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The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell Of Fear (1991) ***

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The Naked Gun: From The Files Of Police Squad! (1988) ***1/2

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New Year's Evil (1980) ***

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The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996) ****

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The Hunger (1983) ****

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I finally got around to seeing this and it's excellent, despite a studio mandated ending. I only wish David Bowiehad more screen time. And why did Tony Scott never make any more art films? Scott's brother Ridley was clearly a big influence because THE HUNGER is basically the vampire version of BLADE RUNNER (complete with slow-motion dove shots).

Focus On Film: Episode 36 – March 2016 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 36 is up!
Download the MP3 HERE In this episode: March 2016 Criterion CollectionTitles AnnouncementBest & Worst Of The Month – KRAMPUS (2015), THE NIGHT BEFORE(2015), THE CITY OF LOST CHILDREN(1995), STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015)Criterion Most Wanted
"Focus On Film Theme" & commercial music: Daniel Sardella

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) ****

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Christmas Evil (aka You Better Watch Out) (1980) ***1/2

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Black Christmas (1974) ****

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Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984) ***1/2

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) ****

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Babes In Toyland (1961) ***1/2

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Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas (1977) *****

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It's A Wonderful Life (1946) ****1/2

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Starcrash (1978) ***

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The best Italian STAR WARS/FLASH GORDON/BARBARELLArip-off ever.

The Verdict (1982) *****

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Fun And Fancy Free (1947) ***

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All That Heaven Allows (1955) ***1/2

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Krampus (2015) **1/2

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Hannibal (2001) ***1/2

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Fresh off re-reading the novel and having not seen this film for over 10 years, I have to say that, while I still think it's great, it's not nearly as great as I remember. Gary Oldman is a scene stealer, but Mason Verger's demise is much more interesting in the novel. Margot Verger'somission was a poor choice. And the climax of the film is but a shadow of the novel. In general, everything just feels truncated. The sequence where Hannibal is caught by Mason's hired thugs is completely different in the film as well and stems from a whole newly-written sequence which just isn't terribly good.

All that said, I don't expect films based on books to be 100% beholden to their sources and there is much to savor here - including facial expressions, the still excellent Mason makeup, and some dialogue made more concise.

Thomas Harris 'Hannibal' (1999) ****

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**SPOILERS**
This was my first time re-reading this novel since its release and I had forgotten some details but remembered much, as I've seen the film adaptation more than once. I like the film very much and have always found it underrated so I'm interested (and excited) to see how a revisit will fare, since I'd forgotten that numerous characters were left out of the celluloid adaptation. Some of them, like Jack Crawford and Ardelia Mapp, aren't essential to this story, like they were to 'The Silence Of The Lambs'.

But then there's Margot Verger. How (and why) on earth did writers David Mametand Steve Zaillianleave her out of the film?? She is so integral to the novel - her relationship with Barney, her plot against her brother, her walnut-cracking... Fortunately, her character made her way into the TV series, still as a lesbian but not a bodybuilder. The TV series also included Crawford's wife Bella and her passing, another key element from 'Lamb…

Howl's Moving Castle (2004) ***1/2

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Santa's Slay (2005) ***

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Wayne's World 2 (1993) ***

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Wayne's World (1992) ***1/2

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Eaten Alive (1976) **1/2

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Ikiru (1952) ****

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Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth (1992) ***

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Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988) ***1/2

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Hellraiser (1987) ****

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Planes, Trains And Automobiles (1987) ***1/2

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Pink Flamingos (1972) ****

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Enemy (2013) ****

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The Raven (1963) ***

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The Honeymoon Killers (1969) ***1/2

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The City Of Lost Children (1995) *****

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Focus On Film: Episode 35 – February 2016 Criterion Titles

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Focus On FilmEpisode 35 is up!
Download the MP3 HERE In this episode: February 2016 Criterion CollectionTitles AnnouncementBest & Worst Of The Month – RETURN OF THE FLY (1959), MULHOLLAND DR. (2001), TOMORROWLAND (2015), STEVE JOBS (2015)Criterion Most Wanted
"Focus On Film Theme" & commercial music: Daniel Sardella

Phantom Of The Paradise (1974) *****

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The Brood (1979) ****

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Movie Matters Podcast #35 - Halloween Special VI

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I'm very proud to present this Movie Matters Gialloween episode, which I co-hosted. Details of the episode and the download link are below, and please follow Movie Matters on Facebook and iTunes!



For this, the sixth annual Movie Matters Halloween SpecialLee Howard and Michael Mackenzie welcome back to the hosting chair Demented Danman aka Focus On Film's Daniel Sardella. On this occasion we give our autumnal 'frightivities' a twist of yellow as we hand-pick three gialli to dissect and discuss.
The movies under the analytical knife in this 'Gialloween' triple bill are: Paolo Cavara's stylishly sadistic THE BLACK BELLY OF THE TARANTULA (1971), Massimo Dallamano's undeniably sleazy but still deeply affecting 'schoolgirls in peril' mystery WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO SOLANGE? (1972), and finally an 'American giallo', the deliriously unhinged and highly controversial psychosexual thriller DRESSED TO KILL (1980), directed by Movie Matters favourite…

Mulholland Dr. (2001) ****1/2

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Moonrise Kingdom (2012) ****

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The Ice Pirates (1984) ***1/2

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