13 items from 2010
True Grit started its existence as a novel written by Charles Portis in 1968. A movie version followed a year later and earned John Wayne his first and only Oscar for his work as U.S. Marshall Reuben J. "Rooster" Cogburn. Wayne reprised the role in the sequel, 1975's Rooster Cogburn, but Warren Oates assumed the Cogburn role for the 1978 TV movie True Grit: A Further Adventure.
The latest version returns to the Portis novel and was directed and adapted by Joel and Ethan Coen, with Jeff Bridges stepping into the role of Cogburn. The Coens told Comingsoon that their True Grit was "without reference to the other version," though Ethan admitted it was tempting to go back and watch the 1969 movie since this was the first true Western the brothers had ever attempted.
Next Showing: True Grit opens December 22
Link | Posted 12/19/2010 by Ryan
- Ryan Gowland
Our friends over at The Alamo Drafthouse, in their continuing efforts to conquer the entire pop culture universe, today launched a new lifestyle and culture web magazine, Badass Digest (the name refers to the Alamo's slogan: "Badass Cinema"). Obviously it's just getting started, but the site already has some good content, including the first entry in The Badass Hall of Fame, a recurring series by Devin Faraci devoted to true cinematic badasses. Warren Oates is the hall's first member:
Warren Oates said that he was always a character man, but that just wasn't true. The 1970s were a time when character men were leading men, and no one personified that better than Oates. He came into the height of his powers at just the right time, when there were people who understood his gifts and strengths, when he could use his theatrical training to create complex but badass characters who resonate across the decades. »
- Matt Singer
It's always nice to see smart, ambitious new undertakings emerge online in this horrible cultural era, so congrats to Badass Digest -- your apparent one-stop shop for everything bold, brash and/or testosterrific at the movies. This happens to be the place where former Chud editor Devin Faraci landed, and if that's not enough to convince you, then how about Alamo Drafthouse's imprimatur and a few thousand words on Warren Oates? Anyway, good luck, gang. [Badass Digest] »
Terrence Malick, 1973
Terrence Malick based his peerlessly poetic debut on the real-life story of Charles Starkweather, a teenage James Dean wannabe who fled across the midwest on a killing spree, his 14-year-old girlfriend in tow. But the film couldn't be further from a pulpy true-crime tale, or a hip New Wave homage like Bonnie and Clyde. It's a true original: eloquent about the intersection of crime, romanticism and myth-making in America, and highly innovative in its use of colour, editing and voice-over. Martin Sheen, who was cast as the Starkweather surrogate, Kit, believed Badlands was the best script he had ever read. "Still is," he says. "It was mesmerising. It disarmed you. It was a period piece, and yet of all time. It was extremely American, it caught the spirit of the people, of the culture, in a way that was immediately identifiable." Sissy Spacek played Holly, the baton-twirling schoolgirl »
- Ryan Gilbey
Blonde, sexy and sharp as a razor, few leading ladies could drive men out of their minds like this Kentucky-raised movie star
In 1981, The Patricia Neal Story, with Glenda Jackson as Neal and Dirk Bogarde as her husband, Roald Dahl, was more than good by the standards of TV biopics. It was co-directed by Anthony Harvey and Anthony Page, and done with taste and intelligence. The TV movie dramatised Neal's struggle with several strokes and came close to showing what a strange and rather nasty man Dahl was. But Jackson wasn't Neal.
At the time, Bogarde wrote to the Dahls, saying: "We shall strive in any case to honour you and the valient fight you fought." (Bogarde acted better than he spelled.) At the same time, he conceded that Jackson ("a bloody marvellous actress") was an odd choice. She wasn't beautiful, she wasn't sharp as a razor and she wasn't from Kentucky. »
- David Thomson
By his own account, Luke Wilson should never have become an actor. Growing up in Dallas, he wasn't active in drama; he did one play in high school, and the writer-director yelled at him for not taking things seriously. He was "forced" into his breakthrough role in the short film "Bottle Rocket" by its writers: his brother Owen and director Wes Anderson.And he has never, ever had a headshot. Wilson explains in his signature laid-back Southern drawl, "I was told many times, 'You need one, go get one!' And I could never bring myself to do it. I'd go into auditions, and I'd see a stack of a thousand of them, and I would tell myself, 'I may not get this job, but I know I'm not going to be in that stack.' "While it would be easy to resent Wilson for his subsequent success, he remains »
Warren Oates carries himself like a rumpled overcoat of a man in Chandler, and as usual, just the sight of him is compelling. A man of unusual, unconventional charisma, Oates specialized in tough-guy losers who couldn’t hide their neuroses if they tried. But even driving drunk and talking to a severed head, as he spent much of Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia doing, Oates always carried himself with dignity. He may look like you feel on your worst day, but he always kept the spark of sympathy alive. Though he was the definition of a character actor »
One of the coolest things about Roger Ebert is his annual "Ebertfest," once known as Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. Basically he selects a bunch of films that he loves that he feels didn't get enough notice and does his best to bring more notice to them. This includes recent films, as well as silent-era films, and even films shot in overlooked formats, like 70mm (he showed Tron once). I'm sure many of us would love to program his or her own film festival, and for the fun of it, I'm going to do my own fantasy "overlooked" film festival right here and now, but hopefully with a slightly new wrinkle.
Overlooked Genre: The Western
On this day, I would show Andrew Dominik's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), which I chose as the best film of 2007 and one of the ten best films of the decade. »
- Jeffrey M. Anderson
Mad Men: Seasons 1, 2 & 3
DVD & Blu-ray, Lionsgate
In the TV world, advertising always used to be one of those high-pressure jobs that husbands in old soaps and sitcoms toiled at in the background; Mad Men reverses that dynamic by putting the job at centre stage and having an ad agency be the location where the characters truly come to life. Set in the 1960s, creator Matthew Weiner's show draws heavily from real products and events of the decade, making his characters either slightly ahead or behind the times; the only person who seems truly plugged into the "now" is central figure Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the agency's creative director, who, as the show progresses, is revealed to be as much of a construct as anything in the ad world; he's the very definition of a self-made man. But it's such a great ensemble piece – the push-and-pull friction between colleagues »
- Phelim O'Neill
The ball is finally rolling on Kevin Smith's intriguing Red State: intriguing because its being touted as bleak and serious, rather than as a par-for-the-course pic from Silent Bob. We've known for a while that the horror film is based to some extent around fundamentalist Christianity, with Smith namedropping Fred Phelps (whose Westboro Baptist Church preaches that God loathes homosexuals and the society that tolerates them) as an "inspiration".Details on the actual plot have been scarce until now, but Smith has just told Film School Rejects that Red State will in some way be modelled on one of his favourite movies, Race With the Devil, the 1975 occult thriller that sees Warren Oates and Peter Fonda on a camping holiday gone wrong, being hounded through Texas by Satanists.Red State is "very much in that spirit of people in the wrong place at the wrong time", says Smith, »
It really could have been a contender: a down and dirty seventies-homaging action drama channelling The Getaway and Alfredo Garcia (or at least Way of the Gun). Cartel, a refit of the 1993 Italian gangster flick La Scorta, was once set to star Sean Penn but picked up Josh Brolin along the way instead: a man who, more than anyone currently in Hollywood, is fit to wear the scuffed trousers of Warren Oates.But no more. Cartel, like Moneyball before it, has hit the skids, five weeks before Asger Leth was due to start shooting Peter Craig's script in Mexico.Universal's official statement runs thusly: "Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment ceased pre-production of Cartel today. As much as we had hoped to begin filming this spring in Mexico City, the studio and its producing partners did not feel it was creatively ready to move forward under the timetable and budget we had established. »
[Above pic from Alucarda; see below]
Horror remakes are like those annoying, Jack-Daniels-filled uncles who get off on pushing other folks’ buttons—you shouldn’t encourage them. Superlative examples (1982’s The Thing, 2004’s Dawn of the Dead, 2006’s The Hills Have Eyes and last year’s The Last House on the Left) bless local AMC venues few and far between, and must wade through the muddy tracks left by atrocities such as The Fog, Friday the 13th, The Hitcher and Friday the 13th. And, no, the fact that those last two come from Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes factory is not lost here. As more second-tries are greenlit throughout Hollywood and the majority premiere to scathing reviews overshadowed by profitable opening weekend grosses, horror heads will continually be subjected to soul-crushing decimations of nostalgic favorites.
It’s a downward spiral that shows no signs of concluding. The hypnotic, twirling white lines seen during the opening credits of The Twilight Zone, »
- Matt Barone
“Super Bowl Super-8 Movie Madness ”at the Way Out Club will be held on (Super Bowl) Sunday, February 7th from 8pm to Midnight. If you’re not familiar with the madness, here’s a brief rundown: Remember (before video tapes) the Super-8 films they used to sell in the 1950’s and 60’s that were condensed versions of features? In the 1970’s they sold Sound versions of these films and 16 of these will be projected on a large screen at the Way Out Club (they average about 15 minutes each).
Admission is a measly Two Bucks!!!!
In honor of the Super Bowl, I’ll be showing five football-related films. They are: Two-minute Warning (Charlton Heston vs a Sniper at the Super Bowl), Black Sunday (Bruce Dern and his blimp full of exploding nails at the Super Bowl), M*A*S*H (with the football game climax), Horse Feathers (The Marx Brothers playing »
13 items from 2010
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