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Today in Movie History: May 13

A quiet day today — the weeks before Memorial Day usually are — but we’re gonna celebrate one recent number. Paul Feig’s Bridesmaids is notable not just because it’s a very funny movie, but because it stuck a fork in one of Hollywood’s more cerished bits of mysoginistic hogwash: that women can’t do comedy and that movies comedies centered around …

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Today in Movie History: May 6

We’re closing out the week of Marvel… and for the first time this week when there’s been a Marvel release, the column isn’t topped by it. The pole position goes to Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, long considered one of the greatest adaptaions of Shakespeare’s masterpiece ever put on film, and which netted Olivier Oscars for Best Picture and Best Actor. (He …

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Easy Rider: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Review by: Robert Trate Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Jack Nicholson, Luke Askew, Phil Spector Director: Dennis Hopper Original Year of Release: 1969 Rated: R Spine: #545 Run Time: 95 minutes Many people discovered Easy Rider in college. Members of the Baby Boomer generation, that is. It was a counter culture movie to all the Beach Blanket Bingo films of …

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Today in Movie History: April 22

You know Hollywood’s delightful habit of periodically producing a Part 2 that equals or surpasses the original? James Whale officially perfected that today in 1935 with the release of The Bride of Frankenstein. Elsa Lanchester makes an entrance for the ages as Dr. Frankenstein’s second creation, with Colin Clive’s haunted doctor reflecting the alcoholism that eventually claimed the actor, and Boris …

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Only Angels Have Wings: The Criterion Collection Blu-ray Review

Review by: Robert Trate Starring: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Barthelmess, Sig Ruman Directed by: Howard Hawks Written by: Buck Henry (screenplay), Charles Webb (novel) Original Year of Release: 1939 Run Time: 121 minutes Rated: NR Spine #806 When the Criterion Collection announced that Only Angels Have Wings, featuring Cary Grant and directed by Howard Hawks, was …

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Today in Movie History: April 15

When Alfred Hitchcock released Stage Fright in 1950, he was roundly criticized for presenting an unreliable narrator and delivering flashbacks to events that never happened. 45 years later, he looked positively prescient as Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects attempted the same trick and was hailed as a masterpiece. Hitchcock, of course, aged far better than his critics, and Stage Fright …

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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