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[6.0] Rory Calhoun, or proto-George Clooney as I like to call him, stars in this kinda silly but kinda fun sword-and-sandals flick that earned Sergio Leone (A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time in America) his first major directing credit. Calhoun plays a visiting war hero on the island of Rhodes who gets tangled in a rebel uprising and a Phoenician conquest. He also …

[4.0] Robin Williams and Kurt Russell star in this alleged comedy about a loser (Williams) who decides to recreate the high school football game in which he dropped the ball and lost the game, sentencing his community to years and years of misery and heartache. To care much about The Best of Times, you have to believe that the lost game really sent the town …

[3.5] Pia Zadora and Craig Sheffer star in a no-budget sci-fi rock opera that’s so abominable, it’s almost charming. When a bunch of space dudes in pink costumes land on Earth looking for the source of rock music, they find it in Zadora’s singing. While Zadora starts to fall in love with the lead alien guy (Tom Nolan), Sheffer gets jealous and decides to stop …

[5.0] Kris Kristofferson and Cheryl Ladd star in this sci-fi yarn about people from the future who travel into the past to kidnap the passengers of doomed plane crashes right before they die. When Kristofferson, a plane crash investigator, discovers future technology among the wreckage of a recent flight, the future sends a woman (Ladd) to intervene… and the two fall in love. Millennium is …

[7.5] Christmas is coming and Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is determined to have the best old-time family holiday gathering ever, complete with an amazing house lighting display, the biggest Christmas tree ever, and extended family filling the house with Christmas spirit. Of course, nothing goes according to plan. That’s the point of the Vacation movies — to watch things blow up in Chevy Chase’s face …

[2.0] When this Italian flick (originally titled Island of the Fish Men) was picked up for North American distribution, a new opening featuring some gloppy special effects and a handful of kills was added. That opening is the best part of this movie, even if it’s merely a visceral victory point. Once the opening characters are all killed, the story follows a small boat full …

[7.0] This documentary about a Milwaukee indie filmmaker trying to finish his ultra-low budget horror movie is equal parts sad and hilarious. The filmmakers, Chris Smith and Sarah Price, follow Mark Borchardt as he flyers the town for cast & crew, scouts locations, records sound effects, and tries to pry more money for the budget from the pocketbook of his aging uncle. His dad thinks …

[6.5] The Apple is a glorious abomination of cinema that must be seen to be believed. Catherine Mary Stewart (The Last Starfighter, Night of the Comet) and George Gilmour star as singing lovers who are torn apart when an evil record label drives a wedge between them. Through religious allegory, disco, lavish song numbers, sex, and camp, the two are finally reunited at a hippie …

[6.0] From a technical and artistic point of view, this may be the finest animated film ever made. But it’s also dull. I dislike how the three floating fat ladies (Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather) steal the show, while the prince and princess are given all the personality of tree stumps. Fortunately, artistry goes a long way. Sleeping Beauty is Disney’s most exquisite work. I love …

[6.5] Producer Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters) wrangled together animation companies from around the world to assemble Heavy Metal, a string of six animated shorts based on the popular adult fantasy magazine. The stories are tied together by a loose framing device involving an ominous green orb that destroys everything it encounters. My personal favorite sequences are “B-17”, which depicts a zombie attack aboard a WWII bomber …

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