Allan Rich

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Rise: Blood Hunter Review


Grim
I suppose, if anything, the fact that there is a new vampire flick out every month suggests that vampires -- in their black leather incarnation -- have become cinema mainstays. It's like Christmas music in November, just part and parcel of the great American experience.

Sure, the vampire myth has been with us forever. One of the very first films was a vampire movie. We are indeed obsessed with these blood-sucking trollops. And yet, lately, the vampire film has fallen into a rut that I worry it can never pry itself out of. We don't see the vampires of yesteryear anymore. Gone are green skinned, hairy-eared ghouls that haunted graveyards and sucked the blood from corpulent women. Gone are the baby-bird-headed stick figures that lurked in foggy London alleyways. Today vampires are all glamorous, leather-bound martial arts experts. They have great hair (that's a side-effect of living forever), nice shoes, and groove to industrial music. They are the Goth fashionistas who are as infatuated with sucking blood as they with collecting Ferraris and having swanky parties.

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'Pre-Mother's Day' charity event held at Sugar on La Brea

Allan Rich Wednesday 9th May 2007 'Pre-Mother's Day' charity event held at Sugar on La Brea Los Angeles, California

Quiz Show Review


Good
People have tried to peg the "end of American innocence" on all sorts of things -- Vietnam, Watergate, the nuclear arms race -- but Robert Redford is, I believe, the first and only person to blame the decline of western civilization on the 21 game show scandal of the 1950s. But there you have it: A curious incident from the past -- and an inevitability, really -- in which upstanding blueblood Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes in a very memorable role) gets caught up in a fixed game show, bringing the show and its producers (but ultimately, no one else) to its knees. Strangely, for such a buildup -- and Redford manages to build quite a snowball of drama in all of this, full of heroes and antiheroes -- the payoff is a real letdown. America survived the quiz show scandals, and trying to overblow the impact of what amounts to a novelty investigation rings a little bit false.

Highlander II: The Quickening Review


Unbearable
I make no secret of the fact that I think The Highlander is the greatest action film ever made. Awesome swordfights might awesome score (by Queen, people!), and a time-bending plotline that only a philistine could dislike.

Today, 18 years, four sequels, two TV shows, and one video game later, Highlander has become a bit of a joke. And here's where the joke started: Highlander II: The Quickening -- retitled simply Highlander 2 for what is the most inexplicable double-DVD release ever to hit video stores.

Continue reading: Highlander II: The Quickening Review

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