8 items from 2016
I saw The Black Dahlia the day it opened in the fall of 2006. I can safely say it was one of my favorite moviegoing experiences. My husband and I saw it at AMC River East 21, which is one of Chicago’s largest multiplexes. The showing we went to was sold-out. There must have been 400 people there. The movie started, everyone was quiet and seemed excited for the celeb-packed whodunit we were about to see. Slowly, muffled giggles could be heard from different points of the theatre, mostly whenever Aaron Eckhart or Josh Hartnett mumbled “Fire and Ice.” By the middle of the movie, people were openly laughing at Hartnett’s silly, serious narration. Everyone went ballistic when, referring to the resemblance between Hilary Swank and Black Dahlia Elizabeth Short, Scarlett Johansson yells, “She looks like that dead girl!” We went even more ballistic when a woman sitting near me in the audience screamed, »
- The Film Stage
The character setup in this classy noir potboiler couldn't be better, with Ida Lupino a sensation as the mountain lodge chanteuse who knows her way around men. For its first two acts the show is all but perfect. Road House Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 95 min. / Street Date September 13, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Ida Lupino, Cornel Wilde, Celeste Holm, Richard Widmark, O.Z. Whitehead, Robert Karnes, George Beranger, Ian MacDonald, Ray Teal. Cinematography Joseph Lashelle Film Editor James B. Clark Original Music Cyril J. Mokridge Written by Edward Chodorov, Margaret Gruen, Oscar Saul Produced by Edward Chodorov Directed by Jean Negulesco
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
What’s to Love: This gripping graphic novel adaptation of the highly acclaimed book by James Ellroy, The Black Dahlia, delves deeply into one of the most haunting unsolved crimes in American history. Award-winning filmmaker David Fincher (Gone Girl, Zodiac) and acclaimed storyteller Matz (The Killer) worked at length to preserve much of Ellroy’s original dialogue while bringing the stark images of 1940s L.A. to full, living color with illustrator Miles Hyman.
What It Is: Lapd investigators Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard find themselves enthralled with the mysterious and brutal murder of a beautiful young woman, Elizabeth Short. Their obsession takes a dark turn as they delve into the underbelly of Hollywood and the heart of the dead woman’s tortured and twisted past. »
- Gary Collinson
Shockingly, this is not a Christmas movie. In every other way, though, it is a Shane Black movie, and that is reason enough to rejoice. I am more than willing to cop to the fact that part of what I like about Shane Black is that he evidently loves the exact same things I love, and for the exact same reasons. When someone’s making art that hews so closely to my ideal aesthetic, I start half-in-the-bag for the thing. I’ve written often about my love of La detective stories, especially when set in different eras of the city’s development. Walter Mosley, Raymond Chandler, Thomas Pynchon, Robert Towne, James Ellroy, Michael Connelly… lots of guys have mined this territory to terrific effect, and I have no doubt I’ll take my own shot at it someday. What Black does here is very different than what Paul Thomas Anderson did in Inherent Vice, »
- Drew McWeeny
For those many aspiring artists who make the pilgrimage to Los Angeles in hopes of finding their silver screen dreams, the city can take on a magical and enticing air. More often than not, small town beauty queens and football stars hoping for fame shoot for the stars and land among the trash. As beautiful a city as it is, Hollywood is also a place where the strong eagerly use and discard the weak with a frightening frequency. Can’t take the pressure? Don’t fret. There is certainly no shortage of wide-eyed kids waiting to take your place.
In Knight of Cups, the latest film by Terrence Malick, Christian Bale stars as a Hollywood screenwriter drifting through the sights and sounds of contemporary Los Angeles. To mark the occasion, we’ve taken a look back at the finest films portraying the dark side of Hollywood — the broken hearts and crushed dreams. »
- Tony Hinds
Exclusive: The Mark Gordon Company will produce and finance an adaptation of Blood’s A Rover, the 2009 crime novel by L.A. Confidential author James Ellroy. A script has been written by Mark Fergus & Hawk Ostby, who were Oscar nominated for Children of Men and scripted Iron Man. Gordon will produce with Vincent Sieber — whose Midnight Road Entertainment developed the script with the scribes — and Clark Peterson. The film’s being packaged to shoot at year’s end with Sara… »
When Stephen King first got the idea for a story about a time-traveler trying to save JFK, he was a 24-year-old high school English teacher living in a double-wide trailer and couldn't find anyone to publish his writings outside of cheap Playboy knockoffs like Gent and Cavalier. It would take 40 years for the author to finally publish what would ultimately become the 849-page book 11/22/63 — but it was worth the long wait. The what-if novel sold by the millions and The New York Times named it one of the five best »
Hungarian-born cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond, winner of an Oscar for his achievements on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and a nominee for “The Deer Hunter,” “The River” (1984) and the “The Black Dahlia” (2006), has died at 85. His business partner Yuri Neyman said he died January 1.
Over a period of five decades in Hollywood, his other outstanding achievements included “Deliverance,” “Blow Out,” “The Ghost and the Darkness” and such Robert Altman films as “McCabe and Mrs. Miller” and “The Long Goodbye.” And he considered it the ultimate compliment that no two of his movies looked alike.
Working into his eighties, Zsigmond also shot a number of episodes of the Fox sitcom “The Mindy Project” from 2012-14. Zsigmond ranked among the 10 most influential cinematographers in film history in a 2003 survey conducted by the International Cinematographers Guild.
Belying his comment to Rolling Stone that “a cinematographer can only be as good as the director, »
- Carmel Dagan
8 items from 2016
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