Breaking News

Movie Rewind

Looking Back: Shopgirl (2005)

Not long after Steve Martin wrote a wonderful play called “Picasso at the Lapine Agile,” he published a novella called “Shopgirl.” It was a real surprise, as the short novel was insightful, full of gorgeous prose and had a sensitivity not entirely in line with Martin’s typically “wacky” film roles. I mean this in the most respectful way, as Martin …

Read More »

Looking Back: Unbreakable (2000)

The biggest twist that M. Night Shyamalan’s “Unbreakable” offered wasn’t its final reveal but how, over time, it has proven itself to be, as of this writing, the best film Shyamalan has made. The past few years must have been as discouraging for the filmmaker as it’s been for his audience. The disappointments have been stacking as high as his …

Read More »

Looking Back: Akira Kurosawa’s Dreams (1990)

There is no greater gift a filmmaker can offer than to show us their dreams. Robert Altman once made a movie called “3 Women,” which was based entirely on a dream he had. It’s one of his finest films. David Lynch has yet to make a film that doesn’t presumably resemble his most beautiful dreams and vividly frightening nightmares. If …

Read More »

Looking Back: Explorers (1985)

If “The Goonies” was written by Carl Sagan, it may have resembled “Explorers,” the 1985 fantasy that director Joe Dante chose as his follow-up to “Gremlins.” Unlike that widely popular film, which was released in 1984 by Warner Brothers, “Explorers” was an expensive flop, which was released and poorly managed by Paramount Pictures. It’s worth noting that, to date, Dante …

Read More »

Looking Back: Fletch (1985)

There’s always been an edge to Chevy Chase’s style of humor, a contempt that comes out as the retort of a wise ass who’s the smartest guy in the room. We love guys like this, who defuse any situation with a razor sharp quip or a verbal misdirection. Like a human Bugs Bunny, he can’t be taken off guard. Whether …

Read More »

Looking Back: The Guardian (1990)

William Friedkin’s 1990 horror film, “The Guardian” is not the movie starring Kevin Costner and Ashton Kutcher as heroic members of the Coast Guard. It’s a common mistake, though an odd one, as two films with the same name couldn’t possibly be more dissimilar. The movie I’m thinking about is the one about the man-eating tree, the army of supernatural …

Read More »

Looking Back: Congo (1995)

The thing about “Congo” that is so odd and hard to ignore is how little the movie takes itself seriously. Here was the first Michael Crichton adaptation to follow “Jurassic Park,” based on another of his meticulously researched, science-based bestselling novels and it was opening up in the summer of 1995. The stakes seemed really high: it was reported in …

Read More »

Looking Back: Blind Fury (1990)

There will never be a replacement for Shintaro Katsu, the charismatic leading man of great presence who was best known for playing Zatoichi, the blind samurai swordsman. Neither will there ever be a proper redo or substitute for the original series of Japanese “Zatoichi” films released in the 1960’s and 70’s. Yet, one of the things “Blind Fury,” the American …

Read More »

Looking Back: Picture Bride (1995)

“Picture Bride” was the first Hawaiian film to ever play at the Cannes Film Festival. It also played at the Sundance Film Festival and received national distribution through Miramax Films.  That alone should be reason enough to celebrate and recognize Kayo Hatta’s film, which is a small but lovely, vivid depiction of Hawaii in the early 1900’s. It opens with …

Read More »

Looking Back Special Edition: The Land Has Eyes (2005)

When a film artist announces their arrival, with a work of cinema created in a place not known for filmmaking, lovers of film tend to take notice. After all, prior to the arrival of George A. Romero, Perry Henzell and Herk Harvey, who knew they made movies in Pittsburgh (“Night of the Living Dead”), Jamaica (“The Harder They Come”) or …

Read More »