300 Spartans

The film strives for historical accuracy almost to a fault. If you don’t have a passion for history and for Greek (or Persian) history in general, then this film could seem a little draggy in spots, I suppose. It adheres tot he historic accounts almost tot he point of becoming a docudrama. Boredom never occurred to me, though, and I found the whole thing a thoroughly rousing adventure.


Dr. No

I said in the review of From Russia with Love that the ending made it feel like this was the first time Ian Fleming had reconciled himself with the fact that the current Bond book wasn’t going to be the final Bond book, and so he decided to throw a juicy “to be continued” twist…



If you are familiar either with me or with my work on this site, it probably comes as no shock that I rank Gymkata as one of the most valuable players on an amazing and occasionally sparkly team. I’ve been pushing this movie on people for decades, armed at first with little more than my…


Return of the Vampire

In 1958, Dracula would return in name but not with the familiar face of cinema’s best-known and most beloved Dracula, Bela Lugosi. Bela would return to the screen several times as a vampire, but never again as Dracula. So Dracula returned in Return of Dracula without Bela, and Bela returned in Return of the Vampire,…


Toei Movieland Studio

Toei Movieland Studio hadn’t been on our official itinerary, but I convinced people to give it a try even though I was the only big Japanese movie fan in the bunch. Toei had given some of my absolute favorite sci-fi superhero shows, and the chance to see one of their studios was too good for me to pass up.


Stairway to Heaven

It starts off innocently enough, in the middle of a flat field. There is a parking lot that can hold six or seven cars. When I pulled in, early afternoon, there was one other car already there. The first stretch of trail is nice and relaxing, meandering through high grass and wild flowers before plunging into that amazing sort of forest where you expect to see trolls and nymphs lingering about.


Return of Dracula

In the wake of the success of Universal’s 1931 shocker Dracula, there were many attempts to continue and/or cash in on its success, but for one reason or another, Universal itself was never able to capitalize on Dracula the same way it did when it turned both Frankenstein and The Mummy (and later, The Creature…