Film Reviews and Commentary

McDANIEL’S MOVIE MOMENTS – A Remake of Crisis: Body Snatchers for the Boomers

Kyle McDaniel

August 8th, 2014

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When the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers was released to American moviegoers on February 5, 1956, the film’s salty, no-frills director, Don Siegel, had no idea that his little B-picture ......

McDANIEL’S MOVIE MOMENTS – Mr. Linklater’s Oeuvre: 23 Years of Messy, Beautiful Talking Points

Kyle McDaniel

August 7th, 2014

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I remember the first time I saw Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise (1995). I was 19 or so, rented the DVD on a whim, and found myself slowly transported on a journey through a cool Vienna night ......

BIJOU FROM BEYOND – Aliens (1986)

Sean Hanson

August 1st, 2014

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Even now, it feels weird to call Aliens a blockbuster. Sure, it was a sequel to Alien, one of 1979’s biggest hits. Sure, it made $85 million on an $18.5 million budget. Sure, it opened wide in ......

MACRO CINEMATIC – What’s in a Number?

Mary Erickson

July 30th, 2014

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“Unless an earthquake tumbles California into the ocean,” announced a media research analyst in 1993 in a Chicago Tribune article, “we’ll no doubt have a record year at the box office.” That ......

MY SUMMER WITH ALFRED – Purple Noon (1960)

Sean Hanson

July 28th, 2014

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Comparing everything to Psycho is like ordering pad Thai for the thousandth time at your favorite Thai restaurant, so I’ll keep it brief. In Fall 1960, French filmgoers had a choice to make: The ......

BIJOU FROM BEYOND – Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)

Sean Hanson

July 18th, 2014

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As a child of the ‘80s, reared during the age of razor-bladed candy, mountains of dead babysitters and Satanic ritual abuse, I got off easy in a deal with my not-too-overprotective parents: I ......

BEHIND THE LENS – Jaws: A Turning Point

Tom Blank

July 17th, 2014

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The term, “blockbuster” had not always been a movie term. It originated during WWII when it was used to described bombs dropped on enemy cities. A bomb big enough could leave a crater that might ......

MY SUMMER WITH ALFRED – Les diaboliques (1955)

Sean Hanson

July 15th, 2014

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French director Henri-Georges Clouzot (a.k.a. “the French Hitchcock”) earns a brief mention in The Dark Side of Genius, Donald Spoto’s exhaustive biography of Alfred Hitchcock. Turn to Page 333, ......

BIJOU FROM BEYOND – Who’s the Monster: Identifying the Source of Horror in Horror Films

Rick Levin

July 14th, 2014

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It’s hell being a horror movie fan. Isolated, misunderstood and forever haunted by dreams of B-grade grandeur, connoisseurs of cinema’s most reviled genre are not only forced ......

MACRO CINEMATIC – Jaws: The Movie that Made (Marketing) History

Mary Erickson

July 10th, 2014

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Jaws broke box office records when it played in theaters in 1975. It was the first movie to surpass the $100 million mark and ended the year with almost double that figure, at $192 million in box ...