8 items from 2010
When the news of Blake Edwards’ passing at age 88 broke earlier this month, it stood to reason his obituaries would mandatorily lead off identifying him as the writer/director behind the “Pink Panther” movies and as a “master of sophisticated slapstick comedy.” After all, the “Panther” films may not have been his best work, but, in a career marked by as many flops as hits, they were his most recognized and consistently popular efforts with six films spanning 20 years (excluding 1993’s execrable post-Peter Sellers Son of the Pink Panther).
In the longer obits, it was nice to see his more sophisticated work also remembered like romantic comedy Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), another iconic rom-com for another decade in 10 (1979), his 2/3 brilliant and 100% brutal skewering of Hollywood in S.O.B. (1981), and an early turn at drama with Days of Wine and Roses (1962), still one of the most disturbing portraits of alcoholism in a studio film. »
- Bill Mesce
Every Sunday, Film School Rejects presents a film that was made before you were born and tells you why you should like it. This week, Old Ass Movies presents the story of a rough private investigator who’s more unethical than the scum he tracks down, the mystery woman he picks up on the side of the road, and the explosive ending that had to have inspired Raiders of the Lost Ark. Plus, it’s a perfect film to check out during Noir-vember. Twelve years before directing the iconic Dirty Dozen, director Robert Aldrich was soaking in the muck and mire of noir. He was creating another icon – tackling a popular literary private eye with the adaptive care of a rabid porcupine breast-feeding a baby balloon. The two results were 1) a very irritated novelist in Mickey Spillane and 2) a damned fine film. Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) picks up a young, beautiful »
- Cole Abaius
DVD Playhouse—November 2010
By Allen Gardner
Paths Of Glory (Criterion) Stanley Kubrick’s 1957 antiwar classic put him on the map as a major filmmaker. Kirk Douglas stars in a true story about a French officer in Ww I who locks horns with the military’s top brass after his men are court-martialed for failing to carry out an obvious suicide mission. A perfect film, across the board, with fine support from George Macready as one of the most despicable martinet’s ever captured on film, Ralph Meeker, and Adolphe Menjou, all oily charm as a conniving General. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Audio commentary by critic Gary Giddins; Excerpt from 1966 audio interview with Kubrick; 1979 interview with Douglas; New interviews with Jan Harlan, Christiane Kubrick, and producer James B. Harris; French television documentary on real-life case which inspired the film; Trailer. Widescreen. Dolby 1.0 mono.
Winter’S Bone (Lionsgate) After her deadbeat father disappears, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Chicago – “Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel.” No film has as succinctly captured the truth of this brilliant Samuel Johnson quote as Stanley Kubrick’s masterful “Paths of Glory,” one of the best anti-war films ever made. It’s a work that often gets overlooked by the flashier projects like “2001: A Space Odyssey,” “A Clockwork Orange,” or “The Shining” that Kubrick would make later in his career, but it’s easily one the best works from one of history’s best directors and the Criterion Collection Blu-ray release of the film is another stunning beauty.
Blu-Ray Rating: 5.0/5.0
A World War I French colonel (Kirk Douglas, giving one of his career-best performances) gets an order to send his troops on a seemingly-impossible mission. He is told from the beginning that the most-optimistic projections are that half of the already-shellshocked men will die during this mission but he has no choice. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Stanley Kubrick, 1957
This is one of the darkest anti-war films ever made, in great part because its vision – that of the young director Stanley Kubrick (he was only 29, making his third full-length picture) – is as bleak as the story. The place is the western front of the first world war, in a section manned by the French army. An attack is decreed by General Broulard (Adolphe Menjou), and passed on to General Mireau (George Macready) to execute.Everyone knows the attack is doomed because infantry advancing over open ground torn apart by artillery barrages will be cut down by the machine guns in the secure German lines. But when the plan fails, Broulard determines that there must be scapegoats – alleged cowards or malingerers – who betrayed the national purpose. Colonel Dax (Kirk Douglas), who led the attack, is charged with picking three victims who will be subject to court martial and firing squad. »
- David Thomson
As if the recent November titles weren’t enough, we now have some other films to add to our upcoming Criterion Collection wishlists.
The Criterion Collection will once again be curating the upcoming All Tomorrow’s Parties Film Screenings, in Monticello New York, this September. The event overall, will be curated by Criterion alum, Jim Jarmusch (Down by Law, Night on Earth, Stranger Than Paradise, Mystery Train). Earlier today, Atp & Criterion announced their line-up of films, and hidden among the list of epic titles that we already knew were going to be released, or are already available, were a few little verifications of rumors going around.
The line-up looks to be pretty amazing, and if I could afford the flight, I would surely head out for that weekend. Several of the new Bbs box set will be screening, as well as some other films that we’ve discussed on the »
- Ryan Gallagher
A suicide mission fueled by greed is the impetus behind the roundup of three soldiers for execution in one of Stanley Kubrick's earliest films, Paths of Glory. The young Kubrick set the bar incredibly high in his brutal, stark, black and white portrayal of World War I using Humphrey Cobb's 1935 antiwar novel of the same name as his guide. Kubrick exposes the cowardice and deceit rampant within military ranks during a time when the anxiety of war had men throwing their own into the fire -- and a time where there were no second chances. These misguided men with their loathsome military politics are at the helm of a mission which spotlights the unbearable injustice and corruption that all comes to a head in one defining moment.
A French army unit led by the avaricious General Mireau (George Macready) is ordered to do the impossible and things turn »
- Alison Nastasi
Scratch that. That's too strong and vulgar and dismissive of a word. More like... the shit bird, the hinky hombre, the gashouse palooka, whichever old-timey slang you choose to apply. These fellas are smarmy, slimy, ready with the pimp hand, and they sport that proverbial cat-that-ate-the-canary grin whenever a comely broad crosses their path. If you're upset, you're just, as Duryea spits in "The Little Foxes," "showing off your grief" (though he dares utters this to a man, which, in the rare case of the actor's screen career, causes Mr. Duryea to become the recipient of the bitch slap, rather than his usual backhand). And should you ever flag down a car in hysterical distress; the good looking stinker might not give you the comfort you require. He might just ask, à la Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer, »
- Kim Morgan
8 items from 2010
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