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After the Holidays everyone likely has some Christmas money, gift cards or maybe you want to make an exchange. We have you covered with the new releases on Blu-ray and Netflix for the week of December 28th!
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Stephanie (Amber Heard) and Ellie’s (Odette Yustman) vacation to an exotic village in Argentina is a perfect ‘girl’s getaway’ to bask in the sun, shop and flirt with the handsome locals. After a long night of bar-hopping, the girls get into an argument, and Stephanie heads out alone in the morning to cool off. But when she returns, Ellie has disappeared. Finding signs of a struggle, Stephanie fears the worst, and turns to the police for help. But the local authorities have their hands full already - with a string of unsolved kidnappings targeting young female tourists. Skeptical of the sheriff’s competency, »
We've seen an announcement clip  and a teaser trailer  for Gore Verbinski's animated film Rango, which features Johnny Depp voicing a strange little chameleon lost in the desert of the American southwest. Now there's a full trailer, and you can see it after the break. I'm still on board with this one. I liked the teaser and I like this trailer quite a bit. The designs look great, the dusty desert setting is gorgeous (and more than a bit reminiscent of Leone Westerns like Once Upon a Time in the West), and the sense of pacing and humor that made the first Pirates of the Caribbean work so well appears to be at work here. (It also reminds me a bit of the Oddworld game Stranger's Wrath.) I doubt Rango will be any sort of classic, but it looks like a good way to pass an afternoon. Watch the trailer below, »
- Russ Fischer
The Walking Dead ends in the UK, the original Wallander is on, Dirk Gently arrives, and there are lots of films to look forward to as well...
As many of our favourite shows finish or break for the winter and holiday hiatus, we reach the short lull before the madness of Christmas scheduling.
But there's still lots of great telly to be found in the upcoming week and we give you the highlights of the next seven days' worth of televisual delights and curiosities.
Tonight, Friday, December 10th, The Walking Dead finale airs at 10:00pm on FX. Entitled Ts-19, the episode begins with our group of survivors finally reaching what appears to be a zombie-free haven. But that would be too easy, wouldn't it? It was far too short a series with far too long to wait until it starts again, but have a look and see if you »
There's a scene in The American where George Clooney's character, named Jack, Edward, Butterfly and Farfalla, depending on the circumstances, spends an evening in a cheap Italian café where Once Upon A Time In The West is playing on TV in the background.
It's a pertinent moment, a glimpse of a stone-cold classic motion picture in what I feel is a stone-cold classic motion picture. I'd rate both movies as being perfect masterpieces, but the convergence of the two feels very appropriate for other reasons.
They're vastly different movies, of course, but there are striking parallels. At the most fundamental level they both focus on haunted individuals who have 'something to do with death'.
With his spaghetti westerns Sergio Leone, a foreign outside eye, »
The good folks at DenofGeek.com have put together a nifty list of great opening sequences in movies. Between Citizen Kane, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Once Upon a Time in the West, they’ve definitely got their bases covered. However, looking at their list made me wonder about a slightly more debased subsection of film history: Movies that start off with a great scene…and then get really bad, really fast. And I’m not just talking, like, a bad Bond movie with a good pre-credits sequence, either. I’m talking about opening scenes that literally seem to come out of a smarter, »
- Darren Franich
Raiders. Manhattan. Suspiria. Jeff looks back at ten of the most distinctive, unforgettable opening sequences in cinema’s history…
In fishing terminology, it’s the hook. In literature, the prologue. In teacher lingo, the ‘mental set.’ Call it what you will, movies also have methods to lure in audiences within the first several minutes.
Some of these set pieces are so meticulously orchestrated and satisfying in and of themselves that they even threaten to outweigh the rest of their respective flicks. Here are ten classic opening sequences you shouldn’t be without.
Did we miss one? Then add your own in the comments below!
The Indy series is more or less Steven Spielberg’s attempt to one-up James Bond (directorially speaking), with each of the movies aping 007’s opening set pieces, while not being explicitly tied to the main narrative.
Temple Of Doom probably wins »
The most underrated segment of the Back To The Future trilogy really deserves a lot more love, argues Simon…
I don't think I'm going out on much of a limb by saying that, in general, Back To The Future Part III is the least popular film of the trilogy.
Personally, I've never thought that particularly fair, for reasons I'm going to come to, but I don't feel in the majority on this one. And there are two reasons, I've concluded, why most people haven't quite warmed to it in the manner they have the other films in the series.
The first, and I suspect this is the biggie, is the setting. There's a reason that movie studios don't make westerns, as a rule, any more, and that's because people don't tend to go and see them. Sure, the odd one every year or so can pull in $50m at the Us box office, »
Just the list, no snazzy extras? You've come to the right place
1) Apocalyse Now
6) City of God
8) Wages of Fear
9) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
14) Die Hard
16) The Searchers
18) The Last of the Mohicans
20) The Deer Hunter
22) Rome, Open City
25) The Incredibles
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News & Media Limited 2010 | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds »
The American, Anton Corbijn's second feature, stars George Clooney in perhaps his least Clooney-esque appearance yet, as a gunsmith struggling to leave his murky past behind. An undeniable screen presence, the typical Clooney acting tics are left largely behind in his bleakest and possibly most affecting performance to date.
When Jack's attempt at a life outside crime in a peaceful Sweden retreat is abruptly terminated, he heads to the picturesque Italian village of Castel Del Monte to hide out. Once there, he accepts one last job to supply a mysterious female assassin, Mathilde (Thekla Reuten), with a custom-made weapon. Meanwhile, questioning his own empty existence he reluctantly strikes up relationships with Clara (Violante Placido), a local prostitute, and the friendly town priest (Paolo Bonacelli). Struggling to fight an ingrained sense of distrust, and constantly at pains to avoid detection, Jack's existential dilemmas form the core of Corbijn's stark and gripping movie. »
Alfred Hitchcock, 1958
The rehabilitation of Hitchcock's Vertigo is now fully complete – its reputation is as assured as that of Citizen Kane, and can only have been helped by a long period in which it was out of circulation – but what an oddity it is. Viewed as a conventional thriller, this adaption of Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac's 1954 novel, Sueurs Froides (D'Entre les Morts), is hardly the tightest of constructions. And there is also the notorious left-field touch of giving away the twist some distance before the end. But then, plot matters far less in Vertigo than the machinations of desire and obsession – and about those there is no finer film.
James Stewart plays Scottie, an acrophobic private eye who receives an unusual assignment: to follow Madeleine (Kim Novak), the wife of an old friend, who is drifting around San Francisco in a dazed funk. She seems to be under »
- Ryan Gilbey
It seems like a few months ago, I was praying to the Movie Gods and the scheduling Gods to work out in Kathryn Bigelow’s favor and allow Will Smith to co-star in her next film. Triple Frontier or Sleeping Dogs as it’s known in some circles is a tough sell, much like Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker, but if the film stars actors that a majority of the world enjoys, then people will watch it. Hopefully.
Earlier this week, Heat Vision reported that America’s favorite Tom Hanks was interested in starring in the dark ensemble drama and yesterday, Deadline reported that another one of America’s favorite stars, Johnny Depp was interested in joining the picture. Wow, what a cast!
Well, hopefully. Fingers crossed. I mean, the Movie Gods owe it to us. We suffered from this lackluster film year and we deserve a cinematic mint on »
- Douglas Reinhardt
Sauil Bass's credit sequence for The Man With the Golden Arm was carried into the film's publicity, prefiguring today's corporate identity approach
In Enter the Void, Gaspar Noé shows us things we've never seen before, beginning with opening credits of a rare intensity: big throbbing letters in English and Japanese, pulsating so rapidly they're almost reduced to a stream of subliminal imagery. It's dazzlingly modern and in-your-face, even though it's essentially just a bunch of different typefaces. Noé has taken an intrinsically old-fashioned approach to credits and given it the ultimate makeover.
A lot of today's movies (particularly the more self-important "event" releases) dispense with opening credits altogether, which is a shame, because there's nothing like an exhilarating launchpad to give a film lift-off. Until the 1950s, the usual method was to present names and titles on cards, or against an unmoving backdrop, though prestige productions sometimes tinkered with the »
- Anne Billson
Jonah Hex may have been widely slated, but James found himself enjoying it. Are film critics, James wonders, just too harsh and cynical these days?
Once upon a time in the West (if Louisiana qualifies as the West), good men, bad men and very ugly men trembled anxiously as a nation headed into its centenary under the looming clouds of a great menace.
That menace - a 'terrorista' according to the Mexicans - had weapons of mass destruction, a touch of sophisticated thespian camp and hordes of unquestioning henchmen hellbent on destroying America. The man's name: Malkovich.
Actually, his name was Quentin Turnbull but he's played by John "Malkovich!" Malkovich and, unfortunately, every time I see him the first thing to come into my head is "Malkovich Malkovich Malkovich".
President Grant calls upon scarred and haunted bounty hunter Jonah Hex to deal with the man who wants to mark the »
We celebrate the varied work of Ennio Morricone, whose compositions have appeared in a range of classic films...
Ennio Morricone is one of the most prolific, successful and respected composers of all time and has contributed a number of scores that are undeniable classics. With the recent release of Sergio Leone's spaghetti western trilogy on Blu-ray, I thought now would be a good time to look at some of Morricone's finest work to date.
Whilst the 1997 remake of Lolita doesn't compare favourably to Kubrick's excellent 1962 adaptation, Morricone's score far exceeds the quality of the originals. His work here is often overlooked, which is a great shame as it presents a highlight in his back catalogue.
The music throughout is outstanding, with Morricone utilising delicate melodic flourishes to put across the obsessive nature of the film's central protagonist.
The accompanying soundtrack sees Morricone's work broken up with pop songs, »
George Clooney plays the title role as The American, a superb suspense thriller from Danish director Anton Corbijn. As a lone-wolf hit man, Jack (Clooney) is always on the move and constantly looking over his shoulder. The story begins seemingly mid-plot, after an assignment in Sweden goes violently wrong and Jack retreats to the Italian countryside where he holds up in a small town. While there, he’s given his next assignment: build a sniper rifle for mysterious fellow killer Mathilde (Thekla Reuten). Appreciating the relaxing quietude he finds in the Abruzzese Mountains, Jack befriends wise local priest Father Benedetto (Paolo Bonacelli) and begins a relationship with the beautiful prostitute Clara (Violante Placido). Their time together develops into a real romance, but by stepping out of hiding Jack finds dark forces after him and he’s unsure who to trust.
The ‘hit-man redeemed by the hooker with »
- Movie Geeks
Aka Un Balcon sur la Mere, this atmospheric thriller will feature a crazy mystery and murder most foul.
Actress-turned-director Nicole Garcia (Place Vendôme, The Adversary) directs classic actress Claudia Cardinale (Fitzcarraldo, Once Upon a Time in the West) Jean Dujardin (Oss 117), Tony Servillo, Sandrine Kiberlain and Cannes Best Actress Award-winner Marie-Jose Croze (The Barbarian Invasions, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) in this atmospheric thriller that cuts between Oran at the end of the Algerian War and southern France in the first days of Mitterrand's presidency, between the search for lost love and the unraveling of a property scam, between past longings and present desires.
Happily married with a daughter, Marc is a successful real estate agent in Aix-en-Provence. One day, he has an appointment with a woman to view a traditional country house. A few hours later, Marc finally puts a name to her face. It's Cathy, the girl »
Article by Dana Jung
Decades before there was ‘J-Lo’. or ‘LiLo’, we had ‘La Lollo’,. one of the most beautiful actresses ever to grace movie screens, Gina Lollobrigida. Along with Sophia Loren, Elsa Martinelli, Monica Vitti, and others during the new wave. of Italian and European cinema, she gained fame as an international sex star in the 1950’s and 60s in low-budget Italian films with racy titles such as Fast & Sexy and Go Naked In The World. But when Loren won her Oscar for Two Women, Lollobrigida was already 35 years old, way beyond starlet status. In 1968 (ironically the same year her compatriot actresses Claudia Cardinale & Luciana Paluzzi respectively starred in the cult classics Once Upon A Time In The West and The Green Slime), Gina made probably her best Hollywood film, Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell, which is sadly not available on DVD.
A pleasant mash-up of Hollywood screwball comedy and Italian sex farce, »
- Tom Stockman
Many things can make a great opening scene. A film can open with a shock, a fast paced action sequence, a gripping voice-over, a moment of comedy or so many other possibilities. Opening scenes can help define your experience with a film and the best opening scenes can pin you to your seat excited about what the next two hours may bring. In a new and occasional feature the writers at HeyUGuys will select some of their favourite opening sequences and talk about why they love them so much. We’d also love you to get involved so feel free to leave comments or contact us in all the usual ways to let us know what your favourites are. Second up is one of my personal favourites.
I initially went for the incredible opening to Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds mainly because it was so fresh in my mind and »
- Gary Phillips
Director Matthew Vaughn (Kick Ass) said in a recent interview in the Los Angeles Times that one of the main reasons he agreed to direct the next generation of X-Men films, X- Men: First Class, set to be released next year, is because the superhero genre is on its way out, and he wanted a chance to direct one big budget, superhero film before it was too late.
As he stated in the interview:
I think we’ve kind of crossed the Rubicon with superhero films. It’s been mined to death and in some cases the quality control is not what it’s supposed to be. People are just going to get bored of it. I think [the opportunity to do one], it’s only going to be there two or three more times. Then, the genre is going to be dead for a while because the audience has just been pummeled too much. »
Woody Strode in John Ford‘s Sergeant Rutledge I’m not at all familiar with Woody Strode‘s film career. I believe that most people aren’t either. And that is an excellent reason to check out Turner Classic Movies‘ Woody Strode Day this Thursday, August 5, as part of TCM’s "Summer Under the Stars" series. I’ve seen only two of TCM’s twelve movies featuring Strode: John Ford‘s swan song, the much-panned 7 Women (1966), and Sergio Leone‘s Once Upon a Time in the West (1968). I actually enjoyed 7 Women, which features a great cast including Anne Bancroft (replacing ailing Patricia Neal), Margaret Leighton, Betty Field, Mildred Dunnock, Anna Lee and Flora Robson. The widely revered Once Upon a Time in the West has never been one of my favorite Westerns, but it does have my all-time favorite movie theme music, courtesy of the masterful Ennio Morricone. And I »
- Andre Soares
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