8 items from 2014
At first blush, the documentaries PBS is airing Nov. 18, American Experience’s “Cold War Roadshow” and Frontline’s “Firestone and the Warlord,” feel like historical artifacts. Look closer, though, and both contain significant present-day resonance: the first owing to the fraying state of U.S.-Russian relations; the second in the Ebola scare emanating from Liberia — a country in which America and, in particular, one very large tire company harbor dubious ties to its lingering political dysfunction. While each program has merit, the former is more noteworthy, largely because it’s hard to imagine a modern parallel to Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s barnstorming tour.
The day-by-day account of Khrushchev’s 1959 trip to America provides not only a fascinating look at the Cold War, but also at the early days of television (the networks devoted a half-hour nightly recap to the Soviet premier’s activities) and, by extension, at the »
- Brian Lowry
I didn’t see Robin Williams‘ attempt at a new sitcom, CBS’ The Crazy Ones. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to think that the great Robin was, at only 62, already making the trip back to weekly TV half-hours after such a stellar, Oscar-winning career in films and such a bright, unhinged light on comedy stages for all of his career. It’s just too constricting for this kind of talent. It’s even sadder to think the show got cancelled after one season, a failure that must have been hard to take. No, my most recent memories of Robin Williams are on the big screen, where he seemed to be heading for a place of renewal, not only as the funnyman everyone knew, but really a fine dramatic actor. In this year’s The Face Of Love he played a supporting role as a man heartbreakingly »
- Pete Hammond
Veteran film and television comedic actor Robin Williams was found dead in his home in Tiburon, Calif. on Monday. He was 63.
The cause of death is believed to be suicide via asphyxiation, according to the Tiburon coroner’s office.
According to his publicist, who confirmed the news, the actor had been battling depression of late and recently entered 12-step rehab for drug abuse.
Robin Williams Death: Most Memorable Moments of His Career
His wife Susan Schneider said in a statement: “I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Williams’ residence on Monday at 11:55 a.m. reporting »
- Andrew Wallenstein and Stuart Oldham
June 6 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. In 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed to fight Nazi Germany along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified beach in Normandy, France. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, "we will accept nothing less than full victory." Armed with more than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft that fateful day, the Allies gained a foothold in Europe and turned the tide in World War II - but at a high cost. More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded, but their tremendous sacrifice allowed more than 100,000 soldiers to begin the defeat against Adolf Hitler »
- Alex Heigl
Despite a juicy role as Dwight D. Eisenhower in Lee Daniels’ The Butler last summer, Robin Williams has been largely absent from the spotlight for a few years. That’s all about to change though with his new film Boulevard hitting Tribeca this month and the first trailer for another Williams project, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, arriving on the web today.
Williams stars as Henry Altmann, the titular character, who is wrongfully told by a doctor (Mila Kunis) that he’s managed to frustrate through constant yelling and needling that he has a brain aneurysm that will kill him within an hour and a half. Shocked out of the bitterness that has consumed him for much of his adult life, Henry begins a race against time through New York City to make amends with all the loved ones he has driven away, including his brother, wife and estranged son. »
- Isaac Feldberg
Cinema Retro has received the following press release from Sony
Culver City, Calif. (March 31, 2014) – George Clooney’s action thriller The Monuments Men marches its way onto Blu-ray Combo pack, DVD and Digital* May 20 from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. Based on the
non-fiction book of the same name by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter, the film pays tribute to the real men and women who risked their lives to recover and return thousands of cultural treasures stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
The Blu-ray™ Combo Pack is loaded with bonus materials, including two all-new featurettes that highlight the making of the film. The first, “George Clooney’s Mission,” features interviews with Clooney, as well as the rest of the cast, on the elements that went into completing The Monuments Men. The second featurette, “Marshaling the Cast,” features a cast discussion on the real men and women they brought to life on screen. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
A deeply moving melodrama about a subtly subversive black butler at the heart of the White House. You will need Kleenex. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
I have not read the source material
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
It’s most likely apocryphal, but that quote attributed to Winston Churchill is appropriate here: “The Americans can always be trusted to do the right thing, once all other possibilities have been exhausted.” For this is one tiny slice of the dramatic history of civil rights progress in the United States as seen through the eyes of a black man who worked as a White House butler for decades… and the subtle impact he had on making America’s leaders realize that all other possibilities except acknowledging the humanity of nonwhite people were being exhausted. The story of Cecil Gaines (Forest »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Washington, Feb 2: Us and Soviet Union had run deep into Cold War twenty years after the end of World War II, leading to high tension.
According the Verge, the Soviets had the Americans outgunned in terms of conventional arms, while the Us on the other hand had a vastly superior store of nuclear power.
However, Dwight D. Eisenhower's "New Look" security policy, which claimed that any form of Soviet aggression would be met with massive retaliation, meant a swift nuclear response resulting into loss of life on both sides.
In order to reduce loss of life, military engineers sought after tactical nukes that could strategically. »
- Abhijeet Sen
8 items from 2014
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