6 items from 2016
Jerry Lewis turned 90 in March. Many fans, me included, wished hard to see this legendary comedian and virtuoso filmmaker cut loose on screen one more time. Max Rose doesn't grant that wish. For starters, his first film in 20 years is not a comedy — it's a sober, sad-eyed study of an old man on the ropes. Max, a former jazz pianist who never quite made it, sits alone in a house haunted by memories, mostly of his wife Eva (the great Claire Bloom) who has just died. At her funeral, his eulogy is tortured, »
A film centering on octogenarians isn’t an easy sell. Not even when you get a legend like Jerry Lewis to come out of retirement to deliver his first starring role in twenty years. So you have to give Daniel Noah credit — he got it done. And after a few years producing some effective genre films with his shingle SpectreVision, Max Rose also becomes a return for him to the director’s chair. He admits that he couldn’t see anyone else doing the material justice, the script itself based in part on the struggles he witnessed with his grandfather when his grandmother passed away. This passion project looks to shed light on the emotional turmoil of love as it pertains to a segment of society we often dismiss: senior citizens.
Love runs deep. At least we hope it does — the divorce rate probably has something else to say about this fact. »
- Jared Mobarak
“They did this in one take, which I hate.”
Of course, anyone who appreciates brilliant filmmaking should feel the same way, especially if they also appreciate themes of human nature drenched in cynicism. The film is easily one of the smartest, most beautiful gut-punches to come out of Hollywood in the ’70s (or any other decade for that matter), and it remains a powerful commentary on greed, bureaucracy, and the futility of good intentions.
- Rob Hunter
Is satire obsolete? Our appalling present political reality has surpassed some of the wildest jokes in director Joe Dante's 'exaggerated, outrageous' 1997 cable movie. An immigration squabble snowballs until a renegade state governor closes his border and threatens to secede from the Union. It's a 'political idiocy' version of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World ... and nineteen years later, we're stuck living it. The Second Civil War DVD (2005) HBO Video 1997 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 96 min. / Street Date August 30, 2005 / 14.98 Starring Beau Bridges, Joanna Cassidy, Phil Hartman, James Earl Jones, James Coburn, Dan Hedaya, Elizabeth Peña, Denis Leary, Ron Perlman, Kevin Dunn, Brian Keith, Kevin McCarthy, Dick Miller, William Schallert, Catherine Lloyd Burns, Jerry Hardin, Roger Corman, Rance Howard, Robert Picardo, Alexandra Wilson, Belinda Belaski, Jennifer Carlson, Sean Lawlor. Cinematography Mac Ahlberg Film Editor Marshall Harvey Original Music Hummie Mann Written by Martyn Burke Produced by Guy Riedel Directed by Joe Dante »
- Glenn Erickson
Doris Roberts' death is causing turmoil for a movie she was set to headline ... because she's the third big name attached to the flick who has died. One of the last movie roles Doris signed on for was the female lead in "Old Soldiers" ... which is still securing its last bit of financing before it starts production. Problem is ... 2 of the other major roles belonged to Mickey Rooney and James Best ... who died in 2014 and 2015 respectively. »
- TMZ Staff
“If I’m putting my ass out there, I need to know it’s hanging by more than just a very slender thread.”
After eight years of radio silence, the number stations are spinning back up. Returning to the air with the inauspiciously-named ‘My Struggle,’ The X-Files manages to wed frenetic pacing and herky editing to David Duchovny’s affectless performance to create something as breakneck as it is soporific. From the opening spasms of director Chris Carter’s attempts to make Duchovny’s deadpan series recap exciting to the shaky cam plaguing even the episode’s quietest moments, ‘My Struggle’ is a visual and substantive wasteland with little to justify the return of this long-dormant cult favorite to the airwaves.
- Gretchen Felker-Martin
6 items from 2016
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