, we have a Pixar masterpiece to celebrate. Finding Nemo is typical of the studio’s best efforts, which is to say it’s funny and moving and visually gorgeous and you can’t quite imagine how the cinematic canon got along without it. Albert Brooks provides the voice of Marlin,  an anxiety-prone clownfish whose son Nemo …

Up

Today in Movie History: May 29

The Pixar canon is as storied as they come, and to rise to the top of it is a rare accomplishment indeed. Fans may debate which one deserves the title of “greatest,” and there are at least half a dozen viable contenders… but Pete Docter’s sublime Up holds a permanent space among them. It tells the tale of a lonely old man (voiced …