The Adventurous Filmgoer


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…


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…


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…


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…


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…



Imagine “Swiss Family Robinson” or “Doctor Doolittle,” only with untrained, restless animals and actors who are in very real danger. Try picturing a movie, made by a husband and wife team,  in which they star alongside their kids and share scenes with dozens of real, unpredictable lions, cougars and a massive, angry elephant. It sounds…

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