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The Many Faces Of Hugo Weaving

This week, Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven has its premier, and with a cast that strong, I had no doubt that one in that group would end up being the focus of this week's quiz. But guess what? I was...

The Many Faces Of Jessica Lange

This week sees the premiere of Andy Tennant's comedy Wild Oats, about naughty older women living it up on an accidentally acquired five million dollar cheque. And one of these 'scoundrettes' is played by Jessica Lange. A model bursting into...

Gamera Obscura: We Love DON'T BREATHE and HELL OR HIGH WATER for the Same Reason

I’ll try to keep it brief this time out. That’s because what follows is stunningly obvious -- although maybe only to you and me. Therefore, please feel free to forward this week’s column to the TPTB at the Hollywood majors....

Destroy All Monsters: In the Blind Land of Nostalgia, STRANGER THINGS Is King

As I've mentioned before, the best movie of the summer wasn't a movie; it was an 8-part Netflix serial about kids hanging out in the '80s, caught (unbeknownst to them) in the plot of a Steven Spielberg movie. In a...

The Many Faces Of Winona Ryder

This week sees the theatrical release of Author: The JT LeRoy Story, a documentary by Jeff Feuerzeig about the famous troubled young writer, who, as it turned out, was a fictional character devised by writer Laura Albert and actress Savannah...

Gamera Obscura: The Problem with the "Sexy, Troubled Girl" Trope

With the movie season in these parts bracketed, roughly, by Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn and White Girl’s Leah, I initially thought it might be good to pause a sec and cast a jaundiced eye at the “Sexy, Troubled Girl” trope....

Critical Distance: In This Movie, Your Sweet Is My Sour

In 1979, I drove a 1965 Chevrolet Corvair from my family home in the San Fernando Valley to my job in the Wilshire district of Los Angeles every day. Depending on traffic, the commute took 30-45 minutes. My car only...

The Many Faces Of Salma Hayek

It's been a while since we featured an actress in our weekly quiz, and today gives us an opportunity which would have been criminal to miss: it's Salma Hayek's birthday. Not only that, but believe it or not, it's her...

Gamera Obscura: A Triple Feature of STRANGER THINGS, PETE'S DRAGON, and THE WITCH

When you’ve seen way too many movies and TV shows, unlikely double and triple features start to suggest themselves. Any cinephile can tell you that—or, actually, they don’t need to. You know it already. How your brain is constantly programming,...

The Many Faces Of Tommy Lee Jones

This week, Dennis Gansel's Mechanic: Resurrection premieres, starring Jason Statham as the titular assassin. But a bit further down the cast list we spot Tommy Lee Jones, and that settles the question who to feature in this week's quiz! For...

Destroy All Monsters: Was This The Worst Summer We've Ever Had At The Movies?

The summer is dwindling to a close and film folks are taking stock of the season, both financially and creatively. It's looking tepid on both fronts. We'll lose some franchises that shouldn't have come as far as they have; and...

Roddy McDowall Gets Busted: An Exclusive Excerpt From A THOUSAND CUTS by Dennis Bartok and Jeff Joseph

I'm not the sort of person who is precious about my consumption of films. For me, the recent hubbub surrounding the death of 35mm projection has largely been white noise that confuses the method of consumption for quality. However, if...

Destroy All Monsters: As The DCEU Burns, The Studio's Model Needs To Change

There are two general narratives among film fans with respect to superhero movies, which somewhat overlap: 1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe films are samey studio product with predictable beats and styles, lacking the stamp of directorial control; (I don't really...

The Many Faces Of Karl Urban

Currently in cinemas, David Lowery's remake of Pete's Dragon is a surprisingly decent piece of entertainment. As one of the reasons for this, Jim Tudor notes in his review that the film has a very solid cast, which includes the...

70s Rewind: BOUND FOR GLORY Sings the Praises of a True Hero

Antiheroes are all the rage these days -- witness Suicide Squad as the latest example -- but what about true, authentic heroes? Forty years ago, director Hal Ashby presented Woody Guthrie as such a hero in Bound for Glory. Typical...

Have Your Say: Who's Born To Fight Bourne?

Last week saw the return of Matt Damon in the role of Robert Ludlum's most famous creation, the amnesiac reluctant super-assassin who calls himself Jason Bourne. And a welcome return it was, even though the character has been stretched a...

Critical Distance: On JASON BOURNE and Aging

Jason Bourne, the movie, is fine. But Jason Bourne, the character, is getting old. He wasn't always that way. When The Bourne Identity was released in 2002, Matt Damon was 31. He still had the flush of youth in his...

Gamera Obscura: STAR TREK and Its Funereal Optimism

The first tipoff was in the title: Beyond. I didn’t get it initially because I just figured it was part of the franchise’s excursion into vague abstraction à la Into Darkness. Next up would surely be Star Trek Above It...

Destroy All Monsters: GHOSTBUSTERS Got Rid of Capitalism; Can We, Too?

I suppose the best thing that happened this past weekend, pop-culturally speaking, was that Ghostbusters finally came out, and more than lived up to both the original premise (bustin' ghosts!) and the new one (ladies bustin' ghosts!). To clarify, because...

Gamera Obscura: GHOSTBUSTERS and Why Your Childhood Should Be Ruined

I’ve actually never read any of the online screeds, purportedly penned by middle-aged nerdy guys, about how the new Ghostbusters was bound to “ruin their childhood” -- I know only that catchphrase. But since I’m a middle-aged nerdy guy, I...