The Connection (2014): Film Review

When it comes to watching movies based on historical events, occasionally you happen, by varying degrees of coincidence, into a narrative between multiple films all based on historical events that all tie together. Sometimes it’s deliberate, with different filmmakers being in dialog with each other, and sometimes it’s happenstance, and sometimes it’s even a combination of the two. The Connection from 2014 (released in France as La French) is something of a combination of the two, being in dialog with the 1971 film The French Connection, but also referencing the events covered in Ridley Scott’s film American Gangster, and in turn making Hoodlum something of a prologue.

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Rasputin: The Mad Monk: Film Review

While Sir Christopher Lee was generally closely associated with Hammer films, his career there was often tied with three main kinds of roles. There was his stint as Frankenstein’s Monster and the Mummy, where in The Mummy’s case you couldn’t tell it was him, and in case of the Monster, the character was not as well spoken as his literary counterpart. There were a variety of genteel, semi-posh aristocrats who were calm and reserved, even if they had their own forms of menace (and I’m including Fu Manchu in this). And then there was Dracula – arguably his most famous role, full of animal magnetism, elegance, and menace, but quite frequently very little dialog to sink Lee’s teeth into (pun intended). Rasputin: The Mad Monk gave Lee a character with all the magnetism of Dracula, but with an incredibly solid script to work with.

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Fena: Pirate Princess – Anime Review

Fena: Pirate Princess is the first co-production in a while between Adult Swim/Cartoon Network and an anime studio (in this case, Production IG), possibly the first major series since the second season of The Big O. With an animation style and plot that feels like it’s meant to evoke Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water and The Mysterious Cities of Gold, while leaning into the “anime-ness” in a way that feels similar to Avatar: The Last Airbender, except in the sense of an anime studio looking at Avatar and going, “We can do this.” The question then is – can they do this?

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