Revisiting…Boyz n the Hood (1991)

Almost thirty years have passed since the release of John Singleton’s controversial drama, and the movie has lost none of its power. In fact, it is hard to imagine a film of its nature existing in today’s censored climate.

Back in 1991, the infamous L.A. riots were just around the corner, and rap was more than just a vehicle for cynical, white-collar marketing. Thanks to certain creative freedoms, the racially oppressed still had something of a mainstream voice, and movies were allowed to champion unpopular opinions.

Fast-forward three decades and the themes featured in Boyz n the Hood have been stylized to such a degree that its characters have been reduced to impotent stereotypes, its situations diluted beyond parody…

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The Bruce Campbell Factor

A couple of weeks ago a fellow writer and I had a discussion regarding Bruce Campbell’s Unified Theory of Jessica Alba.

As a result of that conversation, I began thinking about other actors who have made significant impacts on popular culture. There is a concept that exists about Kevin Bacon called Six Degrees of Separation that everyone has played with at one time or another. If you aren’t familiar with it, you take a Kevin Bacon movie and try to connect him to other actors…

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Revisiting…Sexy Beast (2000)

The opening scene of Sexy Beast is one of great comical foreboding.

Retired safe-cracker Gal, played with subtle potency by the wonderful Ray Winstone, is your typical Brit abroad, a red lobster baking in the Spanish heat and loving every minute of it. His dysfunctional family consists of his beloved partner Dee Dee, an ex porn star with just as much reason to escape her homeland, another gangland couple with a similarly unfortunate past, and a young Spanish boy who performs chores around Gal’s villa with the adoring smile of an adulating son…

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Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers (1988)

I have to be honest; this is not what I was expecting at all.

On the surface it is everything you would imagine it to be. It is a movie about chainsaw wielding nutjobs masquerading as barfly hookers. It is grainy filters and sordid, neon-lit streets, a visual scattergun that would leave the likes of Tarantino creaming themselves as buckets of blood and viscera splash against sopping pairs of heaving bosoms. It is B-movie acting, porn star extras, and enough sleaze to leave you slick with delight…

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Arnie’s Top 10 Movie Puns – Part One

When it comes iconic figures, there are none more recognisable than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Born to stringent communist parents in a small town with a population of just over 2,000, Arnie would burst to fame in bodybuilding documentary Pumping Iron. With his docile accent, Arnold hardly seemed like a superstar in the making, but next to his musclebound co-stars the cocksure kid from Thal shone brightest. In spite of his oppressed upbringing Arnold was frank, confident, quick-witted and erudite – all of the qualities required to succeed as a likeable mainstream presence…

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Revisiting…The Naked Gun Trilogy

Airplane will always be the original Zucker/Abrahams absurdity, and there were a few other notable efforts in-between, but for me The Naked Gun is the pinnacle of their deadpan genius, and there is nothing you can suggest that will ever change my mind.

There are perhaps a number of reasons for my particular bias, but the most telling is the fact that I saw The Naked Gun long before I did its puerile predecessor, and by the time I got around to finally seeing Airplane – of which I had acquired lofty expectations – the comedy seemed just a little watered down by comparison…

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Intruder (1989)

Intruder is something of an anomaly.

Made at the tail-end of the 1980s, it was released long after the MPAA had stepped in to curtail the wanton bloodlust of the slasher boom, an imposition on civil liberties that would lead to years of the kind of tepid horror that would turn the genre stale. Just as Jason Voorhees was setting sail for Manhattan in perhaps the most censored of an ever-diluting formula, director Scott Spiegel let rip with his supermarket splatterfest of ingeniously depraved proportions…

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