Recent Features
Did the Master of Suspense Make the Best Movies of All Time?

There was a time when Alfred Hitchcock was considered a mere populist entertainer. Like Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton and others before him, his early work didn’t click with intellectual minds -- they found nothing to praise in his lurid stories of murder, mystery and shocks.

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Halloween Movie Night: Do You Want to Be Mildly Freaked Out or Seriously Traumatized?

Choosing the right movie can spell the difference between an evening of fun thrills and a night of seriously bad dreams.

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In Defense of Etta James as Popular Music’s Most Honest Diva

With the recent DVD collection Live at Montreux, we are reminded of how mesmerizing the "At Last" singer could be when taking to the stage.

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Dignity and Physical Drama in the Films of John-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

La Promesse and Rosetta treat seriously the ambitions and spirits of society’s most overlooked individuals, lest they be left by the wayside.

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Would No More ‘Have I Got News for You’ Be Good News?

BBC's satirical news show has taken viewers on a long and bumpy ride. Now in its 44th series, has it reached the end of the road?

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How to Be a Film Snob: On ‘High’ (as in Getting) Culture

I was expecting Frederick Wiseman's cinema verite masterpiece for this column. Imagine my surprise when I was served up John Stalberg Jr.'s sophomoric High School, instead.

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Lament of the Middle Aged Punk

Staring at the churning whirlpool of fists and flannels revolving around Keith Morris as he spat out the anthems of my youth, I wonder why, despite my advancing middle age, I never managed to give up on punk rock.

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A Light-Hearted Romp through John Hustonian Darkness

John Huston understands the crushing success of failure. In the rarely seen films Sinful Davey and Fat City, he observes the self-destructive behaviors and interactions of stunned and blasted losers as closely as Jane Austen would.

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Why Does Everyone Love Comedian Sean Lock?

Before Sean Lock became a comedian, he worked as a labourer on building sites, an office worker for the Department of Health and Social Security, and a toilet cleaner and goat herder in France. No wonder he's got an opinion on everything.

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Abandoned ‘Star Wars’ Plot Points, Episode I: The Ties That Surround Us, Bind Us and Penetrate Us

To celebrate the added "layers" of unnecessary 3D onto both the Prequel and Original Trilogies, here are some actual plot layers straight out of George Lucas' old plans that just might have made Star Wars a more engrossing saga (in somebody's mind, anyway).

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The Three Stooges’ Chaotic Neutrality in ‘I Can Hardly Wait’

I Can Hardly Wait stretches the Three Stooges' "chaotic neutral" alignment into an uncomfortable fever dream of pointless violence with an undertone of sadistic cruelty. A failed Stoogesperiment in literary naturalism? or just a bad day?

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‘American Pop’... Matters: Ron Thompson, the Illustrated Man Unsung

More than just a rock performance piece, American Pop is an engrossing drama with a pathos that burns through the animation cells in certain scenes even to this day.

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Tears in Rain: ‘Blade Runner’ and Philip K. Dick’s Legacy in Film

Thirty years after the release of Blade Runner, with a remake of Total Recall on the horizon, the work of Philip K. Dick continues to find its way into our cinemas and minds. How did the visions of a paranoid loner become the most relevant science fiction of our time?

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Stone Me, What a Life: Tony Hancock’s Lasting Impact on Comedy

Tony Hancock played an Every Man with the lovable charm and the infuriating selfishness of a know-nothing know-it-all. Like his character, most of us want what we don't have and the rest of the world, we believe, is responsible for our dissatisfaction.

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Ruining Their Reputations: Pre-Code Movies Have a Naughty Reputation That’s Not Always Deserved

Not every pre-Code film is a Scarface or Baby Face; some are only mediocre faces.

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What It Means to Be Human: ‘Never Let Me Go’’

The film, Never Let Me Go, follows the book relatively well, although it eliminates some of the story, and isn't able to mirror the novel's careful and timed revelations about the mystery of Hailsham's students.

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Show Me Something That’s Built to Last: A Brief and Biased Retrospective on the Grateful Dead

With the release of All The Years Combine, the Grateful Dead prove their historical importance once again - this time through the magical art of video.

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Systemic and Subjective: The Violence of ‘The International’ and the Global Financial Order

The weapons deals in The International and the back-door negotiations between corporate lobbies and Congress are two sides of the same coin; both use overwhelming systemic violence to further their ends.

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Jerks Are My Heroes, Thanks to ‘Jerks’ Like Steve Martin

My folks are probably still kicking themselves for taking a seven-year-old to see Steve Martin’s profane and ridiculous first film, The Jerk, because that was the day I gave up on strong, upstanding heroes and decided that I wanted to be like Navin Johnson.

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In Defense of David Simon and the Legacy of ‘The Wire’

In light of David Simon's recent comments on its intent to 'stir actual shit', we revisit how important The Wire should be.

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