Catching the Classics: The French Connection

french_connectionSince 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list grows regularly and is currently more than 1300 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.

The French Connection first came to my attention when I was watching the AFI’s “100 Years, 100 Movies” program, which inspired my watch list; they had it ranked at #77. It was therefore one of the very first items to make it onto the list. It was also the Best Picture winner at the Oscars for 1971. As such, it seemed like a perfect choice for the inaugural entry in “Catching the Classics”.

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Logan’s Run: Why There is Mileage left in the Wolverine story

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After three instalments of the X-Men franchise and a largely disappointing solo outing, is there much left for audiences to get worked up over as the titanium claws come out once again on July 25th for The Wolverine? In short the answer is a resounding yes, as the series looks to take a murkier, in depth approach that aims to encapsulate the iconic anti-hero in a way that previous attempts have failed to do.  Continue reading

The Conjuring

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Frightening, well acted and well directed, “The Conjuring” is the Haunted House movie that horror fans have been waiting for. It skillfully savors the slight chills in the early going, then indulges in some outright jump in your seat moments before heading into the no holds barred ending.

This is a movie that is certain to be discussed as one of the best of the year, and likely to claim a spot in the discussion of all time great haunted house movies in years to come.

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Turbo

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Dreamworks Animation’s latest offering is the story of a snail who dreams of being fast enough to race. Through a freak accident, he’s empowered with speed that allows him to do just that.

It’s a bit of a strange choice for a feature, but DreamWorks is talented enough to turn the story into a mildly entertaining animated film.

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Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim

Giant robots fight giant monsters for the fate of the world in the latest offering from Guillermo del Toro (“Hellboy”, “Pan’s Labyrinth”). Featuring incredible special effects, a fantastic premise, and fun, colorful (albeit goofy) characters, “Pacific Rim” is a summer spectacular well worth catching on the big screen.

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The Lone Ranger

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A modern, big-budget version of “The Lone Ranger” starring Johnny Depp was always a strange proposition. The property had long been dormant, even though the name still carries recognition. Johnny Depp is also not the first person you’d think of to play a Native American, either, in spite of his questionable claims of Cherokee heritage. Then production woes set in, with major budget revisions and release date shuffling.

And indeed, the resulting film is strange. For a big budget spectacle movie, it’s quirky, long and offbeat. The titular character is more of a punching bag for jokes than an actual hero, the villains are outright old-timey mustache twirlers, and the sidekick is the star of the show.

Yet it’s certainly not without its charms and entertainment value. Patient viewers (and those that latch on to Depp’s odd, humorous Tonto) will be rewarded with a funny, fun summer action film.

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