Sunday Matinee: The Untouchables

Today’s Sunday Matinee is going to be a short one because I’m at the SaskExpo this weekend. Today’s Sunday Matinee is Brian De Palma’s 1987 hit The Untouchables.

The movie was a loose remake of the TV series and based on the supposed true book of the same name. Starring Kevin Costner as Eliot Ness and Robert De Niro as Al Capone the movie takes a fictional look at the fall of Capone. The movie is super stylish and violent with Sean Connery doing a crusty old cop and Ennio Morricone doing an awesome score.

Sunday Matinee: Point Blank

1967 was an awesome year for Lee Marvin. He not only starred in his biggest hit The Dirty Dozen, he also made the brilliant adaptation of Richard Stark’s excellent novel The HunterPoint Blank.

Directed by John Boorman who would go on to make such excellent films as Hell in the Pacific, Deliverance, Excalibur and The Emerald Forest Point Blank is a very stylish very gritty noir crime thriller.
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Sunday Matinee: Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

It’s been 40 years since Close Encounters of the Third Kind first hit theatres. It’s playing in theatres this weekend to celebrate its anniversary and despite nothing opening sadly Close Encounters of the Third Kind hasn’t rewowed audiences back like it did when it first came out.
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Sunday Matinee: The Texas Chain Saw Massacre

I was saddened to hear that filmmaker Tobe Hooper has passed away at the age of 74. His body of work started off strong in the 1970s with his legendary classic The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He would several other horror movies like Eaten Alive and Salem’s Lot. The 1980s had Hooper working with Steven Spielberg on Poltergeist which has long remained a rumour that Hooper didn’t really direct it.

He also made some fun B horror movies like Invaders From Mars and Lifeforce. Once the 1990s hit though Hooper didn’t really anything significant. In fact other than some OK TV work his movies tended to be awful. But looking back at his career I realized somehow I have never actually tackled The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. I’m not sure how I could write all those 31 Days of Horror and never feature The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Strange.
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Sunday Matinee: The Wailing

Jong-goo (Do-won Kwak) is a police officer in a small village and lives with his wife, young daughter and mother-in-law. Jong-goo is woken up and called for duty because a woman has died in the village. Upon arriving the scene it’s actually a gruesome double homicide and the killer is a catatonic blood soaked man who was caught at the scene of the crime.

It seems that there have been a lot of gruesome murders in the town lately. Jong-goo buddy and fellow police officer tells him that folks think that it’s all caused by the arrival of a Japanese man (Jun Kunimura) who is living outside the town. He also tells him that a friend of his saw the Japanese man running around in the woods, naked except a loin cloth feeding on deer like an animal. Jong-goo doesn’t believe the story and both men are startled by a naked woman standing in the doorway of the police station. She disappears when they go look.
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Sunday Matinee: Bonnie And Clyde

Man lots of great movies are celebrating anniversaries this year. And celebrating it’s 50th anniversary today is Arthur Penn’s classic biographical crime film, 1967’s Bonnie and Clyde.

The movie was a biographical if somewhat streamlined, comedic, violent and action packed version of notorious outlaws Bonnie Parker (Faye Dunaway) and Clyde Barker (Warren Beatty). The movie takes some liberties with the actual events but it’s an awesome and entertaining movie.
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Sunday Matinee: Police Story 3: Supercop

One of Jackie Chan’s best movies turns 25 this year. It was the third in his Police Story series and the stunts in this film are nothing short of amazing.

Police Story 3: Supercop continued follow the adventures of Jackie Chan’s “supercop” Ka-Kui Chan. This time Ka-Kui has been requested by Interpol to work undercover with mainland China to capture a notorious drug dealer named Chaibat (Kenneth Tsang). The plan has Chan pretending to be a criminal and bust an associate of Chaibat’s out named Panther (Yuen Wah). Helping Chan out is a mainland Chinese cop Michelle Yeoh. Yeoh ends up posing as Chan’s sister and the two end up working for Chaibat after they bust Panther out of prison.
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Sunday Matinee: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Starting today for the next several months Cineplex is having a Studio Ghibli Anime Series added to their monthly screenings. Today and Wednesday August 2 they are playing Kiki’s Delivery Service. Today’s showing will be dubbed in English but Wednesday’s show will be in the original Japanese with English subtitles.

The next film in the series is Castle in the Sky and it will be played August 27 in English dub and August 30 in Japanese with English subtitles.
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Sunday Matinee: The Fabulous Baron Munchausen

Karel Zeman was a fantastic and amazing Czech filmmaker and animator whose work is wondrous to see. Zeman used live action and combined it with animated both hand drawn and stop motion to create amazing fantasy worlds.

Today’s Sunday Matinee is Karel Zeman’s 1961 The Fabulous Baron Munchausen. Loosely based on the Munchausen stories, this incredible fantasy follows the adventures of an astronaut who lands on the moon only to discover the crew from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon, Cyrano de Bergerac, Baron Munchausen and others already on the moon. The group assumes that the astronaut is a moon man and the Baron decides to take him to Earth to show him what Earth is like.
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Sunday Matinee: Unearthly Stranger

Today’s Sunday Matinee is a quiet little British sci-fi thriller from 1963 called Unearthly Stranger.

Shot on a low budget with practically no special effects the story follows a scientist, Dr. Mark Davidson (John Neville) narrates the story as a flashback. Fearing for his life he tells how he got to this point.
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Sunday Matinee: Tron

35 years ago today Disney released a movie into theatres that they would consider to be another box office failure for them (in the ’80s Disney wasn’t doing too good). The movie would eventually become a cult classic and 28 years later Disney would eventually make a sequel.

Tron was the brain child of writer/director Steven Lisberger who had previously made the animated movie Animalympics. Lisberger originally wanted Tron to be a completely animated movie but released that it wasn’t possible at the time. He opted for live action with a mix of backlit animation and computer animation. Tron was not the first film to use computer animation but it was one of the first to use extensive computer animation. 15 full minutes of computer animation including the legendary light-cycle scene.
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Sunday Matinee: The 39 Steps

Hope everyone had a good Canada day! Today’s Sunday Matinee is Alfred Hitchcock’s brilliant masterpiece from 1935 The 39 Steps.

The movie sets up and features several themes that Hitchcock would use through many of his movies to come. The macguffin, the wrong man falsely accussed on the run, the blonde love interest and much more.
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Sunday Matinee: Saboteur

It may be one of the lesser Alfred Hitchcocks but it’s still pretty entertaining and it manages to turn 75 years old this year, today’s Sunday Matinee is 1942’s Saboteur.

Hitchcock was under contract to David O. Selznick but Selznick wasn’t interested in the story so Universal picked up the movie and produced it. Hitchcock didn’t get the cast that he wanted but Priscilla Lane, Robert Cummings and Norman Lloyd do a pretty decent job.
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Sunday Matinee: Predator

Filming has just wrapped up on the latest edition of the Predator franchise, The Predator which is actually only the fourth film. The original though first hit screens 30 years ago on June 12. Today’s Sunday Matinee takes a look at the classic first movie.

Back in 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger was king of the action films. He had two big hits in theatres in 1987. The Running Man and this mix of action and sci-fi horror.
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Sunday Matinee: The Godfather

To celebrate The Godfather‘s 45th anniversary and as part of Cineplex Events’ Classic Film Series, The Godfather will be screening at select Cineplex theatre’s on June 4th (today which has already screened) and June 7th.

In the days before the Hollywood summer blockbuster would fill the screens with fantastic creatures and events every summer hoping to entice audiences to spend billions on their movies, The Godfather was not only the highest grossing movie the year it came out and won tons of awards and acclaim, it was also the highest grossing movie film ever made at that time. Of course then Jaws came along and changed everything.
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Sunday Matinee: Star Wars

40 years ago in a galaxy long long ago a movie opened on May 25, 1977 that would change movies, summer blockbusters, merchandising and pop culture forever.

Up until this point a young filmmaker named George Lucas had only made two movies. THX 1138 a science fiction film about a dystopian future where sex is illegal and everyone is on drugs to keep everyone compliant. His other film was American Graffiti a movie about a bunch of teenagers who go cruising one night before going off to college, war, etc. THX 1138 bombed at the box office but American Graffiti was a hit for Lucas. Lucas had wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie but he couldn’t get the rights. So he decided to invent his own space epic. And what a space epic. It’s so epic it’s still going on today.
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Sunday Matinee: Smokey And The Bandit

It feels like there’s always movies celebrating anniversaries. Sometimes though it’s a little shocking to hear how old some of these movies are. For example stuntman turned director Hal Needham’s first movie from 1977 Smokey and the Bandit.

The movie is kind of dumb but it kicked off a car chase craze throughout the 1980s. The simple easy going plot has Burt Reynolds (The Bandit) driving a 1977 Trans Am really fast to get cops to chase him instead of his buddy Jerry Reed whose semi is illegally hauling booze over state lines.

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Sunday Matinee: The Girl With All The Gifts

Happy Mother’s Day. Here’s a zombie movie.

I used to read British writer Mike Carey’s comics all the time. He had a fantastic couple of series. His Lucifer was brilliant as was his short lived Crossing Midnight and The Unwritten. After years in the industry he moved on from comics and became novelist and has been writing novels for the last couple years. One of his more recent novels has been made into a British movie that never saw a North American release.
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Sunday Matinee: Conquest Of Space

After producing several successful sci-fi movies in the early 1950s George Pal made his most ambitious and biggest movie to date, 1955’s Conquest of Space.

While effects were impressive for the time the story is a bit strange and flat. The movie bombed when it was released and it set Pal back a few years and he didn’t venture into outer space again.
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Sunday Matinee: Caltiki, The Immortal Monster

After directing the first Italian sound horror movie, Lust of the Vampire in 1957 director Riccardo Freda started work on his next horror movie Caltiki, the Immortal Monster. But for whatever reason Freda abandoned work on the film (Freda claimed he did it so Mario Bava could get the job, Bava states that the film was a mess which is why Freda left). Either way Caltiki, the Immortal Monster became legendary filmmaker Mario Bava’s first movie.
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