8 items from 2014
A film easy to admire but equally hard to love, Paul Verhoeven’s 1985 film Flesh+Blood, his last title to make it to DVD about a decade ago, gets an exciting Blu-ray transfer this month. Notable in multiple regards, this was the last infamous collaboration between Verhoeven and his star Rutger Hauer, the pair having completed five previous films. Reportedly a grueling shoot, and the rising tensions between director and star didn’t help anything, this was also Verhoeven’s first English language film, the first time he didn’t use storyboards, and the last film he would make in his native Netherlands for two decades. While this sounds like a recipe for disaster, there is more to praise than damn in this ambitiously realized portrait of Medieval Europe that’s worthy of reconsideration.
It’s Western Europe in 1510, and amidst the bloodletting, Bubonic plague, and scourging of lands, a »
- Nicholas Bell
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Sept. 16, 2014
Price: DVD $19.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Kino Lorber
Rutger Hauer (ctr.) goes medieval in Flesh + Blood
The movie follows Martin, a mercenary leader (Rutger Hauer, The Rite) as he and his gaggle of marauders plot revenge against the tyrannical lord who refuses to pay him the reward he’s owed. Along the way, Martin abducts a beautiful woman (Jennifer Jason Leigh) who’s betrothed to the nobleman’s son, but quickly discovers that his comely and conniving young captive is hardly a damsel in distress.
- Audio Commentary by Director Paul Verhoeven
-Composing Flesh + Blood featurette
-Original theatrical trailer
Buy or Rent Flesh + Blood
When Oscar glory comes knocking for a successful Hollywood actor, it must be hugely tempting when the chance arrives for them to reprise that award-winning role. But while sequels and reboots are a common enough sight in the movie industry these days, examples of stars who've returned to their Oscar-winning roles are relatively few and far between.
The reason, perhaps, is because it's so difficult to recapture the creative lightning in a bottle that led to the Oscar win in the first place. Nevertheless, some actors do occasionally take up the offer and return to the filmmaking well. And as the list below proves, the results can sometimes be highly accomplished - though seldom quite as powerful and fresh as the films they're following...
Won for: The French Connection
Played the »
The death of Robin Williams has been publicised massively over the last number of days, a shocking loss to the film industry, Williams was a beloved performer who had many fans, and so obviously there has been an outpouring of emotion since he passed away. I was a fan of Robin Williams and as a fan I have my favourites in terms of his library of films and television, the top of the heap being the 1987 comedy-drama, Good Morning, Vietnam, which I will be reviewing here, in both a tribute to the man himself, but also as a way to talk about one of my personal favourite comedy drama films and one I revisit every year or two and always enjoy.
Written by Mitch Markowitz »
- Chris Cummings
"No one has ever quoted me back to me before," Jess (Bruno Kirby) says to Marie (Carrie Fisher) in When Harry Met Sally (which is 25 years old this week). What exactly was she quoting? His New York Magazine story, about how restaurants are the new going out. As people who have access to the archives, and as fans of (arguably!) the film's best couple, we thought it fit to imagine what Jess's work might've looked like. »
- Lindsey Weber,Jed Egan
The story of Harry and Sally is fine and all, but there are better couples in Rob Reiner‘s 1989 rom-com classic. And I’m not talking about Bruno Kirby and Carrie Fisher, either. For the 25th anniversary of When Harry Met Sally, I’d like to shine a light on the characters only credited as “documentary couples.” These seven pairs of adorable elderly folk are based on true stories, each one said to have been plucked from real people by screenwriter Nora Ephron. But we don’t know anything more about any of them. The actual couples don’t appear in the film but instead are portrayed by actors. Wonderful, old actors. Some of whom are still alive! Before we get to know each of these actors, let’s watch their appearances in Whms and once again enjoy the tales of fated spouses. “Arthur, you see that girl? I’m going to marry her.” The »
- Christopher Campbell
Clint Eastwood directing Jersey Boys might be the most odd-coupling of director and musical material since John Huston made Annie. Like Huston, Eastwood has a Broadway hit to rely upon; in fact, he’s even got the Tony-nominated writers and the show’s Tony-winning star, John Lloyd Young as falsetto master Frankie Valli. “With his slicked-back pompadour and wardrobe of sharkskin suits, Young looks more like the late Bruno Kirby than Valli,” says EW’s critic Chris Nashawaty. “But when he opens his mouth, you believe you’re listening to the real deal. He finds every ounce of sweat, aftershave, »
- Jeff Labrecque
It's a shock to go back and watch "Midnight Cowboy" 45 years after its debut (on May 25, 1969) and see how raw and otherworldly it looks. After all, the X-rated Best Picture Oscar-winner has been so thoroughly assimilated into American pop culture that even kiddie entertainments like the Muppets have copied from it.
The tale of the unlikely friendship between naïve Texas gigolo Joe Buck (Jon Voight) and frail Bronx con man Enrico "Ratso" Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), "Midnight Cowboy" was initially considered so risqué that it's the only X-rated movie ever to win the Academy's top prize (though after it won, the ratings board reconsidered and gave the film an R). Still, the film featured two lead performances and a few individual scenes that were so iconic that homages (and parodies) have popped up virtually everywhere. (Most often imitated is the scene where Ratso, limping across a busy Manhattan street, is nearly »
- Gary Susman
8 items from 2014
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