February & March at The Movie Morlocks

I’ve been neglecting Cinebeats again. Having a hard time getting back into the swing of things around here and other endeavors are keeping me from the blog. But I thought I’d finally update with a quick list of some highlights from my February & Mach contributions to TCM’s Movie Morlocks. You can read all the articles by following the links below. – Wanna Rumble? Excerpt: … Continue reading February & March at The Movie Morlocks

A Decade of Fear

It’s taken me a year but I’ve finally managed to compile a list of my Favorite Films of the Decade: 2000-2009 so I thought I’d share it. My introduction echoes some earlier thoughts about fear and cinema that I shared during Halloween and wanted to expand upon. Besides my alphabetical list of Favorite Films of the Decade I also compiled lists of some Favorite Documentaries, … Continue reading A Decade of Fear

Modern Mondays: A History of Violence (2005)

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It seems like everywhere I turn someone is talking or writing about the recent Comic Book Convention that is held in San Diego every year. It used to be an event only attended by comic book fans and various industry insiders, but it has exploded into some kind of massive media event attended by anyone and everyone. When did comic books become so acceptable? I suppose it was the onslaught of popular comic book films in recent years that has made the general public and every working film critic take notice. As someone who worked in a comic book shop throughout most of the 1990s for minimum wage, I find this sudden interest in the events at Comic-Con extremely amusing. It’s also great for the business, which has struggled to gain legitimacy for years. Comic books are now making a lot of people a lot of money. And money makes critics and cultural pundits take notice.

One of my favorite comic-to-film adaptations in the last 10 years is David Cronenberg’s 2005 film A History of Violence, which was based on a little known comic collection or “graphic novel” published by DC Comics under their Paradox Press banner. The comic book was written by John Wagner and illustrated by one of my favorite working comic book artists, Vince Locke (Deadworld, American Freak: A Tale of the Un-Men, etc). Although Cronenberg’s film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay, few people seem aware of the fact that this critically acclaimed film was based on a comic book. And although Wagner’s original story is rather simplistic and only skims the surface of the rich murky depths that Cronenberg was able to mine, I think it makes an interesting companion piece to the film.

Since I’m still running on limited free time I decided to share a few choice quotes from one of my favorite reviews of A History of Violence that was written by one of my favorite authors, the late great J. G. Ballard. Ballard is a brilliant writer and he worked with David Cronenberg on the film adaptation of his own novel Crash (1996). In Ballard’s excellent review of the film he sums up exactly why A History of Violence is such a great film and one of my favorite movies of the last decade. What follows are a few choice excerpts from Ballard’s review.

Continue reading “Modern Mondays: A History of Violence (2005)”

Rebels Artists Superstars

Viggo Mortensen and Tadanobu Asano I’ve only had the opportunity to see a few of the films nominated for Academy Awards this year and besides David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, I haven’t been all that impressed with what I’ve seen. Since I don’t write about modern film that often I wasn’t going to mention the Oscars this year, but I will be watching the award show … Continue reading Rebels Artists Superstars

31 Films That Give Me the Willies

Top: House with Laughing Windows (1976), Deep Red (1975) Middle: The Seventh Victim (1942) Bottom: Black Sabbath (1963), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975) I wasn’t going to participate in Ed Hardy’s 31 Flicks That Give You the Willies List due to suffering massive list-making burnout following the recent Favorite Foreign Language Film poll (which I still want to write about in more detail), but at … Continue reading 31 Films That Give Me the Willies