Cinematic Soulmates: Death Race 2000 and The Running Man

Good satire is often timeless, even when the package it comes wrapped in is horribly dated and square according to current standards.  Such is the case with this month’s double feature.  Both Death Race 2000 (1975) and The Running Man (1987) contain social commentary that is eerily relevant to the events of today, despite several aesthetic trappings that root them […]

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Ms. Silver Screen: Jane Russell Tribute

On February 28, 2011 the world lost an iconic beauty. Jane Russell was the original bombshell. She was voluptuous, witty, and sharp as a tack. The woman didn’t take guff from anyone. Her on-screen presence raised some eyebrows – and pulses – in her bosom-bearing roles. Her first feature film, The Outlaw, had Hollywood censors sweating. They delayed the release […]

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Ms. Silver Screen: Explosive Summer Blockbusters

Now that summer is officially here and heating things up – albeit sporadically (crazy Chicago weather) – the cinema is heating up as well. We should all celebrate the fact that we made it through movie theater death – January through April at the theaters – with a look back at the hottest summer blockbusters of all time. Let’s start things […]

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Cinematic Soulmates: Ran and Once Upon a Time in the West

Sometimes, the connections between two films are obvious, but there are other times when a little digging is required to find a common thread that links them.  This can often yield even greater rewards, as it can open up entirely new ways of looking at both films, and can unlock things that you didn’t even realize were there.   That brings […]

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Ms. Silver Screen: Woody Allen and His Last Two Films: Midnight in Paris, You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

My introduction to Woody Allen came from the 1977 classic Annie Hall. I knew nothing of the bespectacled man before then, even though his work has been around for – quite literally – ever. In the four films of his that I have seen there have been some common characteristics. (I am almost ashamed to admit that Annie Hall, Vicky […]

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Great Moments in Cinema: Inglourious Basterds

Since the beginning of cinema, there have been movies about movies.  From Sherlock Jr. to Singin’ in the Rain to The Three Amigos, filmmakers have long been obsessed with looking inward at their own profession, and exploring the power of the medium.  Indeed, countless miles of celluloid have been expended in the effort to examine the myriad ways in which […]

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Great Moments in Cinema: There Will Be Blood

Throughout the history of cinema, filmmakers have striven to create memorable moments that will live on long after they are gone.  As a result, there have been countless indelible moments, scenes, and sequences that have left lasting imprints on the cinematic landscape, and given us some of our most powerful pop cultural iconography.  Sometimes these moments are quiet and restrained, […]

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