Living for the Cinema

Living for the Cinema

Short movie reviews from the last 50+ years by Geoff Gershon.


February 20, 2024 16 mins

Considering that he was one of the most influential musical performers of the 20th Century pioneering an entire genre (reggae) of music, it was only a matter of time before we were to see a big budget studio of biopic of the late, great Robert Nesta Marley hailing from Nine Mile, Jamaica.  His life was tragically short but his music has lived on decades after his untimely passing in 1981.  This film directed by Reinaldo Marcus Gree...

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Probably the best way to describe this movie would be as a "Kung Fu Musical Comedy" but that MIGHT not do it justice!  Produced by the founder of Motown Records (Berry Gordy) and directed by one of the early pioneers of African American cinema (Michael Schultz), it was a tale as old as time....of Bruce Leroy (Taimak), a young aspiring martial artist from New York City who aspires to become as accomplished as his idol, the...

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February 13, 2024 17 mins

Just a couple of years before the breakout success of his seminal horror classic, John Carpenter directed this low-budget action thriller focusing on the siege of a soon-to-be-closing LA police station by a some local gangs who are trying to take down a rival gang-leader being held in custody by the police.  As the gun fire and violence escalate, every one inside - both cops and criminals - eventually team up to defend themslves an...

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February 8, 2024 29 mins

Poor Things is a high-brow steam-punk fantasy which just garnered the second largest number of Oscar nominations for 2023 including BEST PICTURE and has received universal acclaim for this surrealist tale of Bella Baxter (Emma Stone, also nominated for Best Actress), a young woman in Victorian England (?) who has recently been reborn/revived via a series of questionable experiments by a mad scientist Dr. Godwin played by Willem Daf...

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February 5, 2024 19 mins

Once the Queen of Rom-Com's, Julia Roberts returned to the genre which made her a household name fifteen years ago and she also reuinited with Clive Owen, her co-star of Closer, their acclaimed drama about about five years prior.  And they were both being directed by Tony Gilroy who just about 18 months prior had directed the seminal legal thriller Michael Clayton.  It also featured the promising premise of a romantic partners...

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February 1, 2024 20 mins

Forty years ago this summer, we saw the release of this seminal biopic/concert movie from first-time director Albert Magnoli.  It was the feature film debut of Prince who was a rising rock and pop phenomenon at the time and it featured wall-to-wall new songs from Prince and his band at the time, The Revolution.  Both the film and its soundtrack became instant phenomenons launching the late, great Prince Rogers Nelson into the strat...

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January 29, 2024 17 mins

Fifteen years ago, we saw the release of one of THE most surprising word-of-mouth hits of the 21st Century and that was this straightforward action thriller directed by Pierre Morel.  It starred Oscar Nominee Liam Neeson as Brian Mills, an ex-spy/assassin with a "particular set of skills" who has just found out that his teenage daughter (Maggie Grace) was "taken" while on vacation with her friend in Paris.  So h...

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Welcome to the Living for the Max series.  Over the past 45 years, there has been no other film franchise QUITE as inventive nor as consistently exciting as The Mad Max Saga….four films mostly chronicling the post-apocalyptic adventures of lone wolf Max Roxatansky played three times by Mel Gibson and most recently by Tom Hardy.  As everyone has been directed by Australian cinematic genius George Miller, they have each reflected his...

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January 22, 2024 21 mins

Ten years ago at the Sundance Film Festival, every one who saw it was just dazzled by this low-budget music drama directed by then up-and-comer Damian Chazelle.  And as the year progressed, so did more buzz before it was eventually released worldwide later that year to much acclaim and lots of awards attention.  In fact, this film ended up being nominated for five Oscars including Best Picture and ended up winning three, including ...

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NAVAL WEEK concludes with a highly acclaimed period seafaring adventure which just turned 20!

Adapted from a series of beloved historical fiction novels from Patrick O'Brian, this film chronicles the journey of the HMS Surprise, a British seafaring vessel sailing across the Southern Hemisphere and in a continuous cat-and-mouse with the French Navy, this being during the height of the Napoleonic Wars in the 1800's...

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January 16, 2024 20 mins

NAVAL WEEK kicks off with what might be The LAST Great Cold War Thriller??

Could be as this adaptation of Tom Clancy's best-selling novel was released literally just a few months after the fall of the Soviet Union.  It all takes place during the height of the Cold War back in the early 1980's.  There's a brand new Russian submarine in the water which can be apparently run silent and it's lead by Captai...

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January 12, 2024 17 mins

What's this, a well-regarded science fiction conspiracy thriller which featured an all-star cast and yet no one remembers it?? Well yeah if this film happens to come out the same year as Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind....two BEHEMETHS from this era directed by master filmmakers/household names George Lucas and Stephen Spielberg respectively.  Whereas this was directed by Peter Hyams....who actually built up a...

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January 8, 2024 18 mins

Forty years ago amidst a crop of various pop music-driven movies (Flashdance, Breakin), this Herbert Ross-directed teen musical drama hit the world by storm and made a star of its lead performer, the legendary Kevin Bacon.  Beyond that, it also had a one of the most memorable soundtracks of the decades featuring several catchy pop gems including the EXTREMELY popular title track from Kenny Loggins.  It's generally a simple sto...

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January 5, 2024 20 mins

From the director of The French Connection, The Exorcist, and.....Cruising :o....this was somewhat of a comeback vehicle for the late, great William Friedkin in the mid '80's after a series of highly publicized flops and commercial disappointments.  It's a hard-edged LA-based crime story revolving around two Secret Service agents (William Peterson, John Pankow) attempting to take down the ruthless California King of ...

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January 1, 2024 19 mins

For the first time in more then eight years, the legendary Michael Mann (Heat, The Insider, The Last of the Mohicans) has returned to the director's chair with a project which he has been developing for more than two decades.  This is the epic story of Enzo Ferrari (Adam Driver) the Italian racer/industrialist who would forever revolutionize both car manufacturing and auto-racing.  Only this is isn't his WHOLE story - thi...

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December 28, 2023 19 mins

Many would consider Denzel Washington to be our Greatest Living Actor....Period and as part of this podcast's year tradition to celebrate his birthday (December 29), we will revisit one of the lesser-known starring vehicles from early in his career which is this Jamaica-based mystery thriller directed by Carl Schenkel.  Denzel stars as the local police chief of a Jamaican resort community who is investigating a murder....with ...

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December 25, 2023 17 mins

First-director Cordell Jefferson helms this highly acclaimed new comedy/drama starring Jeffrey Wright as a veteran author struggling to find success and also coping with some upheaval within his family back home in Boston - his siblings are played by Sterling K. Brown and Tracee Ellis Ross.  His literary agent is played by John Ortiz who has challenged him to write a novel with better commercial prospects,...something more overtly ...

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December 22, 2023 15 mins

Todd Haynes (Carol, Far From Heaven) directs this domestic drama/psychological thriller starring Oscar-winner Julianne Moore as a suburban woman who had an affair with an underage boy more than twenty years prior and ended up marrying him after she was eventually released from prison.  This young boy has grown up into Charles Melton (Riverdale) and the two eventually had a with three teenagers, two of whom are about t...

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December 18, 2023 15 mins

Sam Email (who was the creator of the popular drama "Mr. Robot") directs only his second feature film adapting the 2020 novel of the same name from Rumaan Alam.  This is a story of one New York City family (lead by Oscar winner Julia Roberts, Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke) who rents a nice home on Long Island to get away for the weekend....and the father (Two-time Oscar winner Mahershala Ali) who owns this home returning unex...

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December 15, 2023 19 mins

CHRISTMAS MOVIE WEEK 2023 continues!  And this second episode happens to focus on a strange, little studio holiday-themed comedy which actually came out thirty years ago this coming Easter....

It stars previous stand-up comedian Denis Leary in his first starring role in a feature film - he plays Gus, a career thief who is robbing the homes of some wealthy residents in a snowy New England town when suddenly he's about ...

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