[rating=4]Starring: Fernando Tieve, Eduardo Noriega, Marisa Paredes, Federico Luppi Director(s): Guillermo Del Toro Writer(s): Guillermo Del Toro, Antonio Trashorras and David Munoz
When the opportunity presented itself for me to return to journalism, I pounced on it. Years after my self-imposed retirement, I began writing DVD reviews for this site because I knew it offered the perfect opportunity to do something I really love to do: champion movies — great movies — movies that slipped under the radar of even the most film-savvy cinephiles. Case in point, The Devil’s Backbone.
In most American movies leading men are not given emotional lives, they’re given emotional moments. Chiefly, they’re given tasks, even in romantic comedies — reclaim the prize, win the girl, slay the dragon. It’s the Alpha Male as hero. In this regard, the deeply-romantic comedy Don Juan DeMarco is a welcome exception.
[rating=4]Starring: Walter Matthau, Jerry Stiller, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam and Hector Elizondo Director(s): Joseph Sargent Writer(s): Screenplay by Peter Stone, Based upon the novel by John Godey
The number 6 train out of Pelham Park pulls to an unscheduled stop between stations, nesting in a cavernous tunnel below 23rd Street in Manhattan. A dignified man with a mustache and glasses wearing a wool coat and fedora sits in the conductor’s booth. He is not the conductor. As the Manhattan transit system spirals into chaos, the figure calmly retrieves the two-way radio beside him, calling command central.
[rating=4]Starring: Harvey Fierstein, Matthew Broderick, Anne Bancroft and Brian Kerwin Director(s): Paul Bogart Writer(s): Harvey Fierstein, based upon his play
“You know, there are easier things in this life than being a drag queen,” female impersonator Arnold Beckoff says in the opening monologue of Torch Song Trilogy. “But I ain’t got no choice. See,” he murmurs sadly, “try as I may… I just can’t walk in flats.”
Bawdy, quick-witted and proudly sentimental, Torch Song Trilogy was the odds on favorite to be the first gay-themed motion picture to cross into mainstream (read: straight) success. Before the film was released in 1988, it tested through the roof at LA and Midwestern previews. In a business where studio execs pray for a 50% approval from such screenings, and 75% augers a hit, Torch Song was testing in the mid-90’s, with audiences saying they’d definitely recommend the film to friends.
Starring: Everett McGill, Ron Pearlman, Nameer El-Kadi, and Rae Dawn Chong Director(s): Jean-Jacques Annaud Writer(s): Screenplay by Gerard Brach, Based upon the novel by: J.H. Rosny, Sr.
What do Hellboy, a cavity search by London police, and two wooly mammoths running through suburbia have in common? They are all in some way directly connected to one of the most original motion pictures ever made — Quest for Fire (alternate title: “La Guerre du Feu”). Though practically forgotten today, Quest broke box office records at New York’s Ziegfeld and LA’s Cinerama Dome theaters when it premiered in February, ‘82, beating out the previous record-holder, Close Encounters of the Third Kind.