8 items from 2013
Fighting, dying, hoping, hating … great sports films are about far more than sport itself. Here Guardian and Observer critics pick their 10 best
• Top 10 superhero movies
• Top 10 westerns
• Top 10 documentaries
• Top 10 movie adaptations
• Top 10 animated movies
• Top 10 silent movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
Lindsay Anderson brought to bear on his adaptation of David Storey's first novel, all the poetic-realist instincts he had been honing for the previous decade as a documentarian in the Humphrey Jennings mould. (Anderson had won the 1953 best doc Oscar for Thursday's Children.) Filmed partly in Halifax and Leeds, but mainly in and around Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Club, one of its incidental attractions is its record of a northern, working-class sports culture that would change out of all recognition over the next couple of decades.
The story of Frank Machin, a miner who becomes a star on the rugby field, »
I think everyone remembers where they were August 31st, 2003 when they heard that Charles Bronson had died. I was visiting my brother in Atlanta when my nephew knocked on my door and informed me that CNN had announced his death. I collapsed into a sobbing heap. Bronson was my hero, my muse, my role model. Hollywood’s brightest star would shine no more. It’s hard to believe he’s been gone ten years.
Charles Bronson was the unlikeliest of movie stars. Of all the leading men in the history of Hollywood, Charles Bronson had the least range as an actor. He rarely emoted or even changed his expression, and when he did speak, his voice was a reedy whisper. But Charles Bronson could coast on presence, charisma, and silent brooding menace like no one’s business and he wound up the world’s most bankable movie star throughout most of the 1970’s. »
- Tom Stockman
By Lee Pfeiffer
Twilight Time has released Walter Hill's 1975 directorial debut, Hard Times, on Blu-ray as a limited edition (3,000 units). 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)
William Holden movies: ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ William Holden is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured actor today, August 21, 2013. Throughout the day, TCM has been showing several William Holden movies made at Columbia, though his work at Paramount (e.g., I Wanted Wings, Dear Ruth, Streets of Laredo, Dear Wife) remains mostly off-limits. Right now, TCM is presenting David Lean’s 1957 Best Picture Academy Award winner and all-around blockbuster The Bridge on the River Kwai, the Anglo-American production that turned Lean into filmdom’s brainier Cecil B. DeMille. Until then a director of mostly small-scale dramas, Lean (quite literally) widened the scope of his movies with the widescreen-formatted Southeast Asian-set World War II drama, which clocks in at 161 minutes. Even though William Holden was The Bridge on the River Kwai‘s big box-office draw, the film actually belongs to Alec Guinness’ Pow British commander and to »
- Andre Soares
No one could touch Charles Bronson in terms of global popularity throughout the 1970’s and Hard Times was his best film from that decade (my favorite for cinema, the only films from the ‘70s I would personally rate above Hard Times are Taxi Driver, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and The Godfather). Walter Hill, in his 1976 directorial debut, made a remarkably earthy and entertaining film about illegal bare-knuckle fighting in Depression-era New Orleans. Hard Times, whose succinct tag line read “New Orleans 1933, in those days words didn’t buy much”, perfectly exploits Bronson’s granite presence and is a concise, almost mythical celebration of men who only communicate with their fists. Bronson is Chaney, a hardened loner who hops off a freight train in New Orleans where he tries to score some quick cash the only way he knows how-with his fists.
The fight scenes in Hard Times, which seem authentic rather over-choreographed, »
- Tom Stockman
Will Smith: The Wild Bunch remake (photo: Will Smith in After Earth) Will Smith has been mentioned in connection with Focus, the caper tale that was to have starred Ben Affleck and Kristen Stewart, and is to star in Edward Zwick’s Hurricane Katrina drama The American Can. But that’s not all. His producing company is working on a remake of the Broadway musical Annie — which got a less-than-satisfactory screen version back in 1982 — and apparently he wants to revive The Wild Bunch as well. Set during the Mexican Revolution of the 1910s, Sam Peckinpah’s ultra-violent 1969 classic Western features William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Edmond O’Brien, and other movie veterans as a group of outlaws fleeing from Robert Ryan while out to do one last job in war-torn northern Mexico. The Will Smith The Wild Bunch reboot, however, is to be set in the present, though the perilous »
- Zac Gille
When I Dismember Mama was released as a double-bill with The Blood Spattered Bride at the drive-in and various lowbrow theaters in 1974, upchuck cups were passed out amongst patrons as a gag gift to promote the film and to get people talking outside of the theaters. The trailer for the double-bill is even better.
Blood Spattered Bride/I Dismember Mama
Released on VHS in the 1980s by Simitar Entertainment, I Dismember Mama has become a cult classic amongst horror fans – most likely because of its catchy and alluring title. You would assume that the film is about – well – dismembering mama, right? Wrong. This Oedipal-Norman-Bates-style movie has very little to do with dismembering at all, although it has it’s fair share of kills and thrills.
- Lianne Spiderbaby
From the silent movie era into the early 1930s, the standard aspect ratio of Hollywood films was 1.33:1, a ratio developed by cinema pioneer Thomas Edison. Early in the “talkie” era, when the soundtrack was added to the side of the film frame, the width of the image was reduced even more, creating a more square-shaped picture. Since the early 1950s, most movies have been filmed in a process where the width of the visual frame is between 1.85 to 2.4 times greater than the height. This means that for every inch of visual height, the frame as projected on the screen is between 1.85 to 2.4 times as wide. This results in a panoramic view that can add a greater breadth and perception of the environment and mood of a movie. The rise in popularity of television is credited with inciting the motion picture’s move to the widescreen systems that flourished throughout the 50s, »
- Tom Stockman
8 items from 2013
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