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"The Bridge on the River Kwai" is considered a classic, but what would have happened if Alec Guinness' character Lt. Colonel Nicholson went home to Britain to deal with the post traumatic stress of being a prisoner of war? Based on Eric Lomax's autobiography of the same name, "The Railway Man" presents Lomax's account of his time as a Pow during World War II. Lomax, a British soldier, was taken captive in Singapore by the Japanese and put to work in a forced labor camp as a part of the "Death Railway," building the Thai-Burma Railroad. Colin Firth stars as Lomax with Nicole Kidman as his wife Patricia who turns to Lomax's past for help dealing with her husband's intense Ptsd. When fellow Pow survivor Finlay (Stellan Skarsgard) informs Lomax that he's found Nagase (Hiroyuki Sanada) the Japanese soldier responsible for their torture, Lomax follows the path of revenge. »
- Casey Cipriani
Colin Firth in The Railway ManPhoto: Lionsgate I caught Jonathan Teplitzky's The Railway Man at the Toronto Film Festival and despite the fact it's another traditionally told WWII period piece, there's an elegance to its telling and the performances from all involved -- Colin Firth, Jeremy Irvine, Hiroyuki Sanada, Tanroh Ishida and Nicole Kidman -- are quite good as it tells a story of revenge, retribution and reconciliation. The film is set to hit theaters in the UK on January 1, while Lionsgate has yet to confirm a 2014 release date and today a new trailer and a batch of five character posters have made their way online. You can check out the trailer and international theatrical poster below and the character posters on the second page. You can also read my full, "B" review of the film right here. Here's a snippet from that review: Some stories deserve their time »
- Brad Brevet
Directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and based on the autobiography of Eric Lomax, the man behind the nickname of the title character, The Railway Man is yet another traditionally told period piece, elevated due to a wonderfully effective story and strong lead performances from Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. We're first introduced to Lomax (Firth) as a middle-aged British Army veteran of World War II. He's obviously a quiet man, but there are no visible physical or emotional scars, and for the time being his life is about to take a turn for the better. A chance meeting with a woman, Patti (Nicole Kidman), aboard a train results in love at first sight. The two eventually marry and find a house together, but the horrors of war can't elude him forever. It's never quite clear if Eric told Patti about his time in the British Army, but she's soon made well »
- Brad Brevet
Giving a movie the name that it deserves is one of the most crucial stages in the life of a motion picture – can you imagine how many people would have turned up to see 12 Angry Men had it been called Jury Duty? Or what about if Star Wars had ended up as Droids? I made both of those up, of course, but my point stands: a movie lives and dies by its title. Make it too far out or wacky and people will avoid it out of fear. Make it too generic, bland or unforgettable, and you risk people not bothering at all. Many a good movie has flopped due to an ill-judged title, after all.
You’ll notice, then, that pretty much all of the movies considered to be the best or greatest of all-time have one thing in common – brilliant titles. Titles that, when you hear them, you »
- T.J. Barnard
William Holden movies: ‘The Bridge on the River Kwai’ William Holden is Turner Classic Movies’ "Summer Under the Stars" featured actor today, August 21, 2013. Throughout the day, TCM has been showing several William Holden movies made at Columbia, though his work at Paramount (e.g., I Wanted Wings, Dear Ruth, Streets of Laredo, Dear Wife) remains mostly off-limits. Right now, TCM is presenting David Lean’s 1957 Best Picture Academy Award winner and all-around blockbuster The Bridge on the River Kwai, the Anglo-American production that turned Lean into filmdom’s brainier Cecil B. DeMille. Until then a director of mostly small-scale dramas, Lean (quite literally) widened the scope of his movies with the widescreen-formatted Southeast Asian-set World War II drama, which clocks in at 161 minutes. Even though William Holden was The Bridge on the River Kwai‘s big box-office draw, the film actually belongs to Alec Guinness’ Pow British commander and to »
- Andre Soares
Movies and video games tend to cross over quite a bit. In a lot of cases, what makes a good movie usually makes a good game: a lot of action, a good story, and characters that you can connect with. This is the reason that a lot of games are derived from the same ideas as that their silver screen counterparts. Racing games play on the great chase movies like "The French Connection," war games owe a debt to classics like "Apocalypse Now" and "The Bridge on the River Kwai," and even sports games have movies like the "Rocky" franchise to credit for laying the groundwork for their popularity. However, there is one great genre of action films that is well underrepresented in the game world - heist movies. Cinema classics like "Ocean's Eleven" (both of them), "The Thomas Crown Affair," (both of them, too), "The Usual Suspects," and "Reservoir Dogs »
- Jason Cipriano
At first glance, George Clooney’s credits as a writer-director — Good Night, and Good Luck., The Ides of March — and a producer —- Syriana, The American, Argo, etc. — don’t seem to have much in common, except a political edge and a sheen of old-Hollywood class. But in 2011, when Clooney was trying to find his next project with his writing and producing partner Grant Heslov, he picked out a subtle trend in his own work that he was eager to buck.
“I said, ‘You know, we tend to do a lot of cynical projects, and it would really be nice »
- Adam Markovitz
It's fascinating to listen to the production woes Peter Brook's Lord of the Flies (1963) faced in the early stages as he teamed with Hollywood producer (and family friend) Sam Spiegel to create, what he wanted to be, a low budget adaptation of William Golding's novel. Instead, as time went on, Spiegel took it upon himself to change the story. As a producer of films such as Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai, it was simply not in Spiegel's nature to make a cheap film. The budget began to balloon, art directors were flown around the world to look at islands and even girls were introduced into script rewrites done behind Brook's back as Columbia (whom were initially set to distribute the film) felt the budget had gotten too big for a film about kids. In essence, it was no longer "Lord of the Flies »
- Brad Brevet
As of last month, The Great Escape is now fifty years old. First released in 1963, John Sturges’ World War II epic depicted the escape of seventy six airmen from the Stalag Luft III prisoner of war camp in 1944.
Based loosely on Paul Brickhill’s book, which chronicled the actual happenings at the camp, the film garnered significant critical acclaim and earned three times its budget at the box office, and has since become the quintessential film in the prisoner-of-war genre (which includes other greats such as Stalag 17 and (for part of it at least) The Bridge on the River Kwai).
As the BBC gears up to produce a television dramatisation of the escape, let us have a nostalgic look back at several key elements of the film (which happens to be a favourite of mine, as well as Quentin Tarantino) over the next few pages. Be wary of spoilers, »
- Alex Antliff
Alec Guinness: Before Obi-Wan Kenobi, there were the eight D’Ascoyne family members (photo: Alec Guiness, Dennis Price in ‘Kind Hearts and Coronets’) (See previous post: “Alec Guinness Movies: Pre-Star Wars Career.”) TCM won’t be showing The Bridge on the River Kwai on Alec Guinness day, though obviously not because the cable network programmers believe that one four-hour David Lean epic per day should be enough. After all, prior to Lawrence of Arabia TCM will be presenting the three-and-a-half-hour-long Doctor Zhivago (1965), a great-looking but never-ending romantic drama in which Guinness — quite poorly — plays a Kgb official. He’s slightly less miscast as a mere Englishman — one much too young for the then 32-year-old actor — in Lean’s Great Expectations (1946), a movie that fully belongs to boy-loving (in a chaste, fatherly manner) fugitive Finlay Currie. And finally, make sure to watch Robert Hamer’s dark comedy Kind Hearts and Coronets »
- Andre Soares
Alec Guinness movies: Pre-’Star Wars’ Guinness runs the gamut from Dickens’ Fagin to Japanese businessman romancing Rosalind Russell Alec Guinness is Turner Classic Movies’ “Summer Under the Stars” star on Saturday, August 3, 2013. The bad news: No Alec Guinness TCM premieres or lesser-known Guinness movies, e.g., A Run for Your Money, Last Holiday, Malta Story, The Prisoner, Star Wars (kidding). The good news: Alec Guinness movies are always welcome, even when the movies themselves are unworthy of his talents — and there were quite a few of those — or when Guinness forces his characters to fit his persona (instead of the other way around), so that we’re watching Alec Guinness play Alec Guinness playing some role or other, instead of, for instance, a Japanese businessman who happens to be both Star Trek‘s George Takei’s father and Rosalind Russell’s platonic paramour. (TCM schedule: Alec Guiness movies.) (Photo: Alec Guinness ca. »
- Andre Soares
Paging Leslie Knope!
Parks and Rec co-stars Aubrey Plaza (29) and Nick Offerman (43) both have birthdays today and could use a little celebration, Pawnee Parks and Recreation Department-style. On the show, Amy Poehler’s Leslie Knope is famous for creating one-of-a-kind birthday extravaganzas that are a perfect representation of who the person is, what they like and what the hope to be. (For example, a few years back Offerman’s Ron Swanson gets steak, scotch and The Bridge on the River Kwai, which he is able to watch all alone, in peace.)
With the spirit of Leslie Knope in mind, let »
- Erin Strecker
Feature Jules-Pierre Malartre 25 Jun 2013 - 06:31
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Return Of The Jedi. A book on the making of the film is to be released this autumn, and I’m looking forward to delving through the previously little known facts, pictures and artefacts about the movie that author J W Rinzler has discovered while writing the book. I recently unearthed some forgotten Return Of The Jedi lore myself when I packed my things for my upcoming move. Imagine my surprise when, going through some old papers, I came across an interview of Richard Marquand I did back in 1984, barely a year after the release of Return Of The Jedi.
Herzog's films portray humans as frail creatures caught in the gap between an indifferent nature and a punishing God. Ahead of the UK release of As Joshua Oppenheimer's The Act of Killing, which Herzog executive produced, Michael Newton celebrates a unique world view
For a man whose "social network" is his kitchen table, Werner Herzog's image is very present on the internet. You can see him (deceptively edited) discoursing in doom-laden tones concerning the "enormity of the stupidity" of hipsters or Republicans. (Originally he was discussing chickens.) He's there (or rather someone impersonating him is) intoning about the dark intensities of "Where's Waldo". (The clip has had more than a million hits on YouTube.) And, most notably, he can be seen in Les Blank's short film (this time for real) eating his shoe to celebrate the successful completion of Errol Morris's Gates of Heaven (1978). While the shoe boils, »
- Michael Newton
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This deeply moving animated movie from Japan's Studio Ghibli is being rereleased (along with My Neighbour Totoro) to mark its 25th anniversary. It's set in the last year of the second world war in a suburb of Tokyo devastated by American fire bombing, leaving the brave teenage Seita to care for his bewildered little sister Setsuko after their mother's death. She's last seen wrapped in blood-stained bandages like a mummy before being cremated. The stylised images suit the simplicity and gravity of a grim story of love, sacrifice and survival in the face of adult indifference and cruelty. It's an accomplished, affecting, relentless work. But seeing The Bridge on the River Kwai on TV a few hours later, I was reminded that there's another side to this story.
guardian.co.uk © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. »
- Philip French
If you don't have travel plans for Memorial Day weekend, get cozy on the couch (and set your DVR) because there are plenty of fun marathons happening.
Need to catch up on Season 1 of "Longmire" before the Season 2 premiere Monday, May 27? Want to re-live "Veronica Mars" Season 1? How about watching the entire series of "Arrested Development" (and reading our re-watch posts) before the new season is out on Netflix?
Here is all your Memorial Day weekend programming, all times Eastern.
Friday, May 24
A&E: "Storage Wars" marathon, 3 p.m. to 4 a.m. the next day
Animal: "Finding Bigfoot" marathon, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., "Invasion" premiere and new episode, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Chiller: "The Twilight Zone" marathon, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Discovery: "Sons of Guns" marathon, »
When Ray Harryhausen’s The 7th Voyage of Sinbad came out in 1958, it didn’t dominate the box-office as Iron Man 3 did this past weekend. That’s because fantasy and comic-book movies were considered grade-b material and kiddie fare in those days. The biggest hits of that year were films for grown-ups like The Bridge on the River Kwai (released in late ’57) and Peyton Place. Walt Disney’s Old Yeller was a hit but still ran a distant tenth. What Harryhausen and his producer-partner Charles H. Schneer did with films like Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts, and The Three Worlds of Gulliver was to plant the seeds of imagination in the next generation of moviemakers: Spielberg, Lucas, Peter...
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- Leonard Maltin
Culver City, Calif. — A few months before the bones of Richard III were discovered below a parking lot in Leicester, England, the infamous British monarch was the focal point of a very different type of reclamation project halfway around the world in Culver City, California. There, Colorworks, Sony Pictures’ digital intermediate facility, applied the finishing touches to an exhaustive 4K restoration of “Richard III,” Laurence Olivier’s 1955 film adaptation of the Shakespeare play.
The project was completed under the auspices of The Film Foundation, a non-profit organization formed in 1990 by Martin Scorsese to preserve endangered films. The group has supported the restoration of over 600 films to date. The restored “Richard III” is being released in April on Blu-ray by Criterion.
“We’re so pleased to have been able to support this stunning restoration thanks to the generosity of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and with the support of our partners: Janus Films, »
- Eric M. Armstrong
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 363 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies, the Up docs and Decalogue) and of those 363, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
I've mentioned before how several years ago I created a list using Roger Ebert's Great Movies, Oscar Best Picture winners, IMDb's Top 250, etc. and began going through them doing my best to see as many of the films on these lists that I had not seen as I possibly could to up my film I.Q. Well, someone has gone through the exhaustive effort to take all of the films Roger Ebert wrote about in his three "Great Movies" books, all of which are compiled on his website and added them to a Letterbxd list and I've added that list below. I'm not positive every movie on his list is here, but by my count there are 362 different titles listed (more if you count the trilogies and Decalogue) and of those 362, I have personally seen 229 and have added an * next to those I've seen. Clearly I have some work to do, »
- Brad Brevet
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