19 items from 2015
1971 was an incredibly violent year for movies. That year saw, among others, Tom Laughlin’s Billy Jack, with its half-Indian hero karate-chopping rednecks; William Friedkin’s The French Connection, its dogged cops stymied by well-heeled drug runners; Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange, banned for the copycat crimes it reportedly inspired; and Sam Peckinpah’s Straw Dogs, featuring the most controversial rape in cinema history. Every bloody shooting, sexual assault and death by penis statue reflected a world gone mad.
It seemed a reaction to America’s skyrocketing crime. Between 1963 and 1975, violent crimes tripled; riots, robberies and assassinations racked major cities. The antiwar and Civil Rights movements generated violent offshoots like the Weathermen and Black Panthers. Citizens blamed politicians like New York Mayor John Lindsay (the original “limousine liberal”), who proclaimed “Peace cannot be imposed on our cities by force of arms,” and Earl Warren’s Supreme Court, »
- Christopher Saunders
“I read comic books when I was a kid; I don’t read them now,” said Eastwood during a question and answer session about his life and career at the Las Vegas exhibition trade show CinemaCon on Wednesday.
That means he won’t be appearing in a Marvel movie anytime soon. “I prefer adult-oriented pictures,” Eastwood said. “I mean that in the PG-13 or R sense, but that’s as far as it goes.”
Eastwood also revealed that even though he’s world famous, he still buys tickets to see movies on the bigscreen. He most recently made the trip to the multiplexes to see “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and plans to support his son Scott by paying full freight to see “The Longest Ride. »
- Brent Lang and Dave McNary
Code number 007 is on the mind of fans as they anticipate the new Bond film which is expected to be released this year.
Commander James Bond, Cmg, Rn is a fictional character created by novelist and British journalist Ian Fleming in 1952. Bond is a Secret Service agent who is a composite based upon a number of commandos known by Ian Fleming during his service in the Naval Intelligence Division during World War II. The character’s name was appropriated by Fleming from American ornithologist James Bond. The code number 007 is from one of the key achievements of British naval intelligence, breaking the German diplomatic code in World War I.
Fleming’s fiction character appeared in a series of twelve novels, two short story collections, a number of continuation novels, and over twenty Bond films. Spanning more than half of a century, there have been several actors who played James Bond on the big screen. »
- Gary Collinson
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
Edward Aiona, the prop master for 31 feature films, including three that won Academy Awards for best picture, “Ordinary People” (1980), “Rain Man” (1988) and “Unforgiven” (1992), as well as 28 episodes of network series television, died March 31 at Tarzana Hospital of lung cancer compounded by chronic heart trouble. He was 83.
Aiona was closely associated with Clint Eastwood: Aiona made his debut as property master on Dirty Harry film “Magnum Force” in 1973 and then worked on every Eastwood film until Aiona’s retirement in 1996.
Between films with Eastwood, Aiona also collaborated as prop master with directors including Martin Scorsese (“Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore”), John Milius (“Big Wednesday”), Sydney Pollack (“The Electric Horseman” and “Absence of Malice”), Barry Levinson (“Rain Man”) and John Carpenter (“Memoirs of an Invisible Man”).
“He was extreme in getting what was required for the screenplay,” said Mike Sexton, Aiona’s assistant before becoming prop master at Eastwood’s »
- Variety Staff
Directed by Albert Pyun
In the future, a dangerous plague wipes out much of humanity, civilization crumbling away with it. Enter the pirates, gangs that reap barbaric pleasure out of rape and pillage. One such faction is led by the Goliath-like figure of Fender (Vincent Klyn), a psychotic individual seeking to intercept a female cyborg, Pearl (Dayle Haddon), traversing the United States to Atlanta and carrying the secret medicinal knowledge that will help the country’s few remaining doctors determine a cure to the deadly virus. Dayle cannot make the journey alone, requiring the help of tracker Gibson (Jean-Claude Van Damme) a man wrestling with his own demons and wanting to settle a score with the nefarious Fender.
Right from the opening minutes it is abundantly clear that the filmmakers wish to ape the general tone and aesthetic »
- Edgar Chaput
Werewolf movies can either be a howlin’ good time like Adrián García Bogliano’s Late Phases, taking a bite out of softer genre efforts, or they can be like David Hayter’s Wolves, a mainstream safety net that makes you want to cuddle a werewolf instead of run away in fear. Werewolves can be horrifying, menacing beasts, or overgrown house pets, spanning a varied spectrum of physical embodiments from humanistic (Wer) to cartoony (Wolves), which is why I have to commend filmmaker Lowell Dean on creating a werewolf movie full of gore, hilarity, and a werewolf police officer who’s more of a comic book hero than furry mythical creature. WolfCop is “Dirty Harry only hairier,” and his first case is every bit a bonkers B-Movie revival that midnight movie fans pray for – littered with fairytale references and a little animalistic cavorting for all you furry exhibitionists out there!
- Matt Donato
Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper. Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year. »
- Andre Soares
Who's the chick with Dirty Harry? Clint Eastwood brought his girlfriend Christina Sandera as his date to the 87th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 22, at the Dolby Theatre in L.A. The American Sniper director, 84, and the hostess walked the red carpet arm in arm on Sunday outside of the venue. For the star-studded occasion, Sandera wore a sleeved lilac gown accessorized with a diamond necklace, earrings, and ring (but not on that finger). Us Weekly broke the news last June that the actor was dating Sandera, [...] »
Michael Stevens For 'The Good':
"In this pulse-pounding action feature, actor Bradley Cooper, eerily inhabits the role of patriotic Navy Seal 'Chris Kyle', with a steely determination in his eyes that gives way to a Wtf expression whenever he pauses to think about what his dangerous job entails...
"...embodying his father's flashback wish for him to be a protective 'sheepdog', rather than a predator wolf preying on the weak, or an innocent sheep waiting to be led to slaughter.
"Director Eastwood deftly drops the viewer into the heart of darkness on several tours of duty with Kyle, as we share his moral responsibilities in the use of deadly force and power, plus the struggles veteran soldiers »
- Michael Stevens
Welcome to Outrage Watch, HitFix's new daily rundown of all the things people are peeved about in entertainment. Today's top story? Jesse Ventura puts "American Sniper" Chris Kyle on blast. The former Minnesota governor slammed the Iraq war vet in an interview with the Associated Press published today, saying in part: "A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can't have honor if you're a liar." Ventura was making reference to a passage in Kyle's book where the Seal claimed to have punched out the wrestler in a California bar - an alleged fabrication that netted Ventura $1.8 million in a defamation settlement. So will he be seeing the movie? Not likely: in another choice quote, he calls the Clint Eastwood-directed biopic "as authentic as 'Dirty Harry.'" Oof. Want more? There's plenty of indignation to go around. See below for a full roundup of today's kerfuffles. »
- Chris Eggertsen
“A hero must be honorable, must have honor. And you can’t have honor if you’re a liar,” Ventura told the Associated Press. “There is no honor in lying.”
See photos: 19 Biggest Box-Office Bombs and Bummers in 2014: From ‘The Giver’ to ‘Winter’s Tale’
“It’s as authentic as ‘Dirty Harry, »
- Greg Gilman
The Iraq War saga has turned January, a month that for years has been a box office dead zone, into a hot spot. It’s blitzed the domestic box office for $200 million in 10 days, obliterating records for R-rated movies, holiday weekends and the month in the process. »
- Todd Cunningham
Michael Stevens For 'The Good':
In this pulse-pounding action feature, actor Bradley Cooper, eerily inhabits the role of patriotic Navy Seal 'Chris Kyle', with a steely determination in his eyes that gives way to a Wtf expression whenever he pauses to think about what his dangerous job entails...
...embodying his father's flashback wish for him to be a protective 'sheepdog', rather than a predator wolf preying on the weak, or an innocent sheep waiting to be led to slaughter.
Director Clint Eastwood deftly drops the viewer into the heart of darkness on several tours of duty with Kyle, as we share his moral responsibilities in the use of deadly force and power, plus the struggles veteran »
- Michael Stevens
Paul Newman’s salad dressing enterprise is common knowledge, but did you know about these 25 businesses run by Hollywood stars?
What do big-time movie stars get up to in their spare time? While their fictional counterparts might enjoy chopping wood or getting hosed down by friendly females (more on that here), actors themselves have a tendency towards wacky entrepreneurial ideas and hefty industrial investments.
Looking at our findings from some rigorous research (read: Googling), it seems that you can divide famous actors into a handful of groups – those who are trying to do something good for the world, those who are trying to break into internet megabucks and those who like opening restaurants.
Without further chit-chat, here’s a breakdown of which stars are behind which brands which you may or may not know and love…
Here’s a brilliant one to start off with »
The arrival of Taken 3 leaves James pondering the appeal of vigilante movies...
Taken 3 is set to take cinemas by storm, with force and with Bryan Mills showcasing that particular set of skills and his especial resolve. Mills is, of course, played by the indomitable Liam Neeson, and the plot for this threequel revolves around the battle to clear his good (?) name.
He's been accused of a brutal murder that he didn't commit or witness, so now Mills is going to use that infamous skillset to hunt and find the real killer, all while evading the authorities who'd put him behind bars and his film franchise on hiatus. Oh, and the murder victim was his ex-wife Lennie (Famke Janssen), so there's bonus devastation and a whole can of emotional worms for the man to wrestle with.
For the third movie, then, it isn't just a family member that's been »
The defining moment of Clint Eastwood’s “American Sniper” plays out twice onscreen and countless more times in the mind of the movie’s central character, the late Navy Seal marksman Chris Kyle (played by Bradley Cooper). We are on a rooftop in Nasiriya, Iraq, a couple of weeks into the second American invasion, and Kyle — trained for battle but not yet tested by it — scans the surroundings for any seeming anomaly. A suspicious-looking man appears on a nearby balcony talking on a cell phone, only to disappear again back inside the building. Then, down below, a woman in a full burqa emerges with a young boy in tow. There is something odd about the way she holds her hands beneath the long black robe — she seems to be concealing something. Then she removes the object, a live grenade, and hands it to the boy, who begins running toward a line of advancing U. »
- Scott Foundas
Clint Eastwood is behind the lens of another Oscar contender: American Sniper. Led by Bradley Cooper, the film adapts the biography of Chris Kyle, a celebrated Navy Seal Sniper who struggles to reconcile his family life with his four tours in Iraq. Already a critical hit, the film, which is in limited release now and out everywhere Jan. 16, is a shining trophy on Eastwood’s stacked career mantle. Suffice it to say, that mantle is worth perusing.
Not only is the 84-year-old living legend still acting and directing, he also manages to find time to lend a voice to projects by his peers. For a quick refresher on all-things Eastwood, check out his movies streaming on Netflix.
Escape from Alcatraz (1979)
[Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures]
A classic, and one of the films that cemented Eastwood’s reputation as an American badass. The film follows Frank Morris (Eastwood), a convict transferred to the maximum security prison »
- Tara Aquino
By Don Stradley
Charles Bronson was 55 at the time of “St Ives” (1976). He was just a couple years past his star-making turn in “Death Wish”, and was enjoying a surprising run of success. I say surprising because Bronson had, after all, been little more than a craggy second banana for most of his career. Now, inexplicably, he had box office clout as a leading man. In fact, Bronson reigned unchallenged for a few years as the most popular male actor in international markets. Yes, even bigger than Eastwood, Newman, Reynolds, Redford, or any other 1970s star you can name. Many of Bronson’s movies were partly financed by foreign investors, for even if his movies didn’t score stateside, they still drew buckets of money in Prague or Madrid. Some have suggested that his popularity on foreign screens was due to how little he said in his movies (there was »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
19 items from 2015
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