1-20 of 24 items from 2013 « Prev | Next »
It has been a busy week for me, not necessarily in terms of movie watching, but just in general. I have spent the last week-and-a-half moving into a new place and if you were wondering why I didn't post anything after noon on Friday, it's because I spent the rest of Friday and all of Saturday moving, but things should be back to normal 'round these parts now and I'll try and post a few additional items to make up for news lost... First, however, let's share our viewing habits over the last seven days. For me it was Pain & Gain in theaters and I already wrote all about seeing Marcel Carne's Children of Paradise, which you can read right here. The last item I watched this week was the fourth episode of "Hannibal", which I understand isn't exactly doing all that well in the ratings, which is a bit worrisome for me, »
- Brad Brevet
Quentin Tarantino once described Howard Hawks’ 1959 western Rio Bravo, starring John Wayne and Dean Martin, as a “hang out movie” because it’s a movie you watch, not just because of its artistic qualities, but also so you can spend time with the characters.
It’s one of those phrases that once you hear it you realize how many of your most beloved films could be labelled as hang out movies, ones in which the characters start to feel like old friends. The more times you watch these films, the more you know these characters, the more a part of you they become.
So, with that in mind, we’ve put together ten films that fit in with Tarantino’s casual genre-making comment. Behold, the “hang out” movies…
While the idea of hanging out with violent gangsters may not be everyone’s idea of a good time, the genius »
- Andrew Edward Davies
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
‘Decoy’ is an amalgamation of every single great Western/action thriller that ever existed. It’s reminiscent of “The Gauntlet” or “Rio Bravo.” Plain and simple, it’s lean effective thriller and so fast paced, that by the end of the hour, you get whiplash. It’s a breathless continuation of the events set up in ‘Get Drew,’ and gives the events of ‘Decoy’ the feel of those aforementioned films. And it even allowed for time to throw in some of the little long running arcs of the season. Overall, the episode is broken into neat portions that propel everything forward very crisply.
By far the standout portions involved Tim and Art stranded on the highway by Colton and Nicky’s henchman’s trap. It’s chock full »
- Nathan Smith
The Oscars is that beast we find ourselves criticising year in and year out for the films it wrongly nominates and masterpieces it snubs, and though every year I vow to swear off the back-patting awards ceremony, I must confess that I just can’t stop discussing it.
Regardless of whether you agree with the nominees and eventual winners of any given year, there’s no denying the career boost a mere nomination will give a writer, director, actor, or crew member.
While not all of these performances were outright terrible, it’s clear to me that they absolutely weren’t deserving of an Oscar nomination, nor the wins that half of them managed to attain.
We’re all aware that the Oscars are essentially a political popularity contest that’s far too sentimental and keen to pat themselves on the back for rewarding “deserving” talent despite so often failing »
- Shaun Munro
Watch Part 2 Why Watch? Last year, The Shore won the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short Film, and after seeing Terry George‘s work, it’s easy to see why. The Hotel Rwanda director, here returning to his usual tilt toward the Troubles in Northern Ireland, creates a fragile layer of drama where an ocean of familial tension lies frozen and threatening underneath. It’s heady, tough work, but it’s also surprisingly easy to watch because of the clean character portraits being created. Cirian Hinds and Conleth Hill (who fans of Game of Thrones will be happy to see) shine in stony roles as two childhood friends now grown who are reunited after a falling out during the Troubles sent them on separate journeys. Fortunately, everyone involved is wise enough to add some smiles into the sweet pain of alienation to remind us all what doing the difficult task is really worth. By »
- Scott Beggs
The Walking Dead, Season 3, Episode 10: “Home”
Written by Nichole Beattie
Directed by Seith Mann
Airs Sundays at 9pm Et on AMC
The midseason premiere of AMC’s third season of The Walking Dead left many people worried. While the third season has been, by and large, a vast improvement over Season two, last week’s “The Suicide King” was a major disappointment. Thankfully the series picked up this week. “Home” is an impressively directed episode that delivers everything you could want from The Walking Dead: clever direction, lashings of gore, a witty, intelligent script, strong characters and two particularly amazing action-set-pieces.
So what makes “Home” so much better than “The Suicide King”? Well for starters, The Walking Dead creators seem to know how to direct action as well as they create scares. Sure the special effects team over at AMC does gore to perfection, but The Walking Dead »
Director Robert Altman.
Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the April 1999 issue of Venice Magazine.
It's the Fall of 1977 and I'm a bored and rebellious ten year old in search of a new movie to occupy my underworked and creativity-starved brain, feeling far too mature for previous favorites Wily Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) and Return of the Pink Panther (1975), and wanting something more up-to-date and edgy than Chaplin's City Lights (1931). I needed a movie to call my favorite that would be symbolic of my own new-found manhood (and something that would really piss off my parents and teachers). Mom and Dad were going out for the evening, leaving me with whatever unfortunate baby-sitter happened to need the $10 badly enough to play mother hen to an obnoxiously precocious only child like myself. I scanned the TV Guide for what »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
There is so much great content published every week here at Sound On Sight, the even we have trouble keeping up. So, every Sunday we will drop a list of ten of the best articles delivered by our hard working, and extremely talented staff.
House of Cards, 1.1-1.6: Charismatic leads, style make up for familiar story
House of Cards is a bold venture, to say the least. Netflix’s first sole foray into television, a remake of a 1990 BBC miniseries, the series came with a hefty price tag and a high profile, with David Fincher on board as a first-time television director. No one can know what the future holds for streaming television, but for Netflix, and House of Cards, it certainly looks rosy… (click here to read the full article)
House of Cards, Ep. 1.07-1.13: Surprising character moves conclude solid series
As in its strong first half, »
- Kyle Reese
#1: West of Memphis
Directed by Amy Berg
Following from the original Paradise Lost film and its two sequels, West of Memphis follows the events of one of the most media-covered American crime stories of the last two decades: The West Memphis Three, a case in which three teenagers (Jessie Misskelley, Damien Echols, and Jason Baldwin), were arrested for the murders of three eight-year old boys. The case spawned four documentaries, several books, and a campaign from high-profile celebrities such as Peter Jackson, Johnny Depp, Eddie Vedder and Henry Rollins. Much like the Paradise Lost films, West of Memphis chronicles the history of the incarcerated men, all the way up to the eventual release.
From its very beginnings as a genre, Western film has trafficked in the iconic, in the larger-than-life imagery of the tall tale and the never-ending, expansive wilderness that forms the crucial backbone to these stories. More than perhaps any other genre, Westerns deal in types, with their characters standing in for the Other, the Immigrant, the Hero, and the Villain (in their black hat), telling universal stories of camaraderie and isolation, of running from and fighting for civilization, and morality tested by the harshest circumstances. The conventions of the genre run the gamut, from performance (heroes must be taciturn!) to costuming and scenery (gotta have a tumbleweed), and one of the most important elements to any Western is its score.
Most Westerns, particularly those from the heyday of the genre, feature orchestral scores. Given the American frontier setting, most scores tend to feature a number of specific characteristics which have »
- Kate Kulzick
While The Last Stand didn’t make much of an impression on the box office, it still left many of us here at Sound On Sight praising director Jee-woon Kim’s effort. As the first Korean auteur to direct a large-scale Hollywood movie, Kim takes inspiration from classic American westerns, specifically Howard Hawks’ Rio Bravo. Apart from classic westerns, there are a few cult movies that fans of The Last Stand should take interest in. Here are two, that I recommend.
1: Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird)
Directed by Jee-woon Kim
2008, South Korea
A decade after making his incredible debut film, The Quiet Family (later remade by Takashi Miike as The Happiness of the Katakuris), Jee-woon Kim had established himself as one of South Korea’s most beloved directors. His hard work didn’t go unnoticed by studio execs, »
As Sound on Sight’s Western month reaches its conclusion, two of the hosts of your favorite Disney movie podcast, Mousterpiece Cinema, Josh Spiegel and Gabe Bucsko met in the show’s vaunted and secretive HQ to discuss and debate what many people would claim is the greatest Western of all time: the 1956 John Ford film The Searchers. One of your hosts considers that claim perfectly accurate, and the other one is Josh. Who’s right? Who’s wrong? Can this debate ever be settled? It’s up to Josh and Gabe to answer these hard questions, so read on for the answers!
Josh: I don’t remember much about my freshman year in college–thanks more to an unfailingly poor memory than to partying, I assure you–but one clear memory is that of my fall-semester film professor blowing his gasket when I told him I hated one of his favorite movies. »
- Josh Spiegel
High Noon and Rio Bravo share a fascinating and perhaps singular position in the annals of American cinema as companion pieces of social commentary that also managed to succeed as two of the greatest and most influential Westerns, and indeed films, of their time. Created seven years apart, with Rio Bravo intended as a direct rebuttal of High Noon, both films explore their creators’ personal philosophies in the context of the American West. Any number of topics are explored, from gender roles to pride and self-medication, but the most prominent is an examination of American ideology and politics, specifically McCarthyism and the blacklist.
High Noon, a film about a prominent, respected, and well-liked citizen’s disillusionment when his friends, one by one, refuse to stand with him against a strong, corrupt, and unyielding foe, can easily be viewed through the prism of the Red Scare. Even setting aside writer Carl Foreman »
- Kate Kulzick
Back from the Governor's Mansion in Sacramento to the daily grind of Hollywood, Arnold Schwarzenegger is not only in an action movie that might have been designed for Clint Eastwood, he's also as slimmed-down, craggy-faced and ill-coiffed as his fellow Republican politician. Under the expert direction of Kim Jee-woon (this is the Korean film-maker's English-language film debut), Arnie plays former top La cop Ray Owens, now in semi-retirement as a small-town Arizona sheriff on the Mexican border. What starts out as a cop movie turns into a western when a third-generation drug kingpin escapes from the Feds in Las Vegas and heads south to the border, where a gang led by Peter Stormare are installing a bridge to facilitate his return to Mexico.
There's an allegory lurking here. The FBI are led by decent-minded African American Forest Whitaker who doesn't trust the local sheriff, and when things go pear-shaped, the »
- Philip French
As drug lord Gabriel Cortez (Edward Noriega) races towards the Mexican border after a daring escape from the FBI, Sheriff Owens (Arnie) realises only he and a ragtag bunch of deputies in his sleepy border town can stop the villain from finding his freedom. The Fast And The Furious meets Rio Bravo as Schwarzenegger's Western-esque return to the big screen goes down in a hail of bullets, fast cars and Arnie quips. »
The director's consummate revival of the spaghetti western journeys deep into America's unpalatable past
The Italian western appeared in the mid-1960s, its aim both to compensate for the reduced number of American westerns and their lack of action. Shot in Spain by directors usually adopting American pseudonyms, they rapidly became known for ultra-violence, sadism, operatic staging, sharp colours, enormous close-ups and emphatic music. In the dubbed and heavily cut versions that reached the English-speaking world they had a crude quality that offended the few critics who saw them.
They did, however, have a vigour and a broad Marxist thrust in their attitude towards capitalism and third world exploitation. They made a considerable impact on the Hollywood western in its last days (especially on those featuring Clint Eastwood, the only American actor to become a star through working in Italy), though the name of only one Italian director, Sergio Leone, »
- Philip French
Feature Paul Martinovic Jan 18, 2013
Howard Hawks, one of the most successful Western directors of all time and a key influence on Sergio Leone, once said a great movie can be defined as one with "three great scenes, and no bad ones." There can be few directors who understood the power of great scenes quite as strongly as Leone, the director of the Dollars trilogy and de facto godfather of the spaghetti western.
Some might argue his emphasis on great individual moments was to his detriment, as the MacGuffin-laden plots of his films seem to exist mainly as devices on which he can hang his elaborate setpieces, and were subsequently labeled as exercises in pure style. While the artistic and intellectual merits of the three films are up for debate, »
This is the action superstar's first leading role in a decade, having left acting to serve as the governor of California and whatnot, and while it may not have occurred to you to miss him during that time, it's still surprisingly good to see him on the big screen again.
He is not exactly pushing himself here. Korean director Kim Jee-woon's American filmmaking debut turns out to be an extremely Schwarzeneggerish Schwarzenegger film, full of big, violent set pieces and broad comedy. He may look a little creaky (and facially freaky) these days, but Arnold proves he's still game for the mayhem as he fires off rounds and tosses off one-liners, and the movie at least has the decency to acknowledge that it knows that you know that he's old.
The script also feels »
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