5 items from 2016
Midnight Run is one of those rare movies that doesn’t exactly take the world by storm upon release, but still manages to influence the film world, and becomes a must-see classic.
It’s hard to believe that it was 1988 when the ‘buddy cop’ and ‘road trip’ genres got this refreshing revitalization, but the film holds up exceptionally well. It may have a few oddities for the latest generation, but nothing actually problematic, and the humor is timeless. It may have a slightly “awkwardly-80s” feel to it, but with minor adjustments it might have been made today.
De Niro’s effort here telegraphed a lot of the choices he made over the rest of his career, trying even almost 30 years ago to stay out of the pigeonhole. Meanwhile, Grodin has possibly his best role, and one that works so well with his ability to jump from deadpan to outlandish, »
- Marc Eastman
Midnight Run, 1988.
Directed by Martin Brest.
Midnight Run arrives on Blu-ray in the Us in a new Collector’s Edition from Shout! Factory that includes a new interview with Robert De Niro along with the interviews that were part of the Blu-ray released in the UK in 2015. A vintage “making of” featurette is also included. The disc features a new 2K scan of the film.
In the annals of great screenwriting, Midnight Run is an underrated classic. It’s one of those movies with a great setup and nearly flawless execution through acts two and three. The story twists and turns in unpredictable but satisfying ways, reversals of fortune happen at the right moments, and the ending isn’t a surprise, but it feels just right. Throw in a great cast and top-notch directing, »
- Brad Cook
Ryan Lambie Jul 14, 2016
We take a look at some of the most memorable and freaky floating brains and flying heads in the history of cinema...
For some reason we've yet to discover, cinema has, for decades, been home to all manner of sentient, disembodied heads and floating brains. Note that we’re not talking about decapitations here - though goodness knows that cinema is home to plenty of those, from Japanese samurai epics to modern slasher horrors.
No, we’re talking about movies where heads and brains remain sentient even when they’re stuffed into jars or colossal things made of stone. Sometimes used for comedic effect, at other times for shock value, they’re a surprisingly common phenomenon in the movies. Here, we celebrate a few of our absolute favourites - though you’re sure »
Even shorn of its sound, Alien remains a masterpiece of tension thanks to the power of its physical performances, Ryan writes...
This article contains spoilers for Alien.
When a film works - really, really works - its combination of acting, cinematography, music, sound design, lighting and editing come together so seamlessly that it can become difficult to pin down exactly why it’s so effective. Take Alien for example: beautifully shot by Ridley Scott and cinematographer Derek Vanlint, cut with razor-sharp perfection to Jerry Goldsmith’s piping eerie score, it’s a masterpiece of genre filmmaking.
In the years since Alien’s release in 1979, various aspects of it have been singled out for praise: Hr Giger was rightly handed an Oscar for his part in the seductively hideous xenomorph in its various stages. The film’s story and nightmare imagery is still picked over for its Freudian and feminist subtexts. »
Strangely enough, Pam Grier’s last Blaxploitation feature, 1975’s Sheba, Baby, would be the title to introduce her to a much wider audience thanks to its PG rating. Though undoubtedly adult in theme, it’s a kittenish exercise compared to the violence, gratuitous sex, and shameless taken-for-granted racist and misogynistic antics of earlier efforts. Its classification as the final chapter of Grier’s Blaxploitation days is also sort of a misnomer, since this refers to the last time she’d don her famous persona as an action star in pursuit of a more serious career, heading into Drum (a sequel to the infamous Mandingo), starring opposite Richard Pryor in Greased Lightning, and even a Ray Bradbury adaptation in Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983). But 1975 was one of several sterling years for Grier, headlining three films, though none of them would eventually reach the same iconicity as the prior year’s »
- Nicholas Bell
5 items from 2016
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