For the life of me, I’ll never be able to figure out the glut of product biographies being unleashed on audiences. We can’t be so bereft of material that we have to have a biographical film about the development of a hand held computer. I mean, the Blackberry was important and granted, a documentary would be great, but “Blackberry” on its own is just another stale drama that tries to enhance the mundanity of the development of Blackberry and transform it in to this “Wall Street” meets Aaron Sorkin suspense film about capitalism and the cut throat industries that battled to get ahead in the tech market.
During World War 2, in Malay, a small group of American soldiers are attacked on based and in the woods, forcing them to take a stand and fight for their lives.
It’s easy to forget that once upon a time “It” was the prime example of a master class in terror. In a world that’s largely forgotten TV movies, “It” broke all kinds of barriers when it came to primetime TV movies. TV movies were mostly safe melodramas and soft thrillers that were never really about staying power. “It” came along and showed the world that not only could they be an event, but they could be as immortal as theatrical films. You’d think a documentary about a legendary TV movie wouldn’t be prime for valuable film information, but “Pennywise: the Story of IT” disproved a lot of the cynicism I had going in to it.
When I was a kid, there were two shows I would watch that always scared the bejeesus out of me. There was “America’s Most Wanted,” and then “Unsolved Mysteries.” With the latter, CBS had created what is still considered one of the definitive series of the eighties and nineties. The precursor to the true crime documentary, “Unsolved Mysteries” was a series has often been imitated but never quite duplicated. While “Unsolved Mysteries” has been popularly known for dealing in true crime, “Unsolved Mysteries” reached for a lot more.
Director Quinn Monahan’s history of “SpookyWorld” is perhaps one of the most wholesome horror documentaries that I’ve ever seen. That’s by no means a slight, but it’s a wonderful testament to the often pure and unbridled passion that the horror community is capable of. I regret to admit that in all my time I never actually heard of “SpookyWorld” but it’s one of the forefathers of the horror attraction. It set the template and the bar for other haunts and horror attractions in America and would manage to become one of the biggest, if not the biggest, Halloween theme park in the world.
One of the most common adages in the modern age is that once upon a time we used to log on to the internet to escape reality. These days we now retreat in to reality to escape the internet. The internet and technology have become such an integral part of our everyday lives that most of us aren’t truly aware of how far tech and computers have been able to reach in to the very core of our everyday existence. What began as science fiction and cheesy fodder for movies became a prophetic over arching theme in pop culture and cinema. Artists and creators predicted not only our consumption of technology but the gradual control technology has had on our lives.
When Bruce Lee entered the international movie scene, he filled a hole in pop culture and cinema that Hollywood didn’t know it needed. After his unfortunate passing in 1974 at the height of his massive popularity, one of the darker chapters of filmmaking history began: the search for the new Bruce Lee. This gave way to a massive boom in a sub-genre now regarded as “Brucesploitation.” The mission by many studios in both Asia and Hollywood was to find someone, anyone, who even remotely resembled Bruce Lee to carry the torch and become the next money making star of kung fu cinema.
If you grew up in the eighties or nineties with cable television, there was always a few occasions where you’d be cruising through the channels looking for something to watch. And there was always a chance you’d happen upon channels like Showtime, Cinemax, or HBO and inevitably stumble on to an erotic thriller. These glossy movies were made cheap, and fast, and almost always featured a hard boiled male protagonist as well as an absolutely sexy woman, and always featured softcore sex. From the late eighties to the end of the nineties, the erotic thriller was a popular facet of late night television and video store shelves.