The Adventurous Filmgoer

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April Fool’s Day

This isn’t an April Fool’s Day gag but a genuine recommendation, especially if you’re “not into scary movies.” Die-hard horror fans, on the other hand, know that Fred Walton’s 1986 sleeper, which just turned 30 years old, is a real keeper. It’s also an essential genre entry, as it was decades ahead of its time…

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The Counselor

You know you’re watching a film noir when the main character is presented with two choices and never picks the right one. Of course, if people in movies did the right thing, made the correct, morally responsible decisions and acted like good, upstanding citizens, we wouldn’t have a movie. In Ridley Scott’s “The Counselor,” Michael…

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Watchmen

If you only read one graphic novel in your lifetime, make it “Watchmen” by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons. I’ve been saying this for years, to the annoyance of my friends, but seriously, it lives up to its prestigious reputation. On paper, “Watchmen” is thrilling, complex stuff, but as a movie, its an ambitious mixed…

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Nocturnal Animals

“Nocturnal Animals,” director Tom Ford’s second film, begins with the filmmaker playfully tickling the audience and pushing their buttons. By the time the names of the actors and production team have finished appearing and the introductory moments have faded, the audience may feel they’re in for a big goof. Actually, what develops isn’t a comedy…

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The Black Hole

After the release of “Star Wars” and its monumental, game changing success, seemingly every major film studio cranked out a competitor. While the low-budget “Star Wars” knockoffs are a long list of mostly forgotten duds, the expensive, ambitious examples are noteworthy for all arriving in the same year. In 1979, United Artists sent James Bond…

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The Kiss

I wasn’t aware that kissing a relative was an actual, universally shared phobia but here it is, a movie that exploits that fear. In Pen Desham’s 1988 horror film, “The Kiss,” Amy, a young, virginal teenager (played by Meredith Salenger) is uneasy about the presence of her Aunt Felice (Joanna Pacula), a long absent relative…

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Strange Invaders

Michael Laughlin’s 1983 “Strange Invaders” never garnered the cult following it deserved, though I’m always running into it. It used to be one of those titles I’d find at seemingly every video rental store in America, the DVD is readily available and it frequently pops up on basic cable. Laughlin intended the film to be…

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No Holds Barred

In 1989, I took a long drive with my mother to Lahaina, in hopes of seeing Hulk Hogan.. Our plan was to see “No Holds Barred,” the first-ever wrestling/action movie to star Hogan, one of my childhood heroes. The movie was one of three films playing at the recently opened Wharf Cinema Center, Maui’s first…

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