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Keep up with the always-hopping film festival world with our weekly Film Festival Roundup column. Check out last week’s Roundup right here.
Full Lineup Announcements
– The fiercely independent 17th Annual Woodstock Film Festival presents an outstanding lineup of films to be shown in Woodstock, New York, as well as Rhinebeck, Rosendale, Saugerties, and Kingston. The festival runs October 13 – 16.
The festival opens on October 13 with the World Premiere of “Blind,” a romantic narrative feature written by Michael Mailer (son of famed American author Norman Mailer) and starring Alec Baldwin (who will attend the screening with Mailer) and Demi Moore. You can find out more about the slate right here.
– The Mill Valley Film Festival, presented by the California Film Institute, has announced the complete lineup for the 39th edition of the Festival, taking place October 6 – 16. The 11-day event will screen films across Marin County and will feature premieres, panel discussions, »
- Kate Erbland
I love a good western flick and one my my favourites, if not the favourite, is John Sturges' The Magnificent Seven. It's a simple story of good guys vs bad guys but the stellar cast of Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Horst Buchholz, James Coburn, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter and Eli Wallach turned it into something very special. Antoine Fuqua's remake of... Read More »
- Kevin Fraser
I think everyone in this country should be aware by now that our race relations are at an all time low. It seems every time we hear the news another black citizen has been shot by the police or police have been shot by someone angry about these shootings. It cannot continue. We as a nation cannot keep going down this road.
I have always sympathized with Black Americans. In fact as a Scot and Irish American I have always sympathized with anyone who ever got pushed around, starting with Native Americans, Asians, Jewish immigrants, women of any ethnic group, Hispanics from any country.
I also sympathize with the people who are tasked with law enforcement. It’s a tough job. I had some training in that area. A couple of years ago I was hired by a Security company and was trained in unarmed, and armed, uniformed security. I »
- Sam Moffitt
The excellent retrospective of Joe Dante's subversive, eccentric cinema in New York at Bam this month includes all the expected classics, which can hardly be termed "forgotten"—"fondly remembered" would be more like it—but also some intriguing and more obscure pieces: The Film Orgy, a five-hour found footage riot; several items programmed by Dante, such as Anthony Mann's The Black Book (a.k.a. Reign of Terror) and Arthur Penn's existential art film Mickey One; and also some of Dante's TV work, much of which is far less well-known than it ought to be...Dante's episodes of cable show Masters of Horror are uniquely dark, savage affairs with strong political agendas—Homecoming (2005) was the first bit of American filmed drama to deal openly with the war in Iraq. The "serious comedy" of this all-out, take-no-prisoners assault on the Bush administration is anticipated by the »
Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt lead the ragtag band of outlaws and gunslingers that band together to keep the Old West town of Rose Krick safe from the likes of no-good varmint Peter Sarsgaard in the film, due September 23rd. John Sturges' 1960 original was a who's who of macho movie stars, collecting the likes of Charles Bronson, Steve McQueen »
Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson is author Paul Talbot’s all-new companion volume to his acclaimed Bronson’s Loose!: The Making of the ‘Death Wish’ Films. His new book reveals more information on the Death Wish series and also details the complex histories behind eighteen other Charles Bronson movies. Documented herein are fascinating tales behind some of the finest Bronson films of the mid-1970s (including Hard Times and From Noon Till Three); his big-budget independent epics Love And Bullets and Cabo Blanco; his lesser-known, underrated dramas Borderline and Act Of Vengeance; his notorious sleaze/action Cannon Films classics of the 80s (including 10 To Midnight, Murphy’S Law and Kinjite: Forbidden Sunjects); the numerous unmade projects he was attached to; and his TV movies of the 90s (including The Sea Wolf). Exhaustively researched, the book features over three dozen exclusive, candid interviews including »
- Tom Stockman
Thomas Bidegain known for his screenwriting artistry with Jacques Audiard on Dheepan, A Prophet, and Rust And Bone and Joachim Lafosse on Our Children and The White Knights, met for a conversation on his directorial debut. Co-produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne, co-written with Noé Debré, Les Cowboys stars François Damiens, Finnegan Oldfield (Eva Husson's Bang Gang) and John C Reilly with Agathe Dronne, Iliana Zabeth (Bertrand Bonello’s Saint Laurent and House Of Tolerance), Jean-Louis Coulloc'h, Ellora Torchia, Mounir Margoum, Antonia Campbell-Hughes and Maxim Driesen.
- Anne-Katrin Titze
I guess Howard Hughes wanted to go easy on Minnesota Nazis. William Cameron Menzies directs a Cold War thriller about an insidious germ warfare conspiracy -- it's an early paranoid suspense tale with apocalyptic consequences. But the story behind the movie's making -- and then remaking -- is even more fantastic. The Whip Hand DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1951 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 82 min. / Street Date February 16, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 18.59 Starring Elliott Reid, Raymond Burr, Carla Balenda, Edgar Barrier, Otto Waldis, Michael Steele, Lurene Tuttle, Peter Brocco, Lewis Martin, Frank Darien, Olive Carey, George Chandler, Gregory Gaye. Cinematography Nicholas Musuraca Film Editor Robert Golden Original Music Music by Paul Sawtell Written by George Bricker, Frank L. Moss, Ray Hamilton Produced by Louis J. Rachmil Directed by William Cameron Menzies
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
Robert Altman's murder tale reeks of insider access and Hollywood hipster Bs; its main claim to greatness is its fifty-plus star cameos. It may no longer seem as smart as it looked in 1992, but they don't make 'em any slicker than this. The Player Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 812 1992 / Color /1:85 widescreen / 124 min. / Available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date May 24, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Lyle Lovett. Cinematography Jean Lépine Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Michael Tolkin from his novel Produced by David Brown, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler Directed by Robert Altman
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Robert Altman's filmography is undergoing what looks like a full retrospective through Criterion; even the 1975 title Nashville came out not long ago. This very successful later picture marks a revitalization of the director's career. It's sort of a Kafkaesque spin on Hail, »
- Glenn Erickson
If there is a reliable truism that can coexist alongside the American film industry’s dance of death with economically insane budgets that now routinely soar north of $200 million, it is that (most) critics and potential ticket-buyers can be counted on to review bad buzz and publicized woes of dollars and production instead of the actual movie once it finally finds its way to a screen. And it may in fact be true that the drama behind the scenes often outstrips the quality of the wide-screen finished product, though certainly this is not always the case. The reception of big-budget box-office flops like John Carter, The Lone Ranger, Jupiter Ascending and Oliver Stone’s Alexander are but some late examples of our number-crunching obsession with pop culture minutiae and the fascination of a behemoth’s preordained fall. Most who trudged out to see any of these films during their theatrical »
- Dennis Cozzalio
By Lee Pfeiffer
Sony has released Walter Hill's 1975 directorial debut, Hard Times, on on DVD through their Sony Choice Collection. Hill was an up-and-coming screenwriter with Peckinpah's The Getaway to his credit as well as solid thrillers like The Drowning Pool, The Mackintosh Man and Hickey and Boggs. There is no evidence in Hard Times that Hill was a novice behind the camera, either. This is one of my favorite films of the period, though many retro movie fans probably haven't seen it. The story is set in 1933. Chaney (Charles Bronson) is a middle-aged drifter who ends up crossing paths with Speed (James Coburn), a fast-talking promoter of "street fights" (no holds barred matches between local tough guys with no rules or regulations). Needing some quick cash, the soft-spoken, low-key Chaney forms a partnership with the mercurial Speed. In his first match, they win big when Chaney knocks the »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Addressing the crowd at a special Fox screening of Independence Day, designed to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the original blockbuster, Emmerich announced plans to create a war film based on the Battle of Midway. Set during the throes of World War II and, in particular, soon after Japan’s stealth attack on Pearl Harbor, it’ll follow an American plan to coordinate a deadly attack on a Japanese fleet.
It was a gruelling maritime battle that stretched for four days, but ultimately resulted in an emphatic victory for the Allies, who were able to intercept Japanese radio transmissions to pinpoint the exact location of the doomed fleet.
First reported by Coming Soon, here’s what Emmerich had to share about the »
- Michael Briers
Roland Emmerich has unveiled plans for a movie about 1942’s Battle of the Midway.
The producer-director made the announcement Tuesday night prior to a 20th anniversary screening on the Fox lot of his 1996 blockbuster “Independence Day.” Emmerich’s sequel, “Independence Day: Resurgence,” will open June 24.
The four-day battle took place six months after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, and saw the U.S. Navy decisively defeat an attacking fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy. U.S. codebreakers were able to determine the time and place of the planned attack, enabling the U.S. Navy to prepare its own ambush.
“At the time, the Americans were the underdog,” Emmerich told the crowd. “It was one of those moments where, against all odds, people came together and did the impossible. A lot of pilots died in this battle. I want to make a monument to them and it would be great »
- Dave McNary
The dirty book of the '60s became an all-star dirty movie with Brando, Burton, Starr, Coburn, Matthau, Astin, Aznavour and Huston all wanting a taste of the Swedish nymphet Ewa Aulin. Camerawork by Rotunno, designs by Dean Tavoularis, effects by Doug Trumbull -- and the best material is Marlon Brando making goofy faces as a sub-Sellers Indian guru. Candy Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1968 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 124 min. /Candy e il suo pazzo mondo / Street Date May 17, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Ewa Aulin, Charles Aznavour, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Richard Burton, John Astin, John Huston, Walter Matthau, Ringo Starr, Anita Pallenberg, Elsa Martinelli. Cinematography Giuseppe Rotunno Production Designer Dean Tavoularis Opening and closing designed by Douglas Trumbull Film Editor Giancarlo Cappelli, Frank Santillo Original Music Dave Grusin Writing credits Buck Henry from the book by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg Produced by Robert Haggiag Directed by Christian Marquand
- Glenn Erickson
Is satire obsolete? Our appalling present political reality has surpassed some of the wildest jokes in director Joe Dante's 'exaggerated, outrageous' 1997 cable movie. An immigration squabble snowballs until a renegade state governor closes his border and threatens to secede from the Union. It's a 'political idiocy' version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ... and nineteen years later, we're stuck living it. The Second Civil War DVD (2005) HBO Video 1997 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 96 min. / Street Date August 30, 2005 / 14.98 Starring Beau Bridges, Joanna Cassidy, Phil Hartman, James Earl Jones, James Coburn, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Peña, Denis Leary, Ron Perlman, Kevin Dunn, Brian Keith, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller, William Schallert, Catherine Lloyd Burns, Jerry Hardin, Roger Corman, Rance Howard, Robert Picardo, Alexandra Wilson, Belinda Belaski, Jennifer Carlson, Sean Lawlor. Cinematography Mac Ahlberg Film Editor Marshall Harvey Original Music Hummie Mann Written by Martyn Burke Produced by Guy Riedel Directed by Joe Dante »
- Glenn Erickson
When Chris Pratt isn't acting as guardian of the galaxy (and dinosaurs), he protects the Old West. Based on the first trailer for "The Magnificent Seven" remake, Pratt is bringing the same winking charm to his role as gambler Josh Farraday, opposite Denzel Washington as the leader of the new Seven.
The original "The Magnificent Seven" came out in 1960, starring Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Horst Buchholz, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter, and James Coburn. That film was itself a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 masterpiece "Seven Samurai." This new Western sticks with the concept of wrangling a bunch of "strays" to help protect a town, but with a more diverse cast (of men, anyway).
Here's the synopsis from Sony:
- Gina Carbone
Last week during CinemaCon, the banner for MGM's highly-anticipated The Magnificent Seven debuted, giving us our first look at the all-star cast. Thankfully, we didn't have to wait much longer for even more images, with USA Today revealing the first official photos, along with the news that the first trailer is set to debut Wednesday, April 20. The site also spoke with director Antoine Fuqua, who shed some light on how this incredible cast came together.
The original 1960 Western classic directed by John Sturges featured an ensemble cast including Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn and James Coburn, centering on a group of gunslingers hired by a Mexican village to stop a tyrannical bandit from terrorizing their town. The remake's cast is just as impressive, lead by Denzel Washington, who is collaborating with director Antoine Fuqua for the third time, following the critically-acclaimed Training Day and The Equalizer. »
Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai is a beautiful property. For Hollywood, it's been the gift that keeps on giving. The 1954 film was first remade as a western in 1960 as The Magnificent Seven. It did something monumental back then, as it united several of the biggest, most-beloved actors of that time in a single film. It gave each of them a cool character and a chance to shine. While it took some time to catch on, the film would eventually be considered a big hit for United Artists. That film led to sequels and, eventually, a TV adaptation.
Now director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) is hoping to strike gold in the old west again. We've known for some time that he's amassed an impressive cast, and now- thanks to USA Today- we've got our first look at this massive ensemble.
Take a look at the new The Magnificent Seven:
- Mario-Francisco Robles
"Sorry, I just slashed my wrists." "Well, tape 'em!" This is the aftermath of the '60s protest movement. Ivan Passer's riveting murder mystery of flakes and losers in sun-drenched, guilty Santa Barbara expresses the rage of radicals faced with the growing class divide, and the arrogance of the wealthy. Cutter's Way Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1981 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 109 min. / Ship Date , 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn, Ann Dusenberry, Stephen Elliott, Arthur Rosenberg, Nina Van Pallandt. Cinematography Jordan Cronenweth Production Designer Josan F. Russo Film Editor Caroline Biggerstaff Original Music Jack Nitzsche Writing credits Jeffrey Alan Fiskin, from the novel Cutter and Bone by Newton Thornburg. Produced by Paul R. Gurian Directed by Ivan Passer
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
CinemaCon 2016 is in full swing right now in Las Vegas, where all of the movie studios are showing off their blockbuster releases for the next few years. One of the movies making a splash is The Magnificent Seven remake. Directed by Antoine Fuqua, best known for Training Day and The Equalizer, this big budget Western once again re-teams him with the star of those two movies, Denzel Washington, who can be seen in his full cowboy getup right in the center of a new banner that also shows off the rest of this cast.
The Magnificent Seven reboot script comes from John Lee Hancock, best known for A Perfect World, and Nic Pizzolatto, the writer behind HBO's acclaimed drama series True Detective. The movie hits theaters this September, and boasts quite an ensemble alongside leading man Denzel Washington. It is a remake of the classic 1960 John Sturges Western of the same name, »
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