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SIMON SAYS: Even in 3D, it's still a PHANTOM MENACE II society

In 1999, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was released theatrically. The rest is a blur – for me, at least. I was 12 years old at the time, the ideal age for an uncritical "Star Wars" fan to see the first entry in George Lucas’ then-new prequel trilogy.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • February 15, 2012 7:32 AM
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  • 1 Comment

SIMON SAYS: THE WICKER TREE needed a different director

Robin Hardy’s "The Wicker Tree" could have been a much stronger film had it not been directed by Robin Hardy. Which is a weird thing to think when you actually waste time thinking about it. Hardy is the director of the original 1973 film "The Wicker Man" and the author of "Cowboys for Christ," a thematic sequel to "The Wicker Man." He’s now synonymous with "The Wicker Man," a canonical British horror film about a murderous community of Scottish pagans. Hardy’s the first guy that balked in terror and dismay when Neil LaBute’s "The Wicker Man" underdone parody-cum-remake came out (also in 2006). So while playwright Anthony Schaeffer scripted the original "The Wicker Man," it is now considered Hardy’s baby. So who else could direct "The Wicker Tree," an adaptation of "Cowboys for Christ," but Hardy?
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • February 3, 2012 1:25 PM
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  • 0 Comments

SIMON SAYS: Celebrate Chinese New Year with these blockbusters

This weekend is Chinese Lunar New Year, a cultural landmark that even some of my Chinese friends needed to be reminded is almost upon us. One way you can tell that the holiday is impending is to look for Chinese films at your local movie theater. In the same way that a crop of big budget Bollywood premieres are perennially released in time for autumn’s Diwali festivities, so too are a number of studio-produced would-be Chinese blockbusters released in time for the new year. But blink and you'll miss ‘em: there are only two Chinese films being released at AMC theater chains.
  • By Simon Abrams
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  • January 23, 2012 2:22 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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