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There was no a-ha! moment, no seeing of the light, no epiphany. I’d loved movies since I was a kid, had been a buff since my early teens, but there was no one, shining instance of enlightenment where my relationship with film graduated to something — … Well, the kind of thing my Sound on Sight colleagues have been talking about this month with their “gateway” films. Instead, it was a cumulative experience for me; my road to that point was a long, winding, gradual one. Here and there along that road something would lodge in the ol’ gray matter, tickle at some deep place, until enough of those somethings gathered up over the years finally coalesced into a critical mass.
But I can tell you where that first turn in that road was; that first stop where I picked up that first something. I was six years old, it was »
- Bill Mesce
By Lee Pfeiffer
The Warner Archive has released the 1972 MGM thriller The Carey Treatment as part of its DVD-on-demand program. James Coburn has one of his best roles as Dr. Peter Carey, a rebellious but esteemed surgeon who moves to Boston to take a prominent position at one of the city's most esteemed hospitals. The charismatic Carey loses no time in gaining friends, alienating top brass and bedding the comely chief dietician (Jennifer O'Neill). However, he soon finds himself embroiled in a politically volatile investigation when a fellow surgeon is arrested for performing an illegal abortion on the 15 year old daughter of the hospital's crusty administrator (Dan O'Herlihy). (The movie was released a year before the landmark Roe V. Wade decision that legalized abortion in America.) Coburn believes his friend's protestations of innocence and decides to launch his own investigation into the matter. The case soon unveils a lot of »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
If, over the last 10 months, you’ve sometimes felt that sitting through 2011’s movies has been somewhat akin to sitting through TV’s summer reruns, that’s because you have been sitting through reruns. Well, reruns Hollywood style.
According to a Box Office Mojo story earlier this year, 2011 will end as a record year for sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. I don’t know if Mojo included remakes in that calculation, but whether they did or didn’t, remakes have certainly added to that oppressive déjà vu feeling which seems to roll into the multiplex every couple of weeks.
And we’re not even considering the familiar-feeling clones and knock-offs. “Oh, yippee, another superhero flick! Another The Hangover wannabe!” It’s like that Twilight Zone where Dennis Weaver is damned to relive the same bad dream over and over; the people take different parts in each cycle, but it’s still the same nightmare. »
- Bill Mesce
Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to worthwhile titles currently available on Netflix Instant Watch. This week we offer alternatives to Tower Heist, A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas and The Son of No One.
Christmas comes early when your favorite stoners return to theaters to do box office battle with Brett Ratner’s latest wanna-be blockbuster and an indie thriller with as much angst and star power.
Craving some crazy action-comedy?
Delhi Belly (2011) This blisteringly funny feature is like Guy Ritchie by way of Bollywood. But don’t fret those-who-fear-subtitles. Most of this flick is in English. Tashi, Nitin and Arup are three roommates who haven’t quite figured out adulthood. They »
- email@example.com (thefilmstage.com)
You know your movie is in trouble when Danny John-Jules gets top billing. If you don't know who that is, congratulations, you're not nerdy enough to be a fan of Red Dwarf, the BBC's long-running sci fi sitcom. In it, John-Jules played a sentient humanoid cat who dressed and talked like James Brown. For the most part it was more believable than this movie.
Sucker Punch is a remake of the Charles Bronson/James Coburn boxing movie Hard Times only in the way that a bunch of kids throwing rocks at each other is a remake of The Godfather. It has a dark horse fighter (Gordon Alexander) coming back into the London underground no-holds-barred boxing circuit, where he is soon taken under the wing of a sleazy fight promoter (John-Jules), who gambles away whatever they earn. The bad guy this time around is the beefy northern England Ufc fighter Ian "The Machine" Freeman, »
- David M. DeLeon
With elements of screwball comedy, this sparkling film has been called “the best Hitchcock movie Hitchcock never made”.
Based on a screenplay by Peter Stone, produced and directed by Stanley Donen, and with original music from Henry Mancini, 1963 Academy Award-nominated and BAFTA-winning feature Charade is a romantic suspense thriller starring Cary Grant, Audrey Hepburn, Walter Matthau and James Coburn.
Now beautifully restored in high definition, this Dual Format Edition includes the theatrical trailer and a photo gallery. Stocked by all major retailers throughout the UK from 24 October. We have three copies of the Dual Format Edition to give away!
Filmed on location in Paris, the story centres on a fun-loving, young woman (Hepburn) who meets a charming stranger (Grant) on a skiing holiday. She returns home, planning to ask her husband for a divorce, but finds all of their possessions gone. The police notify her that her husband has been »
- Matt Holmes
My favourite moment in Charade is during the scene in the hotel lift where Audrey Hepburn places a finger in the dimple on Cary Grant’s chin. As he tries to impress upon her the seriousness of her situation, she asks, ‘How do you shave in there?’ She makes the line so offhand and natural that, though I am sure credit should go to Peter Stone’s script, it sounds like she just made it up on the spot. Some critics on the film’s release were harsh on it, feeling the comedy and the darker thriller elements of the plot didn’t sit together well, but watching it now the coupling of these two elements is exactly what keeps it entertaining; its main ambition is to show the audience a really good time.
Released in 1963, the film was already something of a throwback, particularly to thrillers of the 1940s, »
- Adam Whyte
We're huge fans of Emilio Estevez, and even bigger fans of his 1988 Western Young Guns and its sequel, Young Guns II. Thus far, the movie has not been put up for a remake or a reboot, but a sequel has long been hoped for by many of its cast members, and those who hold the film in high regard. We recently caught up with Emilio Estevez, who directs and co-stars in this weekend's The Way. We couldn't help but ask the star, who is quite selective nowadays when it comes to taking on a project, about the future of Young Guns. To hear what he had to say, click on the clip below.
Click to watch Exclusive: Emilio Estevez Interview!
Young Guns was released August 12th, 1988 and stars Emilio Estevez, Kiefer Sutherland, Lou Diamond Phillips, Charlie Sheen, Dermot Mulroney, Casey Siemaszko, Terence Stamp, Jack Palance. The film is directed by Christopher Cain. »
The Magnificent Seven is often heralded as one of the greatest westerns ever made. Great acting, memorable characters, and a striking score, all elevate The Magnificent Seven into more than your standard b-movie shoot-em-up western. Unfortunately for Burt Kennedy’s 1966 sequel, it has only one of these three traits working to keep this horse riding high. Given all that is working against it, Return of the Magnificent Seven turns out a little better than expected, even if the Blu-ray doesn’t have much faith in the film.
The sequel begins much in the same way as the original. In fact, the film is set in the same village that was first mistreated in the original. A megalomaniac bent on revenge rides with a group of bandits into the village abducting all of the men and leaving behind the women and children. Chico (Originally played by Horst Buchholz and »
- Michael Haffner
On the heels of the phenomenal success of The Lion King 3D - which will cross the $80 million mark at the domestic box office today - The Walt Disney Studios has announced limited theatrical engagements for four of its classic films for the first time in 3D. The following titles from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios will be released in 2012 and 2013:
Beauty and the Beast - January 13, 2012Disney Pixar's Finding Nemo - September 14, 2012Disney Pixar's Monsters Inc. - January 18, 2013 (Monsters University, a prequel to the original film, arrives in theaters in Disney Digital 3D on June 21, 2013)The Little Mermaid - September 13, 2013
"Great stories and great characters are timeless, and at Disney we're fortunate to have a treasure trove of both," said Alan Bergman, President, The Walt Disney Studios. "We're thrilled to give audiences of all ages the chance to experience these beloved tales in an exciting new way »
Brad Pitt is receiving some of the best notices of his career as the star of "Moneyball." Coupled with stellar reviews for his supporting turn in "The Tree of Life," Pitt could join the elite few who were nominated for two acting Oscars in a single year. -Inserts:25- The two roles showcase Pitt's versatility. The 47-year-old has been lauded for playing his age in "Moneyball" and carrying the film as a genuine movie star. He plays the real-life Billy Beane, general manager of the Oakland Athletics, and portraying an actual person is often an easy way to an Oscar nod. In "The Tree of Life," Pitt plays a volatile, authoritarian father in the 1950s. The Terrence Malick-directed flick is a serious contender in top Oscar categories, which should help propel Pitt toward a nomination. Hard-edged father roles have paid off in this category before, most recently when James Coburn »
The 1960 film The Magnificent Seven was one of the last rounds in the chamber of the American Western. In 1952 you had the Gary Cooper flick High Noon. In 1956 you had John Ford’s masterpiece The Searchers. Then, in 1959 you had the Howard Hawks western Rio Bravo. By 1960, the American western was on its last legs and a new wave of more stylized westerns was about to be ushered in. Akira Kurosawa, who was the source of inspiration for The Magnificent Seven with his samurai epic Seven Samurai, released a double dose of western infused “lone fighter” films in ’61 and ’62 with Yojimbo and Sanjuro, which went on to inspire Leone’s “The Man with No Name Trilogy.” The combination of Kurosawa’a films and Magnificent Seven’s darker elements certainly triggered the grittier “Spaghetti Westerns” that took over for the “American Westerns.” Let’s see if this film still stands as »
- Michael Haffner
Compromised by a dwindling budget and production Euro-chaos, Peckinpah was not completely satisfied with this Ww II story of a German unit at the Russian front in 1943. The climax was literally improvised by James Coburn and Maximillian Schell when the money ran out. But Peckinpah once claimed that “I had a telegram from Orson Welles and he said he thought it was the best anti-war film since All Quiet on the Western Front.”
Click here to watch the trailer.
Are you a fan of us on Facebook? A lot of our gurus are over there regularly sharing tales, because a lot of them are frequent Facebook users. Like Brian Trenchard-Smith, who shares this story:
Directed by: John Sturges
Running Time: 2 hrs 8 mins
Due Out: August 2, 2011
Plot: Seven cowboys are put under contract to protect a town from a destructive bandit named Calvera (Wallach).
Who’S It For?: Fans of classic westerns have probably already seen it, but likely not to this quality. Even individual fans of Charles Bronson or Steve McQueen will enjoy seeing the younger versions of these future action stars. Newcomers to the movie looking for a “Red Dead Revolver”-like action will be rewarded with something bigger, and more meaningful.
It doesn’t take a film historian to see that The Magnificent Seven is a special moment in Hollywood, with its alignment of future stars and the whole franchise that it kicked off. This movie alone can stand as a highly entertaining western, »
- Nick Allen
Peckinpah! Peckinpah! Peckinpah!
“He found water where it wasn’t”. Hardly seen even in its day, this is yet another troubled Sam Peckinpah project which nonetheless emerged as a lyrical, deeply personal western love story that stands with the very best of his work. Its failure led the director to consider abandoning westerns once and for all. Although she and Peckinpah fought throughout, it features Stella Stevens’ finest performance, which she had hoped would lead to stardom.
Compromised by a dwindling budget and production Euro-chaos, Peckinpah was not completely satisfied with this Ww II story of a German unit at the Russian front in 1943. The climax was literally improvised by James Coburn and Maximillian Schell when the money ran out. But Peckinpah »
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Playing a bad parent’s one way for an actor to attract the Academy’s attention. Kevin Spacey’s lustful, wandering Lester Burnham in “American Beauty,” James Coburn’s cruel “Affliction” character, and Jacki Weaver’s manipulative crime boss in “Animal Kingdom” are a few recent examples of killer parents who found themselves in the spotlight on Oscar night.
Tilda Swinton could be next. As Eva, the shellshocked mother of a school shooter, Swinton takes audiences on a blistering trip through the conscience of a parent left questioning every decision made leading up to the tragic event. Director Lynne Ramsay (“Morvern Caller”) asks difficult questions about unconditional love, then let’s us come up with the answers.
At the Toronto International Film Festival, a delightful Swinton gave us plenty of answers during an exclusive one-on-one, where we discussed the communicative nature of film festivals, »
- Sean O'Connell
DVD Playhouse—September 2011
By Allen Gardner
In A Better World (Sony) Winner of last year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar, this Danish export looks at two fractured families and the effect that the adult world dysfunction has on their two sons, who form an immediate and potentially deadly bond. Director Susanne Bier delivers another powerful work that maintains its drive during the films’ first 2/3, then falters somewhat during the last act. Still, well-worth seeing, and beautifully made. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Deleted scenes; Commentary by Bier and editor Pernille Bech Christensen; Interview with Bier. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.
X-men First Class (20th Century Fox) “Origins” film set in the early 1960s, traces the beginnings of Magento and Professor X (played ably here by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy), and how the once-close friends and colleagues became bitter enemies. First half is slam-bang entertainment at its stylish best, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
While we wait to see how Darren Aronofsky's jury will divvy up the Lions in Venice this evening, a big batch of autonomous organizations and critics associations such as Fipresci have already handed out their awards … Diego Lerer and Neil Young rank the films they've seen in Venice … Gautam Valluri introduces the new, fourth issue of Projectorhead, featuring Adrian Martin on Sergio Leone, Anuj Malhotra on Bong Joon-ho, Kaz Rahman on Emir Kusturica, interviews with Kumar Shahani and cinematographer Martin Ruhe and more … Michel Gondry returns to France for The Foam of Days, with Audrey Tautou, Léa Seydoux, Romain Duris and Jamel Debbouze … Arnaud des Pallières's Michael Kohlhaas will feature Mads Mikkelsen and Bruno Ganz … But the most controversial project in the works has to be Mel Gibson's biopic based on the life of Jewish hero Judah Maccabee — with a screenplay by Joe Eszterhas, no less.
I should caveat this review by saying that there was a bit of a screw up with the print shown during FrightFest; there was a total lack of subtitles. This may not sound like a major problem as the majority of the cast are English speaking, but there’s a particularly major character that speaks entirely in German. By the sound of the director’s comments after the screening, much of this character’s motivation and humour would have been missed as a result.
That said, Urban Explorer still wasn’t a film I enjoyed.
A few years ago I read a novel called Creepers by David Morrell. It tells the tale of urban explorers and paints a brilliant world of danger and excitement. It would »
Even if it is an American adaptation of a samurai film, The Magnificent Seven has the prestige of being considered a classic in the Western genre, and for good reason. It has all the elements you could ask for: honorable gunslingers for hire, an epic scale, and a high stakes showdown between the vastly outnumbered heroes. On top of that you have the unconventional choice of Yul Brynner as your Western hero with the likes of Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, and James Coburn – great examples of American masculinity if ever there were any in that era – making up the main players of the titular seven. The Magnificent Seven is the kind of rollicking western adventure which, despite having its share of flaws, is every bit enjoyable today as it was the day of its theatrical premiere. With the HD restoration for Blu-ray, the sweeping horizons and the film as a »
- Lex Walker
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