Reliving the Past Today: The Last Stand (2013)

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Arnold Schwarzenegger owned my youth. From 1985 to 1991, there wasn’t a thing I did that didn’t involve some sort of reference for a film starring this Austrian muscle wall. When I was about 5 years-old, I would run around my backyard, toting a He-Man sword, pretending to be Conan. Around that time, my father showed me The Terminator. For the next 2 years, every time my doorbell rang, I half-expected a large cybernetic killing machine waiting on the other side. After 1987, whatever action figures I played with turned into the cast of Predator, in which they would swarm the jungle fighting an invisible monster.  (more…)

Criterion Collection #550: The King of Marvin Gardens (1972)

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Writer/director Bob Rafelson followed up his previous masterpiece of Five Easy Pieces (1970) with this understated character drama starring Jack Nicholson and Bruce Dern. The King of Marvin Gardens isn’t nearly as flawless as the previous title, but by performance alone, the film is a stand-out.  (more…)

Why the Criterion Collection matters…

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You may have noticed a recent trend going on here lately. Most of the films I have decided to focus on all have one thing in common – they all belong to the infamous Criterion Collection, a company which provides us “a continuing series of important classic and contemporary films, has been dedicated to gathering the greatest films from around the world and publishing them in editions that offer the highest technical quality and award-winning, original supplements.”

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Criterion Collection #17: Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom (1975)

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Perhaps a film that needs no introduction, Pier Paolo Pasolini’s final film Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, is such a film that has sat on my shelf for years. Until now… (Some of the images contained are not really work friendly but it’s hard to get a still of this film that doesn’t include such.) (more…)

Criterion Collection #591 – 12 Angry Men (1957)

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Sidney Lumet is one of my favorite filmmakers. He is one of those rare birds who directed some classic films in an assortment of genres. And each of his films deal with some social crisis, whether it’s tied to real events or not, with a great amount of success. His debut feature - 12 Angry Men (1957) – is an iconic masterpiece of story, acting, and directing that has rarely been matched. Even his last film, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), a film made 50 years after his first, further proved that no matter how old he was, Lumet never lost his touch.  (more…)

Stanley Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss (1955)

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Stanley Kubrick, the much discussed and controversial director of such films as A Clockwork Orange2001: A Space Odyssey, and Full Metal Jacket (to name a few), got his narrative start with two very different, yet wonderfully photographed film noir pictures in the mid-50s. The second - The Killing (1956) – is a vastly improved effort over the first. Still, Killer’s Kiss is definitely worth a discussion.  (more…)