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  • Freebie and the Bean

    Freebie and the Bean

    ★★★★★

    There's more ingenuity, heft and irreverence in any 10 minute chunk of this raucous buddy cop pic from 1974 than in the entire run of the homogenized, mass appeal "Lethal Weapon" franchise. It surely won't be to everyone's tastes, but my God did it earn my admiration.

    Veering close to running off the rails throughout, and often offensive, Director Richard Rush ("The Stunt Man") must have had balls of steel pulling this off, as I can't think of a more…

  • The Professionals

    The Professionals

    ★★★★★

    "You BASTARD!"
    "Yes, Sir. In my case an accident of birth. But you, Sir...you're a self-made man."

    My father, who turned 84 (!) last week, was informed a few days later that the small, rural, non-denominational church he's been the pastor of for the last 18 years has decided to move in a new direction, and won't be needing his services any longer. While he understands the move, I know this hurt him. So I was determined to spend this…

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  • Black Magic M-66

    Black Magic M-66

    ★★★★

    Anime Marches On! 2018 Challenge
    3/5 from the 80's

    I can understand the constant comparisons to The Terminator, and claims of this being derivative...but let's be fair and give this 80's anime gem its due.

    It's based on the 1983 cyberpunk manga of the same name, which predates almost everything reviewers are comparing it to (including the 1984 Arnold Schwarzenegger sci-fi favorite). While it does differ from the manga, the runaway female battle android, subsequent military pursuit, and many of…

  • The Cat Piano

    The Cat Piano

    ★★★★½

    Talk about craft! Give yourself an 8-minute treat today, and seek out this exquisitely rendered noir-fueled animated treasure...which also happens to be narrated by the "Godfather of Goth" himself, Nick Cave!

    Featuring a cast of mostly human-like felines, the story is told by a poet who loves working at his typewriter with his window open, listening to the sounds of the city...especially its rich musical culture. He's especially enamored with the beauty and voice of a female singer, who serves…

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  • The Deadly Spawn

    The Deadly Spawn

    ★★★★

    What an imaginative, low budget horror gem. Made with passion and ingenuity, Douglas McKeown's 1983 cult favorite is an easy film to root for.

    Shot on 16 mm for a paltry $25,000, and mounted by a swath of first-timers behind and in front of the camera, you can feel the enthusiasm from the cast and crew leaping off the frame. Cribbing from cinematic influences such as “Alien” and “The Blob”, this is simply pure, lean, beastie feature fun. Shot in…

  • Cannonball

    Cannonball

    ★★★★

    David Carradine's tight pants bulge deserved its own steadicam.

    First viewing, and not surprisingly I loved this. What a treasure trove for die-hard fans of Corman's cast of regulars and New World Pictures. This and "The Gumball Rally" came out just over a month of one another in the Summer of '76, and both are easily superior to the more popular and successful film they directly led to..."Cannonball Run". Paul Bartel's entry to the 'large cast, long distance illegal vehicular…