Hannibal at 40: ‘Hannibal Rising’ (2007) elegantly delivers the backstory of Lecter (Movie review)

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o mark the 40th anniversary of author Thomas Harris’ invention of Hannibal Lecter and the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs” – the only horror film to win Best Picture – we’re looking back at the four books and five films of the Hannibal Lecter series over nine Frightening Fridays. Finishing it up is the fifth film, “Hannibal Rising” (2007):

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Hannibal at 40: ‘Red Dragon’ (2002) lacks ‘Manhunter’s’ style, but does everything else better (Movie review)

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o mark the 40th anniversary of author Thomas Harris’ invention of Hannibal Lecter and the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs” – the only horror film to win Best Picture – we’re looking back at the four books and five films of the Hannibal Lecter series over nine Frightening Fridays. Next up is the fourth film, “Red Dragon” (2002):

Continue reading “Hannibal at 40: ‘Red Dragon’ (2002) lacks ‘Manhunter’s’ style, but does everything else better (Movie review)”

Hannibal at 40: New Starling-Lecter pairing in ‘Hannibal’ (2001) can’t recapture the magic (Movie review)

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o mark the 40th anniversary of author Thomas Harris’ invention of Hannibal Lecter and the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs” – the only horror film to win Best Picture – we’re looking back at the four books and five films of the Hannibal Lecter series over nine Frightening Fridays. Next up is the third film, “Hannibal” (2001):

Continue reading “Hannibal at 40: New Starling-Lecter pairing in ‘Hannibal’ (2001) can’t recapture the magic (Movie review)”

Hannibal at 40: ‘The Silence of the Lambs’ (1991) threads the needle to Oscar glory (Movie review)

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o mark the 40th anniversary of author Thomas Harris’ invention of Hannibal Lecter and the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs” – the only horror film to win Best Picture – we’re looking back at the four books and five films of the Hannibal Lecter series over nine Frightening Fridays. Next up is the second film, “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991):

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Vaughn and Newton are great, but body-switch horror-comedy ‘Freaky’ is rather basic (Movie review)

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reaky” has slasher-flick moments and it has comedic moments, but never at the same time, leading to a patchwork hybrid that always feels like a slick Blumhouse product, never something you can get swept away by. On the other hand, Vince Vaughn and Kathryn Newton (“Blockers”) are on point playing a teen girl and a serial killer, respectively. While this doesn’t rank among the great body-switch films, the two leads are always on their game.

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Hannibal at 40: Mann faithfully but sparingly adapts ‘Red Dragon’ into ‘Manhunter’ (1986) (Movie review)

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o mark the 40th anniversary of author Thomas Harris’ invention of Hannibal Lecter and the 30th anniversary of “The Silence of the Lambs” – the only horror film to win Best Picture – we’re looking back at the four books and five films of the Hannibal Lecter series over nine Frightening Fridays. Next up is the first film, “Manhunter” (1986):

Continue reading “Hannibal at 40: Mann faithfully but sparingly adapts ‘Red Dragon’ into ‘Manhunter’ (1986) (Movie review)”

Frightening Friday: Ring in an awful new year with ‘New Year’s Evil’ (1980) (Movie review)

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ome Eighties slasher movies are bad but fun to watch, and some are just plain bad. “New Year’s Evil” (1980) falls into the latter category. The cranked-out Cannon Films production features overacting and underacting by performers thrown to the wolves by writer Leonard Neubauer and director Emmett Alston, who either don’t know what they are doing or are too rushed.

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Three TV shows and three movies to see, and what else we can expect in 2021 (Commentary)

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021 will be a hugely transitional year for television and cinema as they react to our new post-pandemic habits. It could also be hugely entertaining year for audiences, as we get all those delayed 2020 releases plus some new ones. Here are my picks for three TV shows and three movies to see this year, plus a rundown of other big series and films:

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John’s top 10 movies of 2020

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he Oscars are expanding the 2020 movie year by two months in order for more films to get released and compete for statuettes. That’s a smart move, but on Dec. 31, I’m happy to make my year-end list and say good riddance to this year of the pandemic and all it wrought – including the push-back of many films to 2021 and the beginning of the end of cinemas. But we’re not tossing out the movies with the year itself, because enough good ones took the financial risk of coming straight to our home theaters. These were my 10 favorites:

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Frightening Friday: ‘The Faculty’ (1998) is a slick product that trades on a serious issue, but it’s all in good fun (Movie review)

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n 1998, I ranked “The Faculty” higher than “Disturbing Behavior” in my year-end top 10, but today I think the crisp, on-the-nose nature of director Robert Rodriguez’s film makes it the less interesting entry. Still, watching it today brings back that giddy feeling of getting not one but two school-as-hell movies in a matter of months. At Christmas of ’98, I knew how volcano enthusiasts felt in 1997 and how asteroid fans felt earlier in the year.

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