With the remake of The Mechanic hitting theaters, Jeff Johnson checks out the original 1972 original Charles Bronson film.
25 years ago, with the U.S. release of Brazil, director Terry Gilliam took on a major Hollywood studio and won.
As Young Sherlock Holmes turns 25, this week’s Revival House takes a look back.
The Reaper respects no holiday, and so it is that two film luminaries passed this past weekend. The first, Leslie Nielsen, needs no introduction. While he first came to notoriety as a dramatic actor, with the sci-fi classic Forbidden Planet jumping immediately to mind, it was his string of spoofs with the Abrhams and Zuckers of the world that will immortalize him – Dr. Rumack in Airplane!, Lt. Frank Drebin in the Naked Gun films. There are too many gags, one-liners and pratfalls to adequately reel off. So cyclical was his career that when he returned to a dramatic role, such as that in Barbara Streisand’s Nuts, it was first a shock to see him in that context, and second, a shock he was so good at it. He assumed his comedic turns so thoroughly that he made you forget the funniest aspect was he was always playing it for real. Latter spoofs from other creators like Spy Hard and Dracula: Dead and Loving It failed to fully capture the helzapoppin’ energy, and sub-machine gun …
For this week’s Revival House, Jeff Johnson takes a look back at Michael Crichton’s filming of the very first train heist.
With Skyline hitting theaters this week, Jeff Johnson looks to the skies for cool alien invasions past.
If the prospect of yet another Saw film makes you roll your eyes, you’re not alone — as Jeff Johnson explains in his latest column, it’s easy to forget just how great the first film is.
As we approach Halloween, Revival House takes a look back at the original massacre of the Texas chainsaw variety.
With Red about to hit movie screens, Jeff Johnson takes a look back at other aging movie characters who kicked some major ass.
It may be a remake, but Let Me In offers a twist on the venerable vampire genre. Jeff Johnson offers some other movies about more than just garlic and blood.
Satan takes the elevator to a theater near you in this weekend’s Devil, reminding Jeff Johnson of cinematic Beelzebubs past.
With Machete arriving in theaters this weekend, Jeff Johnson has his mind on sweet revenge — of the cinematic variety.
With Piranha 3D in theaters now, I thought it might be fun to revisit an old favorite from 1978. Movies like Piranha happened in the good old days of drive-in theaters, when a producer like Roger Corman knew that his low-budget exploitation flicks would always find an audience. The thing is, the talent pool he drew from back then is a very impressive list nowadays, including Ron Howard (1977’s Grand Theft Auto), Jonathan Demme (1974’s women-in-prison opus Caged Heat), Martin Scorsese (1972’s Boxcar Bertha), Francis Ford Coppola (1963’s Dementia 13), and Joe Dante, the director of Piranha. With Allan Arkush, Dante had previously codirected Hollywood Boulevard (1976) for Corman, but Piranha was his first solo directorial effort. I must admit a particular affinity for Dante’s films, most likely due to the fact that our brains were both warped at a very young age by watching far too many Warner Bros. cartoons. I saw Gremlins (1984) no less than six times in the theater during its run, and the underrated Explorers (1985) made my Revival House list of …
Two men, forced to work together, learning to respect each other along the way. Sometimes one is a loose cannon, sometimes they’re from different cultures, sometimes from opposite sides of the law — just about every variation of the cliché has been played out. And sometimes, despite the familiarity of it all, the results are still fun. Here are some of my favorites, starting with number 11. Red Heat (1988). “Moscow’s toughest detective. Chicago’s craziest cop. There’s only one thing more dangerous than making them mad: making them partners.” The tagline pretty much says it all. Walter Hill directs this story of a Russian cop (Arnold Schwarzenegger) forced to team with an American detective (James Belushi) to catch a Soviet drug dealer who flees to the U.S. Riddled with clichés of the genre, but nevertheless a fun ride.Shoot to Kill (1988). “A ruthless killer. A beautiful hostage. Two men follow them into the mountains. One for love. One for revenge.” FBI agent Stantin (Sidney Poitier) is forced …
I’m a little late jumping on the 50th anniversary of the release of Psycho (which opened June 16th 1960), but I had the opportunity recently to attend a special event with the San Francisco Symphony — a screening of the film while the symphony performed Bernard Herrmann’s iconic score live. Knowing what I’ve read about the reportedly temperamental Herrmann, I’m sure he would have hated to hear his music in the concert hall accompanied by the sounds of the movie. As a film music geek, I would have preferred a performance of the complete Psycho score by itself, but I still knew I was experiencing something quite special. I have to admit a couple of times that I got caught up in the film and suddenly became aware that music was playing, which is saying a lot for someone like me. There is very little doubt that director Alfred Hitchcock and composer Bernard Herrmann were masters of their craft and one of the great cinematic collaborations in the history of film. Their first film together …
Dinner for Schmucks isn’t just Steve Carell and Paul Rudd’s latest collaboration — it’s also the most recent in a long list of American remakes of French films.
Christopher Nolan’s latest movie has Jeff Johnson thinking…about movies that make you think.
With Robert Rodriguez’s Predator reboot just around the corner, Jeff Johnson looks back at the testosterone-fueled action orgy that started it all.
Thirty years ago, Airplane! arrived in theaters, changing spoof comedy, Turkish prisons, and jive-talking old ladies forever.
Jeff Johnson looks back on the big-ass shark that changed summer movies forever 35 years ago this month.
Filmgoers love to complain about everything we have to sit through before the main attraction, but there’s nothing like a great teaser trailer.
Jeff Johnson misses the days when pop culture could really surprise us — but hey, that new J.J. Abrams trailer is pretty cool, isn’t it?
In this week’s Revival House, Jeff Johnson throws a 30th birthday party for The Empire Strikes Back.
With Iron Man 2 on its way to theaters, Jeff Johnson takes a look at some great comic-to-film adaptations.
With the new Nightmare on Elm Street just around the corner, Jeff Johnson takes a fearful look back at the previous entries in the franchise.
Nearly 30 years ago, Sam Raimi redefined low-budget horror. This week, Jeff Johnson raises his boomstick in tribute.
Kick-Ass is taking all kinds of heat for the violence and profanity of Chloë Moretz’s Hit Girl, but her character is part of a long, foul-mouthed tradition.
Just in time for this week’s Clash of the Titans remake, Jeff Johnson looks back on ten of the most magical moments from special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen.
Jeff Johnson looks back at the 1976 comedy-thriller Silver Streak, the beginning of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor’s classic cinematic bromance.
With Tron Legacy on the horizon, Jeff Johnson looks back on the cult classic 1982 original.