7 items from 2011
The courtroom drama is one of the stronger genres in film history, with titles like To Kill A Mockingbird, 12 Angry Men, The Verdict, Witness for the Prosecution, and may more. Sadly, it's not what it used to be. New examples of the genre are few and far between, with movies like The Lincoln Lawyer, which came out earlier this year, reminding us that there's still potential for tension and character-building in a court setting. The problem is that a poorly executed courtroom drama is about as exciting as a piece of stale white bread. So leave it to Japanese director Takashi Miike to spice things up a bit. Twitch has premiered the first trailer for Gyakuten saiban, an adaptation of the popular Nintendo DS game Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. Check it out below. I don't speak Japanese so I really have no clue what the hell was going on in »
Netflix has revolutionized the home movie experience for fans of film with its instant streaming technology. Netflix Nuggets is my way of spreading the word about independent, classic and foreign films being made available by Netflix for instant streaming. Important Note: There may be some films that do not become available on the specified dates. This is merely a report of the most accurate release dates I can find, but is not directly confirmed by Netflix themselves.
American: The Bill Hicks Story (2010)
Streaming Available: 06/29/2011
Synopsis: Since his tragic death from cancer at age 32, comedian Bill Hicks’s legend and stature have only grown, and this unique documentary tells his story, blending live footage, interviews and animation to fill in the details of a life cut short. A comic’s comic and unflagging critic of hypocrisy and cultural emptiness, Hicks was one of a kind, a Lenny Bruce for the late 20th century, »
- Travis Keune
“Franklin & Bash” is the newest serving of TV justice from TNT, starring Breckin Meyer (Rat Race, “Robot Chicken”) and Mark-Paul Gosselaar, who to many has been immortalized as character Zach Morris on 90′s show “Saved by the Bell.” On the new show premiering June 1st at 9/8c, the duo star as two lawyers who employ unusual tactics to win difficult cases that include a party-hardy airline pilot and a dominatrix who falls in love with one of her clients. Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange) plays their unusual boss, and the show features cameos from actors like Danny Trejo, Jason Alexander, James Van Der Beek, and others.
The Scorecard Review sat down with the two TV stars to discuss their new show, plus the cinematic idols of their characters, what Malcolm McDowell is really like, and more. And please – don’t spoil The Book of Eli for Mark-Paul Gosselaar, or he »
- Nick Allen
Tomorrow sees the release of the 4th instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, On Stranger Tides. The return of Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) is sure to excite cinemagoers – particularly the loins of legions of devoted female fans! – with his distinct droll, ebullient personality and comic timing. He’s the quintessential pirate figure of our generation, glamorising the lifestyle on the high seas!
However, pirates have been a stock character within film industry for as long as cinema has been in existence. The first known pirate feature was a silent 1 reel, short film adaptation of Treasure Island in 1908. Unfortunately, the American Film Institute has deemed the film lost and a copy is extremely unlikely to be in existence any more. As film technology progressed, so did the pirate subgenre of action cinema, with every decade of the 20th and 21st century having at least one major production based »
- Stuart Cummins
Last week we asked you guys to be judge and jury on some of the best courtroom dramas from over the years, and you made a collective ruling for Sidney Lumet's 1957 film 12 Angry Men with 35% of the total votes. No objections here. It was a pleasant surprise to see an older film top the poll since the votes usually skew toward newer stuff, but A Few Good Men ended up in second place followed by another classic, Robert Mulligan's To Kill a Mockingbird. JFK placed fourth on the list with Primal Fear and the documentary Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills both deadlocked for fifth. Do you agree with these results? 1. 12 Angry Men -- 34.9% 2. A Few Good Men -- 19.1% 3. To Kill a Mockingbird -- 15.4% 4. JFK -- 9.6% 5. Primal Fear -- 5.9% 5. Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills -- 5.9% 7. Philadelphia -- 3.7% 8. Anatomy of a Murder »
Photo: Lionsgate Courtroom dramas seem to have been primarily relegated to television as of late. While I've found enjoyment in shows such as "The Practice" and the first season of "Boston Legal," most of these television series don't really do it for me. I like my courtrooms in feature length form such as film like Witness for the Prosecution, A Few Good Men, The Verdict and A Time to Kill. While The Lincoln Lawyer can't stand alongside any of those films it is still a decent watch, even if it has more twists and turns than any movie I can remember ever seeing and it isn't exactly all that inventive.
Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe) is a fancy pants Los Angeles playboy and he's suspected of raping and beating a prostitute. Matthew McConaughey plays the smooth talking lawyer Mick Haller, a role tailor made for the oft-shirtless Texas native. »
- Brad Brevet
The arrival of handsome-super-lawyer flick The Lincoln Lawyer reminds me of an old bugbear: we need to crack down on courtroom movies and legal thrillers, and especially courtroom-showdown climaxes in otherwise non-legal movies. Getting the law involved just kills a movie stone dead every time.
In that last category alone there are dozens of movies that simply throw in the storytelling towel in the last act and allow their narratives to become enmeshed in the courtroom Sargasso of legal back-and-forth, declamatory utterances by the attorneys and whatever character-acting old geezer is today manning the bench. Films as diverse as Eureka, They Drive By Night and White Squall were all roaring along nicely until they screeched to a halt in courtrooms 20 minutes before their actual running-times expired.
Now, there »
- John Patterson
7 items from 2011
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