3 items from 2013
Written by Ben Hecht
Directed by Otto Preminger
To those paying attention, film history teaches that groups of like-minded artists enjoy working together. The better the result of their initial project, the higher the likelihood the same team shall reconvene to produce one, two, or more films, hopefully of equal or superior quality. Some time ago in this column, Otto Preminger’s 1944 Laura was reviewed, a brilliant picture about a detective falling in love with a believed-to-be-deceased woman based on her stunning portrait, starring Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney as the lovers in question. Six years following said sumptuous collaboration, the same director-actors partnership brought audiences Where the Sidewalk Ends, an equally bittersweet tale of misguided love.
- Edgar Chaput
Kirk Douglas movies: The Theater of Larger Than Life Performances Kirk Douglas, a three-time Best Actor Academy Award nominee and one of the top Hollywood stars of the ’50s, is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured star today, August 30, 2013. Although an undeniably strong screen presence, no one could ever accuse Douglas of having been a subtle, believable actor. In fact, even if you were to place side by side all of the widescreen formats ever created, they couldn’t possibly be wide enough to contain his larger-than-life theatrical emoting. (Photo: Kirk Douglas ca. 1950.) Right now, TCM is showing Andrew V. McLaglen’s 1967 Western The Way West, a routine tale about settlers in the Old American Northwest that remains of interest solely due to its name cast. Besides Douglas, The Way West features Robert Mitchum, Richard Widmark, Lola Albright, and 21-year-old Sally Field in her The Flying Nun days. »
- Andre Soares
Directed by Don Scardino
A high concept comedy of the kind Will Ferrell has most been associated with in the last decade, The Incredible Burt Wonderstone assembles an appealing cast for its familiar story and character beats, here applied to the world of stage and television musicians. It opens with an extended flashback in which two bullied children form a bond over a love of magic. Thirty years later, those same males – stage names Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) – have a long-running stage show based around their “magical friendship”, albeit one now stale and passionless after spending over a decade performing the same routines.
Pampered and misogynistic, the once sweet Burt has become an arrogant, ridiculous man-child, not seeing the threat the increasing popularity of a street performer/extreme TV star Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) poses. »
- Josh Slater-Williams
3 items from 2013
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