Friday, September 26, 2014


Directed by Mark Hartley
Synopsis: A documentary about the rise and fall of Cannon Films during the 80s.

Cannon Films is synonymous with balls-to-the-wall films, many of which have developed a cult following during recent years. The film company reached its heyday during the 80's when Israeli cousins, Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus, bought the company for a measly $500,000.  Over the next ten years, Cannon Films would produce countless films, and the cousins would become notorious for shaking up the film industry.

The documentary features a plethora of talking heads who all were integral to the making of these films. It starts from the beginning, establishing Menahem as a typical eccentric director, and later producer, whose mind is going a mile a minute. It then chronologically goes through a handful of the Cannon Films and the insane stories that go along with them. Some notable ones are THE APPLE, a personal favorite, and how it was one of the biggest disappointments Menahem had. Even though most of the Cannon Films were bombs, some made a lasting impression on society. BREAKIN' brought break dancing to the public, and without that film and its subsequent sequel, dance films could have been almost nonexistent, which would have been a huge tragedy (no, seriously).

The cousins were big dreamers, and eventually they tried to expand their business and started financing more medium budget films instead of the smaller ones. However these were met with disastrous results. No one wanted to buy the films, and any that did get some distribution were complete bombs at the box office. It's sad to see because based on the stories from those people who worked closely with them, Menahem and Yoram seem to be decent people to work for, even if they were a little bombastic. They really loved film and the art of filmmaking, but the business just got out of hand.

The film never drags, and it never bogs you down with too many details. The stories are extremely fun and gives real insight to the workings within Cannon. One flaw of the film is the story didn't delve into the split of the cousins enough. Eventually they had to sell Cannon and go their separate ways, but there's an underlying hint that there's more to the story. Maybe it was too personal to share, but that timeframe is very much glossed over.

The film works on a fun level. Even if you have no connection with Cannon Films, the anecdotes are a joy to listen to. And if you've never seen a film of theirs before, you're missing out. They are a sight to behold.

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