Enjoy our best features as we enjoy our vacation.
It’s July. The sun is shining and the weather’s nice. Screaming Blue Reviews is suspending publication this week to get out and enjoy some time off but also to get caught up on our movie watching. We’ve got a full DVR and several new indies to check out, so our work is cut out already.
While we’re having fun, we suggest you check out some of these other reviews and features we’ve published over the last few months. We hope you like them. Join us when we return Monday, July 20 with our review of this summer’s brainy science fiction spectacle Moon.
1. We love gangster movies for a lot of reasons, not least of which is their amazing resonance with the times surrounding them. Our Road To Gangsterland feature looks back at eight decades of gangster films, including video clips from some of the best of each era. And for what it’s worth, each film discussed is better than Public Enemies, this summer’s 800lb monster of disappointment.
2. Film Noir is both the gangster movie’s successor and perennial accomplice. Summer, with its steamy heat and oppressive atmospheres, is the perfect climate to take a walk down the genre’s long and seductive side streets. Last summer we talked about five movies to make a good film noir festival, films that merit a place in any film collector’s library but provide an excellent treat for fans of the genre’s bleak worldview and sumptuous textures. There’s a video clip of the notorious scene from Kiss of Death, too, which must be viewed to be believed.
3. If crime and criminals aren’t your thing, consider the careers of seven leading men and seven leading women we think are due for major comebacks. They’re talented performers who’ve made some pretty amazing films, and to a person their presences are missed. Happy to say, but at least two of the actors – a man and a woman – mentioned on the lists have independent films circulating this summer. We hope that’s the start of a trend.
4. With so many comic book movies in the pipeline right now and so much casting news and rumors making Internet headlines, check out this list of seven lesser known comics-to-film adaptations. Some had potential, some never had a chance, some were just… weird. Marvel Comics’ stalwart Captain America has had so many big- and small-screen misfires that he rated a film retrospective all his own.
5. Reading books makes us feel smart, but we’d rather be watching movies – it takes less time and there’s usually some kind of candy. Still, we recently made a list of five books with the potential to become great movies, including ideal casts and directors to do the novels profiled justice. There’s been a surprising amount of feedback on this piece – a surprisingly low amount. Does no one else armchair produce their favorite books into blockbuster films?
6. We also enjoy crap, with our without ironic detachment. Last Thanksgiving we ran a fun piece – we can’t quite call it an expose – on all the cheap knockoffs of American film franchises to come from the nation of Turkey. Some of the video clips will very probably blow y0ur mind. Also, we grew up in the 1990s (the golden age of ironic detachment), and our piece about eight of the worst films from the decade’s first half brought back a lot of memories we were content to leave dormant. We’re also embarrassed by how many we actually saw in the theatre. Be advised each of the cinematic train wrecks profiled comes accompanied with a video clip as proof of its dubious quality.
7. Finally, every now and then we talk about a film we want to encourage people to see, either because it’s under-appreciated or has gotten somewhat obscured by the passage of time. A few are box office turkeys we think got a bad deal from their marketing or public reception. These films include the 1973 realist drama Save The Tiger with Jack Lemmon, 2006′s David Fincher-directed Zodiac, and several more we present together . We’ve also got a list of films that deserve a DVD release but haven’t gotten one yet. Life is too short to watch bad movies, and we sometimes suspect that good movies are made every day. The hard part is finding them to watch.
See you next week.
- Michael Kabel