3 items from 2010
Charlie Chan: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and his Rendezvous with American History
by Yunte Huang (Norton Books)
There seems to be a new trend in biography. An author takes a deep "core sample" of the entirety of the world around the biography's subject, often even injecting his or her personal experiences researching and writing the book. Weather, stock tables, the history of minstrel shows or solid state engineering or cooking can weave in and out amidst unexpected finds at flea markets and wars.
A bellwether of this kind of tome, for this reviewer at least, was David Hajdu's magisterial Ten Cent Plague, a history of the comic books that could be an x-ray of American art and politics of our time. Yunte Huang's new, essential tome about Charlie Chan is a thrilling addition to this trend.
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- Ken Krimstein
Article by Dana Jung
In 1970, the Vietnam War had already dragged on for nearly a decade. Filmmakers, like society in general, were making their opinions about the war known. The great anti-war films M*A*S*H and Catch 22 were released that year and, though not set in Vietnam, made bold satirical use of past wars to make their points. However, that same year brought us another anti-war film somewhat overshadowed by those two classics, Hornet’S Nest, starring none other than Rock Hudson. Like some surrealistic cross between John Wayne’s The Cowboys and the original Inglorious Bastards (both of which it predated), Hornet’S Nest is notable for several reasons: it was the final Hollywood film of European screen star Sylva Koscina, it was one of director Phil Karlson’s last movies, and it was the film debut of Hudson’s trademark mustache! However, it is Not notable for being on DVD. »
- Tom Stockman
It’s a WWII-fest, with five films starring the legendary Errol Flynn. These adventures from 1942-1945 are a solid showcase of not only the star, but era itself, and the DVD set adds to the effect with some great bonuses. With vintage newsreels, classic cartoons, and more, you can relive the experience of these films like never before.
From a unique period in film history, putting out war adventures with a unique derring-do perspective, and starring the unique screen charm of Flynn, this is a collection with a surprisingly varied appeal. Mostly directed by another legend, Raoul Walsh (White Heat, The Tall Men), the set also manages to deliver an effort of style, with Walsh generally aiming at some manner of art in his semi-pseudo-propaganda vehicles.
Taking a look at the Nazi menace from every angle imaginable, whether as an American pilot, Canadian mountie, or Norwegian villager, Flynn gets a »
- Marc Eastman
3 items from 2010
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