Classic gets comics touch
Corman film school's master class
We can't help but be interested in Guardians of the Galaxy, because its writer-director, James Gunn, made his first feature film, Slither (2006), right here in Vancouver. A TV trailer for the new release, opening today (August 1), includes the line "the best Marvel movie yet." That particular pull-quote is attributed to Alisha Grauso, the bespectacled editor-in-chief of moviepilot.com. (Though not a verbatim quote, it does paraphrase the overall tone of Ms Grauso's July 24 review on the website created to "help studios trigger, fuel and amplify positive conversations about their movies.") Gunn drew his inspiration from the comic-book publisher's 2006 update of an original 1969 superhero team. Based on the source material (and a viewing of the available trailers), Reeling Back fears that the result will be another $170-million cheesefest. Which is not to say that the cinematic dairy case does not contain a host of guilty pleasures. In 1980, an era when low-budget, entertainingly cheesy movies were based on classic films rather than comics, legendary pinch-penny producer Roger Corman parted with an estimated $2 million to parody Star Wars with a deep-space remake of The Seven Samurai. He called his picture Battle Beyond the Stars.
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Historic moment lost
Redneck redcoat's tale turns tragic
The only First Nations actor to win an Academy Award (for 1970's Little Big Man), Vancouver's Chief Dan George was born on this day (July 24) in 1899. Among his 14 feature film roles was that of Sounding Sky, the grieving father of Almighty Voice, in 1974's Alien Thunder.
Fairy magic & fruit batty
Aussie-inspired eco-toon a treat
The comic talents of Robin Williams, born on this day (July 21) in 1951, often seem inspired by classic Warner Brothers cartoon characters. No surprise, then, that he's a runaway hit in his first animated feature role, Batty Koda in 1992's Ferngully: The Last Rainforest .
A spy for all seasons
When there were but three
In 1980, when there were only a dozen James Bond features to choose among, it was easy to know everything there was to know about the screen's most popular superspy. Reeling Back invites you to test your recollection of those simpler times with this film quiz.
My Blog; Your Guide to What's New
This morning (July 29), I received the most wonderfully satisfying email. Following the launch of any long-term project such as Reeling Back, there are moments of uncertainty. Is the work involved worth the bother? In five words, my correspondent swept away all my doubts.