For the generation that cut their teeth on classic Universal horror movies, Boris Karloff is, was, and will always be the definitive Frankenstein monster. What “The Man Behind the Monster” seeks to do is act as an appetizer for the aspiring horror buff who hasn’t quite been lucky enough see much of Karloff’s work. Karloff was a man who was powerful on-screen even in to his old age; “The Man Behind the Monster” explores the powerful actor, and his tumultuous career that survived through political controversies, and the Hays Code.
There was simply too much released in 2021 to catch everything that I wanted to, or intended to see before the end of the year. That’s either a great thing or a bad thing depending on your schedule. In either case, with the influx of movies being released every single week, I managed to catch some fantastic gems that kept me entertained, thriller, and stunned. 2021 had its share of stinkers, but it also bounced back from the lull in 2020 with some bangers, to boot. This is ten of the best I saw this year.
Of course I’ll still be playing catch up with 2021 over the next month.
The story of Video Music Box is long, long overdue. Video Music Box existed in a world where everyone “wanted their MTV.” While MTV hesitated to play music from people of color well in to the eighties, “Video Music Box” was a New York institution that proudly played music videos and performances from African American and minority artists that were legendary and up and comers, and for that it continues to be heralded by iconic music artists.
The last time we saw Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz’s life brought to the big screen was nearly twenty years ago in the glossy biopic “Lucy.” Director and Hollywood obsessive Aaron Sorkin brings to audiences a less than glamorous depiction of the masterminds that were Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Not only were the pair of Hollywood moguls, tabloid fodder, intense actors and controlling masters to their staff of writers and caretakers, but behind the scenes they were consistently at war with one another. Whether it was a clash of egos, or two people just too explosive to stay together, Sorkin shows us why the world is still enamored with Lucy and Desi.
On Demand and Digital for the First Time Ever on October 19th, “Smoke and Mirrors” is one of the many documentaries exploring the life and work of Tom Savini. For those unaware, Savini is a legendary make up artist that’s contributed to some of the most iconic horror movies of all time. Behind the man and his make up is the story of a man who has spent most of his life second guessing himself and considering himself the black sheep among his talented group of siblings.
Meyer Lanksy hires a writer to tell his story, but with conditions such as he cannot published until allowed. While he tells his life story, the Feds investigate him one last time in the hope of finding his stash of money.
With the advent of technology and the destruction of the concept of celebrity, there are many movies like “Kid 90” coming to theaters and VOD. It’s an important trend of movies that discuss the pitfalls, perils, and hazards of being a child movie or TV star in any decade. Soleil Moon Frye allows a somewhat unfiltered look in to her not so happy childhood that involved a lot of pressure, a business that seemingly abandoned her, and being sexualized at the age of thirteen.