7 items from 2016
Anyone who’s spent an idle hour clicking around the Internet Movie Database knows that the average substantial yet less-than-a-list filmography is serpentine, and full of unpredictable digressions. An idiosyncratic collage-style look at one such career, Michael Almereyda’s “Escapes” examines the films of Hampton Fancher, whose moderately successful acting career over nearly 20 years would ultimately be eclipsed by his first foray into screenwriting: He wrote the original drafts adapting Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” into what became “Blade Runner,” sharing credit in the end with David Webb Peoples. (Fancher was also an executive producer on the film, and his involvement in its forthcoming long-awaited sequel should help expand the audience for”Escapes.”)
The tale of how Fancher came to play a key role developing one of the great sci-fi movie classics emerges almost as an afterthought late in his voiceover narration, which has the »
- Dennis Harvey
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
Join us for some old-school 16mm Movie Madness! – It’s our monthly 16Mm Double Feature Night at The Way Out Club (2525 Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis) ! Join We Are Movie Geeks‘ Tom Stockman and Roger from “Roger’s Reels’ for a double feature of two complete films projected on 16mm film. The show is Tuesday June 7th and starts at 8pm. Admission is Free though we will be setting out a jar to take donations for theNational Children’s Cancer Society.
First up is Young Frankenstein
Mel Brooks hit all nails right on the head in his black & white classic from 1974. Taking its themes from the Mary Shelley novel and providing some spot-on homage/parody to the James Whale classic Bride Of Frankenstein (and plenty of references to Son Of Frankenstein as well), Young Frankenstein is a breathless laugh and a half. In a weak comedy, you have the entire »
- Tom Stockman
Directed by Sydney Pollack.
A New York actor’s volatile reputation keeps him unemployed, which forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman to secure any roles.
With transgender rights being such a hot and important topic in the modern era, Tootsie marks as a befitting, albeit a likely coincidence, Criterion release a Blu-ray for this week. The film follows the talented, yet hostile actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) who comes from the old Method-style of acting from yesteryear, and he cannot adapt to the contemporary (1980s) mode of the homogenised, easily relatable/identifiable performers. His long-suffering agent George (Sydney Pollack) explains that Michael has burnt every bridge and nobody will hire him. Michael hears of an audition from a friend, and one of his acting students Sandy »
- Matthew Lee
March 30, 1970. Racing champion Secretariat was born.
After Citation in 1948, Secretariat became the first U.S. Triple Crown winner in 25 years and became the stuff of legend.
New York Post columnist Larry Merchant said:
“Secretariat is the kind of Big Horse that makes grown men weep, even when they are flint-hearted bettors, even when he goes off at 1-10. He is the apparently unflawed hunk of beauty and beast they search for doggedly in the racing charts every day, and never seemed to find. His supporters rhapsodize over him as though he is a four-legged Nureyev, extolling virtues of his musculature, his grace, his urine specimens.” If he were to lose the Belmont, Merchant warned, “the country may turn sullen and mutinous.”
As of 2015, only 12 horses have won the Triple Crown: Sir Barton (1919), Gallant Fox (1930), Omaha (1935), War Admiral (1937), Whirlaway (1941), Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946), Citation (1948), Secretariat (1973), Seattle Slew (1977), Affirmed (1978), and American Pharoah (2015).
Just as with Secretariat, »
- Movie Geeks
Sad news for comedy fans. The great George Gaynes has passed away at the age of 98. The actor is best remembered as the grouchy father figure on Punky Brewster and the dimwitted commandant Lassard in the Police Academy series. He also had a memorable role as the soap opera star with a crush on Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie. George Gaynes's daughter confirmed his passing this past Monday. The actor died at his daughter's home in North Bend, Washington.
George Gaynes had a versatile career, appearing in hundreds of TV episodes over the years, working in both comedy and drama. He also appeared in over 35 feature films and made for TV movies, along with appearing in a number of plays, musical comedies and operas in both the United States and Europe. While he became a very familiar presence to viewers around the globe, he never managed to reach leading man status. »
Wide awake to the wonder, terror and giddy confusion of being a 14-year-old adolescent in 1970s Australia — or anywhere at any time, for that matter — Rosemary Myers’ “Girl Asleep” is a strange, savvy, big-hearted teen adventure that feels perfectly pitched to its target audience as well as those of all ages in search of something unquestionably unique. In the wake of the film’s high-profile European premiere on opening night of the Berlinale’s Generation 14plus program, like-minded sidebars at fests will come calling, with positive word of mouth and laudatory critical attention rousing sales.
On the eve of her 15th birthday, settling into a new suburb and enduring the garish uniforms of a new school, Greta Driscoll (Bethany Whitmore, an embryonic Terri Garr with freckles) has a lot on her plate and even more on her mind. Alone in the schoolyard, she is immediately befriended by the frizzy-haired and loquacious Elliott (Harrison Feldman, »
- Eddie Cockrell
7 items from 2016
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