Remember that kid from high school that nobody liked and you and your friends mercilessly tormented him just because he was different? No? Well, he sure remembers you. Now imagine that all these years later, that person still bears a grudge against you and wants a little payback.
The Warner Bros. Archive Collection has remastered and released another contemporary classic from their vaults: The World According to Garp, and a welcome arrival it is. Adapted from the novel by John Irving and released back in 1982, this quirky comic drama featured star-making performances from three relative newcomers: Glenn Close, John Lithgow, and a gifted young comedian named Robin Williams. Appropriately, Lithgow and Close were both nominated for Academy Awards for their supporting performances, but it was several years too soon for Williams to be taken seriously as a dramatic actor. George Roy Hill, who directed Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Sting, showed inspired brilliance in giving the lead role to Williams, an actor whose only prior characterizations were a manic alien named Mork from Ork and a one-eyed sailor named Popeye.
If Disneyland once got sued because (it was alleged) Winnie the Pooh had accidentally slapped a young guest while posing for photos, it boggles the mind to contemplate all the lawsuits Jurassic World would have incurred after the devastation depicted in this film.
In the 22 years and three films since Jurassic Park re-introduced living dinosaurs to the world, there has been rampant chaos, carnage, and death at every turn. Still, it seems the harsh lessons of playing God and tampering with Mother Nature have gone completely unheeded yet again. Lo and behold, another attempt at a state-of-the-art theme-park zoo of cloned dinosaurs has made its debut for the paying public: Jurassic World is now open for business, and the park is packed with 22,000 eager tourists. But this time, all the bugs are worked out, and the past mistakes have been corrected. What could possibly go wrong?
After 9-11, the National Security Agency developed a top-secret surveillance program called Stellar Wind, in which the NSA could arbitrarily and without restriction, monitor and record all citizens’ communications. In early 2013, a curious correspondence of encrypted e-mails began between a documentary filmmaker and an anonymous source known only as Citizenfour. Documentarian Laura Poitras was already under government scrutiny after making films about the U.S. war in Iraq and Guantanamo. Her mysterious correspondent turned out to be none other than Edward Snowden, the senior government employee in the intelligence community and future alleged traitor to the United States.
Remember all those humorous aphorisms concerning Chuck Norris? You know, “Chuck Norris is so tough… yadda yadda yadda.” Well, if there’s a worthy contender to seize that crown of ultimate machismo from him, it would have to be Liam Neeson. Seriously, look at the guy’s rap sheet of action flicks in the last ten years, and you’ll see a body count that would rival that of the Black Plague. Yes, the man who was Oskar Schindler could now take on the Expendables all at once at still come out grinning. And his string of gritty action thrillers continues with Run All Night.
Spongebob Squarepants is a fry cook at a popular fast-food diner called The Krusty Krab in the undersea city of Bikini Bottom. The Krusty Krab is famous for a particular burger-type delicacy called The Krabby Patty. They’re insanely popular, and the secret formula is kept under lock and key. Unbeknownst to Spongebob and his compatriots, an enterprising surface-dweller pirate named Burger Beard, played with delightful relish and gusto by Antonio Banderas, has found an ancient text that essentially tells the story of the movie you’re currently watching. This gives Burger Beard the ability to rewrite the story as it progresses.
Fame, wealth, power, and success are the enviable goals of most people in Hollywood. Once achieved, the struggle and pressure to maintain them are unrelenting and will drive some to drastic lengths to ensure their survival.
Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore) is an actress in the twilight of her career who still lives in the shadow of her more famous deceased mother. Constantly plagued by jealously, insecurity, and personal demons, she is desperate to keep her star status active while the delicate balance of her life and sanity rapidly unravel.
Way back in the mid to late 1980s, I was an avid comic book collector, and one of my favorite discoveries around that time was a brand-new and independently produced comic called Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It lacked the polish and grandeur of the Marvel and DC titles, but it was raw, edgy, and totally original. There was no shortage of blood on the katana, if you get my drift. Not long after that, however, mainstream pop culture bastardized it into a puke-inducing kiddie cartoon and toy franchise. The once-hardcore vigilante turtles suddenly became pizza-eating wisecrackers who over-frequently used words like dude and cowabunga. It also spawned three diaper-filling live-action films, and I abandoned all hope after that.
In the utopian community of The Giver, citizens have been relieved of the burden of having memories beyond their own lives. Human history has been erased. The logic being that if you have no memory of the past, you won’t be doomed to repeat it. Daily mandatory injections chemically stifle personal ambition, curiosity, and primordial urges, and Big Brother is ever watchful. The established rules are these: Use assigned language, wear the approved clothing, take your daily medication, obey the curfew, and never lie.
Life isn’t easy when you’re the bastard child of Zeus, father of all Gods, and your name happens to be Hercules. In ancient Greece, it was commonplace for the Gods to descend from Mount Olympus to fornicate with humans and leave mortal offspring in their wake. But Zeus’ infidelity incurred the vengeful wrath of his wife, Hera, who wanted to destroy his illegitimate progeny. When killing Hercules proved problematic, she instead did the next best thing and drove him to madness and the murder of his own wife and children. Remorse then prompted him to undertake his twelve impossible labors to purge himself of his crime.