Tag Archive: War

May
13

Temple of Bad: ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS

Break out the nutcrackers, ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS means we feast tonight!

I for one welcome our new crustacean overlords. Even if you’ve never seen ATTACK OF THE CRAB MONSTERS, you probably still know it by heart. It is the perfect model of the drive-in B-movie, a sublime mix of papier-mache creatures, suggestive sexuality, and dodgy science, with just a bit of cold-war philosophy thrown in for …

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Apr
10

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

The Winter Soldier is well-represented, if not exactly front-and-center, in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.

Well, they can’t all be NOAH, but then again, they all don’t need to be VAMPIRE ACADEMY, either. On the spectrum of the Marvel Comics franchise films, CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER doesn’t reach the cinematic heights of the Raimi SPIDER-MANs (oh, okay, the first two SPIDER-MANs) or Whedon’s THE AVENGERS, but doesn’t crater out …

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Apr
07

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Chris Evans faces down foes that only a genetically-altered super soldier could vanquish in CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER.

And so commences the Marvel Onslaught of 2014. Four movies, three studios, and more opportunities for the true believers to nudge each other knowingly when Stan Lee makes his expected cameos, even though your great-great-grandmother could probably recognize him by now. That said, there are far worse ways to kick off this flood than CAPTAIN …

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Apr
03

Hour of the Wolf Movie Review: NOAH

Noah (2014)

I take a few moments at the beginning of this week’s segment for WBAI 99.5FM’s Hour of the Wolf to address host Jim Freund’s calling me out for my pronunciation of the word “erudite” during last week’s review of DIVERGENT. Nothing contentious, mind, just a clarification. Then, it’s time to let the flood commence. A literal …

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Mar
24

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: DIVERGENT

Shailene Woodley has to confront the challenges of being DIVERGENT.

In the future, humanity will achieve peace and prosperity by being divided into five factions. When you’re sixteen, you get tested to see which faction you belong in, and that determines your station in life for the rest of your existence. Unless you decide to join another faction, which you’re totally free to do. But …

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Mar
14

Review: TEENAGE

Jitterbug dance contest at the Shrine Auditorium in Southern CA, 1939. From TEENAGE.

It is the privilege of teenagers to think that they are the first to confront the world with their quest for meaning, their need to belong. It is perhaps the curse of modern thinking to presume the notion of the teenager sprung fully-formed from the ashes of World War II.  There’s no shortage of films …

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Feb
10

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: VAMPIRE ACADEMY

Zoey Deutch (left), Lucy Fry (center), and Sarah Hyland brave the perils of a very special high school in VAMPIRE ACADEMY.

“They suck at school,” the posters for VAMPIRE ACADEMY proudly proclaim, and let it now be said that they aren’t any better at movies, either. A lackluster production whose only reason for existing is to try to snag the TWILIGHT SAGA demo with as minimal effort as possible (to paraphrase W.C. Fields: “We want to …

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Feb
03

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

Science! Peter Sellers plays an ex-Nazi witnessing his dreams coming true in DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB.

It would be hard to overstate the excellence of DOCTOR STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB. Stanley Kubrick’s masterful dark comedy took the grimmest of concepts — the world on the brink of the apocalypse as a rogue American general (Sterling Hayden) orders a nuclear strike on Russia — …

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Jan
24

Review: MARS AT SUNRISE

Heightened reality illustrates the conflict between a Palestinian artist (Ali Suliman, left) and an Israeli solider (Guy El Hanan) in MARS AT SUNRISE.

The conflict between Israelis and Palestinians goes on and on, amazingly, distressingly. A comedian I recently heard on a podcast said that, past fifty, all Jews suddenly decide that Israel is their top priority, but that hasn’t been the case for me (chalk it up to my parents’ slipshod efforts to instill the faith in …

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Dec
30

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: 47 RONIN

Keanu Reeves (left) and Hiroyuki Sanada take on the challenges of a mystical Japan in 47 RONIN.

All things considered, there are definitely worse ways to see out the year. 47 RONIN, the historical fantasy mash-up that sees Keanu Reeves inserted — along with witches, dragons, and mystical warriors — into the legendary tale of a samurai revolt, may not be the high-water-mark in fantastic film for 2013. But in its gripping …

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