19 items from 2016
“Purity Of Essence”
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb is such an iconic motion picture that most readers of Cinema Retro, I would bet, already own a copy of this brilliant keepsake of the 1960s on DVD or Blu-ray. The film has been released several times before, but now it gets the Criterion treatment. Believe me—fans of the movie and of director Stanley Kubrick will still want to get this edition. It is definitely an upgrade in quality and the disk also comes with a plethora of fascinating supplements and some terrific goodies in the packaging.
Unless you’ve haven’t been paying attention to the lists of Great Movies You Should See Before You Die, you know that Dr. Strangelove is the story of how an air force general (Sterling Hayden) goes “a little funny in the head. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
45 Years (Andrew Haigh)
Andrew Haigh’s third feature as a director, 45 Years, is an excellent companion piece to its 2011 predecessor, Weekend. The latter examined the inception of a potential relationship between two men over the course of a weekend, whereas its successor considers the opposite extreme. Again sticking to a tight timeframe, the film chronicles the six days leading up to a couple’s 45th wedding anniversary. »
- The Film Stage
Undisputed Fact: Roger Corman is the greatest B picture producer of all time. His ability to find (and exploit, if we’re being honest) amazing talent and pull together movie miracles on miniscule budgets is nothing short of astonishing. However, it’s often downplayed what a smart, succinct director he was on many a project. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) is a stellar example of his talent behind the lens.
Released by Aip in September, X turned a tidy profit on top of its $250,000 budget. Critics were generally kind, but dismissive, calling X well made hokum, essentially. And due to its meager fundage X certainly shows its pedigree through petty set design. But…there’s a kinetic buzz that permeates every frame of X, a swirling colorgasm that bleeds through with Corman’s gift for storytelling. X rises from pulp to a lucid perfection.
Dr. Xavier (Ray Milland »
- Scott Drebit
Today in movie related history...
1907 Cracking Rosalind Russell is born. Stars in many classics including: His Girl Friday, Gypsy, and Auntie Mame and is nominated for 4 Best Actress Oscars. The only actresses that share her fate of 4 Best Actress nominations w/out a win: Greta Garbo, Marsha Mason, and Barbara Stanwyck. Of the four only Marsha Mason didn't receive an Honorary later on.
1913 Suffragette Emily Davison runs onto the track at the Epson Derby and is trampled by King George V's horse. It's a huge turning point in the court of public opinion and the suffragette movement. It was reenacted in last year's Suffragette.
- NATHANIEL R
Legendary director Stanley Kubrick was planning his first children’s film and his first second world war movie shortly before his death in 1999, his friend and former assistant has revealed.
Emilio D’Alessandro, Kubrick’s trusted personal assistant and friend for more than 30 years, told the Guardian that the director wanted to tell the story of Pinocchio and to shoot a movie about Monte Cassino, one of the most bitter and bloody battles of the second world war.
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- Dalya Alberge
Not funny enough, or too hip for the house? I found the Coen Bros.' send-up of old-fashioned movie madness good fun, with some great new actors. If you like droll comedy combined with spot-on recreations of old movie genres, this show can't lose. And there has to be somebody out there who wants to see George Clooney in a skirt. Hail, Caesar! Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Universal Pictures Home Entertainment 2016 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 106 min. / Street Date June 7, 2016 / 34.98 Starring Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich, Ralph Fiennes, Jonah Hill, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Channing Tatum, Veronica Osorio, Heather Goldenhersh, Max Baker, Clancy Brown, Fisher Stevens, Patick Fischler, Robert Picardo, Christopher Lambert, Robert Trebor, Michael Gambon (voice), Dolph Lundgren. Cinematography Roger Deakins Film Editors Ethan and Joel Coen Original Music Carter Burwell Produced by Tim Bevan, Ethan and Joel Coen, Eric Fellner Written and Directed by Ethan and Joel Coen »
- Glenn Erickson
"This land is mine, God made this land for me." Those are just song lyrics, while Otto Preminger's politically daring 70mm mega-production is a lot more subtle in its presentation of the 'Palestinian problem' that led to the formation of the State of Israel. It's a bit ponderous, but Dalton Trumbo's screenplay avoids the pitfalls -- 56 years later, the story is still relevant. Exodus Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1960 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 208 min. / Ship Date March 15, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Ralph Richardson, Peter Lawford, Lee J. Cobb, Sal Mineo, John Derek, David Opatoshu, Jill Haworth, Hugh Griffith, Gregory Ratoff, Felix Aylmer, Marius Goring, Alexandra Stewart, Martin Benson, Paul Stevens, George Maharis, John Crawford, Victor Maddern, Paul Stassino, John Van Eyssen Cinematography Sam Leavitt Art Direction Richard Day Film Editor Louis R. Loeffler Original Music Ernest Gold Written by Dalton Trumbo from »
- Glenn Erickson
Summer still feels distant, but today, The Criterion Collection is hastening its arrival by unleashing their massive June slate. So get ready to spend your summer job money on these releases. The biggie of the bunch is Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." It's the director's fourth entry in the collection following "Spartacus," "The Killing," and "Paths Of Glory," and it's coming in a new 4K restoration, with extras including documentaries, new and archival interviews, and more. Kubrick heads will want to jump on this one. Another titan of cinema adds a title Criterion as well, with Michelangelo Antonioni's "Le Amiche" getting the wacky C stamp. It's mostly a bare bones release, save for a couple of interviews and conversations, but just having the newly restored movie will soften the blow. Oh, sorry, there's yet another big name on the June slate: Jean Renoir. »
- Kevin Jagernauth
Oscar-winning actor George Kennedy has passed away at his home in Boise, Idaho on Sunday, aged 91.
Born into a show business family in 1925, Kennedy began his career in 1960 with an uncredited role in Spartacus, and made a host of movie and TV appearances in the early 60s before winning a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role in 1967’s Cool Hand Luke.
Following his Oscar success, Kennedy went on to appear in the likes of The Boston Strangler, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Airport, Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and Death on the Nile. In 1988, he took on the role of Captain Ed Hocken alongside Leslie Nielsen in The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!, returning for both sequels. His last big screen appearance came in 2014 with a role in The Gambler alongside Mark Wahlberg.
- Gary Collinson
Star of both the big and small screen, George Kennedy has died. The actor passed away at the age of 91. It was reported by the Oscar-winning actor's grandson that Kennedy had been in failing health since the death of his wife over a year ago. He is best known for his role on the hit TV series Dallas and turns in such iconic movies as Cool Hand Luke and Airport.
The actor won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his role as prison warden Dragline in Cool Hand Luke. He died this past Sunday in Boise, Idaho. Grandson Cory Schenkel told TMZ that the actor had been in hospice care this entire past month. Though, an exact cause of death was not immediately stated.
It's another Q & A. Ask it and it shall be er... might be answered. When I started typing this week I couldn't stop and before I know it there were thousands and thousands of words. So that takes care of two Q&As .
Here's the first half of the mad scribblings typings then.
Nathaniel: Oh this is a tough one since those people were Oscared for breathing. Okay. Let's take them in reverse order of preference as actors...
Sir Laurence Olivier. Weirdly I was just watching As You Like It (1936) just the other day. I wasn't all that impressed though he definitely had an easier time with the material and the medium than the other stagebound performers. I have seen several of his non-nominated films, »
- NATHANIEL R
Richard Fleischer's Viking saga is a great star showcase: for the grinning one-eyed Kirk Douglas, sullen one-handed Tony Curtis and the heavy-breathing, two-breasted Janet Leigh. Jack Cardiff gives us the fjords of Norway, lean and mean Viking ships, and a brain-bashing acrobatic castle assault designed to out-do Burt Lancaster. With Ernest Borgnine ("Ohhh-dinnnn!!"), James Donald and Alexander Knox. And as the old song goes, it don't mean a thing if it ain't got Frank Thring. The Vikings Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1958 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 114 min. / Street Date March 8, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, Janet Leigh, James Donald, Alexander Knox, Maxine Audley, Frank Thring. Cinematography Jack Cardiff Production Designer Harper Goff Film Editor Hugo Williams Original Music Mario Nascimbene Written by Calder Willingham adapted by Dale Wasserman from a novel by Edison Marshall Produced by Jerry Bresler Directed by Richard Fleischer
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson »
- Glenn Erickson
Ray guns! Space armadas! Storm troopers! Toei's manga became a pricey 3-D animated motion capture epic just three years ago, but was denied a release stateside. This collector's disc set gives us rude 'n' raucous space battles, along with a pirate's bounty of original Japanese extras. Don't worry, the 3-D visuals are excellent. Harlock: Space Pirate 3-D 3-D + 2-D Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 2013 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 115 (Japanese) 111 (International) min. / Kyaputen Harokku / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 34.95 Original Music Tetsuya Takahashi Written by Harutoshi Fukui, Kiyoto Tareuchi from the manga by Leiji Matsuimoto Produced by Joseph Chou, Yoshi Ikezawa, Rei Kudo (Toei Animation) Directed by Shinji Aramaki
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Suppose they had a space war and nobody came? Toei Animation's 3-D extravaganza Harlock: Space Pirate 3-D was prepped and primed to take the world by storm, but like too many foreign super-productions it didn't even get a U. »
- Glenn Erickson
Xan Brooks, Henry Barnes and Peter Bradshaw review Trumbo, a biopic about the 1950s screenwriter, Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted by Hollywood for his communist beliefs. The film, which stars Bryan Cranston as the writer of Roman Holiday and Spartacus, follows Trumbo through his 11-month imprisonment and subsequent vindication, which was spurred in part by Spatacus star Kirk Douglas. Trumbo, which also stars Helen Mirren and Elle Fanning, is release in the UK on 5 February
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- Xan Brooks, Henry Barnes, Peter Bradshaw, Dan Susman, Adam Sich and Joan Portillo
Most of Stanley Kubrick’s more revered and well-known flicks haven't received The Criterion Collection treatment. Only a handful of his early efforts have received the brand’s refurbishing and restoration (among them “Paths of Glory,” “Spartacus,” and “The Killing”). However, fans of Kubrick’s — as well as committed savants of outdated A/V analog technology — may remember that his magnum opus, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” did once upon a time get the Criterion treatment… on Laserdisc. Well, Kubrick nerds, your day has come. What we have here is a juicy bit of behind the scenes goodness that will appease any die-hard fan of the director, one that’s ripped straight from the Extras section of the film’s Laserdisc release. Read More: Watch: 75-Minute Video Essay Breaks Down The Making Of Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey' The video begins with the ever-magisterial Arthur C. Clarke, author of the source material, »
- Nicholas Laskin
Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow and Richard Harris bring James Michener's true saga to life -- but it's the story of the destruction of paradise. A huge success just the same, producer Walter Mirisch's film testifies to the skill with which he brought together big talent for a show that doesn't compromise with a happy-happy historical revision. Hawaii Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1966 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 161 min. / Ship Date January 19, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Julie Andrews, Max von Sydow, Richard Harris, Gene Hackman, Carroll O'Connor, Jocelyne Lagarde, Manu Tupou, Ted Nobriga, Elizabeth Logue. Cinematography Russell Harlan Production Designer Cary Odell Art Direction James W. Sullivan Film Editor Stuart Gilmore Original Music Elmer Bernstein Written by Dalton Trumbo, Daniel Taradash from the novel by James Michener Produced by Walter Mirisch Directed by George Roy Hill
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
Well, fans of James Michener that missed the »
- Glenn Erickson
Sara Hemrajani on Hollywood’s love affair with its Golden Age…
Since there’s no business like show business, it’s unsurprising that one of Hollywood’s favourite topics is itself. The recent wave of award nominations for Trumbo, including a best actor Oscar nod for Bryan Cranston, is fresh evidence of the industry’s fascination with the so-called Golden Age.
In Trumbo, Cranston plays real-life writer Dalton Trumbo who was jailed and blacklisted for his ties to the American Communist Party. Despite the ban, Trumbo and his peers managed to flout the system using pseudonyms and support from eager filmmakers. He went on to write screenplays for classics such as Roman Holiday and Spartacus.
Following swiftly in its steps is Hail, Caesar!, the Coen brothers’ throwback to the glossy studio pictures of the 1940s. The trailer reveals characters reminiscent of Gene Kelly and Esther Williams, as well as producer »
- Sara Hemrajani
When Mitzi Trumbo was 15, she opened her front door to find one of Hollywood’s most famous actors standing outside. It was Kirk Douglas. A few days later, Laurence Olivier turned up. “He outstretched his hand for me to shake and the dog got in the way and he tripped over.”
Fifty-five years later, she still remembers how starstruck she felt. But besides the excitement, what Mitzi most recalls from those encounters was a feeling of frustration that she couldn’t brag about it to her high-school friends. Her father, Dalton Trumbo, was one of the most famous Hollywood screenwriters of his generation, both for his work (he wrote the Oscar-winning Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck, and several novels) and for his leftwing politics.
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- Elizabeth Day
Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been… ? | Jean-Luc Godard
The closing half of that title is “… a member of the Communist party?”, a question that could have presaged the end of your career and possibly your liberty in 1950s Hollywood. Now we can eat brunch over it, safe in the knowledge that a McCarthy-style witch hunt could never happen again – could it? In advance of Trumbo, a Bryan Cranston-led biopic on the Hollywood Ten writer (out 5 Feb), this season revisits those bad old days each Sunday this month. Proceedings begin tomorrow with sci-fi allegory Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, and continues with Clifford Odets’s lid-lifting Hollywood drama The Big Knife (Odets was one of those who cooperated with the committee) and Woody Allen-starring satire The Front (featuring cast and crew who actually were blacklisted), culminating in Spartacus, the film that literally restored Dalton Trumbo’s name. »
- Steve Rose
19 items from 2016
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