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Showing posts from February, 2017

Snowpiercer (2013)

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I think I am like most people and found out about this movie via Netflix.  Keep in mind that I am quite familiar with direct-to-video movies, enjoying many films in the 1980s and 1990s that would have been drive-in fare if that was a thing that still existed outside of a novelty at that time.  So, of course, I thought that is what Snowpiercer must be. 

As luck would have it, by the time I had found out more about it, Netflix had stopped carrying it, at least on the streaming option. But I kept hearing more and more about it, much like I had other movies I had skipped over in the past for one reason or another.

It is 2031, 17 years after the governments of the world attempted to solve global warming by spraying a chemical in the atmosphere, the world remains in a perpetual state of deep freeze due to the experiment.  Not just a normal ice age, but temperatures under which people freeze solid in a matter of minutes.

The remainder of humanity lives packed into the Snowpiercer, a train o…

Doctor Strange (2016)

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I am constantly surprised at how many movies and television shows that Marvel Studios and Disney keeps churning out.  I figured once they got the Avengers together they would just hit us with a series of those movies until the cash cow ran dry.  Instead, it seems that they are content to make standalone movies for almost every character they can find and, failing that, throw in references everywhere.

That brings us to Doctor Strange.  Another of Stan Lee and Steve Ditko's creations, he debuted in 1963 with a look similar to that of horror great Vincent Price.  Instead of getting his powers from radiation, mutation or scientific advancements, Dr. Stephen Strange learns how to control magic (as well as a healthy helping of martial arts) after an accident ends his career as a neurosurgeon.  He then goes on to use that magic to defeat the usual menagerie of bad guys.

Despite starring in several of his own comic books, the figure is marginal at best, usually appearing to aid some of t…

The Invasion (2007)

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers seems to have survived the test of time.  Jack Finney's original novel, simply titled The Body Snatchers, remains a creepy classic to this day.  And, while the novel largely worked the paranoia of people becoming slaves to routine and losing touch with their humanity, the resulting 1950s sci-fi classic used the aliens as a stand-in for America's fear of communist infiltrators during the Cold War.

The movie got a big-budget remake in 1978 and, while it didn't have the same impact as the original, it still has that nice bit of '70s nastiness that makes it enjoyable.  Too bad Abel Ferrara's 1993 version fell flat.

Thinking it was time to bring it back again, David Kajganich was hired to write a script and up and coming German director Oliver Hirschbiegel was set to direct.  Nicole Kidman got the lead, and a then not-so-well-known British actor named Daniel Craig got the supporting role.  The ideas that Kajganich came up with were differe…

The Princess Bride (1987)

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Geeks have a habit of quoting movies constantly.  I'm not just talking about movie nerds, but the geek community in general.  Not things like "Hasta la vista, baby," or "Make my day," but rather lines from Monty Python and the Holy Grail and such.  The Princess Bride happens to be one of those movies.

From people going around claiming to be Inigo Montoya to memes criticizing the misuse of the English language, this modest movie has become a part of pop culture over the last 30 years.  It goes from everything from me remembering an internet user from the early 1990s going by "Dread Pirate Roberts" to the operator of the Silk Road website using the same handle.  Whether William Goldman and Rob Reiner intended it, the film's influence equals, and often exceeds, the intended blockbusters of the 1980s.

As a young boy (Fred Savage) stays home sick in bed, his grandfather (Peter Falk) shows up to give him a bit of cheer.  Grandfather has brought along a…