9 items from 2016
At last year’s Norwegian Intl. Film Festival in Haugesund, Norwegian veteran producer John M. Jacobsen completed the grand slam in Norwegian film: he was awarded two Amandas – Norway’s national film prize – for producing best Norwegian feature (“Børning,” directed by Hallvard Bræin, which also won the Audience Amanda, and best Norwegian children’s film (“Operation Arctic,” directed by Grethe Bøe-Waal).
A few months earlier he had received the national television award, Gullruten, for best TV drama, for his first miniseries, “The Heavy Water War,” which tells the story of the Allied effort to thwart Nazis from developing an atom bomb during World War II. In 1943, Operation Gunnarside successfully destroyed Norsk Hydro’s Vemork heavy water factory at Rjukan.
The $9.7 million Norwegian-Danish-uk co-production was directed by Per-Olav Sørensen and starred Christoph Bach, Dennis Storhøi, Maibritt Saerens and Espen Klouman Høiner; “The Heavy Water War” set a record of viewers for »
- Jorn Rossing Jensen
Bronson’s Loose Again!: On the Set with Charles Bronson is author Paul Talbot’s all-new companion volume to his acclaimed Bronson’s Loose!: The Making of the ‘Death Wish’ Films. His new book reveals more information on the Death Wish series and also details the complex histories behind eighteen other Charles Bronson movies. Documented herein are fascinating tales behind some of the finest Bronson films of the mid-1970s (including Hard Times and From Noon Till Three); his big-budget independent epics Love And Bullets and Cabo Blanco; his lesser-known, underrated dramas Borderline and Act Of Vengeance; his notorious sleaze/action Cannon Films classics of the 80s (including 10 To Midnight, Murphy’S Law and Kinjite: Forbidden Sunjects); the numerous unmade projects he was attached to; and his TV movies of the 90s (including The Sea Wolf). Exhaustively researched, the book features over three dozen exclusive, candid interviews including »
- Tom Stockman
In recognition of Memorial Day, Turner Classic Movies (North America) features a blockbuster string of classic films showing back-to-back on Monday. Consider this line-up: "55 Days at Peking" starring Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner and David Niven, , "The Great Escape" starring Steve McQueen, James Garner and Richard Attenborough, "The Guns of Navarone" starring Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn and David Niven, "Where Eagles Dare" starring Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood and "Kelly's Heroes" starring Clint Eastwood, Telly Savalas and Don Rickles. Things kick off at 11:30 Am (Est). »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
By Lee Pfeiffer
Sony has released Walter Hill's 1975 directorial debut, Hard Times, on on DVD through their Sony Choice Collection. Hill was an up-and-coming screenwriter with Peckinpah's The Getaway to his credit as well as solid thrillers like The Drowning Pool, The Mackintosh Man and Hickey and Boggs. There is no evidence in Hard Times that Hill was a novice behind the camera, either. This is one of my favorite films of the period, though many retro movie fans probably haven't seen it. The story is set in 1933. Chaney (Charles Bronson) is a middle-aged drifter who ends up crossing paths with Speed (James Coburn), a fast-talking promoter of "street fights" (no holds barred matches between local tough guys with no rules or regulations). Needing some quick cash, the soft-spoken, low-key Chaney forms a partnership with the mercurial Speed. In his first match, they win big when Chaney knocks the »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Our series on big-screen remakes continues with a cult horror film that kickstarted the illustrious career of Steve McQueen. This week, Cinelinx looks at The Blob (1958 vs. 1988). Come inside to see how these two films stack up.
The original version of The Blob was a low-budget monster film made for $110,000. The titular creature was originally supposed to be called The Molten Meteor Monster, which then was changed to The Mass, which turned into The Glob, and Finally The Blob. The film's tongue-in-cheek title song was written by Burt Bacharach and Mack David, which became a hit. The movie was directed by Irvin Yeaworth who specialized in directing motivational educational and religious films, so this was a departure for him. The film was a moderate success, grossing over $4 million, although the critics weren’t overly kind. It has a 67% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite its cheesiness, its reputation has grown over »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Rob Young)
Poised to reteam with Element Pictures following their collaboration for last year’s critical darling Room, director Lenny Abrahamson is attached to direct Wwi prisoner-of-war thriller, The Grand Escape.
That’s according to The Hollywood Reporter, revealing that Neal Bascomb’s eponymous novel has been tapped for a big-budget adaptation, telling the true story of three maverick pilots who find themselves locked up in a notorious German Pow prison. Still to hit store shelves, the author is currently penning The Winter Fortress ahead of its May release, though there’s no word of a writer that will help transition Bascomb’s taut Wwi thriller onto the silver screen.
What we do know at this early stage is that Ed Guiney and Andrew Lowe are on board to produce via Element Pictures, with the production banner expected to partner with Film4. As THR points out, Abrahamson’s feature will revolve around »
- Michael Briers
Later this month, my father will be in La, and Toshi is already asking me what movie he's going to get to watch with Grandaddy this time. As we covered in an earlier Film Nerd 2.0, my dad shared some John Wayne films with Toshi and Allen during a vacation to Big Bear a few years ago, and they both connect John Wayne to my father now, exactly the same way I did when I was their age. Today, my father turns 76 years old, and one of the things that I love about our relationship was the way he defined certain icons of cool for me because I saw what they meant to him. Steve McQueen, for example. I can't think of McQueen without thinking of my dad. On more than one occasion, I was able to get him to stop cold in his tracks simply by flipping past a cable »
- Drew McWeeny
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
Steven Spielberg's entertaining true life account of a chapter in the Cold War concerns a crucial negotiation by a brave attorney (Tom Hanks) who goes way out on a limb in East Berlin. Hopefully I'm not alone feeling the same 'narrative undertow' in the storytelling style -- the movie works, but it's also aggravating. Bridge of Spies Blu-ray + DVD + Digital HD Touchstone 2015 / Color / 2:40 widescreen / 141 min. / Street Date February 2, 2016 / 39.99 Starring Tom Hanks, Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Will Rogers, Austin Stowell, Mikhail Gorevoy, Sebastian Koch, Burghart Kalussner. Cinematography Janusz Kaminski Film Editor Michael Kahn Original Music Thomas Newman Written by Matt Charman, Ethan Coen & Joel Coen Produced by Kristie Macosko Krieger, Marc Platt, Steven Spielberg Directed by Steven Spielberg
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
- Glenn Erickson
9 items from 2016
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