Friday, July 17, 2015
By MICHAEL WALSH
I launched reelingback.com with a cheerful little speech at 2013's VCON 38. In it, I said that I'd tried retirement and that it didn't take. Nearly two years along, with some 480 postings on the website, I find the increasing number of nonagenarians among us inspiring.
An invitation to the Mr. Holmes preview on Thursday, July 2, encouraged me to get back on the horse and add an opening day review to a site that is predominantly an archive of previously published work. A week later, on Wednesday, July 8, I attended a preview of the science-fiction thriller Self/less.
Though today's Mr. Holmes review was written first, the new Self/less review was the first to be posted. An old work horse, I'm still bound by the critical etiquette that applied in my print journalism days: Let them hang it up on the theatre screen before tearing it down on the newspaper page.
Self/less opened on July 10; Mr. Holmes is being released today (July 17).
I've entered my eighth decade somewhat mobility challenged — the walking stick is actually a stylish fashion accessory, you know — but my brain remains able to generate new ideas and assemble them into passable sentences. Those inspirational elders mentioned above suggest that there is considerable truth in the cliche couplet "use it or lose it."
I'm fortunate enough to have a life partner who fits the description of my best friend and severest critic. I steal my best ideas from her; she, in turn, edits my raw copy and improves upon it, which is why Reeling Back is mostly free of spelling, grammatical and factual errors.
I look forward to our getting out a lot more in the weeks and months to come. The result will be ever more postings to this website, additions to its 10 most recent items:
OUR FEATURE FILM FEST: 12 — In Part 12 of a 20-part series, Reeling Back continues The Greater Vancouver Book Feature Film Festival with restored notes on the 14 bread-and-butter features that make up The B-List. (Posted June 15)
LIGHT YEARS (GANDAHAR) — Though revered by France's cinéastes, animation director René Laloux had no control over the changes U.S. distributor Miramax would make in the American version of his 1988 science-fiction fantasy about an endangered future world. (Posted July 13)
SELF/LESS — Tarsem Singh directed Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds in a new action thriller that explores the consequences of medical technology that allows a dying billionaire to prolong his life by transplanting his consciousness into the body of a financially-desperate younger man. (Posted July 10)
TURNER & HOOCH — Tom Hanks turns in a fine, funny performance as a fastidiously neat police detective partnered with a big, dirt-loving dog in this 1989 cop buddy movie from Canadian-born director Roger Spottiswoode. (Posted July 9)
YOUNG SHERLOCK HOLMES — Actor Nicholas Rowe made his first appearance in the Holmes role in this 1985 Barry Levinson feature, a teen-oriented action-adventure that seems to have been inspired by the success of the Indiana Jones pictures. (Posted July 7)
JOHNNY CRAWFORD (interview) — During a visit to Vancouver for the 1974 world premiere of The Inbreaker, the former child star talked about U.S. television's "golden age," growing up through five seasons of The Rifleman and finally turning 30. (Posted June 30)
THE MASK — Newmarket, Ontario-born comedian Jim Carrey made his breakthrough to Hollywood's A-list playing the title role in this 1995 live-action cartoon based on a comic book from Oregon-based independent publisher Dark Horse. (Posted June 29)
THE INBREAKER — Johnny Crawford played the title role in this 1974 adventure-drama about a young Albertan who risks life and limb working in the West Coast halibut fishery. George McCowan directed the independently-financed B.C. feature. (Posted June 27)
I WANNA HOLD YOUR HAND — Beatlemania was the subject of Robert Zemeckis's debut feature, a 1978 comedy that recorded a life-changing day in the lives of four fab fans played by Nancy Allen, Wendi Jo Sperber, Theresa Saldana and Susan Kendall Newman. (Posted June 24)
DARKMAN — Before he achieved major success with Spider-Man, director Sam Raimi invented his own comic-book superhero, a scientist who survives a tragic lab explosion, then seeks revenge on evildoers. Liam Neeson had the title role in this 1990 thriller. (Posted June 23)