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7 items from 2012

Jaws Blu-ray Review: After All These Years, The Shark Still Works

24 September 2012 2:04 AM, PDT | Obsessed with Film | See recent Obsessed with Film news »

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Jaws is often cited as a turning point for mainstream American cinema – its record-breaking success at the box office marking it as, essentially, the first Summer blockbuster. Watching it now, however, what is striking is how different it is to so much of its progeny, and a large part of that is down to the skill and dedication of the young Steven Spielberg, who knew how to tease, manipulate and frighten an audience, but also knew how important it was that the audience cared about the characters first. By the end of the opening sequence, the 26-year-old Spielberg has you in the palm of his hand.

Take the attack on the Kintner boy. The placement of the scene, and its effect, is sometimes compared to Hitchcock’s shower scene, although the sequence is weighed much more towards build-up than pay-off. Roy Scheider’s cop, Police Chief Brody, »

- Adam Whyte

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'Lost' Kubrick Film Finally Restored

11 September 2012 5:08 PM, PDT | EmpireOnline | See recent EmpireOnline news »

"Lost" is an exaggeration: it's always existed in private collections and, more recently, as dodgy online copies. A couple of years ago however, we reported the surprise news that an actual original negative of Stanley Kubrick's first film Fear And Desire had been found in a defunct film lab in Puerto Rico. Now, as was hoped at the time, a full restoration has finally been completed, overseen by the Library of Congress, and is set to be released by Eureka.Kubrick's first feature was shot for an estimated $10,000, and involves four soldiers in an unidentified war crashing behind enemy lines. It was written by Howard Sackler, a classmate of Kubrick's who would go on to win a Pulitzer Prize in 1968. Paul Mazursky, the director of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, plays a mentally disturbed grunt who accidentally kills a captive.Kubrick himself called it "a bumbling amateur film exercise" and »

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Blu-ray: Jaws (Universal’s 100th Anniversary) – A Fully Remastered, Magnificent Release

22 August 2012 11:55 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Who knew that a movie about a shark, filmed in the 70s before the era of green screen and CG madness, would become one of the most memorable action films of all time?

Closing in on its 40th Anniversary, Jaws makes its way to Blu-ray as part of Universal’s 100th Anniversary series. The fully restored film has been remastered with 7.1 Audio and deservedly comes with a new feature-length documentary.

Jaws centers on the beachside community of Amity. When rumors of a shark attack begin to spread, the locals are more worried about the impact it will have on the summer vacation season and their businesses than the potential safety hazard of having a shark on their beach.

Unfortunately, tragedy strikes, forcing three unlikely allies to go head-to-head with Jaws, a great white shark. To this day, captivating performances by Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss keep Jaws on »

- Bags Hooper

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Why the 'Indianapolis' Monologue Is the Best Scene in Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws'

16 August 2012 2:30 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

With all of the action and special effects on display in Jaws, it’s easy to forget that the film also features a well-crafted screenplay (attributed to novelist Peter Benchley – who took several cracks at it -- and Carl Gottlieb, with assists from Steven Spielberg, Howard Sackler, and John Milius) that manages to improve upon the novel in some very key ways. Jaws is filled with examples of how good screenplays show things rather than tell them – but one of its most famous (and important) scenes is a lengthy monologue from Robert Shaw. Shaw’s character Quint tells Hooper and Brody of his time aboard the USS Indianapolis during World War II – most notably the days spent floating in the ocean after the ship sank – a time when sharks feasted on...

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- Mike Bracken

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Friday Noir: Kubrick’s ‘Killer’s Kiss’ is raw and seductive

18 May 2012 12:38 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Killer’s Kiss

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Written by Stanley Kubrick and Howard Sackler

U.S.A, 1955

Just as last week’s column entry took a look at one of Stanley Kubrick’s earliest works, The Killing, this week yet an earlier piece of cinema from the director is explored. One year prior to making his real breakout film and equipped with what amounted to a micro-budget, Kubrick and his limited cast and crew filmed around the streets of Manhattan to tell the tale of two lovers in Killer’s Kiss. Any production values are incredibly minute (artificial sets, special lighting) when compared to the master’s later work, and even tonally the film differs very much from almost everything he did later, yet the curious may still want to discover this one.

Davey Gordon (Jamie Smith) is man whose potential never fully materialized. He is a boxer, and while »

- Edgar Chaput

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5 Things You Might Not Know About Steven Spielberg's Game-Changing 'Jaws' As It Finally Heads To Blu-Ray

11 April 2012 8:23 AM, PDT | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

You know what’s a fun task? Trying to convince anyone that Steven Spielberg’s 1975 “Jaws” is not an American classic and a nearly flawless film. It’s kind of impossible, and if you were to somehow take this position, you would either be painfully foolhardy, Armond White, or both.

The film is regarded as the first bonafide summer blockbuster, one that, along with subsequent seasonal smashes like "Star Wars," were part of the death of the 1970s silver-age era of indie American filmmaking. Its enormous box-office success made irrevocable changes to the the studio business model that has turned the months between April and September into a frenzy of special effects and explosions. But "Jaws" shouldn't be demonized for that, because unlike most of today’s blockbusters, it was and is much more than a spectacle-driven piece meant to lure audiences to the theaters.

In fact, for much of the maligned production of “Jaws, »

- The Playlist

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Nd/Nf 2012. Kubrick, Trier, Matthiesen, Carrénard, Markovics

27 March 2012 2:35 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

This year, New Directors/New Films is "breaking precedent and presenting a film nearly 20 years older than the festival itself."

Nick Schager in Slant: "So loathed by Stanley Kubrick that the legendary director reportedly confiscated all existing copies to keep it out of circulation, Fear and Desire proves a modest, if relatively promising, 1953 debut for the late auteur, touching on his trademark themes via the allegorical tale of soldiers shot down behind enemy lines in an unnamed country in an unspecified time. Kubrick's story, penned by Howard Sackler, is deliberately vague with regard to nationalities and politics so that its focus can remain squarely on the psychological turmoil of its characters, a ragtag quartet that includes ruminative Lieutenant Corby (Kenneth Harp), gruff Sergeant Mac (Frank Silvera), meek Private Fletcher (Stephen Colt), and sensitive Private Sidney (future filmmaker Paul Mazursky) — men whose narrated internal monologues articulate, with frequent pretentiousness, Kubrick's investigation »

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