8 items from 2017
Mark Allison Apr 18, 2017
10 years ago was was a high watermark in Hollywood - and British - filmmaking. We've been looking at why...
Ten years on, and 2007 must surely be remembered as one of the finest years in English-language film-making, quite possibly the best of this century so far. Like 1939, 1976, or 1994, it was one of those years in which a succession of veritable classics came into being. So many, in fact, that some of the best examples were cruelly overlooked by the hype machine of the day. A decade later, it’s high time to look back at 2007 for both its celebrated landmarks and forgotten masterpieces.
No movie star in history gets as little respect as Vin Diesel. A lot of people — too many — still see him as a fake star, a joke, a beady-eyed mush-mouthed poseur in a wife-beater. He’s the action-film equivalent of a politician (like, you know, Trump or Obama) whose legitimacy has never been fully accepted by the other party. Hipsters have no problem with Dwayne Johnson, whose quick sharp delivery, along with his superman physique, conveys an invincibility they’re comfortable with. But Diesel is a different hunk of rock. Off camera, he leads with his proletarian hip-hop swagger; onscreen, his identity in the Hollywood galaxy comes down to his being the renegade hood ornament on a series of wildly overwrought vehicular thrillers that a lot of people have zero to no patience for. (Meanwhile, as today’s box-office returns for “The Fate of the Furious” indicate, the fans still think these movies are God. »
- Owen Gleiberman
Author: Andy Furlong
The Hatton Garden Job,which is released in cinemas this week,is a film based on a real life robbery that has been called the “largest burglary in English legal history”. A daring heist from an underground safe deposit facility in London that captured the public’s imagination as much due the advanced age of the criminals involved as the brazenness of the crime itself.
With that in mind we take a look at some other films in which the characterisation of the elderly is defined beyond the usual physical limitations and vulnerability associated with senior citizens.
In many ways Clint Eastwood has been channelling the spirit of a grumpy old man as early as his 40s when he played Harry Callahan in the Dirty Harry series. Eastwood, perhaps more than anybody else, has cultivated the persona of the ageing hero for sometime now in films like Unforgiven, »
- Andy Furlong
Broadway’s delightful — but wickedly accurate — satire of big business was brought to movie screens almost intact, with the story, the stars, the styles and dances kept as they were in the long-running show that won a Pulitzer Prize. This is the place to see Robert Morse and Michele Lee at their best — it’s one of the best, and least appreciated movie musicals of the 1960s.
1967 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 121 min. / Street Date March 14, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Starring: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony Teague, Maureen Arthur, Sammy Smith, Robert Q. Lewis, Carol Worthington, Kathryn Reynolds, Ruth Kobart, George Fennemann, Tucker Smith, David Swift.
Cinematography: Burnett Guffey
Original Music: Nelson Riddle
Art Direction: Robert Boyle
Visual Gags: Virgil Partch
- Glenn Erickson
Whatever its flaws, Natalia Leite’s “M.F.A.” certainly doesn’t suffer from timidity. Offering an unapologetically feminist, female-centric take on the oft-problematic (and oft-male-gaze-dominated) rape-revenge thriller genre, as well as addressing recent controversies over college campus assault in bold strokes, the film never shies away from righteous provocation.
As admirable as its aims may be, however, “M.F.A.’s” themes call for a careful, consistent tone that it is rarely able to maintain, and an increasingly ridiculous third act squanders much of the empathy and engagement that Leite works so hard to build in the early going. As a survivor-turned-avenger whose bloody campaigns against her own rapist and others’ become fuel for her art, Francesca Eastwood delivers a tough, eye-opening performance in the lead role, and her character’s vengeance packs a cathartic punch. But too much of the film fails to rise to her level.
Noelle (Eastwood) is a shy, »
- Andrew Barker
In the 1970s crime films morphed into sadistic vigilante fantasies about tough-guy heroes avenging terrible crimes against their families. Veteran noir director Phil Karlson directed the bruiser’s bruiser Joe Don Baker in a standard tale of violent vengeance, with the violence factor given an extra bloody boost.
Kl Studio Classics
Cinematography: Jack A. Marta
Film Editor: Harry W. Gerstad
Original Music: Pat Williams
Directed by Phil Karlson
Time for another curiosity review, of a grindhouse gut-basher from the 1970s — a subgenre I avoided when new. »
- Glenn Erickson
When actors make the transition from one side of the camera to the other, they often betray the influence of those who have directed them. Clint Eastwood, for one high-profile example, started his filmmaking career with a series of movies that operated a lot like those of Dirty Harry director Don Siegel. A similar creative education, down to shared themes of vigilantism, animates I Don’t Feel At Home In This World Anymore, the first feature written and directed by Macon Blair. Blair starred as a lamb trying to make himself into a lion in Jeremy Saulnier’s ruthless revenge drama Blue Ruin, and he also played a significant supporting role in the filmmaker’s follow-up, the somehow even more ruthless Green Room. Not surprisingly, Saulnier’s stylistic fingerprints are all over I Don’t Feel At Home, detectable on everything from the contrast-heavy cinematography to a focus on fringe-dwelling »
- A.A. Dowd
One of the most lucrative and successful movie franchises in cinematic history, Batman prefigured the current superhero franchise craze and set the standard after Tim Burton’s 1989 picture established a succession of films which changed the long-held perception of Batman on screen as a camp throwback to his 1960’s colourful incarnation. As The Lego Batman Movie debuts, launching the Caped Crusader into a new animated dimension, it’s interesting to consider the numerous Batman projects that never made it out of development hell, because even though we’ve had the Christopher Nolan trilogy in recent years which sent the character into the stratosphere, it’s not always been plain sailing for the Dark Knight.
“But this film happened?!” a million voices all cried out in terror. Yes indeed, last year’s Dawn of Justice, part of the formative and troubled DC Extended Universe, »
- Tony Black
8 items from 2017
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