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Showing posts from August, 2015

The Swarm (1978)

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In 1978, when The Swarm was made, Africanized honey bees (sensationalized as "killer bees," but not far from the truth) had begun migrating up from Brazil into North America.  At this point they were in Mexico, and there was some debate on whether or not they would survive as they moved north.  Unfortunately, the answer to that has been "yes," as the real killer bees have managed to take hold where I live and continue to move northward into more temperate regions.

While they do kill as a swarm, repeatedly stinging victims en masse and even pursuing them over long distances, they will never reach the height of destructiveness as they do in this movie.  Instead of waiting for them to arrive, government scientists begin experimenting with the bees and, of course, they get loose.  Brad Crane (Michael Caine) is a bee expert that originally falls afoul of General Slater (Richard Widmark), whose unit was sent in to clean things up.

Enlisting his colleagues Doctors Hubbar…

Superman Returns (2006)

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When the original Superman came out in 1978, comic books were something still largely reserved for children.  There was no real "geek culture" like there is now.  In fact, if you were still reading comic books by the time you reached high school, society didn't view it as a hobby, but rather as an example of stunted maturity.  Despite this, certain super heroes had made it into the mainstream largely on staying power, with Superman being one of the biggest.  It didn't hurt that Christopher Reeves, though his acting ranged from wooden to corny, fit Superman to a T.  In large part this was because somewhere between wooden and corny is what Superman had been all along.

The first two movies were directed by Richard Donner.  Except for a few scenes, I have always thought the first movie was overly long and definitely on the silly side.  Superman II is where the series really shined, with General Zod and Lex Luthor making a great villains and Superman having to deal with …