20 items from 2013
It's amazing to consider how prolific Clint Eastwood has been as a director. When actors direct, they tend to focus on just a few projects. Kevin Costner, for instance, has just three directing credits to his name. Mel Gibson has four. And yet it took Eastwood almost twenty films before he received the same accolades that they did for his skills. (He currently stands at 35-plus movies.) It took him that long to be properly acknowledged. Luckily, because he has so many, we can genuinely chart his growth and progress as a creative force in ways we can't with those other filmmaker/stars. High Plains Drifter, which has arrived in freshly minted Blu-ray form, was the first Western he directed, and remains one of his most challenging (and disturbing) efforts behind the camera. Hit the jump for my full review. It's a far cry from more confident and polished directing jobs waiting in his future. »
- Rob Vaux
Pouring old wine into new bottles, Turner Classic Movies is now letting classic-film buffs watch hundreds of venerable flicks on computers or mobile devices over any Internet connection.
The channel announced the launch of Watch TCM apps and website, which include live streaming of TCM’s East and West Coast feeds as well as 300-plus titles available on demand each month. The cabler said it will offer nearly every film on the TCM schedule on demand, including the introductions by TCM hosts Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz.
TCM, which Turner Broadcasting launched in 1994, is distributed to 83 million households. But not all pay TV affiliates are participating in Watch TCM — DirecTV and Time Warner Cable are the two biggest sitting out today. Operators with deals to offer the Watch TCM “TV Everywhere” service include Comcast, Dish Network, Cox, Charter, Verizon FiOS, At&T U-verse, Cablevision and Suddenlink.
WatchTCM’s current lineup »
- Todd Spangler
We return with another edition of the Indie Spotlight, highlighting recent independent horror news sent our way. Today’s feature includes production details for the documentary, Why Horror?, trailers for Muck, House of Last Things, and Xmas Tales, details on a horror novel giveaway, reviews for The Facility and In the Woods, and much more:
“Why Horror?” Production Details: “Why Horror? is a documentary look at the psychology of horror around the world in order to understand why we love to be scared.
You either love it or hate it … but horror entertainment is truly a global phenomenon. If you’re reading this, chances are you count yourself among the millions of people who love it. We do!
This documentary aims to be the most comprehensive film ever assembled on the topic. We have an incredible line-up of horror experts on hand to talk. From legendary filmmakers to performers to authors, »
- Tamika Jones
Chicago – It’s a weird week at the video store (do they still have those?) or in the New Releases section of your favorite Video On Demand service. There’s some real junk that we’ll get to (“The Internship”) along with some flicks that are just too good not to break out into their own special Blu-ray reviews (“Before Midnight,” “The Conjuring” — both must-sees). And then there’s a unique array of catalog releases and TV seasons. Those could easily fall through the cracks if not for the informative What to Watch. All of these are new to Blu-ray, some for the first time and some in anniversary/special editions. At least one will grab your attention.
Photo credit: Universal
One of Clint Eastwood’s best directorial efforts launches a new line of Blu-rays from Universal under the banner of “1970s Best of the Decade. »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
This week's show is a little light on Halloween goodness but what's there is, is choice. Night Tide is an early Dennis Hopper vehicle full of sea siren sideshows and tragic surrealism. The Purge is one of the better home invasion movies in recent times. Also appearing for the first time on stateside Blu-ray are High Plains Drifter, in which Clint Eastwood may or may not be a ghost, the shorts compilation Chilling Visions (go Emily M. Hagins), and the scary no matter how you look at it The Untold History of the United States from Oliver Stone. You can watch the entire video below. Bat Country shirt by Harebrained ...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
M&C has added cover art and details for this week’s Blu-ray releases – which includes Pacific Rim, The Heat, Maniac, the Colony, and Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain. This week also see Blu-ray releases for catalog titles such as In the Mouth of Madness, Love Actually, The Haunting, High Plains Drifter, Weird Science, Embrace of the Vampire, and The Eagle Has Landed (Collector's Edition). TV on Blu-ray releases this week include Vikings: Season One, Untold History of the United States, Star Wars: The Clone Wars - The Complete Season Five, and Defiance: Season One. Visit the DVD database for more information on these releases. When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war »
- Patrick Luce
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week:
What's It About? Guillermo del Toro's sci-fi adventure follows the rise of the Kaiju sea creatures, which threaten the future of mankind. In order to fight off the monstrous Kaiju, Jaeger robots are developed, which are controlled by two pilots who share a mental bond. In the face of an apocalypse, former pilot Raleigh (Charlie Hunnam) and trainee Mako (Rinko Kikuchi) are paired up to drive a Jaeger to save the planet.
Why We're In: Del Toro's sci-fi epic is great for every minute of its CGI spectacle ass-kicking. "Pacific Rim" was not only one of the most fun adventures of the summer, but it also featured solid performances from its two leads, along with Idris Elba. If you're looking for an action-packed film that will keep your eyes and ears entertained from start to finish, "Pacific Rim" is sure to please. »
- Erin Whitney
The Heat For the most part it seemed the majority of people enjoyed The Heat, at least on some small level. Personally I found it a little lackluster, at least for a theatrical offering, at home I expect it would play a little better as most films will while you're sitting on your couch. You can read my "C-" review right here and I expect if I were to watch it again that might move up to a C+... maybe.
High Plains Drifter (Blu-ray) I already watched and offered up some thoughts on this restored release of Clint Eastwood's early Western. While the transfer is vivid and detailed, the curious thing is that it doesn't have one single special feature. What givesc
- Brad Brevet
This week: Find out what happens when humans build massive robots to combat otherworldly monsters in Guillermo del Toro's global sensation "Pacific Rim," which will try to find more kaiju fans on home video than it did in U.S. movie theaters.
Also new this week is Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy in the buddy cop comedy "The Heat," Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton in the sci-fi thriller "The Colony" and Elijah Wood playing against type as a serial killer in the horror remake "Maniac."
Box Office: $102 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 72% Fresh
Storyline: Guillermo del Toro directs this epic monsters-vs.-robots sci-fi smackdown set in the near future when giant destructive creatures called Kaiju keep crossing over into our dimension through a rift on the ocean floor. Facing extinction, humans construct massive robots called Jaegers to battle the Kaiju, but the otherworldly beasts keep coming faster »
- Robert DeSalvo
As far as movies are concerned, this week I saw Machete Kills, which I already reviewed right here, and I watched the new Blu-ray for Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter, which I wrote about right here. However, what dominated the majority of my viewing time this week was "Breaking Bad" on Netflix Instant Play. I remember first starting to watch this show almost a year ago, but I started to get a little annoyed by it and all of Walt's coughing, but I also knew I wanted to return to it at some point and I'm glad I did. I'm have finished seasons one and two and I'm attempting to power through the entire series. Obviously the rest of today will be dominated by football, but I wouldn't be surprised if I found a way to watch at least a couple episodes before the day is done, it really is a great television show. »
- Brad Brevet
I watched Universal's newly restored and remastered Blu-ray edition of Clint Eastwood's High Plains Drifter (10/15; Amazon) last night and before hitting play I'd actually forgot I'd seen it before until Eastwood as "The Stranger" came into view, riding into the small town of Lago where the duration of the film takes place. Released in New York 40 years ago this past April, Drifter is an interesting one when compared to today's cinema, which is hellbent on revenge whereas this is a story of retribution... or is itc The citizens of Lago are made to pay for their past misdeeds while at the same time seeking protection from a trio of gunmen they previously watched whip their own town marshal to death after he threatened to reveal their mining town was actually on government land. Riding into town looking for a whiskey, a shave and a bath, Eastwood channels his iconic »
- Brad Brevet
During my years at McGill, I decided to stray from studying the sciences and take my love of cinema more seriously: I turned my mind towards Cultural Studies and spent my early twenties relishing in Canadian cinema, slasher films, the French New Wave, Godard’s wonderfully bizarre oeuvre, and the philosophy of film.
It’s been three years since I decided to take my career down a different path, turning towards my other major in anthropology. Right after obtaining my fancy arts degree and wanting nothing to do with, well, anything anymore, I began looking for alternatives to my film studies courses and Bazin quoting peer community. I was looking to re-ignite my passion for the screen; from the cerebral to the heart and back.
Thus, I began volunteering for film festivals, but found myself wanting and in need of more starch in my film diet. Since I’d turned »
- Pamela Fillion
We open with a static shot of a shimmering desert, reminiscent of the intro to High Plains Drifter. Instead of Clint Eastwood's vengeful ghost, something resembling a Subaru Outback emerges. It's as fitting a contrast between that film and Spark: A Burning Man Story as you're likely to get. The setting is Nevada's Black Rock Desert, site of what one event founder describes as an exercise in "radical collective codependency." Charting Burning Man's course from its origins on a San Francisco beach in 1986 to the massive affair currently boasting nearly 60,000 attendees, producer-directors Steve Brown and Jessie Deeter utilize broad access to the event's six founders to offer impressive insight into 27 years of Bm history. They also follow the progress of two artists attendi »
The Lone Ranger is not a very good movie, and it’s currently making negative dollars at the box office.
But give credit to the filmmakers: They might not have made a very good western, but they definitely know what good westerns look like. Although nominally based on the radio show and TV series of the same name, the film is draped in references to several eons of movie-western iconography. At times, it almost feels like a greatest hits collection: Now That’s What I Call The Western Genre!, with several different western plots piled on top of each other like ill-fitting Tetris blocks. »
- Darren Franich
"In the movies, people don't kill people, guns kill people. And robots. And intelligent apemen."
Here's another video supercut from Slackstory that pays tribute to the gunfights in film. Gun's have been a part of the moviegoing experience ever since they were invented, and this supercut does a decent job of giving us the best gun scenes throughout the years. Check out the video and let us know if they missed any good ones.
Source films, in order of appearance:
Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing
Rambo II »
- Joey Paur
Clint Eastwood will have lost a few Brownie points for his bizarre and frankly ill-advised conversation with an empty chair at the Republican National Congress last autumn, but he is still much-adored Hollywood royalty – old and craggy, but still directing and acting to a phenomenally high standard and responsible as actor and/or director for some of the greatest and most iconic films ever to have come out of Hollywood.
Most often associated with Westerns and understandably so (the Dollars trilogy, High Plains Drifter, The Outlaw Josey Wales, Pale Rider, Unforgiven), Eastwood also has a sterling track record within the crime genre (Dirty Harry, Mystic River, In the Line of Fire, Play Misty for Me) and with straight dramas too (Million Dollar Baby, Gran Torino, A Perfect World, Changeling). With Oscar statuettes and nominations coming out of his ears, he is clearly much loved by the Academy, but critics and »
- Dave Roper
Season 3 of the period drama will premiere on Aug. 3 in its new Saturdays-at-9/8c berth, where it will launch a new night of original programming for the cabler and cap a day of Western-themed fare, including newly acquired films such as El Dorado, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and The Shootist and special anniversary airings of Hondo (1953), McLintock! (1963), Hang ‘Em High (1968) and High Plains Drifter (1973).
“A new episode of Hell on Wheels »
- Matt Webb Mitovich
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: May 21, 2013
Price: DVD $29.95, Blu-ray $39.95
The 1969 film drama Medium Cool is the first narrative film directed by the famed documentarian/cinematographer Haskell Wexler, who shot One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Days of Heaven, among other greats.
In, with the U.S. in social upheaval, Wexler decided to make a film about what the hell was going on and plunge audiences straight into the moment. With its mix of scripted fiction and seat-of-the-pants documentary technique, the film’s story looks at the working world and romantic life of television cameraman John Cassellis (Robert Forster, Jackie Brown). Set in Chicago, Cassellis finds himself becoming personally involved in the violence that erupts around the 1968 Democratic National Convention, just as he’s forced to deal with a whole lot of romantic and lifestyle issues. »
"Somebody left the door open and the wrong dogs came home."
After making a name for himself as the star of Sergio Leone's Dollars trilogy of Spaghetti Westerns, Clint Eastwood returned to America with enough money, clout and know-how to make his own Leone-inspired Westerns. His first attempt, High Plains Drifter, was a smash it at the box office, as well as a critical favorite, and remains one of the all-time great American Westerns.
The movie opens with the arrival of a dusty stranger (Eastwood) to the cloistered desert mining town of Lago. Immediately beset upon by three gun-wielding brigands, the Stranger shoots them down and then has his way with a local woman of ill repute. Instead of being arrested, the Stranger is asked to protect the townsfolk — and the mining company's gold — from three notorious gunfighters who were recently released from jail and are sure to riding »
- BrentJS Sprecher
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
20 items from 2013
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