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Published: May 29 2014, 01:01:am

Thursday, May 29, 2014

NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN — To mark the anniversary of English author Ian Fleming's birth, it seemed fitting to recall this 1983 movie, the better of the two James Bond features not made by the producers of the long-running "official" series. Also available is a film quiz from 1980, James Bond at 18. (Posted May 28)

THE JAZZ SINGER (1927), with DON JUAN (1926) — With an ad-libbed line, Al Jolson made movie history, turning the story of an irrepressible entertainer (and the second movie to use synchronized sound) into the first talking picture. (Posted May 26)

VOLUNTEERS — A personal film favourite, director Nicholas Meyer's 1985 comedy satirized the idealistic cultural imperialism of New Frontier America with a tale of bridge building that became a real-life love story for its stars, Tom Hanks and Rita Wilson. (Posted May 24)

MURDER BY DECREE — It's hard to say what Sherlock Holmes creator Arthur Conan Doyle would have made of the many recent variations on his charismatic consulting detective. One striking re-imagination occurred in director Bob Clark's 1979 feature. (Posted May 22)
NO LOOKING BACK (a.k.a. OUT OF THE BLUE) — Canadian-born Raymond Burr thought he'd returned to B.C. to co-star in a film with Dennis Hopper. Then the American actor took over as director, and the result was a punk rock feature that became an example of stateless cinema. (Posted May 21)

THE ADVENTURE OF SHERLOCK HOLMES' SMARTER BROTHER — That uniquely Canadian holiday, Victoria Day, seemed appropriate for this look at a 1975 comedy in which Her Majesty seeks the help of the consulting detective created by her loyal subject, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. (Posted May 19)

BRIMSTONE AND TREACLE — To mark the anniversary of British screenwriter and social advocate Dennis Potter's birth, Reeling Back recalled the 1982 film based on what was, at the time, a produced-but-not-broadcast BBC-TV drama. (Posted May 17)

GODZILLA — Since he first rose from Tokyo Bay in 1954, nuclear warfare's most monstrous metaphor has starred in 30 feature films, the most recent filmed last year in Vancouver. Reeling Back recalls the first remake, released in 1985. (Posted May 15)

PIRATES OF PENZANCE — To mark the anniversary of Sir Arthur Sullivan's birth, Reeling Back recalled the smart screen adaptation of his fifth collaboration with Sir William Gilbert, the inspired bit of musical nonsense that they subtitled The Slave of Duty. (Posted May 13)
MOTHER'S BOYS — Anna Jarvis (1864-1948), who campaigned for the creation of Mother's Day, spent much of her life denouncing its commercial abuse. Filmmakers, too, have conflicted feelings about motherhood, noted in Canadian director Yves Simoneau's 1994 thriller. (Posted May 11)