Seven (1995)

September 9, 2020 — David Fincher is no stranger to receiving ample accolades, but that wasn’t quite the case when he first took on Seven, a neo-noir psychological thriller based around the Seven Deadly Sins. Three years earlier, he directed the often criticized Alien 3, a movie he has since separated himself from in order to save face. With Seven, Fincher aimed to prove that studio interference of the third Alien movie resulted in a production skewered by complications and that his directorial skills weren’t able to shine in their entirety. Well, even if it wasn’t he was aiming for, it was exactly what he accomplished.

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The Terminator (1984)

September 2, 2020 — In 1984, Arnold Schwarzenegger was nowhere near the household name that he is now. The bodybuilder already had a few mainstream hits with the Conan movies, but it wasn’t until The Terminator that he started his journey towards Hollywood royalty. The Terminator gave Arnold a chance to play the villain early in his career and let Mr. Universe show that he had some acting range and not just an impressive physique. Of course, Arnold is only one piece of the puzzle that made The Terminator a pop-culture phenomenon.

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The Breakfast Club (1985)

August 26, 2020 — John Hughes has so many notable hits under his belt, from Home Alone to Ferris Bueler’s Day Off to Uncle Buck. So why is it that we always get hung up on The Breakfast Club. There’s a good chance that, if it’s playing on TV, you’ll stop flipping channels and suffer through commercials to watch it. I’m not even a huge fan, and even I know that, if it’s circulating on cable, I’ll get sucked back into that stupid library. But what is it about The Breakfast Club that draws us back in time and time again? Is it a great movie? Truth be told, I really don’t think so, but it also doesn’t have to be. 

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Aliens (1986)

August 19, 2020 — You can count on your hands the number of sequels that are better than the original, and Aliens is one of them. It’s no surprise when you know that the legendary James Cameron was the writer and director of this infamous sequel. There is no doubt that the man responsible for the first two Terminator movies, Titanic, and Avatar would be able to take on another brilliant director’s work and build on it. There is no shortage of love for this movie, but it may be even better than most people realize.

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The Evil Dead (1981)

August 12, 2020 — We think of horror icons as the grotesque monstrosities and unstoppable specters that embed themselves in our minds and haunt our dreams. They’re the Jasons and Freddys and Leatherfaces of the movie industry, revered for their impact on the genre. It’s strange to think, then, that a common goof with truly nothing special about him could stand up with these greats. Ashley “Ash” J. Williams (Bruce Campbell) may not disembowel hapless teenagers for a living, but the one-armed man is no stranger to leaving piles of bodies wherever he goes. 

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Strange Days (1995)

August 6, 2020 — The fact that this movie was a major box office bomb is mind-blowing in retrospect. It has all of the hallmarks of a classic, but it only made $8 million at the box office, a number that was paltry even back in 1995 when this film was released. When you compare that to its $42 million budget, it’s surprising that anyone made it out of production with a job. The problem wasn’t the content of the film – it was more about the timing. Though the film is set in 1999 and the New Year’s Eve of 2000, it has aged like a fine wine and is possibly more relevant now than it was in its initial release.

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Jumanji (1995)

July 29, 2020 — 1995 certainly was a wild ride! We explored the depths of the Congo, revisited the heyday of Sin City, took part in a deadly cross-dimensional tournament, visited a world overtaken by the sea, and made friends with talking toys. It was, to say the least, a busy year!

That aside, we still had time for one very important and poignant tale. It was that of little Alan Parrish, the young boy who, in 1969, was allegedly chopped to bits by his gruff and stern father, Samuel (Jonathan Hyde). At least, that was the story circulated through the decaying town of Brantford, NH, before it became overrun by the wild monkeys, stampeding rhinos, and deadly mosquitos of Jumanji… Read More »

The Lost Boys (1987)

July 22, 2020The Lost Boys is widely regarded as a cult classic, but should it? Sure, almost all of its cast went on to do great things, but that by itself doesn’t make for a great movie. The truth is that The Lost Boys was a flawed movie, but only in one particular way. For the most part, The Lost Boys is an enjoyable movie, but there is one thing that may spoil its legacy.

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Predator (1987)

July 15, 2020 — The 80s were one wild ride for Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

He kicked them off as a loinclothed barbarian and ended them as the unlikely twin brother of Danny DeVito. Somewhere in the middle, he traveled back in time as a futuristic murderbot, was trapped inside a deadly game show, and took up arms against a band of expert mercenaries. Amidst all that, he still had time to go toe-to-toe with an intergalactic hunter with a penchant for spinal columns and a weakness against mud.

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“JAWS” movie poster cut (June 20, 1975)

Jaws (1975)

July 9, 2020 — It’s hard to categorize Jaws into a genre. It has elements of drama, suspense, comedy, and horror, and I guess that may be why it’s one of the best movies ever made. Based on a book by Peter Benchley and directed by Steven Spielberg, Jaws may have had a rough production that threatened its future, but there’s no denying its place in classic cinema today. When you mix in one of the most iconic music features of all time by the incomparable John Williams, you get an essential Criterion Collection film that may be in the top ten of all time.

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