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Today in Movie History: May 4

We’re sticking with Marvel today because… well because the biggest superhero movie of all time opened today. 2012’s The Avengers turned an already successful franchise — three franchises technically — into something entirely new. Not since the Universal horror cycle in the 1940s had we seen anything quite like it, and Universal couldn’t dream of accomplishing something on the scale …

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Today in Movie History: May 1

May has been the month of blockbusters since the 70s, as school lets out for the summer and Hollywood eagerly profits from budding young minds in need of watching stuff blow up. Memorial Day used to be the official start of blockbuster season, but that changed with 1999’s The Mummy, and summer creep has driven big releases up sooner and sooner. (*cough-cough* The …

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Today in Movie History: September 12

Academics tend to cite Rules of the Game as Jean Renoir’s indisputable masterpiece, but I much prefer La Grande Illusion, his tale of French soldiers plotting an escape from a German POW camp during the First World War. The strange fluidity of their bonds gives their relationship real heft, and Renoir’s observations about class and prejudice are sharp, sad and always true …

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Today in Movie History: July 20

We’ll start today with one of the most unusual comic book adaptations ever: Terry Zwigoff’s Ghost World, the story of two alienated teenage girls and their almost surreal journey throught the wasteland of suburbia following their high school graduation. It’s a reminder that comic books can be about more than pretty people in tights (though YES, one of the girls …

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Avengers: Age of Ultron Movie Review

You won’t find a more critic-proof movie this year than Avengers: Age of Ultron, and I’m including Episode 7 in that equation. While I’m pleased to report that it’s a solid piece of summer popcorn, that assessment doesn’t matter. Everyone on the planet will have seen it by Sunday, and most of them will be happy with the results. You …