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Giving in to the rage

To serve whom? To protect what?

The policeman is your friend. That, at least, is what the good folk who created today’s (January 9) National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day would have us believe. Founded in 2015 by a Missouri-based organization called Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.), its stated purpose is to show police officers “that the difficult career path they have chosen is recognized by the people who they protect and uphold the law for.” Aware of the counter narratives promoted by such movements as Black Lives Matter, C.O.P.S. has taken the initiative “to change this negative portrayal of police officers in the news in recent years into a positive one.” Their campaign suffered something of a setback in May 2020 when a white cop named Derek Chauvin was photographed killing the non-resisting black man George Floyd on a Minneapolis street. In May 2021, a jury found Chauvin guilty of murder. Despite the best efforts of blue-line boosting television franchises like CSI, Law & Order and Chicago, issues of police brutality, militarization, systemic racism and institutional corruption just won’t go away. For the most part, feature films have favoured the pro-cop point of view. But not always. Today's five-feature package includes director Jonathan Kaplan's 1992 attempt at a serious examination of the "rogue cop" phenomenon. In it, Ray Liotta plays an unhinged suburban officer set off by an Unlawful Entry.


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Sex a temporary solution

First one in is first to be squeezed out

Pioneering movie house manager Lew Young began a 20-month-long experiment programming adult films in his suburban B.C. cinema on this day (January 12) in 1970. The times were changing rapidly for film exhibitors, and for Young the story did not have a happy ending.

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And Dolly makes three

What a way to make a living

Born on this day (January 19) in 1946, singer-songwriter Dolly Parton was already a major American musical star when she made her feature film acting debut. Together with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, she was key to the success of Colin Higgins’s 1980 pink-collar comedy Nine to Five.


Following his bliss

Ponderous tribute to a comic genius

Today (January 15), the world’s literati mark the 400th anniversary of Jean-Baptiste Poquelin’s baptism (his birth date being unknown). Celebrated as a comic genius, his life was the subject of French writer-director Ariane Mnouchkine’s 1978 Molière.


Road rocks still a thing?

My Blog; Your Guide to What's New

With the notable exception of the United States, all the world measures in metric. Canada took the plunge (though somewhat reluctantly) 52 years ago. So, why is it that we’re still referring to meaningful moments in life’s journey as “milestones”?



A DECLARATION OF PRINCIPLES is the Internet address of Michael Walsh, a Canadian living in Vancouver, British Columbia.

I spent my working life as a newspaperman. While others covered the waterfront, I specialized in movies. As a film critic, I published my views in newspapers and magazines, on radio and television, at conferences, conventions and in the occasional courtroom. It was my good fortune to cover 30 of the most exciting, innovative years in screen history (1965-1995).
Retired, but not inactive, I've launched Reeling Back in in order to recall and, perhaps, make sense of it all. Eventually, it will grow into an archive of the nearly 6,000 films I've reviewed to date. Because everything old is news again, each posting will include a note connecting these particular movie memories to the here and now.

And, yes, I intend Reeling Back to offer new material, including web-log commentary, reviews of current pop culture and additions to my own "works in progress" — four book-length projects still in the notebook phase.

From Will Shakespeare to Marshall McLuhan to Joss Whedon, the great thinkers have all reminded us that we live in a world of wonders. In this small corner of cyberspace, I'd like to share some of the wonders that I have seen.