7 items from 2013
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: Aug. 13, 2013
Price: Blu-ray $19.99
Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Though it maintains a reputation for being one of Hollywood’s premiere flops, writer/director Elaine May’s 1987 movie Ishtar has developed a notable cult reputation over the past decade. Hmmmmm. Maybe Sony’s been waiting for the rep to grow before releasing this baby…
The comedy film tells the story of two past-their-prime singer/songwriters (Dick Tracy‘s Warren Beatty and Little Big Man‘s Dustin Hoffman) who go to the Far East to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel, but end up in the middle of an international melee during a layover in the fictional Middle Eastern state of Ishtar. Enter a foreign government, the CIA and left-wing revolutionary rebels….
The PG-13 rated movie came in with a budget of around $51 million, making »
For this year’s April Fools’ gag we wanted to challenge you, dear reader, to a Where’s Waldo of movie references. Our resident webcomic artist Derek Bacon obliged with a view into our day-to-day operations at Fsr HQ where 39 movie references were scattered around between all the scenes of hard work. With a $50 Fandango Gift Card on the line, we had close to 400 entries (via email and Facebook) and we’re pleased to announce Sheri Young of Boston, Mass as our big winner. You can still check out the full image to challenge yourself, but beyond the jump is our handy guide to all the (intentional) movie references we made: Click to Largify Loki’s mask from The Mask Captain America’s shield Everyone’s friend, Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey Michael “Awesome” Bay The Maltese Falcon from, yes, The Maltese Falcon Marty’s Hoverboard from the Back to the Future movies Weekend Editor Christopher Campbell »
- Scott Beggs
Oscar-winner also accuses the industry of discriminating against actors who don't want to use guns in films
The Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman has dismissed the depiction of gun violence in Hollywood as "fraudulent" and claimed that studios actively discriminate against actors who refuse to carry firearms onscreen.
Interviewed on National Public Radio in the Us, The Graduate star became the latest high-profile figure to wade into the debate following the killing of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. Advocates of gun control have used the opportunity to press for new laws to combat similar massacres, but Hollywood has also come under sustained pressure for what many see as its glamorisation of firearm use.
Hoffman, 75, said he had tried throughout his career to avoid films which required him to use guns on screen – though he conceded he carried a weapon in Straw Dogs, »
- Ben Child
Directed by Sydney Pollack
The Western, at its creative and commercial peak – the late 1960s-early 1970s – proved itself an astoundingly pliable genre. It could be molded to deal with topical subject matter like racism (Skin Game, 1971), feminism (The Ballad of Josie, 1967), the excesses of capitalism (Oklahoma Crude, 1973). It could be bent into religious allegories (High Plains Drifter, 1973), or an equally allegorical address of the country’s most controversial war (Ulzana’s Raid, 1972). Westerns could be used to deconstruct America’s most self-congratulatory myths (Doc, 1971), and address historical slights and omissions (Little Big Man, 1970). They could provide heady social commentary (Hombre, 1967), or simple adventure and excitement (The Professionals, 1966). They could be funny (The Hallelujah Trail, 1965), unremittingly grim (Hour of the Gun, 1967), surreal (Greaser’s Palace, 1972), even be stretched into the shape of rock musical (Zachariah, 1971) or monster movie (Valley of Gwangi, 1969).
- Bill Mesce
Dustin Hoffman directs a stellar cast in this bittersweet tale of ageing opera singers forced to face their mortality
Dustin Hoffman was 30 when he made his screen debut as the 21-year-old Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate. Three years later, in 1970, he played the 121-year-old frontiersman Jack Crabb in Arthur Penn's western Little Big Man. In his 50s he returned to star as Willy Loman and Shylock. So he knows something about the vagaries of ageing. It seems therefore not inappropriate that he makes his confident directorial debut at 75, directing a formidable ensemble cast ranging in age from the 31-year-old Sheridan Smith to actors pushing 80 and beyond in a movie adapted by the 78-year-old Ronald Harwood from his own adroitly crafted play Quartet.
Sheridan Smith plays Dr Lucy Cogan, sympathetic manager and resident physician at Beecham House, a handsomely appointed home for elderly opera singers fallen on hard times. It's »
- Philip French
Curiously, with all the bold, ambitious, fresh talent storming into Hollywood in the 1960s/1970s – directors who’d cut their teeth in TV like Sidney Lumet and John Frankenheimer; imports like Roman Polanski and Peter Yates; the first wave of film school “film brats” like Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese — one of the most popular genres during the period was one of Old Hollywood’s most traditional: the Western. But the Western often wrought at the hands of that new generation of moviemakers was rarely traditional.
During the Old Hollywood era, Westerns typically had been B-caliber productions, most of them favoring gunfights and barroom brawls over dramatic substance, and nearly all adhering to Western tropes which ran back to the pre-cinema days of dime novelist Ned Buntline. With the 1960s, however, the genre began to change; or, more accurately, expand, twist, and even invert.
To be sure, there would »
- Bill Mesce
The Western was a movie staple for decades. It seemed the genre that would never die, feeding the fantasies of one generation after another of young boys who galloped around their backyards, playgrounds, and brick streets on broomsticks, banging away with their Mattel cap pistols. Something about a man on a horse set against the boundless wastes of Monument Valley, the crackle of saddle leather, two men facing off in a dusty street under the noon sun connected with the free spirit in every kid.
The American movie – a celluloid telling that was more than a skit – was born in a Western: Edwin S. Porter’s 11- minute The Great Train Robbery (1903). Thereafter, Westerns grew longer, they grew more complex. The West – hostile, endless, civilization barely maintaining a toehold against the elements, hostile natives, and robber barons – proved an infinitely plastic setting. In a place with no law, and where »
- Bill Mesce
7 items from 2013
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