Movies & Films

Reviews of both new release and older movies & films.

Throwback Thursday: Is Dark City a Space Opera?

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. It’s very hard to talk about this week’s film in regards to space opera without veering heavily into spoiler territory, so I would suggest that if you haven’t seen it, backing slowly out of the room with your hands raised in a state of surrender and come back after watching it....

Throwback Thursday: Flash (AH-AHHH!) Gordon Is the Savior of the Universe

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. If you’re talking about a colorful, science-fiction adventure that has lots of different scenery, space battles, and melodrama, and you aren’t talking about Star Wars, odds are you’re thinking of 1980’s Flash Gordon. Brought to the silver screen by producer extraordinaire Dino De Laurentiis, Flash Gordon tells the pulpy...

John Wick: Chapter 2 Burns at Both Ends

John Wick: Chapter 2 doesn’t waste anytime letting the audience know that they’re going to get what they came for. An aerial view of the city floats past the streets and rooftops at night while the roar and whine of a crotch rocket echoes below. Eventually, the camera tracks down past a video wall that shows an old-time motorcycle wipeout. Moments later, the all-black crotch rocket slides into an intersection as its rider tumbles after it. A 1970 Chevelle SS...

Throwback Thursday: Solaris Is a Philosophical Meditation On Communication

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. One of the greatest inventions in the Star Trek universe is the universal translator. It allows different species to communicate through instantaneous translation. It is a little problematic when the series randomly decides to have people speak a specific language without translating it for the audience (Picard loves to...

Throwback Thursday: Starcrash Is the Movie We Deserve

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. Once again delving into the halcyon days of my childhood, I remember relaxing during summer vacation and being able to catch film matinees on the local TV stations. One film seemed to play fairly regularly and was everything for my young pre-teen mind: scantily clad space women (which are different...

Nostalgic, Cheap, and Satirical Thrills in Roger Corman’s Death Race 2050

  There’s nothing quite like the campy joy of Death Race 2000. The ridiculous cars, the gory kills, the politically incorrect point system of slaughter, and the hilarious production values of conference rooms dressed up as hotel rooms all made for one heck of a fun B-movie. It was remade in 2008 with Paul W. S. Anderson directing a picture that was more gritty than goofy. Two direct-to-video sequels followed that nobody took much note of. But now Death...

Throwback Thursday: With No Melodrama or Space Battles, 2001 Is Still a Space Opera

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. After a short overture, we’re brought into this film by the opening strains of Richard Strauss’s “Also sprach Zarathustra.” Then the tile card appears. Even if you haven’t seen the film, you’ll know by those musical strains what I’m talking about: 1968’s Stanley Kubrick classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s rare...

The Bye Bye Man Won’t Be Back

I am so very sorry, Carrie-Anne Moss (Detective Shaw). I don’t know what twisted Hollywood trail brought you to spend one or two shooting days on the set of The Bye Bye Man, but please avoid that way in the future. I am guessing that the phrase “from the producers of Oculus” impressed your agent enough to sign you up. Maybe it’s time to shop for a new agent? The Bye Bye Man is the latest indie film attempt to...

Throwback Thursday: The Force Is Strong With Star Wars Fandom

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. I officially started this column in January 2015 and went weekly in March of that year. We are now at the one-hundredth Throwback Thursday column. With such an arbitrarily historic number (seriously, thank you for giving me a platform to share my enthusiasm for film), I thought it would be...

Throwback Thursday: Fantastic Planet Is a Space Opera Unlike Any Other

Throwback Thursday examines films from the past, “classic” films that might not be in the current cultural zeitgeist but can still be important, interesting, fun, or all of the above. The Twin Cities’ largest-run convention, CONvergence, is six months away. I know it seems ages from now, however the main theme for this year is space opera, and what better way to gear up for it than to take a look at some of the films that could be...
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