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9 items from 2012

Train Wrecks: My Favorite Stinkers

24 November 2012 1:12 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

As he has before, Edgar Chaput has inspired me with one of his pieces, this one – part of Sos’s recent Bond Fest — concerning the loopy 1967 Casino Royale. As I commented on Edgar’s piece, I didn’t disagree that Royale was a royal mess after having passed through the hands of one director after another (and one screenwriter after another as well). Mess though it was, however, I found it – as I wrote – a “fascinating mess.” Maybe that’s just a holdover from seeing it as a 12-year-old when so much about the movie seemed so dizzyingly novel at the time: it’s casual sexuality, bawdy humor, wink-to-the-audience jokes, hallucinogenic visuals, Burt Bacharach’s poptastic score. In a way, the fact that the movie didn’t make much sense and caromed from one directorial style to another only added to the sensory overload it unloaded on a pre-adolescent.

What »

- Bill Mesce

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Brian Helgeland: Screenwriters’ Lecture Series With BAFTA & The BFI

7 November 2012 4:00 AM, PST | The Hollywood News | See recent The Hollywood News news »

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and BFI (British Film Institute) have recently been celebrating screenwriters contribution to a film’s vision with a series of lectures and talks at the headquarters of BAFTA and, of course, the BFI Southbank.

This series has been designed to give a platform to the world’s top screenwriters, as they explore their creative processes, an opportunity to share their insights with an audience of film-lovers and their peers. We wanted to share with Thn readers, the recent talk with Brian Helgeland, the screenwriter behind La Confidential, Man On Fire, Mystic River and The Taking Of Pelham 1,2,3. Helgeland also wrote and directed the noir-thriller Payback, starring Mel Gibson. We’ve picked out some great thoughts, tips and creative insight from Brian at his recent talk and first up, he spoke of his feelings on the film-making process and where he places »

- Dan Bullock

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The White Buffalo – The DVD Review

16 September 2012 7:34 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

In 1976 Italian movie mogul Dino De Laurentiis unleashed his heavily promoted King Kong to eager audiences. Though a modest success, the remake was trashed by critics and, especially in light of Peter Jackson’s 2005 version, has aged horribly. The next year De Laurentiis released another monster movie, The White Buffalo which critics pounced on as well and this time, even though it starred box-office champ Charles Bronson, audiences stayed away. But the years have been much kinder to The White Buffalo, a weird, offbeat western/monster hybrid that uses real historical figures for a unique riff on Moby Dick. It’s an unusual movie, ripe for rediscovery. I had written about it a couple of years ago in my Not available on DVD column and it’s now available as part of the MGM Limited Edition Collection

In the 1870′s, aging gunfighter Wild Bill Hickok (Charles Bronson) is haunted by »

- Tom Stockman

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Breaking the Bank: Six of Hollywood’s Lost Old-School Epics

28 June 2012 8:36 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »


For moviegoers growing up in the last 20-30 years, big is the new normal.  I’m talking about those big-budget, over-produced, effects/action-packed extravaganzas that are as expected and routine an arrival as a commuter bus, and never more so than during the summer months.  Come a rise in temperatures, there’s an almost ceaseless parade of these megabuck behemoths through multiplexes starting in May and continuing until the kids go back to school, one rolling out almost every week.

Consider these May-August releases and their eye-popping price tags:

5/4:  Marvel’s The Avengers — $220 million

5/11:  Dark Shadows —  $150 million

5/18:  Battleship — $209 million

5/25:  Men in Black 3 — $250 million

6/8:  Prometheus — $120-130 million

7/3:  The Amazing Spider-Man — $220 million

7/20:  The Dark Knight Rises — $250 million

7/31:  Total Recall — $200 million

8/5:  The Expendables 2 — $100 million

For those of you who haven’t been keeping count, that’s a little over $1.7 billion in productions »

- Bill Mesce

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Movie Alert! TCM Memorial Day War Movie Marathon

27 May 2012 3:19 PM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »


Lee Marvin in The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Tomorrow, Turner Classic Movies (North America) will present back-to-back showings of some of the greatest war movies ever made in honor of Memorial day. Films include John Wayne's The Green Berets, The Guns of Navarone, The Great Escape, The Dirty Dozen, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Where Eagles Dare and Kelly's Heroes. Check your cable listings for times.  »

- (Cinema Retro)

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Supporting Actors: The Overlooked and Underrated (part 1 of 5)

23 May 2012 12:39 AM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

With the Academy Awards for the 2011 film year in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take a look at one of the event’s most consistently fascinating categories: Best Supporting Actor. The most interesting story in the category this year isn’t who got nominated, it’s who didn’t. More specifically, Albert Brooks was completely robbed of a nomination for his performance as film producer turned lethal gangster Bernie Rose in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive.

As much as I’d like to say I was surprised by this, considering both the quality of performance and Brooks’ slew of nominations from other critical circles, in light of the Academy’s history of overlooking outstanding supporting performances, I simply can’t.

Following is a chronological look at a number of performances richly deserving of a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination.

In some cases, the performances are in films »

- Terek Puckett

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Soundtrack Reviews: Dutton Vocalion Releases "Warning Shot" And "Big War Themes" On CD

19 April 2012 3:18 AM, PDT | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

Warning Shot and other themes composed by Jerry Goldsmith - Si Zentner

Dutton Vocalion is a company whose soundtracks feature regularly in our printed version of Cinema Retro. Just missing the deadline on this occasion are two superb debut releases, one of which includes Jerry Goldsmith’s excellent score (performed by Si Zentner) for Warning Shot (1967). Originally released on LP (Lst 7498), Vocalion’s new CD (Cdlk 4470) has smartly doubled up the release to include Si Zentner’s 1964 album From Russia With Love (originally released LP Lst 7353). Warning Shot is a relatively short score, but as with the original album, it includes some great interpretations of Goldsmith favourites such as the Von Ryan march, The Prize, A Patch of Blue and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. Warning Shot is a film that generally tends to slip under the radar. However, it’s a neat little thriller starring the ever reliable David Janssen »

- (Cinema Retro)

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DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards: Odd Men Out Jules Dassin, Federico Fellini, Arthur Penn

9 January 2012 8:29 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Eiji Okada, Emmanuelle Riva in DGA (but not Oscar) nominee Alain Resnais' Hiroshima, mon amour (top); Melina Mercouri, Jules Dassin in Dassin's Oscar- (but not DGA-) nominated Never on Sunday (bottom) DGA Awards vs. Academy Awards 1953-1959: Odd Men Out Jack Clayton, David Lean, Stanley Donen 1960 DGA (14)Vincente Minnelli, Bells Are RingingWalter Lang, Can-CanDelbert Mann, The Dark at the Top of the StairsRichard Brooks, Elmer GantryAlain Resnais, Hiroshima, mon amourVincente Minnelli, Home from the HillCarol Reed, Our Man in HavanaCharles Walters, Please Don't Eat the DaisiesLewis Gilbert, Sink the Bismarck!Vincent J. Donehue, Sunrise at Campobello AMPASJules Dassin, Never on Sunday DGA/AMPASBilly Wilder, The ApartmentJack Cardiff, Sons and LoversAlfred Hitchcock, PsychoFred Zinnemann, The Sundowners   1961 DGA (21)Robert Stevenson, The Absent Minded ProfessorBlake Edwards, Breakfast at Tiffany'sWilliam Wyler, The Children's HourAnthony Mann, El CidJoshua Logan, FannyHenry Koster, Flower Drum SongRobert Mulligan, The Great ImpostorPhilip Leacock, Hand in HandJack Clayton, »

- Andre Soares

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DVD Release: The Corsican Brothers

9 January 2012 7:49 PM, PST | Disc Dish | See recent Disc Dish news »

DVD Release Date: April 3, 2012

Price: DVD $19.95

Studio: Hen’s Tooth

Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. let's his sword do the talking in The Corsican Brothers.

The 1941 action-adventure film The Corsican Brothers, adapted from the 1844 novella by Alexandre Dumas, stars the incomparable Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. (The Mark of Zorro).

Hen’s Tooth’s DVD release marks the first time the Gregory Ratoff-directed movie has ever been issued on disc.

There’s plenty of swordplay and swashbuckling adventure in Dumas’ tale of identical twins Lucien and Mario, separated as infants, and raised unaware of each other’s existence. One becomes a Parisian gentleman, the other a country bandit.

When they are reunited as adults (both played by Fairbanks), they seek revenge on the evil Baron (Akim Tamiroff) who plundered their homestead and robbed them of their birthright. Complications arise when both fall in love with the same beautiful Countess (Ruth Warrick, Citizen Kane »

- Laurence

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