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Wednesday, October 24 2007

Every Rose Has Its Thorn

Flowers in the Attic is the perfect example of what happens to a favorite book when it gets pressed through the Hollywood machine. The results are enough to ruin a sly, scandalous thriller - and a reader's rich adolescent memories.


Thursday, October 4 2007

The Year of the Wolf

Leave it to the geniuses running the Hollywood studios to offset each other by delivering three legendary lycanthrope movies, 'The Howling', 'An American Werewolf in London' and 'Wolfen' during the same seminal genre year: 1981.


Wednesday, September 26 2007

When They Were Fab

The phenomenal success of the British Invasion led to a stampede of record labels trying to promote bands that could cash in on Beatlemania. Pop Gear shows over 15 bands, attempting to lip synch their way to stardom. The result is surprisingly touching and loaded with kitschy, camp fun.


Tuesday, September 25 2007

One Hit Wonder - The Stone Reader

A favored book from one's past. An elusive author who seemingly never wrote anything since. Sounds like the components for a fascinating documentary? You'd be right.


Monday, August 27 2007

Living La Vida Shadows

Lessons from Dark Shadows: 15 ways to walk on the defiled side. Insane women locked in towers, family lawyers in cahoots with Beelzebub, the frequent appearance of vile oil paintings of hate, and many paranormal possibilities.


Monday, August 13 2007

What’s Love Got to Do With It?

Circumstances may have brought them together, but a single 'enduring' emotion may be driving Ian McEwan's characters toward a deranged date with destiny.


Thursday, July 26 2007

A ‘Head’ of Its Time

In Head, a frighteningly original, career-defying work, The Monkees depict how they were forever trapped in a suffocating, inescapable situation.


Thursday, July 5 2007

Junior Samples, Rube Bard of Days Gone By

It takes an exceptional talent to make hick seem slick. Alvin “Junior” Samples had it.


Sunday, June 24 2007

A Matter of Morbid Elegance

While it may be hard to believe, horror imagery has its direct links in the visual variances of classic painting. It's all a matter of melancholic grace.


Wednesday, June 13 2007

The Lisbon Bunch

Purposefully ending one's life is often seen as a last act of personal desperation. But in Jefferey Eugenides' poignant, bewitching novel, it may actually be a form of salvation.


Tuesday, June 5 2007

Who Will Watch the Watchmen?

To reduce Watchmen to just another superhero movie is to miss the point entirely, and one can't help but anticipate that the result will have all the cultural relevance of a supermarket paperback novelization of Citizen Kane.


Monday, June 4 2007

Billy Jack, the Original Blockbuster

Through the era-defining "Billy Jack" character, director Tom Laughlin pushed the outlandish, over-the-top event movie into the motion picture mainstream.


Tuesday, May 15 2007

The Unseen Masters of Horror

Fright fans love to praise the visionary efforts of their favorite horror directors. But behind every great terror auteur is usually an unsung macabre master.


Monday, April 23 2007

NBC News Overnight: And So It Went

NBC News Overnight strove to include the audience as much as possible, making its hour of news feel like a visit from a very wise, very witty, very worldly friend.


Sunday, April 15 2007

We Like to Watch

Far more prescient today than it was 36 years ago, Jerzy Kosiński’s darkly comic novel of media and politics, Being There, lives on, thanks in part to Hal Ashby's marvelous 1979 motion picture adaptation.


Thursday, March 29 2007

Almost Auteurs: Elaine May

Elaine May's untapped filmmaking promise remains as recognizable as her realized films, ranging from the acclaimed The Heartbreak Kid to the disastrous Ishtar. She is missed as a filmmaking force.


Tuesday, March 27 2007

The Director with Roots in Hell

Step right up folks, don't be shy. There's room for even the most sophisticated film fan when it comes to the exploitation excess of grindhouse pioneer Dwain Esper.


Tuesday, February 27 2007

The Gallant Gourmet

He championed both culinary extravagance and gastronomic restraint. But Graham Kerr's greatest legacy may be his innate ability to reach across the airwaves and touch each viewer's inner epicure.


Thursday, February 22 2007

Rewarding the Oscar Also-Rans

With the Academy's 'big dance' on the horizon, it's time to recognize those motion pictures and performances overlooked by Oscar's self-serving system of artistic determination.


Wednesday, February 21 2007

Soulless

James Redfield's 'prophetic' novel, The Celestine Prophecy, as manifested in film... maybe it means something. I see soft-focus imagery and swirling colors. I'm getting a feeling. It's...it's... nausea.


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