The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing and you know what that means: once again you are looking up the definition of the word “dressage.”

The sports film, when done right, can be one of the most exhilarating genres of all. And once you get past The Fighter, The Sandlot and Hoosiers you’ll find that there are more and more treasures out there. This list just scratches the surface of great, lesser-known movies out there whose subjects match events playing out in London over the next few weeks. Read More »

One time I inadvertently stole a Milky Way bar. I was at the Drug Fair and I wanted the candy but my mother said no. I got sad and started following her around and she said maybe. So I continued following her around and then next thing you know we were in the car and I had the candy bar but she hadn’t paid for it. Then she yelled at me and told me I could go to jail for that and I started to cry. After that – which happened to coincide with my 25th birthday – I never stole again.

If I was caught, however, I would know what to do, as I’ve seen plenty of movies about prisons. Here are eight that I think are somewhat obscure and deserve your attention. So grab your shiv and let’s go. Read More »

A great American city lays in waste. The odor of sweat, tears and Cheetoes still lingers, as do the crushed hopes of those who hit snooze one too many times instead of getting their butt on line. It will take one full year to recover.

That’s right friends – Comic-Con International, as no one calls it anymore, has just ended and your friends from SlashFilm were in San Diego in full force. We’re there every year, watching successes launch (yay Avengers) and witnessing disasters stumble (not-so-yay Terminator Salvation.)

Then there are other movies. Movies that coulda been a contender but, for whatever reason, just didn’t connect. Here are films that had a presence in San Diego that, we feel, should have been bigger hits. This week will be a little less obscure than usual, but we think it’ll still be fun. Read More »

We are in the heart of the heat of the summer and you are either crackin’ brews at the beach, cursing your life in a suit and tie wondering how the hell you got stuck in a soul-crushing corporate gig or loading the car with gas and snacks. Road trip!

As we close in on the 4th of July, my vacation of choice is always the open road – that most unique of American experiences. (Sure, they travel in other countries, but in Europe they go by commie international rail and/or by following bearded men with staffs into dark forests.) Before you rummage through your old wallet looking for that AAA card, here are some great road trip movies you probably haven’t seen. Read More »

“While Trixie’s distracting the guard, that’s just when I’ll be tunneling in from the fishmonger’s. Just be sure to drive by in the van at precisely the moment the clock strikes or we’ll all wind up in the hoosegow!”

Heist movies. I love ’em. And while they always remind us that crime doesn’t pay, there we are lining up to see another one. So grab your blueprints, safecracking gloves and false identities, here are some cinematic capers you may have missed.

PS – thanks to @MikeGarba for this week’s suggestion. Read More »

This weekend brings us two opportunities to experience either joy or frustration, depending on what kind of life you lead. That’s My Boy comes out in theaters coinciding with Father’s Day. You can either laugh yourself silly and get the ol’ man a tie, or you can sublimate regret and remorse for another twelve months – it’s up to you.

I’m blessed enough to have a healthy relationship with my old man (and Adam Sandler) but, lucky for those of us who like a little drama, contentment isn’t always the case at the cinema. Therefore, this week we take a look at some of the more interesting (and somewhat obscure) takes of fatherhood on film. Read More »

Draw a Venn diagram of film that has both mass appeal and is of interest to movie website editors and, dead center, you’ll have Prometheus.

Never in my sixty-eight years of writing professionally online have I banged out so much copy about one title. There is absolutely nothing left to scrutinize – that is, until, the general public sees it and starts floating their own interpretations. This gives us a window (here in the US, anyway) of about one day.

As such, I figured this week’s TBMYPHS should be about the one thing Prometheus-related that hasn’t been overly analyzed – its title. (Prometheus, Greek titan, tied to a rock, hit Wikipedia for more.)

So light yourself a plate of saganaki, it’s time to explore our Greek titular heritage. Read More »

Tell me if you had a similar experience. Every year when I was a kid my father would wait until I was having the most fun during Memorial Day weekend – I’d either be mid-chomp on a hot dog or about to leap off a diving board – when he’d remind me that, “this weekend isn’t just about having fun, it’s about honoring the dead!”

He was right, of course, and this no doubt could inspire me to guilt you into watching more movies about brave soldiers dying so you can enjoy your freedoms. I thought, however, I’d widen the margin and use this week’s TBMYPHS to discuss cinematic portrayals of grieving.

There, I’ve done it – I’ve out-downered my own father. Have a gloomy, depressing weekend, everyone! Read More »

Everybody loves Liam Neeson. It’s impossible not to. He’s a badass, he’s handsome, he’s got the cool accent, he seems like a smart guy and he’s starred in some of the best movies of the past quarter century. Even when he shows up for a quick and dirty paycheck like in Battleship it’s hard to begrudge the guy. (Given the recent tragedy in his personal life, my inner Jewish grandmother says “it’s good he should keep busy. And why not make a few dollars at the same time?”)

I won’t suggest that you skip Battleship this weekend. With friends and some smuggled-in tall boys of Coors Light you’ll have a fine time. But don’t expect that much Liam Neeson. In fact, it may leave you wanting more, so here are eight films of his you probably haven’t seen.

Note – Darkman isn’t on here. I’m giving you enough credit and assuming that you’ve seen that one already. Read More »

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I like the fact that the band is still called Sonic Youth, even though they’re all in their 50s. Similarly, there’s the term New Hollywood, which represents a very specific time in which the studio bosses gave free reign to independent-minded, radical filmmakers looking to push the artistic boundaries of film. It is a cinema movement that came out guns blazing in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde and suffered its first wound from Jaws in 1975, then sank into the mud under its own weight by 1977 with Sorcerer. (Yeah, that’s right, Roy Scheider represents the end of New Hollywood from both directions.)

But these movies still feel “new.”

These were films made by a generation influenced by European Art Cinema, reacting against big studio bloat and, in many cases, taking advantage of new technical advances. There are a hundred books you can read about this movement, and the safest bet it to check out Peter Biskin’s “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls” as a primer.

Like most people my age, New Hollywood is a sweet spot – and it was a real chore to limit myself to just eight underrepresented gems. My initial brainstorm had twenty-five titles that all fit the “obscure” and “great” parameters. Maybe I’ll revisit this column with a Volume II if there are calls for it in the comments. (The people have the power!)

Hats off to Twitter’s @MoviesByBowes for the suggestion. Read More »