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  • The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

    ★★★½

    The fictional German aristocrat Baron Hieronymus Karl Friedrich Freiherr von Munchausen was created in 1785 as a conduit for author Rudolf-Erich Raspe’s fanciful tales of absurdity and social and political satire. Munchausen had been a familiar name in literary circles for more than 200 years before writer-director and former Monty Python member Terry Gilliam embarked on making a film based on the ‘life’ of the Baron. A lavish and almost cartoonishly flamboyant adventure, the film stars John Neville as the…

  • The 'Burbs

    The 'Burbs

    ★★★★

    Director Joe Dante has made a career of peeking behind the white picket fences of suburban America and making films about the mysteries and horrors he finds there. In The Howling in 1978 he found werewolves. In Gremlins in 1984 he found an entire species of murderous little monsters. In 1989’s The Burbs, however, what Dante found was that, sometimes, the monsters are us. It’s a comedy-horror that explores the concept of the ‘nosy neighbor,’ and stars Tom Hanks as…

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  • Us

    Us

    ★★★★

    Us is the sophomore effort of writer-director Jordan Peele, who took the box office by storm, and won critical praise, for his debut film Get Out in 2017. Both films are nominally horror films, with Us being more traditionally scary than Get Out was, but both films also delve much deeper into a whole host of political and sociological issues that most genre films don’t touch. Us provides scares a-plenty, but also takes its time to offer ruminations on identity,…

  • Rain Man

    Rain Man

    ★★★★

    There is a great serendipity in how Hans Zimmer became the film music megastar he is. Back in 1985 Zimmer co-scored the film My Beautiful Launderette with his mentor, Stanley Myers, when he was still a fresh-faced youngster working in London. That film was produced by Sarah Radclyffe, the co-founder of Working Title Pictures, who in 1988 produced A World Apart, the directorial debut feature of acclaimed cinematographer Chris Menges. That film was the first significant solo project of Zimmer’s…