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Chicago – When I was younger, I considered the blockbuster flop “Tora! Tora! Tora!” pretty boring. Critics over the years and friends have remembered the film more fondly than when it was released and therefore made me feel like perhaps a re-appreciation was in order. Nope. It’s still boring. And now it’s boring in stunning HD!
Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0
To be fair, “Tora! Tora! Tora!” does look pretty damn good in the new collector’s edition from Fox. One would never guess that the film is over forty years old as it’s been mixed better than a lot of the works from its era. In the early days of HD, a large number of ’70s films were over-polished, resulting in plastic-looking actors and poor color levelss. It’s nice to see remastering done well, even if it is for a movie that baffles me in its very existence. Why »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Tora! Tora! Tora!
Running Time: 2 hr 25 min
Due Out: December 6, 2011
Plot: The story of the Japanese invasion of Pearl Harbor is told from the point of view of both sides of the conflict.
Who’S It For? War buffs, your Dad, but also any American who wants to know a little more about their country’s history.
Though not a financial success at the time of its release, Tora! Tora! Tora! has aged well thanks to the accuracy of the filmmakers. Unlike Pearl Harbor, the filmmakers focus on the actual story of the attack and the events that led up to it, rather than trying to force in a love story or anything else that may detract from what happened. Also, to tell the story from both sides, »
- Megan Lehar
DVD Playhouse—December 2011
By Allen Gardner
The Rules Of The Game (Criterion) Jean Renoir’s classic from 1939 was met with a riot at its premiere and was severely cut by its distributor, available only in truncated form for two decades until it was restored to the grandeur for which it is celebrated today. A biting comedy of manners set in the upstairs and downstairs of a French country estate, the film bitterly vivisects the bourgeoisie with a gentle ferocity that will tickle the laughter in your throat. Renoir co-stars as Octave. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Introduction to the film by Renoir; Commentary written by scholar Alexander Sesonske and read by Peter Bogdanovich; Comparison of the film’s two endings; Selected scene analysis by Renoir scholar Chris Faulkner; Featurettes and vintage film clips; Part one of David Thomson’s “Jean Renoir” BBC documentary; Video essay; Interviews with Renoir, crew members, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Hitting movie theaters this weekend:
Movie of the Week
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
The Plot: In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley (Oldman) is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6′s echelons.
The Buzz: Great title, great cast, great premise. Sold, sold and sold. Gary Oldman is too cool for school. I can’t wait to see this one. On top of the awesomeness that is Oldman, the film also boasts a bevy of heavy hitters in Colin Firth, Tom Hardy, John Hurt, and Mark Strong. I enjoy all of these actors a great deal, so regarding the cast, this film looks super solid. »
- Aaron Ruffcorn
At the same time Warner Bros were pushing an adaptation of Stephen King’s The Stand under his nose, Harry Potter director David Yates was getting to grips with Cicero, a proposed gangster film (possibly even a trilogy) based on the life and crimes of Al Capone. The epic Warner Bros project, said to be in the vein of the real classics – The Public Enemy, Little Caesar and Angels With Dirty Faces, i.e. – the movies that made Warner Bros back in the 40′s, would follow the rise of Capone during prohibition in Chicago before eventually being taken down because of all things, tax evasion.
Yates wanted to craft The Godfather of the 21st century and fittingly the Walon Green (The Wild Bunch) written script actually originates from the 70′s where it was intended to be a t.v. pilot for a lengthy series. Four decades on the project has »
- Matt Holmes
Full text of the Guardian editor's Orwell lecture on journalism and the phone-hacking scandal, given at University College, London
Thank you for asking me to give this lecture.
I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have become a journalist were it not for George Orwell. His collected Essays, Journalism and Letters appeared in a four volume Penguin edition in 1968, when I was about 15. I bought them one at a time with my saved pocket money … and read every word. And, with each essay and article, I learned more about politics; about observation; and about how to write. I doubt that I have ever managed to match his clarity of thought and prose – but he was certainly a model of both, and so it's a great honour to be here speaking in his name.
The invitation to speak tonight came just after the extraordinary events of the summer. I know you wanted the »
- Alan Rusbridger
Matthew Broderick has been a professional actor for nearly three decades. Broderick, who currently co-stars in the comedy/heist film Tower Heist, made his theatrical debut in the 1983 film Max Dugan Returns, which starred Marsha Mason and two time Academy Award winner Jason Robards.
Broderick told us that he has great memories of the film, and explained how veteran actor Robards took him under his wing and helped him professionally and personally while his father, actor James Broderick was dying. (Click on the audio player to hear Matthew Broderick) Matthew Broderick
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Ten years ago tomorrow, the bad cop / good cop drama Training Day debuted in theaters. It was a relatively inauspicious debut (for our purposes) in that, though the film was an instant hit, Oscar fanatics weren't really breathlessly awaiting its debut like it was a 'prestige picture' per se. The film surprised and wound up with two nominations for its leading actors, one in lead (Denzel Washington) and one in supporting (Ethan Hawke) because that's how Oscar do.
All it took was a couple of awesome soundbites and a sense that Denzel Washington was peaking as a movie star with that loss for Malcolm X still a regularly discussed Academy embarrassment and *Boom* Julia Roberts was all
I love my life!"
.... and it was Oscar Number Two for Denzel!
Were you watching?
King Kong ain't got shit on him.
Oscar #2 let Denzel into the slim ranks of actors with two competitive gold men. »
- NATHANIEL R
Neil Patrick Harris.Wait For It.Nails It With First Star On Hollywood Walk of Fame
Neil Patrick Harris, co-star of .How I Met Your Mother. was honored today by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce with his first star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The ceremony was held in celebration of the upcoming DVD release of How I Met Your Mother Season 6: The New is Always Better Edition on September 27th.
Equally successful on stage and screen, Neil Patrick Harris continues to demonstrate his creative versatility. He can currently be seen as the womanizing Barney Stinson on the hit CBS comedy series, .How I Met Your Mother,. a role which has garnered him four Emmy Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, a People.s Choice Award for Favorite TV Comedy Actor, and a Critics. Choice Award for Supporting Actor in a Comedy.
In 2010, Neil won his first two »
- Melissa Howland
The Emotionally Charged and Action-Packed Film Arrives On Blu-ray December 6th
Re-live the story of one of America.s darkest moments through superb visuals and a double sided narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The classic film Tora! Tora! Tora! comes to Blu-ray from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment on December 6th. The winner of the 1970 Academy Award® for Best Special Effects Tora! Tora! Tora! was nominated for four more Oscars® including Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Sound. Experience Tora! Tora! Tora! through the superb visual quality of Blu-ray for the first time.
Starring Martin Balsam (All The President.s Men), James Whitmore (The Shawshank Redemption), Jason Robards (All The President.s Men) and Joseph Cotton (The Third Man, Citizen Kane) Tora! Tora! Tora! showcases the attack on Pearl Harbor in dazzling detail.
The Tora! Tora! Tora! Blu-ray book includes the »
- Melissa Howland
It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of the Blu-Ray format. Even back when the war between it and HD-DVDs was still going on, I was on team Blu all the way. Even now, I'm such a snob that I won't watch a movie unless it's on blu-ray. So I'm always excited when classic films are finally transferred over...
20th Century Fox just sent me the news that they're finally bringing the classic war film, Tora! Tora! Tora!, onto the HD format. Releasing on December 6th to help commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack (which if you haven't seen the movie, that's what it's about). Here's the release with the details:
Re-live the story of one of America’s darkest moments through superb visuals and a double sided narrative that will keep you on the edge of your seat. The classic film Tora! Tora! Tora! comes »
The Kennedy Center Honors have been handed out since 1978. Recipients hail from various branches of the American performance art world — including film, stage, music, and dance — even though performers more closely associated with British show business have managed to sneak in every now and then, e.g., Paul McCartney, Roger Daltrey, Elton John, Pete Townshend. Since recipients are supposed to attend the Washington, D.C., ceremony in order to take home their Kennedy awards, Doris Day has remained unhonored by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Katharine Hepburn kept putting it off until she finally relented in 1990. (Irene Dunne, see above photo, was one who managed to be honored though absent due to ill health.) Ginger Rogers, for her part, was present at the ceremony, but her films with Fred Astaire weren't — because Astaire's widow, Robyn Astaire, demanded payment for the televised clips. At the time, Kennedy Center Honors »
- Andre Soares
Released two years after his iconic, Italian-made “Dollars trilogy” – which launched the career of TV actor Clint Eastwood and created the “Spaghetti Western” sub-genre – 1968′s Once Upon a Time in the West is arguably director Sergio Leone’s crowning achievement. The inspired casting of blue-eyed American great Henry Fonda as a cruel villain is matched by the spectacle of Charles Bronson as the mysterious “Harmonica” and Jason Robards as the likeable gun-slinging outlaw, whilst Ennio Morricone’s score – and an ingenious diegetic sound-scape - upstages everyone in a near three-hour epic with less than 15 pages of dialogue.
In many ways Leone was the original Quentin Tarantino: a dedicated cinephile who made films which consciously referenced those that inspired him. In Once Upon a Time in the West there are clear allusions to the work of John Ford, Howard Hawks and Nicholas Ray, among others. Yet far from being a derivative hack, »
- Robert Beames
From Andrew to Katrina, hurricanes are one of the harshest natural threats on Earth, and it's no accident that studios have leveraged them on multiple occasions in stories of courage, struggles and romance.
Five films defined hurricanes for us better than any others, though, and they feature intense performances, as well as sprawling directorial ambitions.
5. "The Hurricane" (1937)
At the time, this John Ford-directed film boasted "the most spectacular scenes ever filmed by man." And you know what? His bad weather special effects weren't all that bad. The story follows a man (Jon Hall) imprisoned for getting into a bar fight; his luck after that just kind of wanders into a downward spiral.
If this were a top five list of scenes featuring priests playing organs in apocalyptic weather situations, "The Hurricane" would be number one.
4. "The Hurricane" (1999)
Jean Hagen, Debbie Reynolds, Singin' in the Rain Debbie Reynolds on TCM: The Unsinkable Molly Brown, The Singing Nun Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am The Affairs Of Dobie Gillis (1953) A lovesick teenager searches for romance at college. Dir: Don Weis. Cast: Debbie Reynolds, Bobby Van, Barbara Ruick. Bw-73 mins. 7:15 Am I Love Melvin (1953) A photographer's assistant promises to turn a chorus girl into a cover girl. Dir: Don Weis. Cast: Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Una Merkel. C-77 mins. 8:45 Am The Tender Trap (1955) A swinging bachelor finds love when he meets a girl immune to his line. Dir: Charles Walters. Cast: Frank Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, David Wayne. C-111 mins, Letterbox Format. 10:45 Am Bundle Of Joy (1956) A shop girl is mistaken for the mother of a foundling. Dir: Norman Taurog. Cast: Eddie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Adolphe Menjou. C-98 mins. 12:30 Pm Tammy And The Bachelor »
- Andre Soares
Pert, pretty, multi-talented, actress-singer-dancer-Hollywood collector Debbie Reynolds is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Day on Friday, August 18, as TCM continues its "Summer Under the Stars" series. TCM is presenting 13 Debbie Reynolds movies. [Debbie Reynolds Movie Schedule.] Fans of Gene Kelly's Singin' in the Rain (1952) will be able to watch the romantic comedy-musical for the 118th time. I'm not one of them; in fact, I much prefer Kelly and Stanley Donen's On the Town (1949), and I'd say that George Sidney's Show Boat (1951) and Donen's Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) are my favorite musicals of the 1950s. But fan or no, there's much to enjoy in Singin' in the Rain, including Reynolds and Donald O'Connor's performances, several great songs from the 1920s, and Jean Hagen's high-pitched mix of Norma Talmadge, (the British) Mabel Poulton, and Corinne Griffith. The iconic "Singin' in the Rain" number is one of my least favorite »
- Andre Soares
Joanne Woodward on TCM: Rachel, Rachel; Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Count Three And Pray (1955) A Westerner turns preacher to overcome his shady past. Dir: George Sherman. Cast: Van Heflin, Joanne Woodward, Phil Carey. C-102 mins. 7:45 Am Rally Round The Flag, Boys! (1958) The arrival of an Army missile base shatters the peaceful life of a suburban town. Dir: Leo McCarey. Cast: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Joan Collins. C-107 mins, Letterbox Format. 9:45 Am Paris Blues (1961) Two jazz musicians deal with romantic problems in Paris. Dir: Martin Ritt. Cast: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier. C-99 mins, Letterbox Format. 11:30 Am Signpost To Murder (1964) A convicted murderer, who escaped from a mental institution, hides out in the home of a woman whose husband is missing. Dir: George Englund. Cast: Joanne Woodward, Stuart Whitman, Edward Mulhare. Bw-77 mins, Letterbox Format. 1:00 Pm »
- Andre Soares
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By Harvey F. Chartrand
Michael Moriarty, who starred in such classic films as Who’ll Stop the Rain and Pale Rider, exiled himself to Canada in 1995, following a nasty confrontation with U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno in a Washington, D.C. hotel room. Moriarty was invited along with network television executives and producers to hear Reno’s views on censorship of TV violence. Law and Order, one of the least violent shows on television, was cited as a major offender. Incensed by Reno's campaign to “forcibly end violence on television and trample on rights of free expression as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution,” Moriarty quit the series and left the U.S. in protest. He has been a landed immigrant in Canada ever since. Why the fateful encounter with Reno led to a radical (and seemingly overnight) transformation of Moriarty’s »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Director best known for the visually splendid and energetic Zorba the Greek
Although the first Greek films appeared in 1912, long periods of war and instability crippled any attempts at forming a national film industry. This meant that few features were produced until the 1950s, when the director Michael Cacoyannis, who has died aged 90, became the embodiment of Greek cinema, giving it an international reputation which reached a peak of popularity with his Zorba the Greek (1964).
Based on Nikos Kazantzakis's novel, the film burst on to the screen with extraordinary energy and visual splendour. It brilliantly combined the rhythmic music of Mikis Theodorakis and the Oscar-winning black-and-white cinematography of Walter Lassally with indelible performances by Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas and Lila Kedrova (who won the Oscar for best supporting actress).
The film celebrated joie de vivre, yet there was an underlying pessimism and an echo of Greek tragedy »
- Ronald Bergan
Michael Cacoyannis, best known for the 1964 Oscar-nominated drama Zorba the Greek, died of complications from a heart attack and chronic respiratory problems early Monday at an Athens hospital. He was either 89 or 90, depending on the source. Born in Limassol, Cyprus, on June 11, 1921 or 1922, the young Cacoyannis (Mihalis Kakogiannis in Greek) was sent to London to study Law, but later turned to the theater, studying Drama at the Old Vic and playing various roles on the British stage, including the lead in Albert Camus' Caligula. Unable to find work in the British film industry, he eventually moved to Athens. Cacoyannis' directorial debut took place in the early '50s, with the breezy comedy Windfall in Athens (1955), whose production lasted two years. International acclaim followed the release of Stella (1955), which was screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. This drama about a free-spirited young woman (Melina Mercouri) torn by her »
- Andre Soares
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