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Last update: 2013-07-01

The Cinefantastique Spotlight: Tribute to Richard Matheson

2013-07-01 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Genre film lost one of its most influential forces last week when author and screenwriter Richard Matheson passed away. Whether writing originally for the screen, as with the STAR TREK episode, “The Enemy Within,” adapting his own work, which he did for such classic TWILIGHT ZONE episodes as “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and the archetypal …

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Writer Katie Dippold on THE HEAT

2013-06-29 :: Dan Persons
Length: 21s

So in the midst of the interstellar conflicts, zombie plagues, and giant robots, how about a summer movie that’s a little more grounded? How about Sandra Bullock as a Type A, by-the-book FBI agent clashing up against Melissa McCarthy as a loose-cannon Boston police detective as they try to take down a drug lord? THE …

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The CFQ Interview: 100 BLOODY ACRES’ Cameron & Colin Cairnes

2013-06-27 :: Dan Persons
Length: 21s

Australian brothers Cameron Cairnes and Colin Cairnes are making their feature film debut with 100 BLOODY ACRES. A black comedy in which a group of young concert-goers run afoul of a couple of brothers (Angus Sampson and Damon Herriman) whose blood and bone fertilizer business has seen a significant uptick in fortunes with the addition …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: WORLD WAR Z

2013-06-23 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

In perhaps a revelation more dramatic than anything in the film itself, WORLD WAR Z has triggered a shockingly wide spectrum of reactions from us here on the Spotlight. Is the Brad Pitt-starring zombie thriller a top-notch popcorn movie with well-staged action, gripping suspense, and an amazing global scope? Is it an unfortunate misfire, with …

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Temple of Bad: THE MAN WITHOUT A BODY

2013-06-23 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

As best as we can determine, the producers of THE MAN WITHOUT A BODY had a camera and some film and said to themselves, “Well, we’ve got to do something with this stuff.” And the dedicated advocates of the Temple of Bad have to agree with these esteemed artistes: This film is certainly a thing. …

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The CFQ Interview: BLADE RUNNER’s William Sanderson

2013-06-20 :: Dan Persons
Length: 49s

Who among us didn’t watch lonely, trusting J.F. Sebastian take renegade replicant Pris into his digs at the Bradbury building and think, Oh, this shall not end well? It was William Sanderson who gave BLADE RUNNER’s afflicted replicant designer an awkward vulnerability, but the actor also gave life to TRUE BLOOD’s conflicted Sheriff Bud Dearborne …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: MAN OF STEEL

2013-06-17 :: Dan Persons
Length: 40s

Like the clash of demigods fallen to earth after the destruction of their home world, it was going to be glorious. Because of scheduling issues, Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons started their discussion of Zack Snyder’s MAN OF STEEL early, to be joined by Lawrence French at the usual start time. But thanks …

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The CFQ Interview: BLADE RUNNER’s Joanna Cassidy

2013-06-13 :: Dan Persons
Length: 50s

Joanna Cassidy’s acting career has been long and diverse, encompassing a bit part in BULLITT, trading barbs with Dabney Coleman on BUFFALO BILL, and presently playing the overbearing mother of Dana Delany on BODY OF PROOF. But for most genre fans, she will always be Zhora, the snake-loving assassin/exotic dancer/replicant of BLADE RUNNER, as well …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE PURGE

2013-06-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

THE PURGE had a happy weekend at the theaters and a not-so-happy weekend in the press, drawing healthy box office but getting slammed by most critics. Somewhat reflecting the confusion, the Cinefantastique Online gang of Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons are of mixed opinions about this tale of the United States undergoing a …

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Bill Stone on TRIUMPH OF THE WALL

2013-06-09 :: Dan Persons

Filmmaker Bill Stone’s task couldn’t have been simpler: Document artist Chris Overing as he built a stone wall on a large estate in Quebec. In two months time, the director anticipated, he’d have an interesting rumination on an elaborate and obscure craft. Eight years later, with the wall unfinished and Stone wondering what he had …

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The CFQ Interview: THE TOXIC AVENGER’s Lloyd Kaufman

2013-06-06 :: Dan Persons
Length: 33s

For close to forty years, the New York-based studio Troma has been a perverse, gory thumb in the eye of all that’s staid and safe in mainstream Hollywood. It’s co-founder Lloyd Kaufman has built a fan-base by directing such twisted, low-budget epics as THE TOXIC AVENGER, CLASS OF NUKE ‘EM HIGH, TROMEO AND JULIET and …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: AFTER EARTH

2013-06-03 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

M. Night Shyamalan continues to be a very good director doing not-very-good movies. In the futuristic adventure AFTER EARTH, Will Smith — who also came up with the story — plays a literally fearless warrior who crash-lands with his son (actual son Jaden Smith) on an abandoned Earth grown wild and dangerous in the interim. …

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ORPHAN BLACK’s Tatiana Maslany: The CFQ Interview

2013-05-30 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

2013 is turning out to be quite the break-out year for actress Tatiana Maslany: Not six months into the thing, she’s already got several notable roles to her name. Of course, most of them are on the BBC America series ORPHAN BLACK, where she plays multiple clones, all with very different personalities and all of …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: EPIC

2013-05-27 :: Dan Persons
Length: 50s

IRON MAN 3: Done it. STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS: Done it. FAST AND FURIOUS 6: Not really genre (’though we wish). THE HANGOVER PART III: Uh, no. Genre or not, no thank you. That leaves… oh shoot, EPIC, a CG animated fantasy that’s about as oh shoot as they come. This is doubly disappointing since …

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Malcolm McDowell: The CFQ Interview

2013-05-23 :: Dan Persons
Length: 43s

Practically omnipresent and infinitely versatile, Malcolm McDowell has played, among others, a rebellious private school student, a futuristic sociopath, a degenerate emperor, Michael Myer’s nemesis, and the killer of Captain Kirk. He has worked with directors that have included Stanley Kubrick, Paul Schrader and Rob Zombie. He’s pretty much done it all, including a brief …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS

2013-05-20 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

STAR TREK is back, Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is still flouting the rules, director J.J. Abrams is still dividing the fan base, but amazingly, inconceivably, there’s no dissent within the Cinefantastique Online ranks this time: Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons all agree that STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is supreme, quintessential TREK adventure. Telling …

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MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000′S Frank Conniff: The CFQ Interview

2013-05-16 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

As MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000′S TV’s Frank, comedian and writer Frank Conniff became possibly the most cuddly mad scientist in history. From his debut television appearance that started with the show’s second season — for which he scripted and also pre-screened the “cheesy movies” that would torture host Joel Hodgson and crew — Conniff went …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: Tribute to Ray Harryhausen

2013-05-13 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

It is not an understatement to say that, for many who work within the industry of fantastic film and those who cover it, Ray Harryhausen was one of the key godfathers of the Sense of Wonder. In such films as EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS, THE SEVENTH VOYAGE OF SINBAD, JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, and …

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Alice Winocour on AUGUSTINE

2013-05-12 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

Let no one say that French director Alice Winocour isn’t audacious. She chooses not only to make her debut film — which she also scripted — a period piece, but to use it as a conduit for some trenchant observations on class, sexuality, and gender. Based on true events, AUGUSTINE tells the tale of the …

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SIGHTSEERS’ Ben Wheatley: The CFQ Interview

2013-05-09 :: Dan Persons
Length: 17s

Welcome to the banality of evil, Ben Wheatley-style: In his horror comedy SIGHTSEERS, a couple (Alice Lowe and Steve Oram, who also scripted) decides to take a caravan trip across the British Isles. But, really, who could enjoy such marvels as an antique tramway or the pencil museum when such distractions as litterers, rowdy Wiccans, …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: IRON MAN 3

2013-05-06 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

It’s felled the likes of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and the X-Men. It’s a more daunting foe than Lex Luthor, Bane, and Magneto combined. It is, of course, the third installment of a superhero franchise, and now it’s time for comicdom’s snarkiest hero to face the figurative music in IRON MAN 3. With Robert Downey Jr, …

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The Cast of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL: The CFQ Interview

2013-05-02 :: Dan Persons
Length: 31s

Shooting a workplace comedy set in Hell may be challenging, tedious work, but at least you get to traumatize the hotel staff. That’s only one of the lessons to be gleaned from the cast of YOUR PRETTY FACE IS GOING TO HELL, a new Adult Swim comedy that takes the white-collar satire of OFFICE SPACE …

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Pierce Brosnan on LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

2013-04-28 :: Dan Persons
Length: 22s

Sometimes the wedding videographers are pointing their cameras in the wrong direction. Susanne Bier’s LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED takes place mostly in a villa in Sorrento, where a young and rather conflicted couple (Molly Blixt Egelind and Sebastian Jessen) are getting married. But the kids are not the only ones being put through changes; …

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Martin Landau: The CFQ Interview

2013-04-25 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Every now and then, we pause in awe of the people we’ve had the opportunity to spend time with. Doug Trumbull, John Kricfalusi, and Paul Verhoeven in earlier years, Armin Shimerman and Frank Oz more recently — now it’s Martin Landau’s turn, and we couldn’t be happier. In an extended and wide-ranging interview, we got …

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Temple of Bad: RIKI-OH: THE STORY OF RICKY

2013-04-24 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

In the future — and by “future,” we mean 2001 — the Chinese prison system will be stupid. Also violent, sadistic, and quite, quite unsanitary — what with there not being a wall, fixture or floor that isn’t thoroughly coated with the viscera of its unfortunate inhabitants — but mostly really, really dumb. That’s the …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: OBLIVION

2013-04-22 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

OBLIVION is a fun, state-of-the-art, big-studio science fiction adventurer, action-packed and, under the direction of Joseph Kosinski, quite beautiful. That, in its telling the tale of post-apocalyptic caretaker Tom Cruise discovering his alien-war-ravaged Earth suffered its wounds for reasons other than he was told (with Morgan Freeman doing for the Morpheus role what he previously …

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Kristin Chenoweth on FAMILY WEEKEND

2013-04-21 :: Dan Persons
Length: 15s

Behold the nuclear family what has outright exploded: Mother (Kristin Chenoweth) and father (Matthew Modine) are so wrapped up in their own agendas that they don’t have time to tend to anything else; the kids, rudderless, are left to their own devices to cope. Time to hit the pause button, get everybody together for a …

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Rob Zombie & Sheri Moon Zombie: The CFQ Interview

2013-04-18 :: Dan Persons
Length: 25s

Musician, moviemaker, iconoclastic fan, Rob Zombie has built a formidable rep for himself by taking the horror genre and turning it to his own, unique vision. Now, after such wild rides as THE DEVIL’S REJECTS and HALLOWEEN, he ventures into new territory, telling a more nuanced tale of a New England DJ facing a hellish …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: SCARY MOVIE V & JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS

2013-04-15 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

SCARY MOVIE V opened this week! Yeah, us neither. So instead of delving in-depth into this weekend’s big release (takeaway: A HAUNTED HOUSE was much funnier), Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons deliver a quick capsule review, and then Lawrence French joins them for a fiftieth anniversary discussion of stop-motion animator Ray Harryhausen’s epic …

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Francois Ozon on IN THE HOUSE

2013-04-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 17s

French filmmaker Francois Ozon is once again messing with your mind, telling a tale of envy, desire, and literary license in IN THE HOUSE. Wry and dark, the film is about a teacher (Fabrice Luchini) who becomes obsessed when the writings of a teenager (Ernst Umhauer) turn into an account of his insinuation into the …

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ANTIVIRAL’s Brandon Cronenberg: The CFQ Interview

2013-04-11 :: Dan Persons
Length: 20s

ANTIVIRAL is set in an alternate-but-not-too-alternate universe where fame is everything, and the grand bulk of the economy seems built around markets in steaks cloned and viruses farmed from celebrities. The film marks the directing debut of Brandon Cronenberg — son of David Cronenberg — and while its biologic creepiness demonstrates a clear blood-line (we …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: EVIL DEAD

2013-04-08 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

The new EVIL DEAD, directed by feature newcomer Fede Alvarez, may seem to be the latest chapter in Hollywood’s ongoing descent into creative bankruptcy. But is that actually so? Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons get together to debate whether this return to Sam Raimi’s prototypical cabin-in-the-woods bloodbath is yet another wan …

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Pablo Berger on BLANCANIEVES

2013-04-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 22s

Someday My Steer Will Come? In BLANCANIEVES, Spanish director Pablo Berger takes the classic tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, sets it in Seville in the 1920′s and recasts it as the tale of an orphaned daughter of an illustrious toreador who, despite the machinations of a wicked stepmother and with the help …

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JOHN DIES AT THE END Don Coscarelli: The CFQ Interview

2013-04-05 :: Dan Persons
Length: 22s

There’s something about a Don Coscarelli film, something that says, “We’re gonna mess with your brain, now.” But if power-drill-equipped flying orbs, interplanetary gateways stashed away in funeral homes, or Elvis battling soul-sucking mummies didn’t freak you out in such films as PHANTASM and BUBBA HO-TEP, maybe the director’s latest, JOHN DIES AT THE END, …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: G.I. JOE: RETALIATION

2013-04-01 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

With its nuanced evaluation of modern warfare and the place of the soldier in today’s society, G.I. JOE: RETALIATION represents an innovative vision of armed conflict waged on a global scale. Oh, who are we kidding? G.I. JOE: RETALIATION is the second entry in the toy-based franchise, featuring Dwayne Johnson, Bruce Willis, and Ray Stevenson  …

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Sally El Hosaini and James Floyd on MY BROTHER THE DEVIL

2013-03-31 :: Dan Persons
Length: 29s

Breaking through the clichés is what writer/director Sally El Hosaini is all about. Her debut feature, MY BROTHER THE DEVIL, is about Egyptians living in London, and there isn’t a terrorist among them. There are, however, artists, students, drug dealers, petty thieves, and in the middle of it, two brothers, elder Rashid (James Floyd) and …

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DETOUR’s Neil Hopkins: The CFQ Interview

2013-03-28 :: Dan Persons
Length: 31s

Okay, yet another reason not to move to Southern California. In DETOUR, an ambitious businessman gets trapped in his car when it’s knocked off the road and buried in a mudslide. Actor Neil Hopkins carries most of the weight of this existential nightmare, playing a man confronting a modern-day Premature Burial, trapped in a vehicle …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE CROODS

2013-03-25 :: Dan Persons
Length: 50s

We should be grateful that mainstream entertainment has evolved enough for an animated tale of a prehistoric family not to be solely defined by how many times the work “rock” is prefixed to other nouns. The new DreamWorks film, THE CROODS, is about a primitive clan — led by cautious father Nicolas Cage — facing …

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Sidiki Conde & Alan Govenar on YOU DON’T NEED FEET TO DANCE

2013-03-24 :: Dan Persons
Length: 34s

The subject of the documentary YOU DON’T NEED FEET TO DANCE, Sidiki Conde, is possibly the very definition of determination and resilience. Born in Guinea, stricken with polio that lost him the use of his legs as a teen, overcoming that stigma by forming an orchestra of disabled artists that toured the country, Conde eventually …

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E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL’s Dee Wallace: The CFQ Interview

2013-03-21 :: Dan Persons
Length: 30s

It’s our first Spielberg veteran here at CFQi, and a good one, too. Dee Wallace probably reached her greatest audience as the progressive but put-upon suburban mom of E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, but she had previously developed her genre chops in two landmark horror titles: Wes Craven’s THE HILLS HAVE EYES and Joe Dante’s THE HOWLING, …

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Brendan Fraser on STAND OFF

2013-03-20 :: Dan Persons
Length: 13s

Look at the promotional materials being floated around the U.S. for STAND OFF, and you’d think the film was a crime thriller in the Guy Ritchie mold, with Brendan Fraser backed up by Colm Meaney in some heavy badassery. What it turns out to be is an acerbic comedy in which Fraser, as an American …

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Frank Oz: The CFQ Interview

2013-03-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 46s

It’s amazing some researchers haven’t figured out a way of determining personalities based on what aspect of Frank Oz’s career one is impressed with. Of course there’s Yoda — Frank voiced the beloved, and powerful, Jedi master, operated the puppet for most of the STAR WARS films, and for many helped form the heart and …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL

2013-03-11 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Another film that answers questions we didn’t ask, OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is a prequel showing how the magical land over the rainbow got its formidable-but-all-too-fallible wizard. Director Sam Raimi makes his 3D debut in this big-budget project, recruiting James Franco as his soon-too-be Oz, Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams as a …

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Lucien Castaing-Taylor on LEVIATHAN

2013-03-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 30s

LEVIATHAN is being called a documentary. That’s as much for convenience’s sake as anything else — it’s clearly not fiction, so what else could it be? Except in no way does the film hew to conventional notions of documentary storytelling. Filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel brought a multitude of cameras onto a commercial fishing …

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Keith David: The CFQ Interview

2013-03-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 52s

Quick, when I throw out the name Keith David, what’s your first thought? Him casting a suspicious glance towards Kurt Russell in THE THING? The fistfight with Rowdy Roddy Piper in THEY LIVE? Maybe it’s the noble and ferocious Goliath from GARGOYLES or the nefarious Dr. Facilier from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG? Face it, …

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Sidiki Conde & Alan Govenar on YOU DON’T NEED FEET TO DANCE (Sponsored Post)

2013-03-06 :: Dan Persons
Length: 35s

The timing couldn’t have been better: Heineken comes around with an offer to sponsor and a hidden camera video that shows applicants for an internship at the company demonstrating their determination and resourcefulness after some rather odd curves (i.e. employee fainting spells, being recruited for impromptu rescue missions) are thrown their way; I just so …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: JACK THE GIANT SLAYER

2013-03-03 :: Dan Persons
Length: 59s

Once again, America has taken a look at the latest revisionist fairy tale and sighed a collective, “Why?” JACK THE GIANT SLAYER flopped at the box-office in its opening weekend, despite a mammoth budget, attractive leads, and director Bryan Singer expanding the story of a humble peasant vs. a ravenous giant into something that incorporates …

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Joe Avella on MASTER OF INVENTIONS

2013-03-03 :: Dan Persons
Length: 26s

Can a well-meaning inventor of largely useless, if not downright dangerous, gadgets find fulfillment and meaning in these desperate times? MASTER OF INVENTIONS may not have the answer, but it does have a lot of fun with the question. Produced independently and distributed for free on the web (yes, you can watch in now, here …

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HELLRAISER’s Ashley Laurence: The CFQ Interview

2013-02-28 :: Dan Persons
Length: 22s

It’s not easy playing the ingénue in the psycho-sexual farrago that is Clive Barker’s HELLRAISER — one has to maintain one’s humanity while being pursued by your demonic, hell-bent-for-incest uncle (masquerading as your father!) and courted by the sadomasochistic nightmares that are the Cenobites. Ashley Laurence pulled it off, and established herself as a supreme …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: DARK SKIES

2013-02-25 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

If there’s one thing we know about a Blumhouse film, it’s that the producers of the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise are convinced the American family just isn’t safe at home. In the case of DARK SKIES, the entities bedeviling a married couple (Keri Russell and Josh Hamilton) and their two young sons (Dakota Goyo and Kadan …

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Temple of Bad: MAC AND ME

2013-02-24 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

MAC AND ME is another one of those transcendental experiences — a film so awful, a film so wrongheaded in all its aspects, a film so cynically devised and ham-fistedly executed that it practically redefines the idea of the bad film. An obvious rip-off of the Steven Spielberg classic, E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, M&M (ironically one …

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SPIDER-MAN’s J.K. Simmons: The CFQ Interview

2013-02-21 :: Dan Persons
Length: 25s

It takes some kind of actor to take the role of a Nazi sadist and make it more than just a broad caricature. And it’s no mean feat to then become the flesh-and-blood incarnation of one of comics’ most notorious egotists and turn him into a person you might consider hanging out with. J.K. Simmons …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: BEAUTIFUL CREATURES

2013-02-18 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

The TWILIGHTing of romantic fantasy continues apace. In WARM BODIES a few weeks ago, director Jonathan Levine managed to take the human teen/inhuman teen (in this case, a zombie) romance and grace it with humor and genuine emotion; in the upcoming THE HOST, Andrew Niccol tackles TWILIGHT mistress Stephanie Meyer’s take on INVASION OF THE …

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Fred Stoller on FRED & VINNIE

2013-02-17 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

Friends are friends, right up to the point they move in with you. Then, they’re less friends and more a Skinnerian experiment in how long one can accommodate one’s life to the demands of another before the psyche fractures permanently. In the based-on-real-life comedy FRED & VINNIE, comedian and actor Fred Stoller (EVERYBODY LOVES RAYMOND; …

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STARSHIP TROOPERS’ Casper Van Dien: The CFQ Interview

2013-02-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 21s

Check his IMDB listing, you’ll discover Casper Van Dien has a full, rich career, including key roles in SLEEPY HOLLOW and MONK. But if you’re a genre film fan of a certain demeanor, you see his name and you tag him as does a subtitle in the recent comedy NOOBZ: “That Guy from STARSHIP TROOPERS.” …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE BIRDS

2013-02-11 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Next vacation, break away to beautiful Bodega Bay, CA, where the welcome is warm, the sun is shining, and the gulls want to peck your eyes out. Don’t order the fried chicken. With no new genre release in the theaters, the Spotlight gang takes a fiftieth anniversary look at Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 classic of nature …

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Pablo Larrain on NO

2013-02-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 25s

Turns out the will of the people rather closely resembles that of the Pepsi Generation. In 1988, Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was forced to stage a plebiscite on his administration, allowing his subjects to vote YES or NO on continuing his rule for another eight years. When Pinochet briefly opens up the television airwaves to …

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STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE’s Armin Shimerman: The CFQ Interview

2013-02-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

It’s not often an actor gets to redeem an entire species, but that’s what Armin Shimerman did when he took on the role of Quark, the amenable but eminently self-interested Ferengi barkeep of STAR TREK: DEEP SPACE NINE. Having been present for the Ferengi’s ignominious debut on STAR TREK: THE NEXT GENERATION, when a race …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: WARM BODIES

2013-02-04 :: Dan Persons
Length: 59s

In the zombie apocalypse, you take what you can get, whether that’s scrounging for medicine in an abandoned pharmacy, sitting down to dinner with a can of year-old Spam (uh, could we reconsider getting bitten again?), or pinning the last hope for the world on the slim possibility that a chance meeting between a human …

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Nick Kroll on KROLL SHOW

2013-02-01 :: Dan Persons
Length: 13s

Up until a few weeks ago, I feared I’d soon see Sally Struthers showing up on TV, exhorting me to donate to find a home for the population explosion that is comedian Nick Kroll’s vast array of characters. Fortunately, I don’t have to give up the change I spend on my daily Coca-Cola (I don’t …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS

2013-01-27 :: Dan Persons
Length: 50s

It’s a childhood classic, seen in a whole new light. For clarification’s sake, CFL bulbs are whole new lights, too, but you don’t see anyone buying tickets to watch them. Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton are the titular brother and sister team in HANSEL AND GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, all growed up and battling Famke Janssen …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: MAMA

2013-01-21 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Screw the armed guards in the schools, let’s get some firepower into the home, ’cause there’s definitely some malignant stuff going on there. In MAMA, a young couple (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) are saddled with a pair of literally feral children and have to contend with the challenges not only of raising a pair …

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Tom O’Brien on FAIRHAVEN

2013-01-18 :: Dan Persons
Length: 26s

The small town comes complete with big personalities in FAIRHAVEN. In tracing a couple of days when Dave (Chris Messina), an exile from the titular Massachusetts fishing town presently living la vida loca on the west coast, returns for the funeral of his estranged father and reunites with his old friends, the questing Jon (Tom …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: A HAUNTED HOUSE

2013-01-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 50s

In defiance of conventional wisdom, the second week of 2013 sees yet another film that doesn’t aspire to the bottom-of-the-barrel stature usually typified by early-in-the-year releases. Quite to the contrary, A HAUNTED HOUSE sets out to deflate found-footage horror in general, and the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY franchise in specific, and more often than not hits its …

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Dennis Haysbert on LUV

2013-01-11 :: Dan Persons
Length: 20s

Dennis Haysbert has used his magnificent voice and imposing presence to portray everything from a prophetically charismatic President of the United States in 24 to a brilliant scientist in NOW AND AGAIN to a tortured lover in FAR FROM HEAVEN. Now, in the incisive drama LUV, he’s Mr. Fish, crime boss and mentor to the …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D

2013-01-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 56s

Blood runs thick in TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, both in its usual, slaughterhouse context, but also in a more symbolic way. Yes, the venerable horror franchise has caught up with the rest of mainstream film, and now it’s all about family, as a surviving — and hitherto unknown — member of the murderous Sawyer clan (Alexandra …

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Temple of Bad: MARS NEEDS WOMEN

2013-01-04 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Oh, the Sixties, was there a way in which you weren’t one of our most fraked-up decades? War, assassinations, riots in the streets, MY MOTHER THE CAR on TV — never was there a time when it more seemed that society was shredding at the seams. Fortunately, director Larry Buchanan, the mastermind behind such cinematic …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: 2012 Roundup

2012-12-31 :: Dan Persons
Length: 57s

The future is a bottomless well, its mysteries yet to be revealed. The past is the road that stretches behind us, a strange and twisted route littered with ghosts, demons, hobbits, hostile aliens, Dark Knights, the gods of myth, and far too many teenagers lugging amateur camcorders. 2012 is over, a year that, as with …

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Ward Roberts on DUST UP

2012-12-28 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

It’s the end of the year. Time to weigh our actions of the twelve months prior, look ahead to the months to come, and resolve to be better, smarter, more generous, more loving in all we do. Then we can all sit down to a film in which a one-eyed ex-marine (Aaron Gaffey) and his …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: MONSTERS, INC. 3D

2012-12-24 :: Dan Persons
Length: 45s

And a happy holiday to you all! And once you’re done unwrapping the gifts and singing the carols and observing whatever expressions of faith you feel are appropriate for the time (if any), you may want to reinforce the communal feeling with a visit to the cinema for something the whole family can enjoy. In …

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Steven Van Zandt and Jack Huston on NOT FADE AWAY

2012-12-20 :: Dan Persons
Length: 40s

The ‘burbs are alive with the sound of music. Especially in the sixties, especially if you were a teen in New Jersey jamming with your friends in a garage and dreaming of being the next Rolling Stones. NOT FADE AWAY is the directorial debut of THE SOPRANOS creator David Chase, a canny look back at …

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Michael Haneke on AMOUR

2012-12-19 :: Dan Persons
Length: 43s

AMOUR is not the most gripping, devastating, insightful film you’ll see this year. It may be the most gripping, devastating, insightful film you’ll see ever. The tale of an elderly couple descending into isolation and desperation as the husband (Jean-Louis Trintignant) tends to a wife (Emmanuelle Riva) succumbing slowly to the damages of a stroke, …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

2012-12-17 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

The journey will be long, the challenges daunting, the popcorn very likely stale. But that doesn’t matter now — the grand epic that is the three-part, film adaptation of THE HOBBIT is upon us with the release of the first installment: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY. Having braved the onslaught of orcs, goblins, and restless eight-year-0lds, beabetterbooktalker.com‘s …

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Donnie Yen on DRAGON

2012-12-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 20s

Some people’s pasts come back to haunt them; some come back to kill them. In Peter Ho-Sun Chan’s martial arts film, DRAGON, Donnie Yen plays a loving husband living with his wife and child in a small, Chinese village at the beginning of the twentieth century. But when he seemingly inadvertently foils a robbery attempt, …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE LORD OF THE RINGS Trilogy

2012-12-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Next week sees the last, major genre film debut of the year with the release of THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY in glorious 3D and an innovative high frame-rate (HFR) projection system (advance word: bring Dramamine). The film marks the beginning of a new film franchise based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic tales of Middle Earth, …

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Ben Browder on BAD KIDS GO TO HELL

2012-12-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 29s

In such series as FARSCAPE and STARGATE SG-1, Ben Browder traveled to distant universes filled with strange and fascinating creatures. But in all their adventures, neither FARSCAPE’s John Crichton nor SG-1′s Cameron Mitchell ever had to contend with an environment as daunting as high school, or a life form as enigmatic as teenagers. That’s just …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: Holiday Horror Roundup

2012-12-03 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

It’s a funny ol’ thing: Guess the studios figured that after the tension of all those family reunions last week, audiences would need to vent some of that sublimated hostility. So this week, depending on where you live, you could spend time with a sadistic murderer with a penchant for elaborate death traps in THE …

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Temple of Bad: STARCRASH

2012-11-30 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Italy has brought us so many wonderful things: Fellini; lasagna; Silvio Berlusconi (that last is debatable). But among the many marvels borne of those shores, truly the most wondrous has to be the knock-off film, a genre that took groundbreaking, innovative American titles and replicated them with a low-budget zeal and enough questionable technical prowess …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: RISE OF THE GUARDIANS

2012-11-26 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

With THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, Disney succeeded in extending the holiday film season from the beginning of November to the end of the year. Now, DreamWorks has upped the ante with RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, a CG animated, 3D fantasy that not only has a burly, Slavic Santa (Alec Baldwin) heading up a team of …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2

2012-11-19 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

So now Bella (Kristen Stewart) is not just vamp, but super-mega-ultra-vamp, the smartest, strongest, most beautiful, most morally pristine vamp there ever was. Meanwhile, her brand-new and rapidly growing daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy) is blessed with the psychic ability to melt even the coldest heart with the power of L-O-V-E, not that that matters to …

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Victor Ginzburg on GENERATION P

2012-11-15 :: Dan Persons
Length: 39s

Eve bit the apple, Pandora opened the box, and for a certain generation of young Russians, the first taste of a certain, ambrosial nectar that we in the West call Pepsi did close to the same thing: unleash a desire that, once freed, could not be contained. In the caustic, Russian satire GENERATION P, one …

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J.G. Quintel on REGULAR SHOW

2012-11-14 :: Dan Persons
Length: 22s

Give REGULAR SHOW creator J.G. Quintel credit for coming up with a title that works in ironic counterpoint to itself. On the one hand, the Cartoon Network series is an examination of young people entering the workforce in modern America, with all the friction, tension, and social and moral quandaries that might ensue. On the …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: SKYFALL

2012-11-12 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

If box office numbers are to be believed, we’ve been suffering a severe case of Bond withdrawal. SKYFALL, the newest film featuring secret agent 007, had its best opening of any Bond film as the franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary. And critical consensus has so far fallen into line with that of ecstatic audiences, contending …

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Dick Cavett on DUCK SOUP

2012-11-09 :: Dan Persons
Length: 16s

The late sixties had its share of momentous events: Nixon attaining the presidency; the manned moon landing; and most important of all, Dick Cavett interviewing the 78-year-old, and still blisteringly funny, Groucho Marx on his late-night TV show. So when the Forum on Law, Culture, and Society at Fordham Law here in New York invited …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: CLOUD ATLAS

2012-10-29 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Who knew that a movie based on an “unfilmable” literary property with a complex story structure — even with an all-star cast — could be this dynamic, this moving, this, yes, fun? CLOUD ATLAS encompasses stories spanning five-hundred years — going all the way from the historical tale of a young traveler (Jim Sturgess) enduring …

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David Strathairn on GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK

2012-10-26 :: Dan Persons
Length: 15s

Released at a time when America’s faith in journalism was undergoing serious turmoil, George Clooney’s drama GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK was a stirring reminder of the importance of the institution. Focusing on TV newsman Edward R. Murrow (David Strathairn) and his producer, Fred Friendly (Clooney), and the risks they took in turning their spotlight …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

2012-10-22 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

From Paramount’s point-of-view, there’s a compelling reason to continue the PARANORMAL ACTIVITY series: It’s a cash-cow — a low-budget, high-earning (number one at the box-office this past weekend) crowd-pleaser.  The studio has some experience in this field, having previously cranked out the FRIDAY THE THIRTEENTH films, a franchise that became so threadbare by the end …

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Pen Ward on ADVENTURE TIME

2012-10-20 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

Television has managed to deliver up no shortage of animated shows ostensibly aimed at kids that also manage to build a justifiably enthusiastic adult fan base. Even with that, ADVENTURE TIME stands out. The tale of a human boy, Finn, and a shape-shifting dog, Jake (who’s also Finn’s brother — long story), making their way …

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Temple of Bad: XANADU

2012-10-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Somewhere towards the end of the 1970′s, the entertainment industry got it into its head that the public not only wanted to spend their nights out rollerskating to driving, disco music, but that they wanted to watch people rollerskating to driving disco music — so much so that there’d be no need for such niggling …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: FRANKENWEENIE

2012-10-08 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

FRANKENWEENIE is about resurrections in more ways than one. While the 3D, stop-motion animated tale, in glorious black and white, centers on a young Victor Frankenstein (here a (relatively) normal suburban kid rather than a deluded doctor) jolting his beloved dog Sparky back to life after a tragic car accident, with serious repercussions when his …

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Ted Kotcheff on WAKE IN FRIGHT

2012-10-05 :: Dan Persons
Length: 27s

There are too many chunks of cinema history that have gone permanently lost that anytime something is called back from the ashes, it’s cause for celebration. Even so, Ted Kotcheff’s acidic, sweaty Australian drama WAKE IN FRIGHT is a special case. Released in 1971 to critical praise and box office indifference, the tale of a …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: LOOPER

2012-10-02 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Is LOOPER a moving, existential examination of one man confronting the consequences of his actions? Is it a kick-ass, science-fiction thriller that gets considerable, mind-freak mileage from its time-travel scenario? Or is it an overhyped, poorly-plotted bit of pretentious cool? Surprise, it’s all three! At least it is if you ask Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, …

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WE MADE THIS MOVIE Director Rob Burnett

2012-09-29 :: Dan Persons
Length: 24s

The new comedy, WE MADE THIS MOVIE, offers up a couple of lessons in first impressions. Lesson one: Don’t presume that the producer of THE LATE SHOW and ED is going to go the traditional, studio route when he makes his feature film directing debut. Lesson two: Don’t think that a film about a group …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

2012-09-17 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

People have condemned the RESIDENT EVIL series, claiming it’s nothing more than a loose assemblage of action sequences wherein Milla Jovovich’s agile zombie-fighter Alice runs and shoots guns. Not satisfied with that, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson has confounded expectations with RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION: He has Alice shoot guns, then run. Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: [REC] 3: GENESIS

2012-09-10 :: Dan Persons
Length: 42s

[REC] 3: GENESIS, the third installment of the Spanish zombie franchise, distinguishes itself in several ways: It’s the first to move the location away from the building of the first two films, cleverly choosing a wedding reception as the site for its carnage; the narrative takes a decisively more humorous tone; and the director, Paco …

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Temple of Bad: INVISIBLE INVADERS

2012-09-09 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

This is an episode of Temple of Bad that includes several firsts. It’s our first discussion of a black-and-white film. It’s our first discussion of a film that has such a ridiculously short running time. It’s our first film starring John Carradine, and our first film starring the oh-so-dreamy John Agar. Sadly, it’s also our …

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GREEN Director Sophia Takal

2012-09-07 :: Dan Persons
Length: 25s

A couple of well-educated Brooklynites move to the country, strike up a friendship with one of the locals, and that’s where things get dark in Sophia Takal’s directing debut, GREEN. But hold up: This isn’t DELIVERANCE or STRAW DOGS. What Takal is after is a more incisive examination of isolation, dependency, and jealousy as the …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE POSSESSION

2012-09-03 :: Dan Persons
Length: 38s

You were at the beach. You were visiting relatives. You had friends over for one, last barbecue. You were scrubbing down the altar for the midnight sacrifice to the Great Old Ones (special for Providence only). Whatever you were doing, it was something you felt was more important than being in the theater this past …

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FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE Director Tsui Hark

2012-08-31 :: Dan Persons
Length: 20s

FLYING SWORDS OF DRAGON GATE is the first Tsui Hark film to be shot in Imax 3D, starring Jet Li. Okay, stop salivating and sit back down, we’ve got work to do. Granted, your enthusiasm is understandable. Hark — master of such deliriously epic action films as PEKING OPERA BLUES and ONCE UPON A TIME …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE APPARITION

2012-08-27 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

All these shades and poltergeists invading suburbia, moving the furniture and scaring the children and snatching souls from still-living bodies and otherwise causing all kinds of ruckus, sure, it’s inconvenient for the residents, but what about the real estate agents? Why doesn’t anybody think of them? What’s to come of their commissions, what about the …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: JOHN CARTER

2012-03-12 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, James Kirk, Luke Skywalker. Bleep those guys; as an interplanetary adventurer, John Carter has ‘em all beat by at least ten years. Bringing the star of   Edgar Rice Burroughs’ series of Barsoom novels to the screen has been a long-sought-after passion project for a number of filmmakers, including Bob Clampett, Ray …

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Mike Wallis and Inge Rademeyer on GOOD FOR NOTHING

2012-03-09 :: Dan Persons
Length: 31s

New Zealand couple Mike Wallis and Inge Rademeyer faced a choice: buy a house together, or use the money to make their first film. Rather than take a gamble on a dodgy proposition with, at best, 50/50 odds, they decided to do the sensible thing and plow their savings into GOOD FOR NOTHING (hey, have …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX

2012-03-04 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Everybody needs a Thneed. The question is, does anybody need DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX, the feature-length, CG animated, 3D, big screen adaptation of the legendary children’s author’s environmental parable? Directed by DESPICABLE ME’s Chris Renaud, the film attempts to expand upon the simple tale of a humble forest guardian (voiced here by Danny Devito) trying …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: Public Domain Pandemonium I

2012-02-27 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

The universe of the genre film is filled with many strange and wonderful things: heroes; demons, attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion (oh, Roy Batty, we miss you). But nothing is so strange or, at times, wonderful as the sight of movies that, by accident or design, have fallen out of copyright …

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Joshua Marston on THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD

2012-02-24 :: Dan Persons
Length: 18s

Fiddler on the Roof notwithstanding, there are probably some traditions that are best to be abandoned. At the beginning of THE FORGIVENESS OF BLOOD, a longstanding feud between two Northern Albanian families results in murder, and the kin of the now-fugitive killer finds itself paying for the crime by imprisoning itself at home as a …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE

2012-02-19 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

In a pair-up as enticing as a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE combines the rich, nutty goodness of Nic Cage with the tasty junkiness of the Neveldien/Taylor directing team. Transporting Marvel’s tortured, soul-sucking biker to Eastern Europe, the sequel has him joining forces with Idris Elba and Violante Placido to save …

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Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal and Tono Errando on CHICO & RITA

2012-02-17 :: Dan Persons
Length: 42s

Amidst the swashbuckling felines, fast-talking lizards, and kung-fu pandas — plus a cat in Paris — that occupy this year’s Oscar nominees for animated feature, there’s actually a tale featuring human beings, stylized though they may be. In CHICO & RITA, live-action director Fernando Trueba (BELLE EPOQUE) joins forces with artist/designer Javier Mariscal and his …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: STAR WARS: EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE

2012-02-12 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

There was no shortage of curiosity when George Lucas announced that he was converting his STAR WARS features to 3D, and no little disappointment when it was revealed that the first film to undergo the process would be the almost universally reviled EPISODE I – THE PHANTOM MENACE. Nevertheless here we are at the longest …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: IMMORTALS (Capsule: MELANCHOLIA)

2011-11-14
Length: 1h 3m 43s

It’s a good week for lush, exquisite cinematography and vividly stylized worlds; maybe not so good a week for compelling narratives. In IMMORTALS, director Tarsem Singh Dhandwar uses Greek mythology as the raw material upon which to invest his skill ...…

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Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2011: Jim Henson & TALE OF SAND

2011-10-27
Length: 17m 23s

Lest we forget that Jim Henson was about more than Kermit and Big Bird (ahem, DARK CRYSTAL, THE STORYTELLER, and on, and on…), this year’s New York Comic Con staged a panel in which Henson archivist Karen Falk and Archaia Editor-in-Chief Stephen ...…

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Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2011: DEATH VALLEY

2011-10-25
Length: 31m 44s

MTV’s making a big pitch to get back into the genre game, what with the resurrection of BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD and LIQUID TELEVISION. And, speaking of resurrections, there’s also DEATH VALLEY, a gory/funny exploration of what happens when the unde...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3

2011-10-24
Length: 1h 0m 32s

And so the story of two sisters vexed by supernatural forces — as captured by conveniently located video cameras — continues, or begins, or ends depending on how you want to look at it, in PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3.…

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Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2011: ATTACK THE BLOCK’s Joe Cornish

2011-10-21
Length: 17m 53s

You gotta love an alien invasion film where the aliens make the serious mistake of trying to invade some council estates (read, “projects”) in London and discover that the street-tough kids there are not going to yield the territory without rack...…

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Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2011: Roger Corman

2011-10-19
Length: 6m 17s

You never forget your first Roger Corman film. Mine was THE TERROR, which I admittedly was drawn to out of a combined curiosity over a film that was shot in two days on leftover sets, and that featured a young Jack Nicholson before he became THE Jack...…

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Cinefantastique’s New York Comic Con 2011: THE VENTURE BROS’ Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer

2011-10-17
Length: 56m 6s

Yes, Cinefantastique Online was at the just-wrapped New York Comic Con 2011, and we’re going to be bringing you tons o’ goodies — in both audio and video form — over the coming days (and weeks!). But we figured we should start you off the wit...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: REAL STEEL

2011-10-09
Length: 50m 0s

The official Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots movie is still in the planning stages, but until then, we have REAL STEEL, the Disney/DreamWorks family-friendly take on a world in which the squared circle has been commandeered by mechanical pugilists whil...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: DREAM HOUSE

2011-10-03
Length: 57m 35s

Winner of this year’s Ironic Film Title ribbon (SARAH PALIN: THE UNDEFEATED was disqualified for failure to complete a term — talk about ironic) DREAM HOUSE marks director Jim Sheridan’s attempt to explore the world of the psychological thrill...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: LION KING 3D & MST3K VS. GAMERA

2011-09-19
Length: 1h 11m 26s

There were no new genre films in theaters this weekend, but there was one old one in a shiny new, 3D coat: THE LION KING 3D, which just so happened to top this week’s box-office. With a prescience befitting a Cinefantastique editor,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: CONTAGION

2011-09-11
Length: 57m 19s

Break out the Purell, Steven Soderbergh is in mainstream thriller mode and he’s decided to get under your skin — almost literally — with a tale about a virus that doesn’t know when to quit. CONTAGION follows Soderbergh’s TRAFFIC template,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: SHARK KNIGHT 3D & APOLLO 18

2011-09-04
Length: 38m 9s

Yes, we’re deliberately misspelling SHARK KNIGHT. Why? Well, because it’s Labor Day weekend, and also because it amuses us to think of an insatiable predator of the deep leering in towards a nubile, young twenty-something, unleashing his awful,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK

2011-08-30
Length: 51m 53s

DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK, the title urges, but you know they’re lying. There are things hiding in the dark, little things, nasty things, things that want nothing better than to drag you down, down to the caverns where they dwell in order to,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: FRIGHT NIGHT

2011-08-21
Length: 1h 4m 42s

There goes the neighborhood. Charismatically feral vampire Jerry (Colin Farrell) moves into a struggling Las Vegas suburb, and it’s up to teen lovers Charley (Anton Yelchin) and Amy (Imogen Poots) to keep property values from seriously bottoming out ...…

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CFQ’s Black Hole Ultra-Lounge: Cashier du Cinemart’s Mike White & 3-Descent

2011-08-18
Length: 28m 41s

Cashiers du Cinemart’s Mike White hangs out after the Cinefantastique Spotlight to talk to Dan Persons about his magazine, his anthology, Impossibly Funky: A Cashiers du Cinemart Collection, the clouded future of 3D, and, of course,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: FINAL DESTINATION 5

2011-08-15
Length: 1h 4m 5s

Okay, so they called the previous installment THE FINAL DESTINATION, as if that was going to be the last chapter of the franchise. So what? Like you never said, “This one’s the last French fry,” and then went on shoveling the spuds down your gu...…

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CFQ’s Black Hole Ultra-Lounge: Return to the Escape from the Conquest of the Rise of the Planet of the Apes

2011-08-11
Length: 16m 57s

A post-show conversation between theofantastique.com’s John W. Morehead and Cinefantastique Online’s Lawrence French and Dan Persons about the PLANET OF THE APESfranchise in general, and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES in specific.…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

2011-08-08
Length: 1h 4m 17s

Startling the studios, startling the critics, and startling its delighted audiences, RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES has arrived to prove that a reboot — in the hands of a skilled director and inspired writers,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: COWBOYS AND ALIENS

2011-08-01
Length: 1h 22m 48s

It's genre-meets-genre at your local multiplex, and not since Gene Autry faced down an advanced, subterranean civilization in PHANTOM EMPIRE has the American west faced such daunting enemies as are encountered in COWBOYS AND ALIENS.…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER

2011-07-25
Length: 1h 12m 40s

We’re betting Paramount would’ve preferred that CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER had come out on the Memorial Day or July 4th weekends. However, martial-arts-happy animals and big-ass robots claimed those two slots, so here we are in later summer,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS PART 2

2011-07-18
Length: 1h 13m 26s

And so it comes to this: one determined, no-longer-a-boy-wizard versus one living incarnation of evil, facing off in a battle to the death. Meanwhile, millions of loving fans watch on, thinking, This is the culmination of all my dreams made real,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD and ZOOKEEPER

2011-07-11
Length: 1h 4m 8s

How does a review show handle the situation where two, exciting, soon-to-be-classic films are released on the same weekend? We don’t know, but this weekend saw the release of JOHN CARPENTER’S THE WARD and the Kevin James comedy, ZOOKEEPER,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

2011-07-04
Length: 1h 1m 41s

Big. Bigger. Biggest. Somehow those words don’t seem fitting descriptions for the new TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON. Biggeriest? Spectactimammogigantular? - In any case, it seems that Michael Bay’s plan for redeeming himself for the universally ...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: CARS 2

2011-06-27
Length: 1h 11m 30s

Kids love cars, and kids love CARS — that seems to be the calculation behind Pixar's latest animated offering, CARS 2. Abandoning the original film’s theme that celebrated the romance of exploring off-the-beaten-superhighway U.S,…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: GREEN LANTERN

2011-06-20
Length: 1h 12m 7s

Somebody notify Kermit: Being green just got a little easier. That’s what happens when the all-powerful will of the universe taps test pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) to be its latest defender, and a dying alien bequeaths him a ring that turns him i...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: SUPER 8

2011-06-13
Length: 57m 49s

J.J. Abrams, the man who set the deliriously enigmatic pace for LOST in that show’s pilot and upended STAR TREK by blowing up Vulcan (we still haven’t recovered) now sets his sights on the Spielbergian kids’ adventure in SUPER 8.…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: X-MEN: FIRST CLASS

2011-06-06
Length: 1h 7m 32s

It isn’t particularly well known, but mutants were with Washington when he crossed the Delaware, with Einstein when he developed the theory of relativity, and with Sarah Palin while she was waiting for Russia to raise its head above Alaska.…

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Cinefantastique Roundtable: ALIEN & the Ill-Advised World of Prequels

2011-01-19
Length: 1h 17m 56s

Seems that it was a good call, us taking the news portion of The Cinefantastique Podcast and mating it with what had to date been called the Cinefantastique Post-Mortem Podcast. Word that Ridley Scott is turning his scheduled ALIEN prequel into a kin...…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE GREEN HORNET

2011-01-17
Length: 42m 24s

It’s all change, baby, and with that in mind we’re experimenting with the format of the podcast. We’ve stripped away the news and theatrical and homevid release segments, combining them with our weekly Post-Mortem bull session to form what will...…

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Cinefantastique Podcast: SEASON OF THE WITCH

2011-01-09
Length: 50m 19s

Nic Cage’s latest, SEASON OF THE WITCH — about two knights who seek to redeem themselves for their participation in the Crusades by transporting an accused witch to a monastery for trial — has been roundly burned at the stake by most critics.…

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Cinefantastique Post-Mortem: Bumpin’ Gullivers & More J-Horror

2011-01-07
Length: 51m 15s

Having roundly belittled the recent, Jack Black-infused version of GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons turn their sights to other, earlier versions of the fantasy classic.…

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Cinefantastique Podcast: GULLIVER’S TRAVELS

2011-01-03
Length: 46m 48s

The CFQ crew is back, all rested after their holiday break and ready to tackle the new and exciting fantasy, horror, and science fiction film releases of 2011. But first, there’s GULLIVER’S TRAVELS, the big-budget adaptation of Jonathan Swift’s...…

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Mike Leigh on ANOTHER YEAR

2010-12-28
Length: 21m 10s

Is it marketing genius on the part of Sony Classics that they usher in 2011 with a film called ANOTHER YEAR? Nah, more likely they just wanted to get Oscar tongues a-buzzing for Mike Leigh's latest glimpse into joys, pains, hopes,…

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CFQ Post-Mortem: YOGI BEAR; Original TRON; and Best Laid Plans

2010-12-27
Length: 57m 13s

So, in the place of a CINEFANTASTIQUE PODCAST in which we discuss our top ten lists for 2010, we give you a CINEFANTASTIQUE POST-MORTEM in which we discuss doing a show in which we discuss our top ten lists for 2010.…

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Cinefantastique Post-Mortem: Remembering Dino DeLaurentiis

2010-11-20
Length: 32m 21s

In this week’s Cinefantastique Post-Mortem Podcast, Dan Persons and Steve Biodrowski bid farewell to producer Dino DeLaurentiis, who died on November 10 at the age of 91. DeLaurentiis was a frequent contributor to the cinefantastique genres,…

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Cinefantastique Podcast: SKYLINE

2010-11-16
Length: 50m 49s

This week, the Cinefantastique Podcast watches the skies – or, rather, the SKYLINE. Tune in as Dan Persons and Steve Biodrowski (minus the missing-in-action Lawrence French) take a stand against brain-eating aliens intent on taking over Tinsel Town...…

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Cinefantastique Post-Mortem: Snubbing George Takei & MONSTERS Mini-Review

2010-11-14
Length: 57m 49s

After debating whether three animated films in one year is more than enough from DreamWorks Animation, the Cinefantastique podcast crew of Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski attack MONSTERS (2010),…

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Patrick Hughes on RED HILL

2010-11-08
Length: 21m 58s

It's not really necessary that you be fully schooled in the great Australian action films of seventies and eighties -- or even in American westerns -- to enjoy Patrick Hughes' RED HILL, but it wouldn't hurt. Hughes has taken the immortal,…

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Cinefantastique Podcast: MEGAMIND

2010-11-08
Length: 1h 7m 50s

Throwing caution to the wind, the DreamWorks Animation crew has decided to go for a hat trick, releasing three action-packed, CG animated, 3D-enhanced films this year. The last of the trio, MEGAMIND, takes the usual superhero-supervillain rivalry and...…

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Cinefantastique Post-Mortem: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE vs. LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT

2010-11-05
Length: 34m 37s

Having exorcised the demonic apparitions of PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 in this week’s Cinefantastique Podcast, Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowsk turn their attention to the world-shattering debate over whether the original version of I SPI...…

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Cinefantastique Podcast: PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2

2010-11-01
Length: 46m 22s

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 2 is a huge hit, avoiding the sequel curse that struck down BLAIR WITCH 2: BOOK OF SHADOWS. But is PA2 really a worth follow-up, or is it just more of the same? (Or could it possibly be both at the same time? Ooooh, spooky!…

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Kerthy Fix on STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS

2010-10-30
Length: 20m 48s

- - A songwriter who can dream up lyrics like, "When we kiss, it feels like a flying saucer landing," can score those lyrics in any one of a thousand, infectious styles, and as a result command praises from the likes of Peter Gabriel, Neil Gaiman,…

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Cinefantastique Post-Mortem: Best Movies about the Afterlife & Clint Eastwood: Filmmaker

2010-10-28
Length: 54m 11s

Having laid Clint Eastwood’s HEREAFTER to rest in this week’s Cinefantastique Podcast, John W. Morehead, Dan Persons, Lawrence French, and Steve Biodrowski return in the Cinefantastique Post-Mortem to discuss the general merits of Eastwood as a dir...…

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Jeffrey Tambor and Thane Rosenbaum on …AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

2010-10-27
Length: 26m 22s

When you're offered the opportunity to talk with Jeffrey Tambor -- a.k.a Hank Kingsley, a.k.a. George Bluth Sr, a.k.a. Sid Garner for those who really keep track of these things -- do you say no? You do not -- of course, you do not.…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Abandon all propriety, ye who enter here. Once again, under the direction of Guy Ritchie and as embodied by Robert Downey Jr, the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes shakes off his tweedy cobwebs and gets down, dirty, and flat-out physical in SHERLOCK HOL…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: TREK NATION

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

A son goes in search of the father he never quite knew, and the CFQ crew gets introspective enough to take a nostalgic trip back to explore one of the formative influences on their sense of wonder, Gene Roddenberry’s STAR TREK. Come join our special gue…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: CFQ’s Top Ten 2011*

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 48s

2011: Definitely a good year for aliens. They waylaid a couple of fanboys, staged a showdown with cowboys, wrecked a tween’s film project, invaded LA, twice (must be the universal lure of In-N-Out Burger) — yessir, if you had more than four limbs and …

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

What says Christmas Spirit more than nuclear holocaust, life-or-death chases in an automated car park, and scaling the world’s tallest building? Maybe that’s why Paramount scheduled the release of MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – GHOST PROTOCOL for this most f…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight: THE WICKER TREE

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

A story as relevant as yesterday’s headlines, or too late a tale? Some thirty years ago, Cinefantastique hailed Robin Hardy’s THE WICKER MAN as “the CITIZEN KANE of horror,” lauding the Anthony Shaffer-scripted story of a god-fearing police detect…

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Cinefanastique Spotlight: UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

The UNDERWORLD franchise’s relentless, death-dealing vampire, Selene (Kate Beckinsale), goes under ice at the beginning of UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING, and so does most of the series’ political intrigue, swapping out the power struggles from the previous en…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

Does Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST need to undergo digital conversion to the 3D format in order to lure audiences back into the theater? It shouldn’t, not really. BEAUTY is a certified classic, the first animated film to net a “Best Picture” Oscar…

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Cinefantastique Spotlight Podcast: THE DEVIL INSIDE

0000-00-00 :: Dan Persons
Length: 1s

What kind of film is worthy of the sacrificial lamb slot that is the first release of January? What sort of slipshod storytelling does it take for audience members to start hurling epithets at the screen as the credits crawl? How disposable is the project…

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