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'Jaws' Set To Scare Audiences Again As It Heads Back To Theatres For 40th Anniversary


Steven Spielberg Roy Scheider Richard Dreyfuss

Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the theatre think again, as Steven Spielberg’s terrifying 1975 horror classic Jaws is headed back to cinema’s to celebrate the film’s 40th anniversary.

Steven SpielbergSteven Spielberg first bought Jaws to cinema’s in 1975.

Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures Home Entertainment are coming together to bring the film back to theatres this summer, for a limited time on June 21 and June 24 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m in select cinemas nationwide.

Continue reading: 'Jaws' Set To Scare Audiences Again As It Heads Back To Theatres For 40th Anniversary

Jaws Trailer


When a girl leaving a beach party on Amity Island, New England goes for an evening swim in the Atlantic, she is brutally attacked and eaten by a colossal great white shark. While the Mayor refuses to close the beach out of fear that the lack of tourism that would ensue would have a huge financial backlash on the town, another person is brutally killed. A bounty is placed on the shark which motivates amateur shark-hunters to go after it. However, they only managed to capture and kill a tiger shark which, while putting the public at ease as they assume it was the same creature, raises suspicions amongst a not so easily fooled group of people in the shape of a police chef, a fisherman and a marine scientist who determinedly set out to find and destroy the real menace.

Continue: Jaws Trailer

The Shark Is Still Working Review


Excellent
The title of Erik Hollander's detail-oriented Jaws documentary reminds me of Bill Murray's off-handed Ghostbusters line, "And the flowers are still standing."

The connection is deeper than you'd think. As Shark painstakingly illustrates, Steven Spielberg and his crew employed a fair share of magic tricks during the tumultuous filming of this eventual blockbuster, and they often felt like the proverbial tablecloth was being yanked out from beneath their feet as problem after problem rode in on the crests of each wave off the coast of Martha's Vineyard.

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Chicago 10 Review


OK
The story of the 1968 Democratic Convention riots and the trial that followed would seem to have it all, with no need for sexing up. There were riots in the streets (broadcast live on TV, even), youthful heroes with a zest for the theatrical, scowling villains with little regard for decency, and the sense that the future of America was hanging in the balance. That wasn't enough, though, for director Brett Morgen (The Kid Stays in the Picture), who said that with Chicago 10 he wanted to make a film that "resonates with kids today" by being done "in a language they understand... without talking heads and a narrator and all those trappings." Thus: Animation and Rage Against the Machine on the soundtrack. The first sign, of course, that somebody will be wholly unable to effectively communicate with kids today is when they refer to them as "kids today."

Morgen's conceit with Chicago 10 -- mixing archival footage of the riot and its aftermath with animated recreations of the trial -- is not the film's problem. In fact, by breaking away from the well-worn documentarian's path of narration and flashback, Morgen does opens interesting doors for other filmmakers to follow. But the filmmakers (Morgen's main backer was Vanity Fair editor and occasional political dilettante Graydon Carter) have such a lack of faith in their own subject's inherent power that it all ends up more a gimmick than a bold new direction in non-fiction filmmaking. Medium Cool 2008 it's not.

Continue reading: Chicago 10 Review

The Punisher (2004) Review


Bad
Over the course of two hours, the Punisher, Marvel Comics' black-clad antihero (played by Thomas Jane -- now rebranded as "Tom Jane") kills more people than cardiovascular disease. Bad guys get their head split in two, knives in the throat, and shot in all kinds of sensitive places. So, why will action junkies, like myself, feel like they've been duped? Read on.

The plot stars promisingly enough. Frank Castle (Jane, *61, The Sweetest Thing) is an FBI undercover agent, the kind of guy who's so good that the Bureau moves him around for his own protection. At his final job in Tampa, he busts up a major weapons deal that kills the son of powerful crime lord Howard Saint (poor, poor John Travolta).

Continue reading: The Punisher (2004) Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

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Blue Thunder Review


Very Good
When John Badham's Blue Thunder came out I was just a kid, but the film made quite an impression on me. I didn't actually see it. And I suspect that most of the kids who told me long rambling stories about it didn't either. It was one of those school yard legends, like the one about the woman in the apartment across from the middle school who gets undressed in her window for all the world to see, or the one about the kid who was skateboarding a swimming pool and found a machine gun in the deep end. Blue Thunder was just the sweetest thing we could imagine. I mean, it was a helicopter that flew silently (so the story went) and it was all high tech and it could kill a million people in a few seconds. This was the Cold War and something like Blue Thunder just seemed too incredible. This was Ronald Reagan's secret weapon against the commies.

Of course, like all schoolyard tales it was too good to be true. "Blue Thunder" wasn't a top clandestine Commie-busting nuke firing super secret weapon; it was a cool looking helicopter that the cops used to control rioters. When I actually saw the movie a few years later, I was bummed to say the least.

Continue reading: Blue Thunder Review

The French Connection Review


Essential
The French Connection puts the majority of contemporary action movies to shame. It proves how potentially smart this genre can be, and how dumb recent action films really are. Unlike many modern-day thrillers, this film is an exciting, taut, and realistic portrayal of urban police life, but it does not fill its running time with gratuitous violence, nonstop profanity, and copious amounts of sex. Character motivation and story drive the film forward--not a needless excess of violent, antisocial behavior. It's a standout cinematic achievement that won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor (Gene Hackman), Best Film Editing, and Best Writing.

Ernest Tidyman's story follows the adventures of two New York narcotics cops, "Popeye" Doyle (Hackman), and his partner, Russo (Roy Scheider). They track a lead about a large drug delivery that develops into a plan that could entirely destroy the marijuana trade between Paris and New York.

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Naked Lunch Review


Terrible
Quick, off the top of your head, tell me all you know about this movie.

If you recalled fondly the line that Nelson said in an episode of The Simpsons after Bart uses a fake ID to get into this film ("I'll tell you two things wrong with that title"), then you're like most of America. I knew a little bit more coming in: that it was based on a novel by William S. Burroughs that is the quintessence of non-linear narrative and that it was directed by David Cronenberg.

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All That Jazz Review


Excellent
Now that both Chicago and Cabaret have been dusted off and remounted as seemingly eternal fixtures on Broadway, and the film version of Chicago was such a rousing critical and commercial success, it's a good time to take a look back at one of the stranger entries in the career of choreographer/director Bob Fosse: All That Jazz.

On the surface, the movie is the autobiographical story of Fosse going through a physical/emotional breakdown during the making of the original stage version of Chicago in the mid-1970s. Roy Scheider plays the Fosse stand-in, Joe Gideon, as a pill-popping, compulsively womanizing, perfectionist, son of a bitch who finds happiness only in his work. But Fosse rips apart the standard showbiz puff piece right from the start, by dropping viewers right into the frenzied mess of Gideon's life, and mixing up the already-fractured storyline with a recurring sequence where Gideon talks over his life with a glowing, radiant Muse figure (Jessica Lange).

Continue reading: All That Jazz Review

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Roy Scheider Movies

Jaws Trailer

Jaws Trailer

When a girl leaving a beach party on Amity Island, New England goes for an...

The Punisher (2004) Movie Review

The Punisher (2004) Movie Review

Over the course of two hours, the Punisher, Marvel Comics' black-clad antihero (played by Thomas...

Blue Thunder Movie Review

Blue Thunder Movie Review

When John Badham's Blue Thunder came out I was just a kid, but the film...

The French Connection Movie Review

The French Connection Movie Review

The French Connection puts the majority of contemporary action movies to shame. It proves...

The Punisher (2004) Movie Review

The Punisher (2004) Movie Review

Over the course of two hours, the Punisher, Marvel Comics' black-clad antihero (played by Thomas...

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