11 items from 2016
While the film that had the most direct influence on the forthcoming Star Wars: Episode VIII is certainly J.J. Abrams‘ The Force Awakens, director Rian Johnson has shared some key inspiration when it comes to the tone and themes of his upcoming sci-fi sequel. While he previously stated two inspirations for the Star Wars saga’s next installment, that list has expanded, thanks his talk at Star Wars Celebration Europe.
The list includes six titles that Johnson encouraged the story group of Lucasfilm to watch before filming began, a thematic lookbook that features a mixture of beloved classics such as The Bridge on the River Kwai and lesser-known gems such as 1943’s Sahara. However, Twelve O’Clock High still stands as Johnson’s top pick for most influential. The most recent film on this list is from 1960, suggesting Johnson’s cinematic influences are less peer-based than deeply embedded in a more classical style. »
- Mike Mazzanti
Star Wars Celebration 2016: What we learnedStar Wars Celebration 2016: What we learnedJason Gorber7/18/2016 10:45:00 Am
Back when George Lucas announced that he was selling his company to Disney and entrusting his vision to a new generation of filmmakers, the director who I initially championed to have a crack at a Star Wars film was Rian Johnson. His film Looper proves to be a wonderful example of how to balance sophisticated narrative, swashbuckling adventure and wry, sardonic humour all in one gloriously visual package.
Johnson’s previous films like Brick gained him a cult following among enthusiasts, but perhaps his most watched work are the several "Breaking Bad" episodes he directed to great acclaim, including “Fly”, a memorable, Hitchcockian episode where an errant pest disrupts the protagonists as they cook up their illicit goods. John Boyega described the shoot as “Rian doing an indie movie within a franchise”, and »
- Jason Gorber
Star Wars Celebration Europe is now officially over and everyone can start counting down the time until Star Wars Celebration Orlando begins. Before we get to next year hear are the top 5 most important things to come out of Swce.
It is safe to say with the trailer, sizzle reel, and an interview from the cast is that this movie does not have a happy ending to it. Expect a lot of casualties in this movie. A lot more speculation has come about since the panel for Rogue One finished. The biggest buzz came from Mads Mikkelson who confirmed that he is playing Galen who is Jyn Erso’s father. He also revealed that his character is a scientist who has created something that was initially to be beautiful and amazing. So now it starting to make sense that »
- Michael Connally
London — Directors Rian Johnson, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, accompanied by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, discussed the future of the “Star Wars” franchise at Star Wars Celebration Europe at the ExCel Centre. Alden Ehrenreich was also officially introduced as young Han Solo for the upcoming standalone movie.
“This is going to start right where the last one left off,” “Episode VIII” director Johnson said. “It was a break from tradition.”
He added, “The second film is where we zoom into the characters, getting to the heart of them and challenging them.”
In preparation to direct the highly anticipated sequel, Johnson screened gritty 1949 WWII drama “Twelve O’Clock High” (“It became extremely important”) and Mikhail Kalatozov’s 1959 survival adventure “Letter Never Sent” plus classics like “The Bridge On The River Kwai,” “The Dambusters,” “Sahara” and “Gunga Din.”
Johnson went to San Francisco and spent six weeks figuring out the story.
- Ian Freer
Earlier this week, I published my rave review of HBO's new miniseries The Night Of, and I'm going to put it into the weekly review rotation for its run, starting with thoughts on the first episode, coming up just as soon as I can name two Yankees headed for the Hall of Fame... "Am I really here?" -Naz Because "The Beach" has been available for a few weeks through HBO's On Demand and streaming services, I've gotten to see the early reactions to it, which tend to break down along three paths: 1)That was unbearable to watch because I felt so bad for Naz as his night out went so horribly awry; 2)That was unbearable to watch because Naz acted like such a complete idiot at every turn; 3)Even though I felt bad for Naz, and/or couldn't believe how stupid he kept being, I was riveted by the whole thing. »
- Alan Sepinwall
John Ford puts a Technicolor sheen on Monument Valley in this second cavalry picture with John Wayne, who does some of his most professional acting work. Joanne Dru plays coy, while the real star is rodeo wizard Ben Johnson and the dazzling cinematography of Winton C. Hoch. She Wore a Yellow Ribbon Blu-ray Warner Archive Collection 1949 / Color / 1:37 flat Academy / 103 min. / Street Date June 7, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring John Wayne, Joanne Dru, John Agar, Ben Johnson, Harry Carey Jr., Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, George O'Brien, Chief John Big Tree. Cinematography Winton Hoch Art Direction James Basevi Film Editor Jack Murray Original Music Richard Hageman Written by Frank Nugent, Laurence Stallings from the stories War Party and The Big Hunt by James Warner Bellah Produced by Merian C. Cooper, John Ford Directed by John Ford
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Have you never seen real 3-Strip Technicolor used for terrific outdoor photography? »
- Glenn Erickson
A bit character in Matt Brown‘s affecting biographical drama The Man Who Knew Infinity chants “Din, Din, Din, Gunga Din” a couple times in friendly jest as a response to his employer G.H. Hardy’s (Jeremy Irons) decision to send for an uneducated South Indian man on the merits of a letter presenting the potential for mathematical genius named Srinivasa Ramanujan (Dev Patel). We laugh at the line’s delivery as well as Hardy’s humored look of contempt because we embrace levity. What’s ironic, though, is just how close to Rudyard Kipling’s tragic poem this story of a true intellectual legend proves. The “abuse” isn’t physical and Hardy almost instantly acknowledges Ramanujan to be the better mind, but similarities including its depiction of race relations between Britain and India remain.
This is why I found myself enjoying the film as much as I did. »
- Jared Mobarak
It's the classic paranoid conspiracy that won't go away... and that seems less impossible with every passing year. Laurence Harvey is a remote-controlled assassin, and Frank Sinatra seems to be under a little hypnotic influence himself... or are we just imagining it? John Frankenheimer and George Axelrod concoct a masterpiece from the novel by Richard Condon, a movie about conspiracies, that may be hiding more secrets in plain sight. The Manchurian Candidate Blu-ray The Criterion Collection 803 1962 / B&W / 1:75 widescreen / 126 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date March 15, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Frank Sinatra, Laurence Harvey, Janet Leigh, Angela Lansbury, Henry Silva, James Gregory, Leslie Parrish, John McGiver, Khigh Dhiegh Cinematography Lionel Lindon Production Designer Richard Sylbert Film Editor Ferris Webster Original Music David Amram Written by George Axelrod from the novel by Richard Condon Produced by George Axelrod, John Frankenheimer, Howard W. Koch Directed by John Frankenheimer
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
'A Beautiful Mind' with Russell Crowe. '31 Days of Oscar' on TCM: 'The Wind and the Lion,' 'The Man Who Would Be King' Turner Classic Movies' “31 Days of Oscar” continues on Saturday, Feb. 6, '16, with more recent fare – as in, several films released in the last four decades. Among these are The Wind and the Lion, The Man Who Would Be King, A Beautiful Mind, Swing Shift, and Broadcast News. John Milius' The Wind and the Lion and John Huston's The Man Who Would Be King are both 1975 releases featuring “Westerners” (i.e., white people) stranded in “exotic” and potentially dangerous locales (i.e., places inhabited by dark-skinned non-Christians) in the distant past: the former in early 20th century Morocco; the latter in a remote region in colonial India in the late 19th century. (That particular area, Kafiristan, is located in today's Afghanistan.) The thematic similarities between the two films end there, »
- Andre Soares
Well, we’ve finally reached the summit: the 10 most definitive romantic comedies of all time. Unlike the other sections of this list, there is not a movie here that approaches “bad.” As always, some are better than others, despite the order. But one thing is for sure: if you plan to have a rom-com binge-a-thon soon, this is where you start, no questions asked. In fact, after reading this, you should go do that and report back.
courtesy of reverseshot.com 10. Some Like It Hot (1959)
What’s funnier than men dressing in drag? Depends on who you ask. It’s Billy Wilder again with a fictional story of two musicians – Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) – who witness the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago and leave town. But, since the mob has ties everywhere, they need to disguise themselves as best they can: as women in an »
- Joshua Gaul
It's the John Ford film you never heard of, not because it's bad, but because it's a little confused. Richard Greene, David Niven and an emotional George Sanders (!) dedicate their lives to clearing their father's name of a smear by international arms smugglers! Their spirited companion Loretta Young behaves almost as if this were a screwball comedy. So does the director! Ford aficionados will be fascinated. Four Men and a Prayer 20th Century Fox Cinema Archives 1938 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 85 min. / Street Date December 15, 2015 / 19.98 Starring Loretta Young, Richard Greene, George Sanders, David Niven, C. Aubrey Smith. J. Edward Bromberg, William Henry, John Carradine, Alan Hale, Reginald Denny, Berton Churchill, Barry Fitzgerald, Chris-Pin Martin. Cinematography Franz Planer Film Editor Louis R. Loeffler Written by Richard Sherman, Sonya Levien, Walter Ferris from a novel by David Garth Produced by Kenneth Macgowan Directed by John Ford
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
We all »
- Glenn Erickson
11 items from 2016
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