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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Tracers

Tracers

| May 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Tracers (2015) is a film that promises a lot. To look at not just the trailer but the basic premise of the film, we’re promised a parkour heist film. Now, I’m a guy who both obsesses over heist films as an action subgenre and has spent many hours wrapped up in parkour videos on YouTube. […]

Broadchurch: The Compete Second Season

Broadchurch: The Compete Second Season

| May 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

When I wrote in my review of Chris Chibnall’s ITV series Broadchurch’s first season that it left me wishing I had had more of this mystery to marathon right there and then, I don’t quite think I was hoping for the sort of experience that the series’ second season would provide. I don’t mean this […]

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The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show

The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show

| May 12, 2015 | 0 Comments

Three televised retrospectives from the 1990’s comprise the bulk of the material in StarVista Entertainment/Time Life’s 6-DVD collector’s set: The Best of the Ed Sullivan Show. The Carol Burnett-hosted “Unforgettable Performances” (1991), the “All-Star Comedy Special” (1995) with Mary Tyler Moore, and the Smothers Brothers-hosted “50th Anniversary Special” offer viewers a celebratory Ed Sullivan nostalgia […]

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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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