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6 items from 2009

Last Minute Video Considerations: Clint Eastwood and Frank Sinatra

22 December 2009 5:53 AM, PST | | See recent Comicmix news »

MGM Home Video has offered up thirteen different star-centered CD packs, all conveniently priced at $24.95 but savvy shoppers can find them for as little as $14.95. Each box set features four films from the studio’s vast library and neatly packages them together.

What you pay for in convenience, though, you lose in the rich DVD experience that many aficionados want from their home video. The films come with commentary and maybe the trailer but little else. So, if your recipient is a major fan of the films and/or stars, be warned.

Having said that, two that were sent for review, are pretty nice. The Clint Eastwood Star Collection offers up A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More, The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, and Hang ‘Em High. That’s 721 minutes of Clint in his spaghetti western days and the birth of a film icon. Oddly, A Fistful of Dollars »

- Robert Greenberger

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What They're Doing For Love

22 October 2009 8:06 AM, PDT | | See recent Backstage news »

Every young actor wants only to be a film or TV star, right?Well, that's not quite true. A sturdy crop of young actors recently graduated from college theater programs has been giving stellar performances in musical theater productions across the country.Take, for instance, Jessica Keenan Wynn, currently the sole female in "Life Could Be a Dream," a doo-wop musical set in 1960. Written and directed by Roger Bean ("The Marvelous Wonderettes"), the show is currently playing at Los Angeles' Hudson Mainstage Theatre."There's something about musical theater where everything is heightened through song," Wynn says. "I hate to say it, but if I could sing my emotions every day—without being thought of as clinically insane—I probably would." (Perhaps Wynn comes by her enthusiasm naturally. She's the granddaughter of actor Keenan Wynn, who appeared on Broadway in musical revues in the 1930s and 1940s, and the great-granddaughter of Ed Wynn, »

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Top Ten Tuesday: Ensemble Comedies

1 September 2009 8:45 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Funny movies make us laugh, that’s a no-brainer. But, what happens when you get a movie with Lots of funny people in it? Chances are, if it’s done well, you get an exponentially funnier movie. It’s like asking someone if they’d like a scoop of ice cream, or if they’d like three scoops of ice cream with hot fudge, caramel, whipped topping, nuts, sprinkles (gotta have sprinkles) and a cherry on top… it’s an easy decision. That’s sort of like asking someone if they want to see Mike Judge’s new comedy Extract, which opens nationwide in theaters this Friday. This should be an easy decision as well. So, we Movie Geeks decided to reflect on these movies and “extract” a list of our Top Ten Best Ensemble Comedies.

10. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

One of the most quotable, most intelligently ridiculous films of all time, »

- Movie Geeks

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Blu-Ray Review: Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Dr. Strangelove’ Still Resonates

22 June 2009 6:00 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb” is nearly as important a film today as when it was released, over 45 years ago. The Anniversary Special Edition of the comedy classic is now available on Blu-Ray and it’s a must-own for any true film historian.

Blu-Ray Rating: 4.5/5.0 Personally, I think All Kubrick films are “must-owns for any true film historian”. He is one of the most influential and important voices in the history of the medium. But “Dr. Strangelove” has always been one of my personal favorites for a simple reason that’s perfect for Blu-Ray - it doesn’t age. If “Strangelove” came out today, it would be just as resonant, hilarious, and brilliant. Do you know how few films from the early ’60s that you can accurately write that about?

Dr. Strangelove was released on Blu-Ray on June 16th, »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Jason Statham in a Remake of The Mechanic?

21 April 2009 7:55 PM, PDT | Beyond Hollywood | See recent Beyond Hollywood news »

The last time we heard about Hollywood remaking Charles Bronson’s 1972 hitman movie “The Mechanic”, it was Sylvester Stallone talking about adding the film to his list of “Charles Bronson movies I want to remake”, which already included “Death Wish”. That may have fallen by the wayside, because now according to Production Weekly via them fancy new Twitter social whatchamacallits, director Simon West (”Con Air”) is in talks to direct Jason Statham in a remake of the movie. An aging hitman befriends a young man who wants to be a professional killer. Eventually it becomes clear that someone has betrayed them. The 1972 original was directed by Michael Winner and written by Lewis John Carlino. It co-starred Keenan Wynn, Jill Ireland, and Linda Ridgeway. Check out a trailer for the original below to get a feel for what the film is. Statham, we presume, would play the young hitman, since he »

- Nix

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James Whitmore dies at 87

6 February 2009 2:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

James Whitmore, who played such American icons as Harry Truman, Will Rogers and Theodore Roosevelt, died Friday of lung cancer at his home in Malibu. He was 87.

Whitmore was twice nominated for Academy Awards -- as best actor in 1976 for "Give 'em Hell, Harry!," in which he played Truman, and as best supporting actor in 1950 for the war movie "Battleground."

He also won an Emmy Award in 2000 for a guest-starring role on "The Practice," as well as a Tony Award for "Command Decision."

Whitmore was diagnosed with cancer a week before Thanksgiving. "My father believed that family came before everything, that work was just a vehicle in which to provide for your family," his son Steve Whitmore, who works as spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, told the Associated Press. "At the end, and in the last two and a half months of his life, he was surrounded by his family. »

- By Duane Byrge

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