A follow up to the 20th Century Fox surprise success of Dirty Mary Crazy Larry (released a year earlier), this Peter Fonda-Warren Oates cult classic is a strange hybrid of genres. One might assume the film offers a car chase with Satan himself. This isn’ t that movie; that would instead be the Nicolas Cage 2011 vehicle, Drive Angry. The result here rests somewhere between Rosemary’s Baby and Vanishing Point, featuring requisite road chases and a Satanic cult. With the mash-up of what was then, two popular fads, it is no surprise Race with the Devil was a box office hit in 1975. Action filmmaker Jack Starrett (Nowhere to Hide, The Gravy Train, Cleopatra Jones) hits his career high directing this slickly executed genre-hopping cult favourite. Race with the Devil is an entertaining, drive-in romp that delivers plentiful action and a few genuine chills.
A good percentage of the best American chase films were released in the decade that brought us a new wave of rebellious, edgy filmmakers who put muscle cars in the spotlight, and directed realistic, fast-paced action sequences highlighted by the incredible stunt work from Hollywood daredevils. Cutting right to the chase, Dirty Mary Crazy Larryis high on extreme stunts and crazy car crashes, created in a time when CGI didn’t exist. Dirty Mary, Crazy Larry remains one of the best in the genre: the stunts are extreme, the humor is dark, and the cars are awesome.
By now, young people scratching and clawing their way towards adulthood is a quintessential, clichéd story. The wide-eyed dreamer trying to make it in the big city is one of the hoariest tricks in the book, but Frances Ha is a welcome new variation on this theme, a striking and beautiful ode to youth and its many flaws. Headlined by Great Gerwig, Frances Ha is nothing short of a triumph, an endearing, unforced, and honest story of failures and frustrations.
The cars are fast, as they always are, and the people are equally furious. In fact, they’re faster and furious-er now than they were before, but then, you already knew that. Be honest: if you’re reading this review, you do not need to be convinced or cajoled to hoof it to the theater to see Fast & Furious 6. You also don’t need encouragement to feel as if you, too, are like Dominic Toretto, Brian O’Conner, or their brothers- and sisters-in-wheels on the way home, pretending your Hyundai Sonata or beat-up pickup truck is a tricked-out muscle car. The thrill of these ciphers driving very fast, recklessly so, along with a number of impressively insane stunts, allows Fast & Furious 6 to be just good and fun enough.
We are living in a golden age of animation, yet so many people working at Hollywood’s studio-funded animation companies are content working in the realm of the familiar. Too frequently, new mainstream animated films are like a big bowl of soup, with countless flavors that you’ve tasted before tweaked only slightly to not be total carbon copies of something bigger and often better. Blue Sky’s latest, distributed by 20th Century Fox, is no different: Epic is pleasingly colorful and well animated. Unfortunately, it is immensely derivative and thus, only moderately charming some of the time.
All hail JJ Abrams, Emperor of the Nerds. Having taken over both the Star Trek and Wars franchises, he continues his blockbuster offensive with Star Trek Into Darkness, an already-contentious addition to Trek lore that engages with the series’ past, present and future. Former host and avid Trekkie Mariko McDonald joins Ricky, Edgar and Simon to tackle the new flick in both spoiler-free and spoiler-ful segments. As ever, you’ve been warned. Discussed: Quizno’s, space Pomeranians, international terrorism, and the reasoning behind Abrams’s Hollywood coup.