2 items from 2015
By Lee Pfeiffer
I have seen virtually every James Bond clone released by major studios during the 1960s but "Assignment K" had eluded me until it was released as a burn-to-order title by the Sony Choice Collection. I was expecting another low-brow effort done on a small budget and perhaps affording some guilty pleasures throughout. However, "Assignment K" was a pleasant surprise. It's an intelligently written, well-acted espionage yarn that goes to some lengths to avoid Bondisms in favor of a realistic scenario populated by realistic characters. The film was directed by the woefully under-rated Val Guest, whose talents were generally dismissed at the time as workmanlike competence but which today seem much more impressive. (Guest had some spy movie experience, having previously directed key segments of the multi-director farce "Casino Royale".)
Stephen Boyd stars as Philip Scott, a high-powered executive of a London-based toy company. When we first meet him, »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Even if “American Sniper” missed out on Golden Globe nominations, it still emerged as one of the big winners of the holiday season. Clint Eastwood’s drama about Navy Seal Chris Kyle has grossed a stellar $2.2 million since it opened in only four theaters on Christmas, and the Warner Bros. release expands on Jan. 16.
The Oscar best-actor race is especially overcrowded this year, but as ballots are due on Wednesday, voters should take a look — if they haven’t already — at Bradley Cooper’s career-best performance. It’s a transformation that had Kyle’s widow Taya in tears the first time she saw the film, and she’s been talking about how Cooper captured her husband’s essence. In the last few weeks, many actors, including Ben Affleck, Jane Fonda, Julia Roberts and Jonah Hill, have also been singing Cooper’s praises.
To play Kyle, Cooper spent six months working out 4.5 hours a day, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
2 items from 2015
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