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1-20 of 33 items from 2011   « Prev | Next »

Friday Noir: ‘Mystery Street’ is a bit of good old school CSI

30 December 2011 5:40 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Mystery Street

Directed by John Sturges

Screenplay by Richard Brooks and Sydney Boehm

USA, 1950

If one comes across a review or snippet of commentary regarding John SturgesMystery Street, one aspect about the film which people argue stands out is how it works as a police procedural which makes it, in a fashion, a precursor to so many of today’s massively popular television dramas, such the various CSI series. Truth be told, the comparisons are not far off. Closer inspection should, however, unearth much more of the film’s character-driven rewards than its mere commonalities  with today’s popular wave of shows.

Reportedly the first ever film to be set in Boston (it is mentioned by a critic in the brief featurette on the DVD), the story opens with very peculiar setup, demonstrating no real need to rush into the thick of things for a good ten minutes. For »

- Edgar Chaput

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Sos Staff Gateway Films: Bill Mesce – ‘The Magnificent Seven’

18 November 2011 1:01 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

There was no a-ha! moment, no seeing of the light, no epiphany.  I’d loved movies since I was a kid, had been a buff since my early teens, but there was no one, shining instance of enlightenment where my relationship with film graduated to something — …  Well, the kind of thing my Sound on Sight colleagues have been talking about this month with their “gateway” films.  Instead, it was a cumulative experience for me; my road to that point was a long, winding, gradual one.  Here and there along that road something would lodge in the ol’ gray matter, tickle at some deep place, until enough of those somethings gathered up over the years finally coalesced into a critical mass.

But I can tell you where that first turn in that road was; that first stop where I picked up that first something.  I was six years old, it was »

- Bill Mesce

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Blu-Ray Review: The Magnificent Seven

14 September 2011 10:57 PM, PDT | Destroy the Brain | See recent Destroy the Brain news »

The 1960 film The Magnificent Seven was one of the last rounds in the chamber of the American Western.  In 1952 you had the Gary Cooper flick High Noon.  In 1956 you had John Ford’s masterpiece The Searchers.  Then, in 1959 you had the Howard Hawks western Rio Bravo.  By 1960, the American western was on its last legs and a new wave of more stylized westerns was about to be ushered in.  Akira Kurosawa, who was the source of inspiration for The Magnificent Seven with his samurai epic Seven Samurai, released a double dose of western infused “lone fighter” films in ’61 and ’62 with Yojimbo and Sanjuro, which went on to inspire Leone’s “The Man with No Name Trilogy.”  The combination of Kurosawa’a films and Magnificent Seven’s darker elements certainly triggered the grittier “Spaghetti Westerns” that took over for the “American Westerns.”  Let’s see if this film still stands as »

- Michael Haffner

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The Magnificent Seven – Blu-ray Review

13 September 2011 4:24 PM, PDT | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

Blu-ray Review

The Magnificent Seven

Directed by: John Sturges

Cast: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Charles Bronson, Horst Buccholz

Running Time: 2 hrs 8 mins

Rating: PG

Due Out: August 2, 2011

Plot: Seven cowboys are put under contract to protect a town from a destructive bandit named Calvera (Wallach).

Who’S It For?: Fans of classic westerns have probably already seen it, but likely not to this quality. Even individual fans of Charles Bronson or Steve McQueen will enjoy seeing the younger versions of these future action stars. Newcomers to the movie looking for a “Red Dead Revolver”-like action will be rewarded with something bigger, and more meaningful.


It doesn’t take a film historian to see that The Magnificent Seven is a special moment in Hollywood, with its alignment of future stars and the whole franchise that it kicked off. This movie alone can stand as a highly entertaining western, »

- Nick Allen

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DVD Playhouse--September 2011

11 September 2011 3:14 PM, PDT | The Hollywood Interview | See recent The Hollywood Interview news »

DVD Playhouse—September 2011

By Allen Gardner

In A Better World (Sony) Winner of last year’s Best Foreign Film Oscar, this Danish export looks at two fractured families and the effect that the adult world dysfunction has on their two sons, who form an immediate and potentially deadly bond. Director Susanne Bier delivers another powerful work that maintains its drive during the films’ first 2/3, then falters somewhat during the last act. Still, well-worth seeing, and beautifully made. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Deleted scenes; Commentary by Bier and editor Pernille Bech Christensen; Interview with Bier. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.

X-men First Class (20th Century Fox) “Origins” film set in the early 1960s, traces the beginnings of Magento and Professor X (played ably here by Michael Fassbender and James McAvoy), and how the once-close friends and colleagues became bitter enemies. First half is slam-bang entertainment at its stylish best, »

- The Hollywood

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Kirk Douglas on TCM: A Letter To Three Wives, Mourning Becomes Electra

6 September 2011 8:45 PM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Kirk Douglas is Turner Classic Movies' Star of the Month of September. Though hardly a great film actor — or even a good one — Douglas has had one of the longest and most prestigious film careers anywhere in the world. That's probably because enough audience members loved how Douglas ferociously attacked his characters — instead of merely bringing them to life. [Kirk Douglas Movie Schedule.] The 94-year-old actor (who'll be turning 95 next December 9) starred or was featured in numerous major classics — and a number of minor ones — from the mid-'40s to the mid'-60s, nabbing three Best Actor Oscar nominations along the way. He has continued working since then, but for the most part his projects have been low-quality fare. The list of Kirk Douglas' movie classics, however, is quite long. It includes Jacques Tourneur's film noir Out of the Past (1947); Mark Robson's boxing melodrama Champion (1949), for which Douglas received his first »

- Andre Soares

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Why Hollywood can't get enough Akira Kurosawa remakes

1 September 2011 4:05 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Akira Kurosawa remakes such as The Magnificent Seven led a Hollywood revolution in the 1960s – and now a new wave of Us adaptations could be coming

Akira Kurosawa and Hollywood may find themselves working together soon for the first time since the late director's abortive involvement in the war epic Tora! Tora! Tora!, one of several traumatic episodes that led him to attempt suicide in 1972. The remake rights to the lion's share of his movies and unproduced screenplays have been granted by the Akira Kurosawa 100 Project to the Los Angeles-based company Splendent, whose chief, Sakiko Yamada, told Variety he aimed to "help contemporary film-makers introduce a new generation of moviegoers to these unforgettable stories". The Kurosawa Project said it had received "countless" requests from Us and European film-makers, "expressing intense interest in remaking Kurosawa's movies".

The prospect of Kurosawa's influence being funnelled through Hollywood again is enticing; after all, the »

- John Patterson

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Howard Keel Movie Schedule: Kismet, Lovely To Look At, Floods Of Fear

30 August 2011 1:46 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Howard Keel on TCM Pt.2: Rose Marie, Pagan Love Song, Callaway Went Thataway Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Desperate Search (1953) A man fights to find his children after their plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness. Dir: Joseph Lewis. Cast: Howard Keel, Jane Greer, Patricia Medina. Bw-71 mins. 7:15 Am Fast Company (1953) The heiress to a racing stable uncovers underhanded dealings. Dir: John Sturges. Cast: Howard Keel, Polly Bergen, Marjorie Main. Bw-68 mins. 8:30 Am Kismet (1955) In this Arabian Nights musical "king of the beggars" infiltrates high society when his daughter is wooed by a handsome prince. Dir: Vincente Minnelli. Cast: Howard Keel, Ann Blyth, Dolores Gray. C-113 mins, Letterbox Format. 10:30 Am Rose Marie (1954) A trapper's daughter is torn between the Mountie who wants to civilize her and a dashing prospector. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. Cast: Ann Blyth, Howard Keel, Fernando Lamas, Bert Lahr, Marjorie Main. »

- Andre Soares

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Anne Francis Movie Schedule: Funny Girl, Impasse, Blackboard Jungle

29 August 2011 12:44 AM, PDT | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Anne Francis on TCM: Forbidden Planet, Brainstorm, A Lion Is In The Streets Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Summer Holiday (1948) Musical remake of Ah, Wilderness!, about a small-town boy's struggles with growing up. Dir: Rouben Mamoulian. Cast: Mickey Rooney, Gloria DeHaven, Walter Huston, Frank Morgan, Jackie Jenkins, Marilyn Maxwell, Agnes Moorehead. C-93 mins. 7:45 Am So Young So Bad (1950) A crusading psychiatrist tries to help troubled reform school girls. Dir: Bernard Vorhaus. Cast: Paul Henreid, Catherine McLeod, Cecil Clovelly, Anne Jackson, Rita Moreno. Bw-91 mins. 9:30 Am Battle Cry (1955) A group of Marines eagerly await deployment during World War II. Dir: Raoul Walsh. Cast: Van Heflin, Aldo Ray, Mona Freeman, Dorothy Malone, Nancy Olson, Tab Hunter, James Whitmore, Raymond Massey, William Campbell. C-148 mins, Letterbox Format. 12:00 Pm Bad Day At Black Rock (1955) A one-armed veteran uncovers small-town secrets when he tries to visit an Asian-American war hero's family. »

- Andre Soares

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The Magnificent Seven Blu-ray Review!

28 August 2011 9:43 PM, PDT | Cinelinx | See recent Cinelinx news »

The Movie Pool jumps on the bandwagon for the classic The Magnificent Seven on Blu-ray for the first time!

Blu-ray Specs

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1

Running Time: 128 minutes

Rating: Not rated

Audio: English 5.1 DTS-hd Master Audio, English Mono 2.0, Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1

Subtitles: English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired, French, Spanish

Special Features: "Guns for Hire: The Making of the Magnificent Seven" documentary, "Elmer Bernstein and The Magnificent Seven" featurette, "The Linen Book: Lost Images from The Magnificent Seven" featurette, Original theatrical trailers, still gallery.

Audio Commentary: With producer Walter Mirisch and actors James Coburn and Eli Wallach.

The Set-up

A group of gunfighters gets more than they bargained for when they head south to protect a town of farmers terrorized by a ruthless bandito (Eli Wallach) and his men.

Director: John Sturges

Screenplay: William Roberts

The Delivery

Based on Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai, The Magnificent Seven has earned, »

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The Magnificent Seven Blu-ray Review

28 August 2011 8:33 AM, PDT | TheHDRoom | See recent TheHDRoom news »

One of the most heralded Westerns and films in general of all time, The Magnificent Seven, has finally made its solo debut on Blu-ray. Having previously released the film as part of a box set with its three lesser sequels, MGM has decided to give John Sturges' cowboy epic some worthwhile treatment for its 51st anniversary, and I must say it's a very solid package with just a scant few shortcomings.

The film tells the tale of a colony of Mexican farmers who are incessantly beleaguered by a bandit named Calvera (Eli Wallach) and his many cohorts. A few of the farmers band together and head to a nearby town across the border to buy guns to help them with their problems.

In the process they come across two brave gunslingers, Chris (Yul Brynner) and Vin (Steve McQueen). The farmers attempt to get Chris to obtain the guns they need for them, »

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Blu-Ray Review: MGM Rides Into Town With Classic Westerns

18 August 2011 3:09 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – Westerns are regularly “called up” to HD Blu-ray at two times during the year — Father’s Day and Christmas. It’s logical in a marketing sense that Clint Eastwood would dominate new release shelves during the seasons where dear old dad is likely to get a gift, but it leaves the rest of the year as barren as a ghost town. MGM has a little summer gift for fans of alpha males going through withdrawal — four classics of the genre hitting Blu-ray this month — “A Fistful of Dollars,” “For a Few Dollars More,” “The Magnificent Seven,” and “Return of the Magnificent Seven.”

Blu-Ray Rating: 4.0/5.0

As influential and enjoyable as John Sturges’ “The Magnificent Seven” is for a lot of viewers, my preferences in the quartet would side with the Sergio Leone & Clint Eastwood collaborations every time. I love the Man With No Name and the style that Leone brought to his filmography. »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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The James Clayton Column: Cowboys & Aliens – the buddy movie

11 August 2011 5:04 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »

Inspired by Cowboys & Aliens, James comes up with a few other potential sci-fi/western-themed buddy movies…

The title doesn’t lie. Cowboys & Aliens contains cowboys and aliens. Jon Favreau’s latest film has Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig and Sam Rockwell wearing Stetson hats, and has extra-terrestrials invading the nineteenth century American Old West.

If you like cowboys and aliens, this is clearly a movie you’ll want to see. It’s unambiguous and upfront about what it’s offering unlike, say, Super 8. (“Who are these Super 8? Is this going to be like X-Men?”)

As a minor quibble, though, the title would be more accurate if it were Cowboys vs Aliens, seeing as it’s a story about conflict between humans and hostile organisms from outer space. A versus title is justified, because it’s a high-concept film based around a core premise of combat between two elements already »

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Need a Father's Day gift? Try a Steve McQueen marathon, starting with these classics

8 June 2011 2:54 PM, PDT | EW - Inside Movies | See recent - Inside Movies news »

Sometimes having a heart-to-heart with your father isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are always sports and Steve McQueen movies to fill the silence. McQueen wasn’t the best actor of his generation (see: Brando, Marlon), but he was unquestionably the coolest. And while you’d be hard-pressed to find any truly great films on his résumé, he made plenty that are loads of fun to watch, especially with Dad. Check out our picks: 

The Magnificent Seven (1960) John Sturges’ south-of-the-border shoot-’em-up made overnight stars out of half a dozen actors (including James Coburn and Charles Bronson), but it’s McQueen »

- Chris Nashawaty

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Seven Samurai Remake Gets a Director

5 May 2011 4:34 AM, PDT | FilmJunk | See recent FilmJunk news »

A few years back we heard some vague reports [1] about The Weinstein Company putting together a remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic 1954 film Seven Samurai. For a while there it seemed like nothing was actually going to come of this (which probably would have been for the best), but now this week we have an update on the project and it looks like it is still moving forward. The Weinsteins have hired a director for the project, and from their choice it seems clear that they are more interested in capitalizing on the name than orchestrating a proper tribute to Kurosawa. British director Scott Mann (The Tournament) will be helming the remake, and while I'm sure it's a great career opportunity, I certainly don't envy him one bit. According to Variety [2], Mann will direct from a script written by John Fusco (The Forbidden Kingdom, Young Guns). The story has been »

- Sean

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Scott Mann Helms "Seven Samurai" Remake

4 May 2011 6:35 AM, PDT | Dark Horizons | See recent Dark Horizons news »

Scott Mann ("The Tournament") has been hired to direct a $60 million remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 classic "Seven Samurai" for The Weinstein Company reports Variety.

Considered one of the greatest movies ever made, the original classic dealt with a village of farmers who hire seven masterless samurai (ronin) to combat bandits who will return after the harvest to steal their crops.

The new version of the story centers on a small, contemporary village in northern Thailand which recruits seven paramilitary mercenaries from around the world to help defend the town from an upcoming attack.

John Fusco and Scott Mann are developing the script while Akira's son, Hisao Kurosawa, will executive produce. Shooting aims to kick off sometime this year.

This is hardly the first remake of the property. Less than five years after the original, John Sturges took the story and adapted it to an American Old West setting, the »

- Garth Franklin

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Weinstein and Kurosawa Count On "Seven Samurai"

3 May 2011 8:26 PM, PDT | SneakPeek | See recent SneakPeek news »

The Weinstein Co. and Japan’s Kurosawa Productions report that Brit director Scott Mann ("the Tournament") will helm a contemporary remake of director Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 Japanese 1954 adventure feature "Seven Samurai", from a screenplay by John Fusco ("Young Guns").

The action will reportedly shift from medieval Japan to present day Northern Thailand following seven paramilitary contractors who try and protect a peasant village from attack.

"Seven Samurai" previously inspired director John Sturges' 1960 ensemble western "The Magnificent Seven".

Click the images to enlarge and Sneak Peek the entire "Seven Samurai" feature here, thanks to SneakPeekTV...


- Michael Stevens

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The Tournament’s Scott Mann to Direct Seven Samurai Remake

3 May 2011 1:35 PM, PDT | Beyond Hollywood | See recent Beyond Hollywood news »

The Weinstein Company has officially tapped Scott Mann, director of the 2009 actioner “The Tournament” (starring Kelly Hu and Ving Rhames — you can read my review of it here), to direct their “Seven Samurai” remake that they’ve been cooking up for the last few years. More recently, John Fusco (“Young Guns”, “The Forbidden Kingdom”) had written a script, a modern interpretation of the Akira Kurosawa classic, which would envision the Samurais as mercenaries protecting a Thai village from impending invasion by baddies. Essentially, “The Expendables”. Now I have no idea how is it that, in this day and age, there are still Thai villages in need of saving that the Thai Government can’t supply the saving, but hey, I guess we’ll see. For those who don’t know, “Seven Samurai” has been remade plenty of times, most notably as a Western in John Sturges’ fantastic “The Magnificent Seven »

- Nix

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Scott Mann to Direct Seven Samurai

3 May 2011 | | See recent news »

The Weinstein Company's remake of Akira Kurosawa's classic Seven Samurai (first announced for development nearly four years ago ) has signed a director. Variety reports that Scott Mann is set to helm the remake. Mann is best known for his 2009 action film, The Tournament . His take on the tale will update the storyline to present-day Thailand and will replace the Samurai with "paramilitary contractors," defending a village from would-be invaders. Released in 1954, Seven Samurai is generally considered to be among the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. It inspired the 1960 John Sturges western The Magnificent Seven and will also allegedly influence the upcoming Snow White reimagining, Snow and the Seven at Walt Disney Pictures. »

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Jeremy Renner To Produce and Star In Steve McQueen Biopic

28 April 2011 1:56 PM, PDT | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Jeremy Renner is quickly becoming the next James Franco. With the latter actor getting attached to a million projects, the former has the actual work to prove it. The Oscar-nominated star from The Hurt Locker and The Town is currently shooting Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, with Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol already completed. He then has The Avengers and is all but committed to star in The Bourne Legacy. And we can’t forget his attachment to Sheldon Turner‘s By Virtue Fall and his voice talent in the next Ice Age film. THR reports that has now launched a production company with partner Don Handfield and is already developing a starring vehicle.

His newly formed company The Combine will produce a Steve McQueen biopic for their first film. It is reported the company will provide support “across all platforms” with an “artist-based perspective.” James Gray (We Own The Night, Two Lovers »

- Jordan Raup

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