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2 items from 2010

Looking back at Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon

22 August 2010 9:50 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

To celebrate the release of the 1980 Flash Gordon movie on Blu-ray, Mark Pickavance takes a timely look back at that film and the classic 30s serial…

In my own mind, Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon was always the part of a slew of science fiction concepts, encompassing a Gulliver-like adventure where the ordinary man and intergalactic peculiar collide head-on. Technically, the 30s comic book appearance came after Buck Rogers, but I'd also say they both were heavily influenced by the works of Edgar Rice Burroughs, and specifically John Carter Of Mars.

But, as well syndicated as the Flash Gordon comic strip was, it was the three serial films starring Buster Crabbe as Flash, the first appearing in 1936, that really lit the rocket on this particular character. The amazing longevity of these serials meant that I saw them as a child in Saturday morning cinema screenings, and they regularly appeared on »

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[DVD Review] Red Skelton Whistling Collection

28 June 2010 9:30 AM, PDT | | See recent JustPressPlay news »

It’s become a cliché to say that they 'don’t make ‘em like they used to,' and I doubt that very many people have actually taken the time to check the veracity of that claim. When things like that are said, however, it’s usually in reference to comedians like Red Skelton. A physical comedian of the radio era, Skelton specialized in witty asides and weird sounds in the way that, well, most film comedians did at the time and still mostly do today. Taken together, it’s hard not to see why the Whistling films collected here (Whistling in the Dark, Whistling in Dixie, and Whistling in Brooklyn) didn’t become classics, but more interesting yet is the collective revelation that, despite the great gulf in time, things are continuing just the way that they have been for some time.

Whistling in the Dark introduces Wally Benton »

- Anders Nelson

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