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The Summer of '84: C.H.U.D. by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 31, 2014)
One really shouldn’t expect much from a movie like C.H.U.D. Most of the creativity went into the title, after all, which was good enough to earn them a nod on The Simpsons. Considering that it basically came from a bunch of bright young filmmakers with a

Mania Review: As Above, So Below by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 29, 2014)
Dear horror movies, ENOUGH WITH THE GODDAMN SHAKY-CAM! I understand that it helps you get made on a budget – as well as getting around those pesky things like proper lighting and direction – but if I have to sit through one more herky-jerky headache-in

The Legend of Hell House: Blu-ray Review by Robert T. Trate, News Editor
(August 28, 2014)


Only Lovers Left Alive Blu-ray Review by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(August 26, 2014)


Mania Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 22, 2014)
The original Sin City left me surprisingly cold. It adhered so closely to Frank Miller’s original comic vision that it forgot to be cinematic. It was like one of those “motion comics” they occasionally try to sell us where they deliver CGI-motion ver

The Summer of '84: Sheena by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 19, 2014)
Late at night, when the lights go out, film lovers secretly give a prayer of thanks for movies like Sheena. They’re so bad – so epically, fundamentally wrong-headed – that their very existence on-screen constitutes a minor miracle. We condemn them wi

The Summer of '84: Dreamscape by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 18, 2014)
I really wanted Dreamscape to work and when I was younger, it probably worked better. It was only the second film ever to earn the PG-13 rating (the first was Red Dawn, which beat it to theaters by one week), and thus carried the delicate whiff of forbidde

Mania Review: The Expendables 3 by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(August 15, 2014)


The Summer of '84: Cloak & Dagger by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 13, 2014)
The Cold War wasn't just for grown-ups apparently. Kids could get in on the action too. And in 1984 no kid was more beloved than Henry Thomas, star of E.T., who put his nascent celebrity wattage to work with a pint-sized spy caper called Cloak & Dagger. It

The Summer of '84: Red Dawn by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 12, 2014)
Looking back at Red Dawn, I find myself grappling with two distinct, seemingly opposing truths: 1)Showing a genuine guerilla war in the heartland of America could be genuinely cool; and 2)You still have to get the bad guys there in the first place.

The Summer of '84: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 11, 2014)
If you’re a comic book fan, chances are your first exposure to the medium didn’t come with an issue #1. It was #47 or #83 or #279: something in the middle of a complicated storyline where you had to pick up the threads as you went. “Okay, this person

Mania Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 08, 2014)
The Internet gets a little hysterical sometimes. Take, for instance, the significant kerfuffle regarding the latest reboot of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Someone (we won't say who, but is initials are "Michael Bay") made some vague promises about taking

The Summer of '84: The Philadelphia Experiment by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 04, 2014)
Kids like to think of movies like The Philadelphia Experiment as “grown-up.” The kind of movie you want to see just because you’re certain the adults are flocking to it and gleaning some kind of secret grown-up knowledge that you too could share if o

Blu-Ray Review: The Ong-bak Trilogy by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 04, 2014)
A friend of mine once expressed his desire to see something he called Fight: The Movie: a single 90-minute action sequence devoid of plot or character, with one guy beating the crap out of a small army of opponents in countless different ways for the whole

Mania Review: Cabin Fever: Patient Zero by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(August 01, 2014)
I wasn’t sure what to think about Cabin Fever: Patient Zero, given how little I liked the first film, and how much less I liked the (barely seen) second. Eli Roth’s movies never particularly appealed to me, nor did the torture porn movement they helped

Toy Review: Guardians of the Galaxy from Hasbro by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(July 31, 2014)
It is a perfect blending of properties. We have characters with a rich comic book history. We have an incredible movie that will dazzle and mystify audiences. Finally, we have a line of toys that will help kids carry on the story of these Guardians of the

Mania Review: Guardians of the Galaxy by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 31, 2014)
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a rhythm all its own, owing to its unprecedented success and the uniquely open-ended nature of its source. As such, it has the luxury of pacing itself. Not every movie can knock the ball out of the park like The Winter Sol

Blu-Ray Review: Sabotage by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 28, 2014)
I missed Sabotage when it first hit theaters. It falls into that sort of no-man’s land of films that may or may not qualify as “genre,” and coupled with scathingly negative word-of-mouth, we weren’t too put out to see it pass on by. The recent Blu-

Mania Review: Hercules by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 26, 2014)
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone not at least a little interested in seeing The Rock play Hercules. In terms of casting, it’s as absolute a no-brainer as one can imagine, and even at its worst, the concept promises a little cheesy sword-and-sandal

Mania Review: Lucy by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 25, 2014)
Lucy is either the dumbest smart film or the smartest dumb film I’ve ever seen. I don’t think it would be quite as fabulous if it were anything else. Only Luc Besson could conceive of such a wild ride, crafted in the manner of high-end cheese, then sla

Book Review: Planet of the Apes Saga: The Poster Collection by Robert T. Trate, Columnist and Critic
(July 23, 2014)


The Summer of '84: Electric Dreams by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 23, 2014)
No one born before the mid-1980s can possibly understand how terrifying home computers were at the time. No social change as fundamentally transformative as the computer revolution takes place without spooking the herd at least a little bit, and Hollywood

The Summer of '84: Revenge of the Nerds by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 22, 2014)
Nostalgia can be a tricky thing. Case in point: looking forward to re-experiencing a film you haven’t seen in twenty-five years, only to realize in one ghastly moment why you took a quarter century to get around to it again. Revenge of the Nerds is exact

The Summer of '84: The Neverending Story by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 21, 2014)
I didn’t realize that this film was about grief when I first saw it at the tender age of 12. Back then, it was about luck dragons! And racing snails! And a lonely kid (Barrett Oliver) who discovers the coolest book in the whole wide world! But even then,

Mania Review: Planes: Fire and Rescue by Rob Vaux, Mania Critic
(July 18, 2014)
“Disposable” never applied more aptly to a movie than it does to Planes: Fire and Rescue. Believe it or not, that’s actually a big step up from the first Planes, which wore its cheapness like a badge of honor. This one doesn’t actually have the gal

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