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Whose "Hearts And Minds" Were Really Lost In The Jungles Of Vietnam?

17 August 2014 8:42 PM, PDT

To fully recognize the impact that Hearts And Minds had on the American populace when it was released in 1974, one has to recognize just how much hadn't been said about Vietnam, a context that the film itself is acutely aware. In between the grainy atrocities and the Presidential statements that later proved to be demonstrably false, there are clips of old war movies that Hollywood used to put out on a weekly basis, full of handsome, clean-shaven soldiers charging soundstage dunes to tune of mighty bugles. The contrast couldn't be more obvious (or heavy-handed), but it's helpful to modern viewers for whom the impact of Hearts has been dulled by years of imitation. There had not yet been an Apocalypse Now or a Platoon; there might not even have been a montage of helicopters taking off from rice paddies set to "All Along The Watchtower". With that in mind, Hearts »

- Anders Nelson

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"Scanners" Continues To Blow Minds

17 August 2014 7:17 PM, PDT

Finally, a film that answers the question "can a popular gif be turned into a feature film"? Even for those who have seen it before, Scanners is less remembered than its indelible image of a man's head exploding like one of Gallagher's watermelons. It was an auspicious introduction to Canadian auteur David Cronenberg for American audiences, and it actually represented the appeal of the film rather well. The premise of Scanners is only so unique (with its secret societies and mutant powers, it feels like a dress rehearsal for one of the X-Men films), but Cronenberg is nothing if not a distinctive film-maker, and he has never been afraid to risk being ridiculous in order to get the effect that he wanted. At times, Scanners is indeed ridiculous (no more so than when people’s heads start exploding), but it is never less than engaging, and it serves as engaging »

- Anders Nelson

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