Tease the Dragon – The Big Boss

What was it about Bruce Lee that made him the eternal icon of action cinema?

He wasn’t the first star of the kung fu wave. Shaw Brothers Studio had been steadily churning out heroic martial arts fantasy flicks years before Lee got into the game, and cheaply dubbed versions were already showing up in American grindhouse theaters. He certainly was one of the most talented and innovative martial artists in history, but that alone doesn’t explain it, either.  I break it down to something simpler: Bruce Lee was the coolest son of a bitch ever to walk the Earth. He was so cool that both Steve McQueen and James Coburn were […]

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Dreaming of a Red Christmas

Ah, Christmas, a wondrous season of love, peace, and harmony. A celebration of joy and kindness.  Why then, cinematically speaking, are we so fascinated by yuletide carnage?

With the exception of Halloween, no other holiday has racked up such a body count. And I’m not only talking about horror movies here. If we add in the death toll from all the action movies set during Christmas […]

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Franchise Your Way

1992 was the year of my greatest existential crisis.

This crisis was not brought about by such trivial concerns as mortality, the nature of evil, or humanity’s place in the universe. No, the source of my angst was far more pressing. It was Alien 3.

Let me elaborate. James Cameron’s Aliens was, and still is, my favorite movie. The film is very important to me for both personal and artistic reasons. The ending left me feeling as warm and hopeful as little Newt tucked into her hypersleep cocoon. After such a satisfying conclusion, how could I resist another chance to see Ripley […]

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