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  • The Golden Blade

    The Golden Blade

    ★★

    This Arabian Knights tale stars Rock Hudson as a native of Basra who travels to Baghdad to track down his father's killer. There he meets a Baghdadi princess played by a young Piper Laurie, who channels the cute perkiness of Debbie Reynolds. Hudson, on the other hand, doesn't appear to be the least bit enthusiastic about his role in this project. The story is standard fare for this subgenre, and the production design is mediocre. This is mostly a romantic…

  • Live Flesh

    Live Flesh

    ★★★★

    I've seen a dozen of Pedro Almodóvar's films so far, and I would put Live Flesh somewhere in the top five. The story relies on a number of uncanny coincidences to get started, but once it's up and running it turns into a really intriguing character study of five individuals caught in a complicated love pentagon. This is not the erotic thriller that the title and packaging would lead one to believe, but rather a smart, serious, and yet suspenseful…

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  • The Maltese Falcon

    The Maltese Falcon

    ★★★★½

    Bogart is at his best in this classic proto-noir thriller. For a guy who played so many anti-heroes, his portrayal of Sam Spade may just be his anti-est. It's a joy to watch a movie with so many despicable yet magnetic characters. The rest of the cast is phenomenal as well, and the rapid-fire dialogue is some of the best of its era. If the film has a flaw, it may be that it's TOO talky. Would it have killed…

  • Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

    Doc Savage: The Man of Bronze

    ★★★★★

    This '70s adventure flick, based on the popular action hero of 1930s and '40s pulp fiction, is a whole lot of fun. It's not an origin story; you're just expected to know who Doc Savage is and what his powers are. I didn't have a clue, and I doubt many viewers of the '70s would have known much about him either. From what I can tell, Savage is a superior athlete, a scientific genius, and seems to possess some knowledge…