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It's fitting that Clint Eastwood and John Wayne both have the same birthday week. (Wayne, who died in 1979, was born May 26, 1907, while Eastwood turns 85 on May 31). After all, these two all-American actors' careers span the history of that most American of movie genres, the western.
Both iconic actors were top box office draws for decades, both seldom stretched from their familiar personas, and both played macho, conservative cowboy heroes who let their firearms do most of the talking. Each represented one of two very different strains of western, the traditional and the revisionist.
As a birthday present to Hollywood's biggest heroes of the Wild West, here are the top 57 westerns you need to see.
57. 'Meek's Cutoff' (2010)
Indie filmmaker Kelly Reichardt and her frequent leading lady, Michelle Williams, are the talents behind this sparse, docudrama about an 1845 wagon train whose Oregon Trail journey goes horribly awry. It's an intense »
- Gary Susman
Really great performances from Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer, but this inspired-by-fact tale of a white maternal grandfather and black paternal grandmother fighting for custody of their mixed-race grandchildren only just skims the many provocative issues it touches on, and is rather anticlimactic in the end. I’m “biast” (pro): love Costner and Spencer
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
(My Ratings posts are a quick way for me to share my reaction to a film. This post will be updated if/when I ever write a review. Feel free to discuss the movie in depth in the comments section.)
See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Black or White for its representation of girls and women. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
A few nights ago, Warner Bros. hosted a very canny event that our own Louis Virtel attended at the Playboy Mansion, a screening of "Entourage" that may have felt like virtual reality for those who attended. While I doubt being surrounded by scantily clad bunnies influenced Louis one way or another on the film, it's likely you'll see a number of reviews that are perhaps more enthusiastic than they would otherwise be, and it'd be hard to blame anyone who fell for it. One of the reasons the setting seemed so right for that particular film is because much of the charge of "Entourage" is watching the core ensemble swagger their way through Hollywood, doing whatever they want and rarely if ever facing any consequences as a result. It's always presented with a wink and a smile, just a case of boys being boys. We live in a world right »
- Drew McWeeny
Chile is gearing up to launch itself as a premier go-to filming location, with plans under way to offer incentives on par with its neighbors in the region.
“We are currently working on incentives that will attract more foreign productions and investments in infrastructure,” says Chilean film commissioner Joyce Zylberberg Serman.
Yet the dearth of incentives hasn’t prevented a number of filmmakers and companies from rolling cameras in the country. Ad companies in particular have flocked to Chile, which boasts a diversity of contrasting landscapes within a two-hour radius from the capital of Santiago. Robust ad production has spurred the ready availability of first-rate equipment, experienced crew and a cost-efficient approach to filming. The Chilean film commission estimates production services rendered to international productions amount to $55 million annually, of which 75% represents ad production.
“Our peak season is usually between November and March when it’s winter in the north, »
- Anna Marie de la Fuente
Meet the crotchety, bitter old man who, back in 1983 as a crotchety, bitter younger man, refused to initiate global nuclear war. A true story! I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
If you’re alive and not spending your days wandering a blasted radioactive afterscape in search of food — and I’m pretty sure we’re all doing that this weekend only for fun with Mad Max — then you have former Soviet Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov to thank. No, I had never heard of him, either, which is a disgrace that The Man Who Saved the World attempts to remedy.
On September 26, 1983, Petrov was on duty at a Soviet military installation outside Moscow that watched the skies for incoming American nuclear missiles when alarms started blaring. They were false alarms, of course, but Petrov didn’t know that, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Cannot think of anything less Texan than Ray Liotta. But he’s hot on History, starring in “Texas Rising” and on AMC’s new original series “The Making of the Mob: New York,” which will premiere Monday, June 15 at 10pm Et/Pt. Liotta, who in my mind’s eye will forever by Henry Hill looking for choppers in the sky and making meatballs coked out of his gourd – or cast as Shoeless Joe Jackson laughing at Kevin Costner in “Field of Dreams” over Ty Cobb – is narrating “Avenging The Alamo: The Road To Texas Rising” Monday May 18 at 10 Pm […] »
- April Neale
'JFK' movie with Kevin Costner as Jim Garrison 'JFK' assassination movie: Gripping political drama gives added meaning to 'Rewriting History' If it's an Oliver Stone film, it must be bombastic, sentimental, clunky, and controversial. With the exception of "clunky," JFK is all of the above. It is also riveting, earnest, dishonest, moving, irritating, paranoid, and, more frequently than one might expect, outright brilliant. In sum, Oliver Stone's 1991 political thriller about a determined district attorney's investigation of the assassination of U.S. president John F. Kennedy is a slick piece of propaganda that mostly works both dramatically and cinematically. If only some of the facts hadn't gotten trampled on the way to film illustriousness. With the exception of John Williams' overemphatic score – Oliver Stone films need anything but overemphasis – JFK's technical and artistic details are put in place to extraordinary effect. Joe Hutshing and Pietro Scalia's editing »
- Andre Soares
Michael Harrison, David Ian and Nederlander Presentations, Inc. have announced today the North American tour of the hit musical "The Bodyguard," that will star recording artist and actress Deborah Cox as Rachel Marron, with Thea Sharrock directing. The tour will launch in the fall of 2016. Based on Lawrence Kasdan’s 1992 Oscar-nominated Warner Bros. film of the same name, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner, and adapted for the stage by Academy Award winner Alexander Dinelaris ("Birdman"), "The Bodyguard" had its world premiere on December 5, 2012 at London’s Adelphi Theatre, and was nominated for 4 Laurence Olivier Awards, »
- Tambay A. Obenson
“The Bodyguard” is coming back to the U.S. in 2016. Producers behind the West End musical adaptation of the 1992 film starring Kevin Costner and Whitney Houston announced on Thursday that the show will launch a North American tour in the fall of next year. Grammy nominated recording artist and actress Deborah Cox will star as Rachel Marron — the role originally played by Houston in the box office hit written by Lawrence Kasdan and directed by Mick Jackson. Also Read: Kevin Costner Reveals How He Tried to Help Whitney Houston Additional casting and tour cities will be announced at a later date. »
- Greg Gilman
Pop culture comes to life in St. Louis next month! It’s the Wizard World Comic Con May 22nd through the 24th at America’s Center downtown (701 Convention Plaza – St. Louis, Mo 63101). As usual, Wizard World has an impressive line-up of celebrity guests including Elvira, Christian Kane, and George Romero, but the star I’m most excited to meet is actor Michael Rooker.
Michael Rooker was born in Jasper, Alabama in 1955. He has eight brothers and sisters. His parents divorced when he was 13 years old, and he moved with his mother and siblings to Chicago, Illinois, where he studied at the Goodman School of Drama. Rooker made his feature film debut by playing the title character in the gritty 1985 horror classic Henry Portrait Of A Serial Killer. He followed this with significant big-screen roles in Tombstone, Days Of Thunder, Cliffhanger, JFK, Mississippi Burning, Sea Of Love, The Dark Half, Mallrats, »
- Tom Stockman
In an exclusive trailer for Digital Spy, the former EastEnders star plays disgraced special ops sniper Sam Blake who is forced to work for terrorists after they kidnap his daughter.
Danny Dyer's daughter Dani plays the role of Sam's daughter in the British action flick.
Spandau Ballet's Kemp said of his new film: "I am very excited to have had the opportunity to play this role and hope audiences enjoy it as much as I did."
Director: Peter Anthony
Running Time: 110 minutes
Synopsis: The true story of Stanislav Petrov, the man who had to make the impossible decision as to whether to launch the Ussr’s nuclear arsenal after a computer malfunction suggested they were under attack.
When was the last time you watched a film that was truly important? And not just in a “Everyone should see this,” kind of way, but a film that made you see the world completely differently. A film that you believe really should be watched by everyone alive. The Man Who Saved The World may very well be one of cinema’s greatest achievements, working as both a cautionary tale, intense thriller, and joyous celebration of true humanity.
Like something out of Dr Strangelove, 1983 saw a Russian missile detection satellite malfunction and report that 5 nuclear missiles were on their way from the Us. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Editor's Note: This post is presented in partnership with Time Warner Cable Movies On Demand in support of Indie Film Month. Today's pick, "Black and White," is available now On Demand. Need help finding a movie to watch? Let TWC find the best fit for your mood here. Kevin Costner has never been a blockbuster megastar, but through decades of critically-acclaimed performances in movies both big and small, his staunch, quiet reliability has emerged as his very appeal. After rising to prominence in Brian De Palma's "The Untouchables" and the baseball-themed successes "Bull Durham" and "Field of Dreams," Costner went on to win two Academy Awards out of three nominations for writing, directing and starring in "Dances with Wolves." But that film didn't launch Costner into super-stardom. Through the decades since, he has established himself as a different kind of leading man. He doesn't always attract much attention, and the. »
- David Canfield
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
Our resident VOD expert tells you what's new to rent and/or own this week via various Digital HD providers such as cable Movies On Demand, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu and, of course, Netflix. Cable Movies On Demand: Same-day-as-disc releases, older titles and pretheatrical exclusives for rent, priced from $3-$10, in 24- or 48-hour periods Black or White (race drama; Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer; rated PG-13) Selma (historical drama about Martin Luther King Jr.; David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Jim France; rated PG-13) Fifty Shades of Grey (kinky romantic drama; Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan; includes behind-the-scenes extras; available 5/8; unrated) Ride (comedy-drama; Helen Hunt, Luke Wilson; rated R) Blackhat (thriller; Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis; rated R) Lost...
- Robert B. DeSalvo
Michael Blake, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter, has passed away at 69-years-old after a long health battle, according to Deadline. Blake catapulted into stardom after adapting the screenplay for Dances With Wolves in 1990—which earned him the Oscar. History has it that Kevin Costner was responsible for convincing Blake to adapt the screenplay from the novel of the same name. The two met while working on Stacey's Knights—which Blake had written as well. Costner famously directed and starred in the hit film, and won for Best Director as well as Best Picture. Shortly thereafter, Costner requested that Blake write two other screenplays for him, The Mick and The »
Blake's manager and producing partner Daniel Ostroff told The Hollywood Reporter that Blake died peacefully in Tuscon, Arizona on Saturday (May 2). Blake, who was 69, was battling a long-term illness.
The movie went on to win seven Oscars including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay for Blake. Costner also won the Academy Award for Best Director.
Blake also got behind the camera as a director in 1998's Winding Stair, which he also adapted into a screenplay from Douglas C Jones' novel.
Blake is survived by his wife Marrianne Mortensen Blake and their three children. »
Michael Blake, who wrote the novel Dances With Wolves and penned its subsequent film treatment, has died at 69, Variety reports.Blake spent his childhood in Texas and Southern California, where he became enamored with the story of the southwest. He studied journalism briefly before switching to film at the University of New Mexico. He then pursued a career in screenwriting. Only one of Blake’s screenplays made it to the big screen in the 1980s, but that film, Stacy’s Knights, starred Kevin Costner, who proved instrumental to Blake’s career. Costner convinced Blake to write the novel Dances With Wolves, which subsequently sold 3.5 million copies and was translated into 15 languages. Costner, of course, directed and starred in the 1990 cinematic adaptation for which Blake won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. The novel and film depict a Union Army Lieutenant in the Civil War-era west who meets a group of »
- Greg Cwik
According to Ostroff, Blake died peacefully in Tucson, Ariz., after battling a long illness.
Blake wrote the novel “Dances With Wolves” in 1988, before it was turned into an Oscar-winning feature. The book would go on to sell more than 3.5 million copies and be translated into 15 different languages.
The film came out in 1990, directed by and starring Kevin Costner, and was both a commercial and critical smash. Along with screenplay, it won six other Oscars, including best picture. The script also won the prize at the WGA Awards and the Golden Globes.
Blake most recently wrote a »
- Alex Stedman
It’s the start of a new month, and as ever in film and Blu-ray circles, nothing gets the fans salivating more than the upcoming release slate from the awesome folks over at Arrow Films. Its line-up of releases for August has been unveiled (both UK and Us), and you can view all the information below, including the stand-out title, David Cronenberg’s Videodrome, which is getting a very special, limited edition release in a collector’s package.
Videodrome: Limited Edition
Combining the bio-horror elements of his earlier films whilst anticipating the technological themes of his later work, Videodrome exemplifies Cronenberg’s extraordinary talent for making both visceral and cerebral cinema. Max Renn (James Woods) is looking for fresh new content for his TV channel when he happens across some illegal S&M-style broadcasts called ‘Videodrome’. Embroiling his girlfriend Nicki (Debbie Harry) in his search for the source, his »
- Scott J. Davis
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