Author Archive: Jef Burnham

Jef is a writer and educator in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a degree in Media & Cinema Studies from DePaul University, but sometimes he drops it and picks it back up again. He's also the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com and is fueled entirely by coffee (as if you couldn't tell).

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Convoy

Convoy

| April 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

Were it not directed by Sam Peckinpah, I’d surely be forced to classify Convoy (1978) as a “guilty pleasure.” This film gets to me in a way no other Peckinpah picture does, simply put, because it’s fun. Straw Dogs (1971) isn’t fun. That’s all rape and murder from one end to the other, which is […]

Barquero

Barquero

| April 26, 2015 | 0 Comments

In this 1970 western, Lee Van Cleef stars as the titular barquero (or boatman) Travis, a stoic yet sleazy sort who leads a group of squatters in a cross-river standoff against a gang of murderous thugs bent on procuring Travis’ barge so they can flee from the law into Mexico. In an interesting twist on […]

Taken 3

Taken 3

| April 25, 2015 | 0 Comments

I can’t say I fully understand the current cultural obsession with Liam Neeson’s action movie persona. Somehow, you put a gun in Liam Neeson’s hand and give his character some thin excuse to kill five or six dozen foreigners and people flock to the theaters. What I do understand is that the man, as an […]

Cooley High

Cooley High

| April 21, 2015 | 0 Comments

No release I’ve personally reviewed from Olive films is as historically significant as their upcoming Blu-ray release of Michael Schultz’s Cooley High (1975). By my estimation, this puts it easily among the distributor’s top three most important releases, along with High Noon (1952) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Cooley High differs from those […]

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Firewalker

Firewalker

| April 17, 2015 | 0 Comments

The Internet tells us that Chuck Norris is a lot of things. He’s able to divide by zero, make onions cry, control time, and yes, cook minute rice in thirty seconds. He’s even, I’m led to believe, the reason there’s been no life discovered on Mars. There is one thing he’s not though, and that’s […]

Interview with Jack Sholder, Director of Nightmare on Elm Street 2

Interview with Jack Sholder, Director of Nightmare on Elm Street 2

| April 13, 2015 | 0 Comments

Jack Sholder, the acclaimed director of such beloved genre classics as Alone in the Dark, The Hidden and A Nightmare on Elm Street 2 will be making his first Chicago appearance at the Sci-Fi Spectacular (facebook.com/terrorintheaisles)—Saturday, April 18, 2015 at The Patio Theater—for a Q & A and a rare screening of one of the best films […]

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Batman vs. Robin

Batman vs. Robin

| April 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

The latest entry in the DC Animated Universe, Batman vs. Robin (2015), marks the fourth installment in DC’s series of interconnected, straight-to-video animated narratives (after the pair of Justice League pictures—War and Throne of Atlantis—and Son of Batman). It also, to my mind, stands as perhaps the most impressively realized animated feature to come out […]

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That Man from Rio & Up to His Ears

That Man from Rio & Up to His Ears

| April 11, 2015 | 0 Comments

Prior to getting a look at Cohen Film Collection’s upcoming 2-disc Blu-ray release of Philippe de Broca’s That Man from Rio (L’homme de Rio, 1964) and Up to His Ears (Les tribulations d’un Chinois en Chine, 1965), I was only passingly familiar with de Broca’s work. Actually, the only thing I knew about his films […]

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Tales of Terror

Tales of Terror

| April 8, 2015 | 0 Comments

It’s not October and yet we’ve a new Vincent Price Blu-ray on the way. What did we do to deserve this? I don’t know but clearly the cinema gods are smiling on us. Of course, it’s not like we have to find ourselves in the month of October to have cause to watch Vincent Price […]

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Teen Titans Go!: Appetite for Disruption

Teen Titans Go!: Appetite for Disruption

| April 7, 2015 | 0 Comments

As a fan of the 2003-2006 Cartoon Network Teen Titans series, I approached Teen Titans Go! with enormous skepticism rather than excitement. After all, I saw Batman go from the seminal Batman: The Animated Series to the in many ways equally significant Batman Beyond, only to then get the occasionally chuckle-worthy, yet largely unimpressive Batman: The […]

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