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5 items from 2016

Ed Catto: Frank Robbins

10 October 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | | See recent Comicmix news »

When I was a kid I’d make the trek to Lewis’ Drug Store to buy comics with my allowance money. Maxwell’s Food Store had a better selection, but that was on the other side of the treacherous “Five Points” intersection, and I wasn’t yet allowed to cross that on my own.

Detective Comics, starring Batman, was a favorite, and you can make a case that some of the very best Batman stories were appearing each month during that early 70s period. They were fantastic thrillers by Denny O’Neil, Neal Adams, Irv Novick, with the occasional Michael Kaluta or Bernie Wrightson cover. I didn’t know how good I had it.

So you can imagine my surprise when I picked up Detective Comics #429 and looked at the interior story’s artwork by Frank Robbins. I remember thinking “Is this a joke?” and “Is this a Golden Age reprint? »

- Ed Catto

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Curtis Hanson obituary

21 September 2016 10:29 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Director, producer and screenwriter who won an Oscar for the film adaptation of La Confidential

To get a measure of the wide range of themes and genres covered by the film director Curtis Hanson, who has died aged 71, one need only compare his greatest critical success, La Confidential (1997), with his biggest commercial hit, 8 Mile (2002). The former is a stylish, 1950s-set noir thriller shot through with ambivalence about Hollywood, which is shown in all its dreamy allure and soul-crushing horror. The latter picture is a semi-gritty star vehicle for the rapper Eminem (Aka Marshall Mathers III) which draws on the performer’s own background in its story of a young man who uses hip-hop to escape his insalubrious trailer-park origins.

La Confidential was acclaimed by critics who had believed they did not make them like that any more; Hanson and his co-writer, Brian Helgeland, won an Oscar for their assured adaptation »

- Ryan Gilbey

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The Top Ten Funny Ladies of the Movies

7 August 2016 10:29 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

The recent box office success of The Boss firmly establishes Melissa McCarthy as the current queen of movie comedies (Amy Schumer could be a new contender after an impressive debut last Summer with Trainwreck), but let us think back about those other funny ladies of filmdom. So while we’re enjoying the female reboot/re-imagining of Ghostbusters and those Bad Moms, here’s a top ten list that will hopefully inspire lots of laughter and cause you to search out some classic comedies. It’s tough to narrow them down to ten, but we’ll do our best, beginning with… 10. Eve Arden The droll Ms. Arden represents the comic sidekicks who will attempt to puncture the pomposity of the leading ladies with a well-placed wisecrack (see also the great Thelma Ritter in Rear Window). Her career began in the early 1930’s with great bit roles in Stage Door and Dancing Lady. »

- Jim Batts

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"Alan Ladd: The 1940S Collection" DVD Release From Turner Classic Movies

26 June 2016 3:19 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

Turner Classic Movies has released three Alan Ladd titles in a set titled "Alan Ladd: The 1940s Collection". Here is the official press release:

Handsome leading man Alan Ladd found success in the 1940s and ‘50s, first as the tough guy in several films noir co-starring Veronica Lake and then as the stoic hero in Westerns such as Shane (1953). Turner Classic Movies and Universal are proud to present this three-film collection that showcases Ladd’s talents in a range of genres from thriller to adventure, as well as the work of such directors as Irving Pichel and Frank Tuttle, and writers the likes of Richard Maibaum and Seton I. Miller. Lucky Jordan (1942) Directed by Frank Tuttle (who also directed Ladd’s breakthrough film This Gun for Hire the same year), Lucky Jordan stars Ladd as a racketeer who gets drafted into the Us Army and will do anything to »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Burned at the Stake: Cinematic Witchcraft Through the Ages

17 February 2016 8:25 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Life isn’t easy for witches. Sure, they have magical powers, live for hundreds of years, and can fly around on broomsticks — but it’s not all fun and games. Beyond the stinging social stigma attached to those who witch for a living, there’s also the constant threat of unruly villagers brandishing torches and pitchforks, hungry for a good old-fashioned witch-burning. It’s starkly amusing to recall that the archetypal witch caricature was born out of the cold-blooded, unlawful murder of innocent people, acts committed vainly in the name of religion. On film, the witch is prolific, with countless examples dating back to the dawn of the art form.

When examining the witch film genre, mounting similarities cannot be ignored. Some employ the witch in fairy tales, macabre bedtime stories intended to evoke fear and wonderment in equal measure. Others depict a society gone mad, fingers ever pointed at »

- Tony Hinds

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