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NIGHTMARE ALLEY (1947) (***1/2)

I have a fascination with carnivals and circuses. Many filmmakers have as well Fellini, Bergman both made films set in the circus. So when I first read about this long forgotten film noir gem, I was hooked by the combination of a dark seedy crime story set in the carnival world. Surprisingly what I got was more than that — a thoughtful drama on the psychic con game.

Stanton Carlisle (Tyrone Power, THE MARK OF ZORRO) is a streetwise hustler who finds a home working as the talker at a carnival. He warms the crowd for low rent psychic Zeena Krumbein (Joan Blondell, A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN), who use to be in the big time until her partner/husband Pete (Ian Keith, QUEEN CHRISTINA) became lost in the bottle. Zeena and Pete's legendary act was based on an intricate code, which allowed one person in the crowd to hold up objects obtained from the spectators and relate covertly what they were to the blindfolded "psychic" on stage. The code is worth a fortune and Stanton works his charms on Zeena to learn it. Now with the code, Stanton teams with the beautiful carnie girl Molly (Coleen Gray, RED RIVER) to go legit on the nightclub scene. But as his career skyrockets, Stanton gets greedy and hooks up with the cool and beautiful psychiatrist Lilith Ritter (Helen Walker, CALL NORTHSIDE 777) to turn his mentalist act into a medium.



By Joe Strike | Thursday, August 30, 2007 at 5:52am

Just saw a teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action/cgi Chipmunks feature. Excuse me while I blow my brains out in car...

Is there some way we can get the Geneva Convention to outlaw these god-awful, gag-(not the funny kind)-inducing grotesqueries? Garfield, Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties, Scooby-Doo, Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed...

They were all Oscar contenders (for Best Pic period, not just Best Animated) compared to this, this - eugggghhhhh, is the best I can describe it. It's not just that the sole gag in the trailer (an homage to Pink Flamingos?) revolves around Alvin eating one of Theodore's turds to convince Dave Seville (Jason 'uh-oh I picked a stinker this time' Lee) it was only a raisin; (I guess kid movie farts were just a gateway drug to flat-out coprophilia) it's not just that the 'munks are life-size in the sense of REAL LIFE-sized chipmunks, thus losing the characters' kid/adult size relationships and turning them into pettable pets; no, it's that....


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates Horror That Was Good the First Time Around

With Rob Zombie's remake of HALLOWEEN hitting theaters this weekend, I felt a proper theme for This Weekend's Film Festival, in light of the many horror remakes in the past few years, would be to look at the originals that we good the first time around. In doing so, I'm not making a judgment on Mr. Zombie's film, because I have not seen it. However, it's hard for me to see how you can improve on John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN, which is one of the all time best horror films. I tried to pick films that cover a wide breath of what kinds of horror is being remade and address how it's being remade. I thought about doing a compare and contrast lineup, but rethought that idea wanting to save viewers from wanting to gouge their eyes out or wanting to gouge my eyes out for recommending them watch such gruesome and horribly remade films. Here is a weekend of chills for you that for some may require three days of watching the TV through the spaces between fingers.


BLITHE SPIRIT (1945) (***1/2)

Noel Coward adapts his own stageplay into a screenplay, which was brought to the screen by director David Lean before the famed helmer went on to make classic Dickens adaptations and widescreen epics such as LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI and DOCTOR ZHIVAGO. However, Lean started his career with this great light entertainment. With witty dialogue and that effortless British suave demeanor, BLITHE SPIRIT floats across the screen like a smooth waltz.

In researching his next book that features a homicidal medium, Charles Condomine (Rex Harrison, UNFAITHFULLY YOURS), along with his wife Ruth (Constance Cummings) and their friends Dr. George and Violet Bradman (Hugh Wakefield, 1934's THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH & Joyce Carey, IN WHICH WE SERVE), hold a séance with the genuinely loony Madame Arcati (Margaret Rutherford, MURDER AHOY). After some seemingly sketchy hocus-pocus, everyone believes Arcati to be a charlatan except for Charles, who begins hearing and seeing the ghost of his dead wife Elvira (Kay Hammond). At first Ruth believes Charles is playing with her then she believes he has gone cuckoo, but a floating vase of flowers convinces her that there is now one too many wives in the Condomine household. And so does the wisecracking Elvira. In trying to solve the situation, the help of Madame Arcati and the Condomine's shy maid Edith (Jacqueline Clarke) will be needed.


Anticipation - a different twist

[kml_flashembed movie="" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

This recent video is a natural demo for ANTICIPATION...well not really, but it's a cool trick my son, Matt came up with...

I added some animation and a short video of the individual drawings- just for the heck of it!

Keep in mind, ANTICIPATION accomplishes:

1. An anticipation the audience with you...

2. An anticipation prepares the audience...

3. An anticipation helps build momentum for an action or movement...

Remember: most movements should begin with an anticipation...

For more info go to:


DISTURBIA (2007) (***)

This modern REAR WINDOW riff with high-tech gadgets is tightly written for two acts shying away from typical teen movie boo moments and illogical twists in exchange for old-fashioned thrills. Lead Shia LaBeouf (HOLES) has this entire film for himself and sets himself up to become a real star. He has an effortless charm that puts him in the ranks with Tom Hanks. Even when the movie begins to spell things out for the illiterate film viewer, we like LaBeouf's character enough that we still care about what he cares about.

After a recent tragedy, 17-year-old Kale (LaBeouf) becomes a troubled young man, which leads to another violent outburst that lands him under house arrest. His mother Julie (Carrie-Anne Moss, THE MATRIX) cuts off his Xbox Live and iTunes, leaving him very bored confined in his house. So he starts spying on the neighbors, especially his pretty new neighbor Ashley (Sarah Roemer, THE GRUDGE 2) and the creepy Mr. Turner (David Morse, THE GREEN MILE). When signs start piling up that might link Turner to a recent murder, Kale, his best friend Ronnie (Aaron Yoo, ROCKET SCIENCE) and Julie begin to stake out the man, which becomes more and more dangerous at every turn.



I haven't loved any of Will Farrell's film where he's starred, but I have enjoyed everyone that I've seen. Ferrell is one of the funniest men working in films currently. He has great timing and delivery. That's what makes TALLADEGA NIGHTS the most disappointing film he has made. A major part of the disappointment comes from the hints of greatest that lie everywhere, which are never carried out to their full potential rather replaced by lazy improv.

From a very young age, Ricky Bobby (Ferrell) wanted to "go fast." When he gets his first shot on the NASCAR circuit, he makes a big impression. He, along with his best friend and teammate Cal Naughton Jr. (John C. Reilly, BOOGIE NIGHTS), quickly raises the ranks of pro racing. He gains the American Dream — fame, money, a hot wife. He becomes obsessed with being #1, due to his deadbeat father's statement — If you ain't first, you're last. Then the dumb, cocky racer meets his toughest challenge — Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen, BORAT), a gay, French, Formula One racer who Bobby's team owner Larry Dennit Jr. (Greg Germann, TV's ALLY MCBEAL) wants to make the next face of NASCAR. After a crash during his first race against Girard, Bobby fears racing again and soon loses everything in his life.


THE SIMPSONS MOVIE (2007) (***1/2)

With 18 seasons behind them on TV, The Simpsons have moved from "what is wrong with America" to an American icon. The show is now the longest running sitcom in U.S. TV history with no end in sight. Now the adventures of everyone's favorite dysfunctional family have been transported to the big screen. The canvas of the story is bigger, but it's still THE SIMPSONS with a colossal mess-up by Homer as the center of the story.

Homer (Dan Castellaneta, who also voices Barney, Grampa, Krusty) adopts a pig, but really doesn't know how to care for it. With Harry Plotter (that's the pig's second name) grabbing his attention, Bart (Nancy Cartwright, who also voices Ralph, Nelson) wishes he had a father who actually paid attention to him, leading him to bond with uber-good-doer Ned Flanders (Harry Shearer, THIS IS SPINAL TAP). When Marge (Julie Karvner) tells Homer to get rid of the silo of pig waste in the backyard, Homer cuts corners in an effort to get free donuts and dumps the silo in Springfield Lake, which pushes the already putrid waters over the edge. This spurs EPA head Russ Cargill (Albert Brooks, DEFENDING YOUR LIFE) to convince President Arnold Schwarzenegger (Shearer) to put a dome around the town of Springfield and plan to turn it into the new Grand Canyon. So in an effort to save himself and his family from an angry mob of Springfield townfolk, Homer packs up Marge, Bart, Lisa (Yeardley Smith, AS GOOD AS IT GETS) and baby Maggie (Cartwright) and heads off to Alaska. But as things get worse in Springfield, can Marge motivate Homer to become a hero?


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates Rising Star Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Because I was out of town last week, traveling to the lovely Yosemite National Park, celebrating the impending nuptials of my good friend, This Weekend Film Festival took a brief hiatus. Because I just know you were sitting around the house, completely clueless on what to watch, I have a great lineup this week. With THE LOOKOUT arriving on DVD last week, I felt This Weekend's Film Festival should showcase the work of rising star Joseph Gordon-Levitt. THE LOOKOUT is one of the absolutely best films of 2007. Gordon-Levitt's starring role in the ingenious thriller BRICK made it one of the best films of last year. His work in great films like MYSTERIOUS SKIN and even weak films like HAVOC have continuously proven his status as one of the premiere actors of his generation. Who would have thought that he would grow so much from his roles on 3RD ROCK FROM THE SUN or 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU?


STARDUST (2007) (***1/2)

Based on a novel by Neil Gaiman, STARDUST is a humorous fairy tale in the vein of THE PRINCESS BRIDE. It might not be as witty or funny as Rob Reiner's classic, but it is vastly entertaining and the grand romance is so charming that even if we kind of know where the story is going, it doesn't matter, because we want to see it go there. Filled with aging witches, cross-dressing pirates, ghostly princes and blimp-powered air ships, this is one of the most fun films of the summer.

Tristan (Charlie Cox, 2004's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE) is in love with the town beauty Victoria (Sienna Miller, FACTORY GIRL), who promises to marry him instead of the rich Humphrey (Henry Cavill, I CAPTURE THE CASTLE) if he brings her back a fallen star within a week. Tristan uses a magic candle from his mother and ends up right were the star landed. However, it turns out that the star is a woman named Yvaine (Claire Danes, ROMEO + JULIET). Tristan promises to give Yvaine his magic candle to get her back home if she travels to see Victoria with him. So this starts their journey, which is nothing but smooth.


TALK TO ME (2007) (***1/2)

If Academy members don't forget this summer release come voting time, star Don Cheadle should have himself his second Oscar nomination. As the original shock jock Petey Greene, he is the electric force that brings this biopic alive and helps raise it above the typical "true life story." He is helped along by great supporting work from DIRTY PRETTY THINGS' Chiwetel Ejiofor and HUSTLE & FLOW's Taraji P. Henson.

Greene is working as a prison DJ when he meets rising radio exec Dewey Hughes (Ejiofor), who is begrudgingly visiting his brother Milo (Mike Epps, SOMETHING NEW). Upon his release from prison, Greene, with his afroed girlfriend Vernell Watson (Henson) in tow, comes to see Dewey, who is very embarrassed when his boss E.G. Sonderling (Martin Sheen, APOCALYPSE NOW) sees the flamboyant miscreant. But Petey's protest outside the studio starts to wear Dewey down and he eventually gives Greene a chance to liven up their morning show. At first it doesn't seem to work out, but soon Petey becomes a sensation and Dewey pushes him into stand-up then TV even if Petey doesn't want it.


INTOLERANCE (1916) (***)

The epic apology for his racist BIRTH OF A NATION, INTOLERANCE is often used as an apology for film critics who want to recognize D.W. Griffith's accomplishments without embracing the hard to recommend NATION. In retrospect, Griffith's follow-up to his most notorious film is an overlong experiment that saves itself by coming together so well in the end. At its time of release, audiences were turned off by the four interwoven stories from four unconnected ages as well as the three plus hour running time. Modern audiences will have the same issues. Much like a crumbling ancient ruin, there is much to admire about INTOLERANCE as a historical document, but as a modern piece of art it has not held up over the test of time.


Hark, hark, this film's a lark...

Just had the pleasure of watching Tsui Hark's Black Mask 2: City of Masks, a loony, loopy movie that made me feel (in the best sense of the words) ten years old.

I never saw the original BM which starred Jet Li, but in this one some guy named Andy On (drugs?) takes over as the genetically messed-over superhero. He's fighting a bunch of grunting wrestlers whose DNA has likewise been altered, giving them bestial powers & uncontrollable metamorphoses into nasty animal hybrids.

For a while back in the 90's, it looked like cgi effects were going to wipe out modest little B-movie genre pix, with sci-fi/fantasy films given A-budgets & big name directors. Then PC's & Macs started making lower-end, lower-priced cgi efx possible. Combine that with Hong Kong style wire work, martial-arts mishegas (choreographed by Woo-ping Yuen, who did the same on Kung-Fu Hustle), cleverly chosen ultra-modern architectural backgrounds and snappy, vivid direction (from Hark, helmer of Iron Monkey, a Tarantino fave) and you have a high-energy nutsoid action flick that's a pleasure top to bottom. The opening credits of multiple silhouetted martial artists going through their paces on a computer screen background get you in the mood right off the bat.



This pseudo-critique of the Catholic church has as much depth as a piece of artistic social rebellion as someone running into a church and screaming obscenities at the top of their lungs when no one else is around. Possibly amusing to the perpetrator, but no one else. Director Ken Russell strings together every possible image and/or action that could offend a devotee without any real substance behind it. Further diluting this "expose" is the setting of 17th Century France when it is clear the modern church is its target, yet never clearly laying out what point, if any, it wants to make about the modern church. This self-indulgent mess will most certainly ruffle the feathers of the more prudish viewer, however everyone else will be laughing their pants off at the absurdity of it all.


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates AFI 100 Newbies Part I

A few months back the American Film Institute announced its 10th anniversary edition of its 100 Years 100 Movies List of the best American films of all time. Taking a note from Sight & Sound's famed best of all time list, AFI will be revamping the list every 10 years to allow in newer films that were not eligible previously as well as gauge changing thoughts on cinema. Films moved up and down the list and 23 films were replaced with other films. Only three films that fell off really surprised me. THE THIRD MAN, REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE and PATTON really deserve to stay on the list. With GIANT falling off too, does it mean that James Dean has lost some of his iconic status in the last 10 years? Other films that fell out of favor, which deserve the place as the best of all time include AMADEUS, FANTASIA, CLOSE ENCOUNTER OF THE THIRD KIND and FARGO. But I'm not going to shed any tears that JAZZ SINGER or AN AMERICAN IN PARIS dropped from the list.


SICKO (2007) (****)

Dedicated rabble-rouser and liberal advocate Michael Moore has returned with a new documentary skewering the U.S. health care system. Whether you're liberal or conservative, most Americans have or most likely will have some horror story, thanks to our broken medical establishment. This is the footing from which Moore comes from, making his least divisive and most emotional film ever.

Possibly taking a note from his critics that he mucked the camera in his other films, Moore doesn't make an appearance in SICKO until far after the mid-point. The film starts with personal stories from folks who have been affected by bad HMOs. One uninsured man had to chose whether to reattach the tip his ring finger or his middle finger after a sawing accident. A woman's ambulance ride after a bad accident was rejected by her insurance because it wasn't pre-approved. Another woman was approved for surgery, but later rejected because her insurance company said she failed to list a yeast infection on her application, thus voiding her policy for withholding a prior medical condition. In two heartrending sequences, a mother talks about being forced to take her sick infant from one hospital to another because the closer hospital was not in her medical group and another woman who works at a hospital talks about the hospital's medical board rejecting her husband's bone marrow transplant, because it's an "experimental" treatment.


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates Pulpy Pleasures

Sorry ahead of time for the lateness on this week's edition. This Weekend's Film Festival drips of pulpy cool, bloody gore and a heap load of fun. With HOT FUZZ and 300 both arriving on DVD this week, the exuberant and over-the-top fun of cinema needs to be showcased. I've collected five flicks that have directors in common, genres in common and creators in common. But what all these films have in common is a love for genre filmmaking and its excesses. It's not a marathon of style over substance, but a parade of how style can enhance substance. These are dark entertainments that have tongues pressed firmly in their cheeks around many hairpin turns. Others know exactly what something needs to be to become iconically cool. It's two fisted gun totin' action this week. You might just have to install seat belts on your sofa.


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates True Crime

With the release of David Fincher's ZODIAC on DVD, I thought it was a great time to devote This Weekend's Film Festival to true crime films. I've picked five films covering three real killings and/or killers. Four are fiction accounts of real events while one is a documentary where we hear directly from the killer. Murder, especially serial killings, often draws our attention, because it deals with the darkest reaches of the human condition. Bloody conflict between men has been part of our art and entertainment forever. We are fascinated with the fringe and extreme behavior, but why? Hopefully this lineup will address the reasons.

ZODIAC, starting off the festival, follows the killer that stalked the San Francisco area during the 1960s and 1970s. Fincher's procedural approach doesn't ramp up the drama, but uses the facts to drive along the narrative. Robert Graysmith's obsession to discover the identity of the Zodiac killer becomes the viewer's obsession, moving the film over decades of time with a brisk pace. Graysmith, a cartoonist for the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, is fascinated with the killings and unraveling the clues left by the killers. His desire to find the killer addresses one of the key fascinations with serial killers. How do they elude capture for as long as they do? Read more in my original review.


31st Annecy International Festival of Animation


I don't know if it's that I have finally accepted the fact that the Annecy International Festival of Animation

is about money and big business or simply that I got to spend some time with so many good friends that I don't get to see often enough, but I did have the best time I've had in years at the 31st Annecy International Festival of Animation held in Annecy, France this June 11th through the 16th. From the moment Nik and I arrived on Sunday evening until we headed home to Gent, Belgium the next Sunday afternoon, I couldn't walk down the main street, sit on the patio in front of the Leffe Bar, or walk through the Festival center at Bonlieu without running into people that I was delighted to see.


BOBBY (2006) (***)

Emilio Estevez wrote and directed this drama following the lives of 22 people in the Ambassador Hotel the day Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. Though his name supplies the title to this Altman-esque feature, Bobby Kennedy is not a character. The real politician is however seen in archival footage woven throughout the narrative. The various stories are meant to peek into the various cultural currents that were running through America at the time from the hippie movement to the war in Vietnam. The stronger stories keep the film from lagging under its own ambitions, making it a compelling look into the ways RFK's death altered the course of America and the lives of its people.

One of the film's best stories is kitchen worker Jose, who has tickets to go see Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale beat the consecutive shut out record. However, racist kitchen manager Timmons (Christian Slater, ROBIN HOOD) has assigned him a double shift without telling him. So Jose gives his tickets to the dignified cook Edward Robinson (Laurence Fishburne, WHAT'S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT?), much to the dismay of angry fellow kitchen worker Miguel (Jacob Vargas, 2004's FLIGHT OF THE PHOENIX), who wants to make money on it. Diane (Lindsay Lohan, MEAN GIRLS) plans to marry fellow high school student William (Elijah Wood, LORD OF THE RINGS) in an effort to keep him out of Vietnam. Kennedy campaign workers Cooper (Shia LaBeouf, TRANSFORMERS) and Jimmy (Brian Geraghty, JARHEAD) play hooky from their duties to find drug dealer Fisher (Ashton Kutcher, TV's THAT 70S SHOW), who gives them acid so they can get closer to God. And waitress/wanna-be actress Susan Taylor (Mary Elizabeth Winstead, GRINDHOUSE) knows they're high. Wade (Joshua Jackson, TV's DAWSON'S CREEK) is running RFK's campaign and sets up a meeting with Bobby and dedicated black campaign worker Dwayne (Nick Cannon, DRUMLINE), who is just shy of militant.


RIZE (2005) (***1/2)

Inspiring is the first word that comes to mind when I think of this compulsively watchable documentary on the rise of the clowning/krumping dance movement in South Central Los Angeles. Involving face-painting (and in some cases all-out clown outfits), the dance style is a unique blend of aggressive hip-hop, moshing and African tribal. The speed at which the best dancers move is astonishing. The fact that it all grew as a positive alternative to gangs makes its central characters heroic.

Tommy the Clown is one of the originators of the clowning faction of the dance movement. Less aggressive in some aspects than krumping, the main differences are all in style. Clowning, apparent from its name, has a more comical bent, while krumping is more of an outlet to unload anger. Lil C. (guest choreographer on SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE) was once a dancer for Tommy and left his crew to form his own, which spawned the krumping style. At the time of the making of this film, there were more than 50 active clowning/krumping groups in Los Angeles.


This Weekend's Film Festival Celebrates The Hot Days of Summer

With the summer reaching its mid point, my wife suggested that I center this week's This Weekend's Film Festival on films set during summer. This week's lineup deals with vacations, amusement parks, picnics, fishing, scuba diving and hungry CG dinosaurs. There is something for everyone this time around — drama, comedy, action and horror. I have to say this is one of the most fun This Weekend's Film Festivals yet.

Kicking off the fest is NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION. Possibly the best film made on family vacations, this comedy finds every angle to skewer family road trips as well as American family values. Chevy Chase played Clark Griswold several times, but never as perfect as this outing. The material is good enough that he doesn't have to stretch for laughs. In the hands of director Harold Ramis, based on a script by John Hughes, this comedy is the best of all the National Lampoon branded films, because it's not just about potty humor, it uses potty humor with purpose, which you can find out more about in my original review.



Taking a page from the work of screenwriter Charlie Kaufman, Zach Helm’s screenplay about a man who keeps hearing a narrator in his head is brought to the screen by director Marc Forster (MONSTER’S BALL) as both a parable about living one’s life more fully and the tormented process of a writer. It’s really not as innovative an idea as Kaufman’s ADAPTATION or BEING JOHN MALKOVICH, but the film is intriguing with solid performances from the entire cast, especially lead Will Ferrell and Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Harold Crick (Ferrell, ANCHORMAN) is an IRS auditor, who pretty much wakes up, goes to work, comes home, goes to bed and then repeats the process all over again. He meticulously plans out his day on a perfect time frame. One day he starts hearing a voice in his head that is narrating his actions. When the voice warns him of his emanate death, he is frightened and turns to literary expert Prof. Jules Hilbert (Dustin Hoffman, RAIN MAN), who tries to determine if Harold is in either a comedy or tragedy. Meanwhile, Harold is assigned to investigate the case of baker Amy Pascal (Gyllenhaal, WORLD TRADE CENTER), who only paid part of her taxes because she objects to paying for things like wars. Of course, she hates Harold at first, but soon falls for his innocence and dry wit. As this is going on, writer Karen Eiffel (Emma Thompson, DEAD AGAIN) is looking for a way to kill the main character in her next novel, which happens to be Harold Crick. She is a very depressive type, who isn’t too receptive to her book publisher strapping her with an unwanted aide named Penny Escher (Queen Latifah, CHICAGO).


HOLES (2003) (***1/2)

Novelist Louis Sachar adapts his own young adult novel into this strange, but emotionally honest story about troubled kids and friendship. The real surprising thing about this film is not the originality of its story, but the lack of pandering toward its intended audience. Thus, the film rises above the tween set and becomes something truly for the entire family.

Stanley Yelnats IV (Shia LaBeouf, TRANSFORMERS) is from a long line of cursed men in his family ever since his great grandfather didn't follow through with the demands of the gypsy Madame Zeroni (Eartha Kitt, TV's BATMAN), who was trying to help him win a wife. Stanley is blamed for stealing a pair of sneakers and is given the option of either going to jail or going to Camp Greenlake, a reform camp for troubled boys. Now Camp Greenlake has no lake in sight. There, caretaker Mr. Sir (Jon Voight, DELIVERENCE), counselor Dr. Pendanski (Tim Blake Nelson, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?) and Warden Walker (Sigourney Weaver, ALIEN), make the boys dig holes in the desert all day. As Mr. Sir states, "You make a bad boy dig a hole in the hot sun all day and you turn him into a good boy."



Chris Paine's documentary looks at the history of the electric car production from what first spurred it to the many factors that led to its death. The EV1 was a completely electric car, which ran completely clean. It's manufacturer, General Motors, pulled the entire fleet of vehicles from the market, taking them from their lessees, and destroyed them.

The film looks at many factors to why the electric vehicle died from the oil companies, the viability of battery technology, consumers, the California Clean Air Board, the hydrogen car, the U.S. government and the car companies themselves. A mandate by the California state government to have no emissions cars available forced the major auto companies to create the electric car or be pushed out of the California market. So while several car producers were making electric vehicles, they were systematically trying to kill their own product. What kind of business would want to undermine it's own advanced technology?