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Today in Movie History: April 1

For April Fool’s Day, the releases today haven’t been very funny… Euthanasia Day notwithstanding. Speaking of which, we begin with Death Race 2000, Paul Bartel’s beautifully loopy dystopian car chase movie that became a cult classic. If you’re only familiar with this story through the guilty-pleasure of a Jason Statham remake, you owe it to yourself to take a look. …

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The Manchurian Candidate: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Review by: Robert Trate Starring: Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, John McGiver Directed by: John Frankenheimer Written by: Richard Condon (based upon a novel by), George Axelrod (screenplay) Original Year of Release: 1962 Run Time: 126 Minutes Rated: Approved Spine# 803

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Today in Movie History: March 18

Funniest movie of all time or high point of western civilization? We’ll leave that debate for the ages, but one thing is clear: if you want comedy, you can’t do better than Mel Brooks’ The Producers, which opened today in 1968. If you prefer kick-ass cowboys to dancing Hitlers, there’s Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne, Ricky Nelson and Dean …

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Today in Movie History: March 11

There’s nothing quite like a villain, and nobody could do them like William Shakespeare. I confess I prefer Ian McKellen’s take on his bloodiest king, Richard III, but Laurence Olivier had his own version of it, and it’s well worth a look. It opened today in 1956. And hey, if scheming kings are your thing, then you get a double dose today. Peter …

Nosferatu

Today in Movie History: March 4

Before Gary Oldman, before Christopher Lee, before even Bela Lugosi, there was Max Schreck, whose repellant rat-like appearance in the original Nosferatu turned a barely disguised rip-off of Bram Stoker’s most famous creation into the stuff of cinematic legend. Stoker’s widow successfully sued the producers for plagiarism — and let’s be honest, she had a case — and killed the …

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Creed: Blu-ray Review

Review by Robert T. Trate Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad Directed by: Ryan Coogler Written by: Ryan Coogler (screenplay), Aaron Covington (screenplay), Sylvester Stallone (characters) Running time: 133 minutes Year of release: 2015 Rating:  PG-13 Sometimes it takes perspective, time and a whole new generation to tell the next installment. Who else would be willing to tackle the …

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Movie Review: Eddie the Eagle

Review by Rob Vaux Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Jo Hartley, Keith Allen, and Iris Berben Directed by: Dexter Fletcher Running time: 105 Minutes Year of release: 2016 You’ve seen Eddie the Eagle before in numerous different films. It’s not out to break the plucky-sports-underdog-makes-good formula, and sticks to script so closely that you never doubt where it’s going or when its …

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Today in Movie History: February 25

We’re starting with the movie that doesn’t make my stomach turn: The Lady Eve, Preston Sturges’ delightful comedy about a slick con artist (Barbara Stanwyck) who falls for an earnest (and rich) snake expert (Henry Fonda) onboard an ocean cruise. It’s a high point for all involved, but it’s Stanwyck who dominates with a comedic performance for the ages. It …