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A wealthy entrepreneur (Richard Attenborough) attempts to open an amusement park after his scientists discover a way to genetically recreate live dinosaurs. Naturally, it’s not a good idea.
The last of the Ray Harryhausen stop-motion dinosaur movies, The Valley of the Gwangi features James Franciscus as Tuck, a cowboy in Mexico who, with the help of a paleontologist named Horace Bromley (Laurence Naismith), travel to the Forbidden Valley. There, they encounter a lost world of dinosaurs, including Gwangi, the Tyrannosaurus rex. They capture it and bring it back to a circus but soon find it’s not interested in entertaining. With similar themes, both films explore the commercialization of one of nature’s most awesome creatures and the mistakes in thinking it the right thing to do.
An undercover agent (Tom Cruise) working for the Impossible Mission Force sees all his colleagues killed and himself blamed after a mission goes south. Now he needs to clear his name and find the true killer before it’s too late.
A CIA agent (Robert Redford) returns to the office to find everyone he works with murdered and him to blame. Now he needs to clear . . . you see where this is going. This fascinating thriller, directed Sydney Pollack, has some great action, but is more about the transformation of the main character as he lets go his researching background and puts his limited field training to the test. One of the best in the genre from the 1970s (or anytime), Three Days of the Condor is a brilliantly scripted and performed movie that still has relevance.
A has-been south-paw fighter (Sylvester Stallone) gets the chance of a lifetime to take on the Heavyweight Champion of the World (Carl Weathers) in what’s meant to be a staged exhibition match. Rocky however, has other plans.
A brash young woman named Diana (Michelle Rodriguez) finds she is most happy while training at a boxing gym. When she shows real potential, working out with a boy who has a girlfriend but is clearly falling for her, things get serious. In time, she gets real fights and it’s not long before gender is off the table and Diana gets her chance to prove her worth against a man. A jaw-dropping role for Rodriquez, this one truly packs a punch.
A math genius (Matt Damon) of almost unparalleled skill is haunted by his past and treats his gift like a curse, acting like a thug and putting up a wall that prevents the girl he loves from getting too close. Thank goodness for the patience of his therapist who helps him see the light.
A young mother (Jodie Foster) is raising a boy genius (Adam Hann-Byrd) who is stifled intellectually under her care. She allows him to attend a special school, led by a singularly-minded head teacher (Dianne Wiest) but regrets the choice from the moment he is gone. A powerful story of love and acceptance, the journey of little Tate is emotional and convincing, with an amazing performance by Hann-Byrd. Directed by Foster, this small and rarely-seen film is a rich and rewarding experience.
A boy trapped in a board game for twenty years is released as a grown man (Robin Williams) by two children, discovering that a host of amazing dangers that follow can only be stopped by finishing the game. Big budget special effects action comedy with lots of laughs.
Three young children during the bombing of London are are sent to live with an apprentice witch (Angela Lansbury) who hopes to use her magic to help fight the great war. She learns that the correspondence school she studies through has closed, preventing her from acquiring the last spell, a trick that will bring inanimate objects to life. A rousing adventure similar to Mary Poppins, this Disney mix of live action and animation is often forgotten but remains a fun, wildly inventive story that children (and adults) will enjoy.
An archeologist university professor (Harrison Ford) is also a high-stakes adventurer seeking lost treasures, hired by the government to find the fabled Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis do and win the war. Whip-snapping, snake-hating good times.
A romance novelist named Joan Wilder (Kathleen Turner) travels to Columbia to rescue her sister, running into Jack Colton (Michael Douglas), an exotic bird smuggler/adventurer and enlists his help in getting out of the jungle and the mess she is in. Joan has a treasure map that a vicious drug smuggler named Zolo (Manuel Ojeda) desperately wants to get his hands on, threatening Joan’s sister’s life if Joan doesn’t deliver. A good mix of comedy and adventure with some great performances, this Indiana Jones-inspired romp is a bit lighter in tone than Raiders but still a great time at the movies.
A team of specialists, led by emotionally troubled Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), can enter a person’s mind to steal ideas, but now are tasked with something even more dangerous: putting an idea in. It’s a dangerous game played between what’s real and what’s a dream. Make sure you have your totem.
A machine that allows people to enter another’s dreams is stolen and it’s up to the team of scientists and a haggard cop to try and get it back while the thief attacks them in their own dreams. This animated Japanese film from visionary artist Satoshi Kon is a spectacular piece of movie magic, with breath-taking imagery and story-telling that actually influenced Christopher Nolan‘s Inception. A challenging film with adult themes, despite the animation, Paprika is a gripping, ethereal work that is a wonder to watch.