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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Revisiting . . . Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon is the pinnacle of the buddy cop picture.

It is also one of the finest action movies ever put to celluloid, and is perhaps the only production to rival Die Hard as the genre’s high point. The two films have many elements in common. Both movies feature black and white partners, both are set during the Christmas period, and both feature heroes who are much more relatable than characters who have appeared in the vast majority of action vehicles. It is this relatability that is key to both movies […]

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BurgerTime – Colecovision, Intellivision, Arcade

Data East’s BurgerTime was one of my go-to arcade games as a kid.

I dug the concept of controlling the frantic and portly chef Peter Pepper, moving up, down and left and right across the stages, or dropping ingredients (buns, lettuce, tomatoes, burgers, etc.) down from above by walking over them to make hamburgers at the bottom of the screen […]

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This Month in . . .1985 (December)

The first week of December would see a limited theatrical release for Golan-Globus thriller Runaway Train. Based on a screenplay by innovative Japanese director Akira Kurosawa, the movie is also notable for the debuts of Heat’s Danny Trejo and Tommy “Tiny” Lister, who would become a professional wrestler for a brief time in the late 1980’s after starring alongside Hulk Hogan in infamous WWF stinker No Holds Barred (1989). So badly received was the World Wrestling Federation’s first foray into the movie business that CEO Vince McMahon . . .

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Revisiting . . . Suspiria (1977)

For some, Dario Argento’s first venture into the realms of the supernatural is an exercise in style-over-substance.

For one thing, there is no real plot to speak of, and the action seems peripheral at times, while the makeshift manner in which the film’s music stops and starts seems loose to the extent where you may find yourself questioning the editing. But that is precisely the point. Suspiria’s aim is not to provide us with some kind of familiar narrative; quite the opposite, in fact […]

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Revisiting . . . A Fish Called Wanda (1988)

A Fish Called Wanda may be a largely British production, but it is an American who ultimately steals the show.

This is quite ironic when you consider the competitive nature of the movie’s characters, as a gang of zany caricatures go to great lengths to snatch some comic book swag from under each other’s noses. This is British pomposity vs American showmanship, the inescapably prudish vs the bold and the brash […]

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Sonic the Hedgehog – Sega Genesis/Mega Drive

Blast processing. Sega had it, Nintendo didn’t. I had no idea what it was and most other kids didn’t either.

Of course, we now know it was a made up term used by the Sega marketing department, but that didn’t matter to us in 1991. All we knew was that there was this blue hedgehog named Sonic spinning around loop-the-loops and blazing around the screen at speeds unseen before. Commercials don’t lie, right? […]

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