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Whatever Happened to Ron Underwood? One-Shots, Wash-Ups & Never-Has-Beens…

I think it’s happened to all of us. We’re flicking through the television channels, and we hit on an old movie we like. In my case, it was the superb 1990 B-movie Tremors. As we’re watching it, and remembering how much we loved it, our mind gets to wondering, “Whatever happened to that guy?” It could be an actor, an actress, a director or a writer. It’s somebody who showed a decent amount of talent (or, in the most frustrating circumstances, a phenomenal amount of talent), but who seemed to fade from view, and who we never heard from again. In this case, it was the director of the film, Ron Underwood. Whatever happened to that guy? Are they still alive? Are they still working? Why haven’t I heard from them since this one really good film I’m watching?

One shot at fame and fortune?

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Non-Review Review: Network

Network is a compelling condemnation of news television. The black comedy from Sydney Lumet is one of those great movies which actually feels more relevant now (thirty years after it was first released) than it did when it first appeared on the big screen. In particular, while some plot developments are clearly satire, it seems that quite a few moments in the movie seem a lot less ridiculous or fantastical in this day and age than they would have when originally written. It’s a rare movie that can do something like that, and the fact that it’s a lot easier to imagine some of the movie’s jokes coming to pass in this day and age only makes it all the more potent.

Beales appeal...

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Non-Review Review: Wall Street

It’s interesting that Wall Street, a movie set in the time that it was made, begins with a titlecard reminding the audience that it’s 1985. Maybe it’s because director Oliver Stone realised that the movie would be dated almost as swiftly as it had been released – financial services are very much a product of their time, anchored in a specific moment. “By four o’clock, I’m a dinosaur!” one character exclaims over the phone as he tries to get information – information that will be redundant if he waits too long. However, I don’t think Wall Street is in anyway redundant. The current financial crisis suggests that – if anything – the original film is as relevant now as when it was released (and is the only reason I am not flat-out dreading the release of Wall Steet: Money Never Sleeps). No, I think that it is because, even in the midst of the decade that it was produced, Stone could see the movie would perfectly capture that moment in time. Seriously, despite the fact that its core ideas are as insightful as they were twenty-five years ago, the movie itself feels like the pure essence of the eighties distilled into a two-hour film. That titlecard isn’t there to remind viewers that this is a dated film, it serves as a stamp or a label. Not to say “this is set in 1985”, but “this is 1985″.

Gordon takes stock...

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