Geena Davis

long kiss

Before we begin, let’s take a moment to clarify that headline: The Long Kiss Goodnight is not a masterpiece. Sorry to break it to you, Renny Harlin, but your finest work falls just short of Lawrence of Arabia and all those other films about schoolteachers discovering their killer pasts. Harlin’s career is full of highs and lows, including last weekend‘s The Legend of Hercules, but everything about Harlin’s “style,” from even his lowest points, came into focus for 1996’s The Long Kiss Goodnight. When Harlin’s name shows in the opening credits for his quasi-spy thriller, a grenade appears, appropriately (and visually) declaring this is the director’s most explosive outing yet. Harlin maintains a jovial energy through the film’s entire runtime, but much of the its success is attributed to screenwriter Shane Black. Black’s sensibility rings loud and clear underneath Harlin’s bombast: a dark sense of humor, an unlikely duo at the center, inventive set pieces, and clever setups and payoffs.

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It’s called a character arc, and everybody has one. It’s the progression of a character throughout a film as they go from “A” to “B” and change emotionally, intellectually, and physically along the way. It exists because nobody sane wants to watch two hours of some dude sitting in a chair…which just so happens to be the story of how this very list was made. When it comes to action, horror, and any other fast-paced genre of film, one of the best things about watching the characters adapt is that since the environment they exist in is so do-or-die, there is a incredibly steep learning curve – so by the end of the film, you most likely have a completely different person you started with…and considering that they are still alive, they probably got way, way more badass along the way.

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Twenty-five years after its initial release, David Cronenberg’s The Fly is thought to be a modern classic, a highly effective mixture of science, romance, and terror that pulled in a much greater audience than the horror fans looking for a cheap thrill. Cronenberg has always been a director poised on horror as a higher art, a filmmaker who understands the grotesque and how much it is apparent in real life. Some, myself included, call The Fly his master work, and Cronenberg, a very intelligent speaker about all things, not just his own work, has much to offer the viewers of his film and the listeners of the commentary he provides that film. So here, without any further ado or buzz or flitting around your head or what have you, the things we learned from David Cronenberg’s commentary on The Fly.

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Every day, come rain or shine or internet tubes breaking, Film School Rejects showcases a trailer from the past. What’s this trailer working on? A machine that will transport Jeff Goldblum from one side of the room to another. In a word? Teleportation. But the machine demands inner pure. He was not pure. Now, his medicine cabinet has become the Brundle Museum of Natural History. Wanna see what else is inside it? Think you know what it is? Check out the trailer after the jump.

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For 36 days straight, we’ll be exploring the famous 36 Dramatic Situations by presenting a film that exemplifies each one. From family killing family to prisoners in need of asylum, we brush off the 19th century list in order to remember that it’s still incredibly relevant today.

Whether you’re seeking a degree in Literature, love movies, or just love seeing things explode, our feature should have something for everyone. If it doesn’t, please don’t make us watch as your body parts fall off.

Part 27 of the 36-part series takes a look at “Fatal Imprudence” with The Fly.

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Junkfood Cinema

Editor’s Note: Toni Salisbury is guest-writing this week on behalf of her husband who is taking one of those breaks that you need after eating 18 hot pockets on a “dare.” Welcome back, Cinema Junkies. Your regular host–the connoisseur of crap, maitre d’ miserable, reviewer of the rotten and lover of lost causes, Brian Salisbury–is taking a brief hiatus to restock his celluloid pantry with the most fattening films he can find. And like a doting father loathes to leave his child with a strange, menacing babysitter for the first time, he asked Mrs. Junkfood to smooth the transition. Which I would do if this column WOULD JUST STOP SCREAMING! THEN I WOULDN’T HAVE TO SHAKE IT! (note: I have never shaken a baby, and neither should you. Ever.) With that in mind, I invite the reader to indulge his (or her) weekly appetite for the ridiculously bad (and bad-for-you) film and food pairing that is Junkfood Cinema. Since nature documentaries are hardly ever anything but vegan-like in mental effect, I chose to review the only film I repeatedly watch that both lowers my IQ and raises my cholesterol at the same time. It is the most pungent of the stinkers, the limpest of the flops, feature-filmiest of B movies–and my personal go-to-in-the-dark-of-night-when-no-one’s-around-and-God-help-you-if-you-catch-me-watching-this-guilty-pleasure movie: Cutthroat Island.

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mwl-leagueoftheirown

“We are the members of the All American League. We come from cities near & far. We have got Canadians, Irish ones & Swedes. We are all for one, we are one for all, we are all American!”

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published: 12.19.2014
A-
published: 12.18.2014
C-
published: 12.17.2014
B+


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