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The release of Sin City: A Dame To Kill For inspires James to look back at its film noir roots, and some classic examples of the genre...
We're at the shadowy back-end of the summer blockbuster season and darkness is entering the frame. Here comes ultraviolence, sleaze, crime and death, all beautifully shot in macabre high-contrast monochrome. Just when you thought you'd got yourself clean and were all peppy after some upbeat family-friendly popcorn thrills, here's Sin City: A Dame To Kill For to darken up the doorways. (And it will light up a cigarette in those doorways and spit out some tough dialogue from between its bloodstained teeth while it's lingering there.)
We're back in the Basin City of Frank Miller's graphic novels again, once more brought to vivid screen life by the comics creator »
With her sleepy, seductive eyes and patrician, pack-a-day voice, the actress enters the room of Humphrey Bogart’s world-weary fishing-boat captain, Harry Morgan. She calls him “Steve” even though that is not his name, and offers him money to help him get out of a fix—we get the impression that it’s merely the latest in a long line of fixes resulting from hard luck and muddled politics that Bogie’s character will have to get out of. He stubbornly refuses her offer. Pride and all that. She falls into his lap and plants a kiss on his unexpecting lips. »
- Chris Nashawaty
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is a movie where we could go on and on with relevant recommended titles. Its main hero, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt), is a guy who spent his first 10 years on Earth enjoying a lot of movies and music. He’s a good representation of many people his age who are still Earthbound, because he’s focally nostalgic for ’80s pop culture and is always ready to make a reference to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles or some other property that existed prior to his abduction in 1988 by the space pirates known as the Ravages. In addition to the direct allusions spoken or spotted on screen (it’s cool that Star-Lord is familiar with a classic like The Maltese Falcon and apparently had an Alf sticker in his backpack when taken), the movie is highly influenced by past movies, with some big antecedents such as Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark being »
- Christopher Campbell
Infinite thanks to whoever realized James Gunn was one of the only filmmakers certifiably insane enough to make Guardians Of The Galaxy work – and I mean that as the highest compliment. Gunn was raised learning the art of schlock from Troma’s elite, taking those teachings to the next level on his cult classic creature feature Slither, which then lead to Gunn creating one of the most underrated “superhero” movies of the decade in Super. With every film you could tell Gunn’s confidence was snowballing, along with a brazenly psychotic voice blending über-violence with surprisingly dignified storytelling, yet some nonbelievers scoffed at the B-Movie veteran’s overseeing of Marvel’s most zany assembling of heroes. Me? Oh, I rejoiced for days, knowing Marvel picked the perfect creative mind to bring a talking raccoon and lumbering plant creature to life – and Gunn delivered even beyond My wildest dreams.
Let me »
- Matt Donato
James' Tng look-backs land on a hugely entertaining episode that's almost wall-to-wall Patrick Stewart...
This review contains spoilers.
3.19 Captain's Holiday
The Enterprise is returning from a two-week diplomacy mission where Picard mediated a trade contract between two stubborn parties, proving that if he had been around during the start of The Phantom Menace, there would be no blockade and thus no Empire (Take That, Skywalker! Checkmate!) Unfortunately, he's become irritable and grumpy, two qualities we would seldom associate with the French.
Recognising his stress, the senior staff conspires to send him on a vacation. He resists, but eventually the combined badgering of Troi, Riker and Crusher suddenly changes his mind (to be fair, you'd leave too if you have to face that.)
At Riker's insistence, Picard visits the nearby pleasure planet Risa, planning to read some dull books and work on his v-neck tan. No sooner has he beamed »
Directed by John Huston
Travelling by bus through the muggy Florida Keys, Maj. Frank McCloud (Humphrey Bogart) finally arrives at his desired destination: a modest hotel run by the father and widow of a friend he lost during the recent war effort. James Temple (Lionel Barrymore) and Nora Temple (Lauren Bacall) greet him with open arms, eager to learn more of what happened to their loved one during combat in Italy. Much to Frank’s concern however, several of the establishment’s current occupants have a dirty look about them. Their claims to wanting to make friends are off kilter and plainly disingenuous. As a terrifying tropical storm begins cooking outside, inside the hotel the leader of the scruffy looking band reveals himself to be none other the infamous hoodlum tycoon Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson), recently exiled »
- Edgar Chaput
Martha Hyer, who received an Oscar nomination for playing a prim small-town schoolteacher opposite Frank Sinatra and Shirley MacLaine in the 1958 drama Some Came Running, has died. She was 89. The striking blonde, who also was memorable as William Holden’s society fiancee in Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart’s Sabrina (1954), died May 31 in her home in Santa Fe, N.M., The Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper reported. Hyer was married to producer Hal B. Wallis (Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, True Grit) from December 1966 until his death in October 1986. The glamour girl also starred in Battle Hymn
- Mike Barnes
Behold the Supporting Actresses of 1941, two stalwart mothers, two helpless pawns, and one reckless diva. All but one of them, the diva and eventual winner, were in Best Picture nominees in this highly satisfying Oscar showdown.
Allgood, Astor, Collinge, Wright, and Wycherley
Oscar had entered its teenage years by 1941, (14th annual Academy Awards) but it was still a green enough institution that all of its supporting actresses were first timers. Mary Astor, who won the Oscar, was the only star among the nominees and she was having a great year also starring in the noir classic The Maltese Falcon. Career momentum issues should never be underestimated with Oscar outcomes. Astor was joined in the shortlist by two sturdy character players in their 60s: the British stage actress Margaret Wycherley and the Irish screen actress Sara Allgood (who had been featured in some early Alfred Hitchcock movies). Rounding out »
- NATHANIEL R
The Supporting Actress Smackdown, 1941 Edition, hits these parts on Saturday May 31st (here's the full summer calendar). This month we'll be discussing Mary Astor in The Great Lie, Sara Allgood in How Green Was My Valley, Margaret Wycherly in Sergeant York, Teresa Wright and Patricia Collinge, both in The Little Foxes.
It's time to introduce our panel as we dive into that film year next week with little goodies strewn about the usual postings.
Remember You are part of the panel. So get your votes in by e-mailing Nathaniel with 1941 in the subject line and giving these supporting actresses their heart rankings (1 for awful to 5 for brilliant). Please only vote on the performances you've seen. The votes are averaged so it doesn't hurt a performance to be underseen. »
- NATHANIEL R
As we continue on, I need to once again clarify that if this list was “Joshua Gaul’s 50 Favorite Movie Musicals,” it’d be a quite a different list. But, if my tastes determined what is definitive, I’d be asking you all to consider Aladdin as a brilliant piece of filmmaking and wax nostalgic about my love for Batteries Not Included and Flight of the Navigator (not for the musicals list, of course). Much to my dismay, my tastes are not universal. I’d like to think my research methods are.
courtesy of themoviescene.co.uk
30. Annie (1982)
Directed by John Huston
Signature Song: “Tomorrow” (http://youtu.be/Yop62wQH498)
Originally a 1924 comic strip, the beloved stage musical about a red-haired orphan girl was brought to the big screen in 1982 and directed by John Huston (yes, that John Huston – director of The Maltese Falcon and The African Queen, not to »
- Joshua Gaul
‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’ trailer: New trailer for 2014 ‘Planet of the Apes’ film shows humans are the most dangerous apes of them all (image: Caesar in ‘Dawn of the Planet of the Apes’) The new Dawn of the Planet of the Apes trailer is out. Caesar and his fellow genetically modified apes enjoy a peaceful existence until created-in-God’s-image apes — that’s self-delusional humans — discover the Gmo apes’ hiding place in a lush forest. Much like gays were blamed for the AIDS virus a few decades ago, the virtuous and righteous humans (Gary Oldman among them) blame the Gmo apes for a virus that all but wiped out humankind. Enter the military, ever eager to save the world for peace and happiness by way of some heavy-duty weaponry. Needless to say, I’m ardently rooting for Caesar (Andy Serkis) and his fellow Gmo apes. Check out the »
- Andre Soares
Directed by Billy Wilder
The past few weeks have been good for Humphrey Bogart on Blu-ray. The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, and The African Queen were recently rereleased and assembled for the Best of Bogart Collection, and now, Sabrina, one of the legendary star’s final films, has received its first American appearance on the format. Perhaps more importantly, if total number of titles available on Blu-ray is the basis for judgment, Sabrina also marks one of disappointingly few Billy Wilder titles available in the remastered form. That the film also stars the radiant Audrey Hepburn and the remarkably versatile William Holden confirms that the release is worth commending.
- Jeremy Carr
If Turner Classic Movies had only been endowed with films from the pre-1948 MGM library, it would have been the channel of cinefiles’ dreams. If it had only had the pre-1950 Warner Bros. library, it would have been a 24/7 haven for film buffs. If it had only had the Rko Pictures library, it would have been a great channel.
But thanks to the foresight of Ted Turner, TCM launched on April 14, 1994 with the keys to all three of those vaults. Sure, Turner infuriated cineastes a few years before with his campaign to colorize classic black-and-white pics (shudder), but he more than made up for that misguided effort with the gift of TCM.
Commercial free, uncut, lovingly and smartly presented movies running 24/7, along with fantastic archival material, shorts (“One-Reel Wonders”) and other carefully excavated gems — there’s nothing not to like about TCM or its primary hosts, Robert Osborne (who’s »
- Cynthia Littleton
Are you ready for the hunt? April 2 is the debut of the new Reelz show Treasure King in which larger-than-life-collector Richie Marcello and his team of experts search for Hollywood valuables. In the premiere episode, Richie and the gang look for the Dukes of Hazard General Lee, otherwise known as a 1969 Dodge Charger.
But before we see if Richie can keep his title of Treasure King, we started to think: what are the top ten best treasure hunting movies of all time? Check out our list and see if you agree.
It's Good to Be King
Premiere April 2 at 10p Et/ 9p Pt
Link | Posted 3/29/2014 by Ryan
Treasure King | The Treasure of the Sierra Madre | Dead Snow | The Goonies | Raiders of the Lost Ark | The Maltese Falcon | The Mummy | Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl | Romancing the Stone | National Treasure | Time Bandits »
- Ryan Gowland
There are handful of actors who will forever be ingrained in the canon of film history. John Wayne, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, James Dean, Gregory Peck, to name just a few. One of the most iconic actors of all time, Humphrey Bogart, gets his own four-movie Blu-ray collection this week. This is the kind of release that usually hits near Father’s Day. Get your shopping done early this year.
There’s no company more adept at re-releasing already available product and making it seem fresh than Warner Bros. The four blu-rays included in “The Best of Bogart Collection” are literally just the four previously-available releases in a new case (and nowhere near as extensive career-wise as the DVD-only box set released for the legend a few years ago). They’re even stacked two on top of each other on each side. However, if you don’t own maybe »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The Tribute Artist by Charles Busch Directed by Carl Andress 59E59 Theaters, NYC Through March 29, 2014 Towards the end of this uproarious farce by veteran playwright and actor Charles Busch, Mr. Busch--as Jimmy Nichols, a long-in-the-tooth “female impressionist tribute artist” (a/k/a unemployed drag performer)--delivers a line that in any other play, comedy or otherwise, would befuddle the audience due to its complete nonsense. Proclaimed in tones of voice that would, in an era long gone by, indicate the pronouncement of a grand life-transforming revelation, Jimmy declares “The more honest you are, the more people believe you.” Without a doubt, only Charles Busch could make such an utterance not only appear reasonable, but in the process bring the house down shrieking with laughter.
The Tribute Artist could be designated a sort of penultimate culmination of Charles Busch’s three-decade career. In many wondrous permutations over the years, Mr. Busch has honored, »
- Jay Reisberg
In the midst of all the excitement over the Texas Film Awards and SXSW 2014, another film-related event took place recently: the first annual Noir City Austin. While free of a red carpet and movie stars in the flesh, this festival celebrated its inaugural weekend at the Alamo Drafthouse Ritz from Feb. 28 to March 2.
Hosted by the Film Noir Foundation, Noir City Austin screened 10 films straight from the genre’s heyday, and featured many faces familiar to devoted noir fans, such as Shelley Winters, Peter Lorre, Ray Milland and Lizabeth Scott.
Yet rather than screening such noir staples like The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity and The Big Sleep, the foundation chose lesser-known titles that, though unknown to the majority of those in attendance, still contained all the necessary ingredients essential to any noir. More than that though, the movies selected tended to go beyond the conventions of the »
The strangeness that is The Visitor is now on Blu-ray, and we have your chance to score a copy on us! Believe us - you Need this film in your life. It's that damned wacky! Read on for details.
To enter for your chance to win, just send us an E-mail Here including your Full Name And Mailing Address. We’ll take care of the rest.
This contest will end at 12:01 Am on Wednesday, March 19, 2014.
Drafthouse Films, in conjunction with Cinedigm, is bringing the wildly ambitious and neglected sci-fi/horror epic The Visitor to Blu-ray and DVD Today, March 4 .
Incredibly ambitious but derided and largely neglected upon its initial release in 1979, The Visitor is an unforgettable assault on reality, a phantasmagoric sci-fi/horror/action hybrid. From writer-producer Ovidio G. Assonitis (Tentacles) and director/actor/body builder Michael J. Paradise (aka Giulio Paradisi - Fellini's 8½), the film artfully fuses »
- Uncle Creepy
Film Noir. One of those few genres in which the words themselves manage to convey a sense for the genre itself. It evokes a black and white image of a world weary P.I. in a trench coat, scouring the back alleys of Los Angeles. The characters on both sides of the law are hardboiled and there’s no light at the end of the tunnel.
Everyone knows the classics of the genre, The Maltese Falcon, Double Indemnity, The Big Sleep, The Third Man, or some of the great Neo-Noirs like Chinatown, Blood Simple, or Mulholland Drive. These are movies which represent the genre, and they’re some damn good ones too. But too often the rest of the genre is left at the bottom of the barrel, and there are great Noirs from the 1940s and 50s which slipped through the cracks of time.
These are films that stretch the genre to its limits, »
- Josh Hamm
Though the film noir genre has spawned some of the finest movies ever made, illuminated by the likes of Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon and The Third Man – it seems to be a classic style mostly confined to the past, encapsulating the treasured 1940s era of cinema.When tackled in contemporary film, we tend to see subversions of the genre, with the likes Sin City and Drive, for example. However, Hossein Amini’s adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s eponymous novel, The Two Faces of January, is noir in its purest form, as a real attempt to recreate the quintessential pictures of old, and remain faithful to the discernible tropes and conventions. Though admiring Amini for giving it a go, this particular endeavour is uninspiring and forgettable.
Set in Athens, Oscar Isaac plays Rydal, a tour guide by day and chancer by night, always looking to make a cheap dollar off a »
- Stefan Pape
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