ALI (2001)

Ali, Michael Mann’s towering biopic from 2001,writs large a minor theme the filmmaker had introduced way back in the nascent days of his career; namely, the notion that rigid idealism to a greater cause can transform a man into something more. In Mann’s first film, The Jericho Mile, convict/athlete Murphy becomes a Cool Hand Luke-like […]

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SATAN’S BED (1965)

Something slightly magical was lost when we slipped out of that specific era when unfinished or abandoned films could get purchased, infused with new footage that had only the slightest of connective tissue to the main story, and then passed on to unsuspecting customers as a legitimate and brand new product. There is a certain […]

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PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE (2002)

If 1999’s Magnolia was a baroque regurgitation of director Paul Thomas Anderson’s pet themes regarding tragically broken families, Punch-Drunk Love, his follow-up from 2002, is therapy in action. A cathartic primal scream wrapped up inside a rom-com and coyly teased as a “90 minute Adam Sandler comedy” when in production, Punch-Drunk Love lives in the […]

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THE INSIDER (1999)

Much like he began the decade in 1992 developing seemingly unconventional material to fit his cinematic vision with The Last of the Mohicans, Michael Mann followed the success of 1995’s Heat and closed the 90’s out with The Insider (1999), a taught, thinking-person’s thriller that, like The Last of the Mohicans, seemed worlds away from […]

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THE SIN SYNDICATE (1965)

“I learned on my wedding night that love was really a trap that could make you hate. A hate that made you want to kill your husband.” — Actual dialogue from The Sin Syndicate (that was probably jotted down by Michael Findlay while Roberta was talking in her sleep) The cinematic path of Roberta Findlay […]

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THE LOVE SLAVES (1976)

From one angle, Bob Chinn’s The Love Slaves (1976) is a vehicle for John Leslie as he investigates the dark and shadowy criminal underworld which is using women to do its murderous bidding. From another, it’s an adult film in which the male lead gets laid within the first five minutes and then, curiously, never […]

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HEAT (1995)

On the grandest throne at the center of Michael Mann’s universe, relatively undisturbed, sits 1995’s Heat. While one can argue all day about every one of his films’ merits and haggle about what represents his greatest work, it is without question that Heat gave Mann the ability to see a long-simmering dream project finally realized […]

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ANYONE BUT MY HUSBAND (1975)

C.J. Laing is in a lather. Continually demeaned and berated by her philandering husband without any kind of conjugal respite, she is rooked into embarking on a tour of infidelity which proves to be as challenging and unrewarding than her home life. After a tryst with a well-meaning but far too serious paramour, Laing breaks […]

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EAT AT THE BLUE FOX (1983)

Two things are done extremely well in the opening of Eat at the Blue Fox, Dick Aldrich’s (credited as Damon Christian, natch) 1983 follow-up to Titillation. The first thing is that a hot, sweaty, south of the border atmosphere is immediately established with a fade-up sex scene between Frank James and Desiree Lane. The second […]

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HARD SOAP, HARD SOAP (1977)

One of the true joys of vintage hardcore is that the films are generally better time capsules than most any piece of entertainment from the period save and except daytime talk and game shows. A lot of times, the films made within the adult industry were written, produced, and released within mere weeks meaning that […]

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