REVIEW: The Dark Crystal [1982]

“The great conjunction is the end of the world! … Or the beginning.” I’ll say right now that a little fright never harmed my adolescence so kudos to Jim Henson for sticking to his guns in bringing “family film” and potential nightmare inducing adventure The Dark Crystal to life. Anyone who spied upon Brian Froud’s creature design should have been aware of how dark the proceedings would turn out, but you can’t blame surprise either considering the Henson name in 1982 was only synonymous with those cute characters known as…

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REVIEW: Brewster’s Millions [1945]

“A few days or thereabouts” It just goes to show how little I know that I found myself utterly perplexed after seeing a Brewster’s Millions film still in black and white and without Richard Pryor. Further than that: I not only didn’t know the comedian’s starring vehicle was a remake, I had no clue just how many adaptations there were of George Barr McCutcheon‘s novel. There’s a ton, all seemingly predating this one from director Allan Dwan that appears to be the second best known behind Pryor’s romp (which I…

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Posterized Propaganda January 2016: The Top 10 Movie Posters of 2015

“Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover” is a proverb whose simple existence proves the fact impressionable souls will do so without fail. This monthly column (with a special year-end retrospective today) focuses on the film industry’s willingness to capitalize on this truth, releasing one-sheets to serve as not representations of what audiences are to expect, but as propaganda to fill seats. Oftentimes they fail miserably. It hasn’t been a great year for domestic movie poster design. Yes there are always a handful to admire each month, but that’s not…

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DESIGN: Leo Minor Industries

Leo Minor Industries is the brainchild of Charles Gattie. His first product is a modular display system for miniature figures. It’s a pretty cool plinth and base system wherein you can build pyramids of levels that become fully customizable depending on how creative your ambitions prove. The idea for the logo was simple: Charlie asked for a purple heraldic lion on a stainless steel shield. I went through a few different relief sculptures from European architecture as a blueprint and built it from there.

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REVIEW: Hell and Back [2015]

“If you’re a priest or a nun, that’s funny. You wasted your life.” You may have noticed posters for the R-rated, stop-motion animated comedy Hell and Back throughout the summer and fall seasons in anticipation of its October release only to find it didn’t come to a theater near you. It was released and took in about $150,000 on the few screens it graced to the chagrin of a ton of hopeful Nick Swardson fans complaining on the movie’s Facebook page about their inability to watch. So January 5th brings…

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DESIGN: 2015 In Music

Tracklisting:Disc 11. “Until We Can’t (Let Go)” • Passion Pit • 04:06 • Kindred, Columbia Records2. “The Business of Emotion” • Big Data (feat. White Sea) • 04:07 • 2.0, Wilcassettes / Warner Bros.3. “Shine” • Years & Years • 04:16 • Communion, Polydor / Interscope4. “Caribbean” • Astro • 04:40 • Chicos de la luz, Nacional Records5. “Don’t Panic” • Ellie Goulding • 03:16 • Delirium, Polydor6. “Joy Rides” • MUTEMATH • 04:01 • Vitals, Wojtek / Caroline7. “S.O.B.” • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats • 04:07 • Nathaniel Rateliff…

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REVIEW: The Hateful Eight [2015]

“Well I’ll be double-dog damned” It appears Quentin Tarantino has decided to go back to his roots by making his eighth feature film The Hateful Eight in the same vein as his debut Reservoir Dogs—namely keeping sets and actors to the bare minimum for added tension without room for escape. The maneuver couldn’t have come sooner with its predecessor Django Unchained, despite earning an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, proving to me his weakest work. Not only was it pretty much a watered-down rehash of Inglourious Basterds, it was also…

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REVIEW: Gremlins [1984]

“What’d you call this? The putrid stage?” There had been gremlins in existence before the diminutive green monsters screenwriter Chris Columbus, director Joe Dante, and creature creator Chris Walas imagined and yet theirs are the ones we immediately think about when the word is uttered. The design is a far cry from Bugs Bunny’s colorful adversary in 1943’s “Falling Hare” or the human sized counterpart opposite William Shatner in the 1963 “Twilight Zone” episode “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and by far the creepiest. From their reptilian skin, mucus covered sharp…

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REVIEW: The Muppet Christmas Carol [1992]

“Heeeeyyy. You’re not Charles Dickens.” Not having seen The Muppet Christmas Carol in over a decade made me forget how effective an adaptation it is of Charles Dickens‘ classic tale. It helps that I’ve seen other iterations in the meantime, especially the one from 1951 starring Alastair Sim which Brian Henson‘s version works hard to closely mimic. There are obvious excisions such as Ebenezer Scrooge’s sister and additions like manufacturing Jacob Marley a brother named Robert so Statler and Waldorf can both get in on the fun, but for the…

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REVIEW: Star Wars: The Force Awakens [2015]

“There’s still light inside of him” First thing’s first: there’s probably spoilers in this review. Because let’s face it, anything besides me plainly stating that I loved it is construed as a spoiler to a fandom as intense as that of George Lucas‘ Star Wars saga. Will I go into lineages and deaths? No. Does J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, and Michael Arndt‘s script seem to care about keeping such things secret in the context of this return adventure? No. But I’ll still leave it for their intuitive and refreshingly blunt…

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REVIEW: Point Break [2015]

“Do you own a suit, son?” We’ve officially come full circle. Point Break arrived in 1991 with more cheese than a Green Bay Packers game and ten years later a fresh generation got to enjoy an ambiguous cops and robbers romp that moved the same basic plot from ocean to streets with The Fast and the Furious. It’s probably an obscure connection at best, but the cinematographer of than unofficial remake, Ericson Core, just happens to now be the man to bring a brand new version of the original story…

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