French Connection II (1975) - News Poster

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Blu-ray Review – Ronin (1998)

Ronin, 1998.

Directed by John Frankenheimer.

Starring Robert De Niro, Jean Reno, Natascha McElhone, Sean Bean, Michael Lonsdale, Jonathan Pryce, Stellan Skarsgård, and Skipp Sudduth.

Synopsis:

A group of mercenaries are hired by Irish terrorists to retrieve a case to stop it falling into Russian hands.

In case you didn’t know, ronin are Samurai warriors whose masters have been killed, leaving the warriors free to roam the land as swords-for-hire to anybody willing to pay them. The movie Ronin informs you of this in the title cards so you could be forgiven for thinking this is going to be a bloodthirsty martial arts epic in the vein of Shogun Assassin until you are thrown into a Paris bistro as a ragtag group of shifty characters are assembling. We don’t know them, they don’t know each other and only one person knows why they are there – that person being
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

The Day of the Jackal

One of the best international thrillers ever has almost become an obscurity, for reasons unknown – this Blu-ray comes from Australia. Edward Fox’s wily assassin for hire goes up against the combined police and security establishments of three nations as he sets up the killing of a head of state – France’s president Charles de Gaulle. The terrific cast features Michel Lonsdale, Delphine Seyrig and Cyril Cusack; director Fred Zinnemann’s excellent direction reaches a high pitch of tension – even though the outcome is known from the start.

The Day of the Jackal

Region B+A Blu-ray

Shock Entertainment / Universal

1973 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 143 min. / Street Date ? / Available from Amazon UK / Pounds 19.99

Starring: Edward Fox, Michel Lonsdale, Delphine Seyrig, Cyril Cusack, Eric Porter, Tony Britton, Alan Badel, Michel Auclair, Tony Britton, Maurice Denham, Vernon Dobtcheff, Olga Georges-Picot, Timothy West, Derek Jacobi, Jean Martin, Ronald Pickup, Jean Sorel, Philippe Léotard, Jean Champion,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Drive-In Dust Offs: X: The Man With The X-ray Eyes

  • DailyDead
Undisputed Fact: Roger Corman is the greatest B picture producer of all time. His ability to find (and exploit, if we’re being honest) amazing talent and pull together movie miracles on miniscule budgets is nothing short of astonishing. However, it’s often downplayed what a smart, succinct director he was on many a project. X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (1963) is a stellar example of his talent behind the lens.

Released by Aip in September, X turned a tidy profit on top of its $250,000 budget. Critics were generally kind, but dismissive, calling X well made hokum, essentially. And due to its meager fundage X certainly shows its pedigree through petty set design. But…there’s a kinetic buzz that permeates every frame of X, a swirling colorgasm that bleeds through with Corman’s gift for storytelling. X rises from pulp to a lucid perfection.

Dr. Xavier (Ray Milland
See full article at DailyDead »

The Best Picture Oscar winners that had sequels

  • Den of Geek
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More Best Picture Oscar winners have had sequels than you may think. This lot, in fact...

There’s still an element of snobbery where sequels to certain films is concerned. Whereas it’s now almost compulsory to greenlight a blockbuster with a view of a franchise in mind, it’s hard to think of most Best Picture Oscar winners being made with a follow-up in mind. Yet in perhaps a surprising number of cases, a sequel – or in the case of Rocky, lots of sequels – have followed.

These cases, in fact…

All Quiet On The Western Front (1930)

Followed by: The Road Back

Don’t be fooled into thinking sequels for prestigious movies are a relatively new phenomenon. Lewis Milestone’s 1930 war epic All Quiet On The Western Front, and its brutal account of World War I, is still regarded as something of a classic. A solid box office success,
See full article at Den of Geek »

What's Leaving Netflix in October 2015

  • Moviefone
Well, this is lousy timing. Several horror movies, including "The Exorcist," "Night of the Living Dead," and "Interview with the Vampire" are leaving Netflix on October 1, right before Halloween.

Also leaving October 1, some spooky TV titles, including "The Dead Files."

More than 150 titles are leaving Netflix in October; here's the entire list of movies and TV shows that will disappear from Netflix streaming in October.

Leaving Oct. 1, 2015

"Aces High" (1976)

"A Fond Kiss" (2004)

"Agata And The Storm" (2004)

"A Good Day to Die" (2013)

"Alakazam The Great" (1960)

"All Is Lost" (2013)

"An Affair to Remember" (1957)

"Agora" (2009)

"A Liar's Autobiography" (2012)

"America Declassified" (2013)

"Analyze This" (1999)

"Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues " (2013)

"Angela's Ashes" (1999)

"Annie Hall" (1977)

"Another Woman" (1988)

"Apocalypse Now" (1979)

"Apocalypse Now Redux" (2001)

"Axed" (2012)

"Baby's Day Out" (1994)

"Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession" (1980)

"Baron Blood" (1972)

"Beaufort" (2007)

"Belle of the Yukon" (1944)

"Big Night" (1996)

"Blue Velvet" (1986)

"Brewster's Millions" (1945)

"Buying & Selling" (2013)

"Caesar and Cleopatra" (1945)

"Caprica" (2009)

"Carve Her Name With Pride" (1958)

"Casanova
See full article at Moviefone »

John Frankenheimer: A Remembrance

Director John Frankenheimer.

I'm often asked which, out of the over 600 interviews I've logged with Hollywood's finest, is my favorite. It's not a tough answer: John Frankenheimer.

We instantly clicked the day we met at his home in Benedict Canyon, and spent most of the afternoon talking in his den. A friendship of sorts developed over the years, with visits to his office for screenings of the old Kinescopes he directed for shows like "Playhouse 90" during his salad days in live television during the 1950s.

We hadn't spoken for nearly a year in mid-2002 when the phone rang. It was John, who spoke in what can only be described as a "stentorian bark," like a general. "Alex!" he exclaimed. "John Frankenheimer." He could sense something was amiss with me. It was. My screenwriting career had stalled. My marriage was progressing to divorce. I had hit bottom. John knew that
See full article at The Hollywood Interview »

Exclusive New Clip From The Connection

Exclusive New Clip From The Connection
The Connection is an old-school Gallic policier that taps the true-life story of a major 1970s heroin smuggling ring, encompassing both the criminals that ran it and the lawmen who fought to bring them down. There will be cops cutting into bags and tasting suspicious white powder (do you have to try it? Really?), pistols, car chases and, judging by this new clip, some moody face-offs between the white and black hats at the nucleus of the story. brightcove.createExperiences();While we’re figuring out the French for “we’re not so very different, you and I”, consider this: director Cédric Jimenez is clearly been confident enough to reference some classics of the genre in his stylish-looking crime drama. There are shades of Melville and Frankenheimer in the story – in fact, Frankenheimer’s French Connection II charts the same episode from a Popeye-view of Marseille's docks – and a conscious homage
See full article at EmpireOnline »

Ten Best: Crime Fighters

For a while now, many have deemed RoboCop to be popular culture’s most recognisable crime-fighting characters of all time. In line with its Limited Edition Blu-ray Steelbook, Blu-ray and DVD release on 9th June 2014 from StudioCanal, we count down – not only the 10 most recognisable crime-fighters – but best ten the entertainment world has had to offer…

Dirty Harry

Appearances: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983), The Dead Pool (1988)

Played by: Clint Eastwood

It’s quite impressive that Clint Eastwood has played Harry Callahan, his defining cop not afraid to cross ethical boundaries to serve justice, a total of five times over his illustrious career. An Inspector with the San Francisco police department, his primary concern is to protect and avenge the victims of violent crime by any means necessary.

Popeye Doyle

Appearances: The French Connection (1971), French Connection II (1975)

Played by:Gene Hackman

Based on real-life New York City police detective Eddie Egan,
See full article at Blogomatic3000 »

Heroin: art and culture's last taboo

It wrecks lives – but it has also inspired art from the poetry of Baudelaire to the music of Lou Reed. In Paris and Berlin, Andrew Hussey traces the path of heroin through modern culture

One of the easiest places to find heroin in Paris is in the streets in and around the Gare du Nord, a stone's throw away from the Eurostar terminal. I know about this place partly because I live in Paris and I am a frequent Eurostar traveller, and partly because this is where Google sent me when I typed in the request "Where to find heroin in Paris". Apparently the most popular spot for dealing is the rue Ambroise-Paré which contains a series of entrances to underground car parks where users can shoot up in relative privacy. The place permanently stinks of piss and is under constant police surveillance, as dealers and clients scurry back and forth between their hiding places.
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Hal Needham, Director And Legendary Stuntman, Dead At Age 82

  • CinemaRetro
Needham in 1980.

Stuntman-turned-director Hal Needham has died from unspecified causes at age 82. Needham had a long history as one of the best stuntmen in feature films and television before he moved into directing movies. Needham's films were hardly the stuff of art house theaters. He specialized in testosterone-packed action sequences designed to appeal squarely at male audiences. Along the way, he was also credited with developing methods that reduced the risk for the many stuntmen who populated his films. Needham made his directorial debut in 1977 with Smokey and the Bandit starring his old friend Burt Reynolds. Critics scoffed at the cornball humor and endless car stunts and the film laid an egg in urban play dates. However, it resonated with its intended audiences in rural areas and eventually the grosses brought to blockbuster status. The movie not only cemented Reynolds as a genuine superstar but gave new life to the
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Hal Needham obituary

Hollywood stuntman and film director who scored huge successes with Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run

Upset by the critical response to his work, the stuntman turned film director Hal Needham, who has died aged 82, took out advertisements in Variety and other trade papers. They featured quotes from negative reviews for his movies including Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Cannonball Run (1981), alongside a wheelbarrow overflowing with dollar bills.

Needham made a point. His rumbustious 1977 directorial debut had grossed over $100m – an enormous return on its modest budget. He was still milking that particular creation some 20 years later, producing and directing a series of television movies, including Bandit Goes Country and Beauty and the Bandit.

These and other films, many of which starred Burt Reynolds, were seen by an audience of hundreds of millions worldwide, yet few reference books acknowledged his 45-year-long career — an unjustified omission, if only
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

Hal Needham obituary

Hollywood stuntman and film director who scored huge successes with Smokey and the Bandit and The Cannonball Run

Upset by the critical response to his work, the stuntman turned film director Hal Needham, who has died aged 82, took out advertisements in Variety and other trade papers. They featured quotes from negative reviews for his movies including Smokey and the Bandit (1977) and The Cannonball Run (1981), alongside a wheelbarrow overflowing with dollar bills.

Needham made a point. His rumbustious 1977 directorial debut had grossed over $100m – an enormous return on its modest budget. He was still milking that particular creation some 20 years later, producing and directing a series of television movies, including Bandit Goes Country and Beauty and the Bandit.

These and other films, many of which starred Burt Reynolds, were seen by an audience of hundreds of millions worldwide, yet few reference books acknowledged his 45-year-long career — an unjustified omission, if only
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

R.I.P. Hal Needham

  • Deadline TV
One of Hollywood’s most famous stuntmen and the writer-director of Smokey And The Bandit died this morning. Hal Needham, who received an Honorary Oscar this year, was 82. The co-founder of Stunts Unlimited performed and/or coordinated stunts for hundreds of films and TV shows during his long career. He also pioneered a number of technical gadgets that furthered the art — and safety — of Hollywood stunt work, including the high-fall air bag, the air ram, the car cannon turnover and Shotmaker Elite camera car and crane, for which he won a Scientific Oscar in 1987 and an engineering Emmy three years later. The Memphis native and Korean War paratrooper was Richard Boone’s stunt double on Have Gun — Will Travel from 1957-63 and also worked on such classic series as Gunsmoke, The Big Valley, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible and Mannix. By the mid-’70s, Needham was focusing mostly on movies, working
See full article at Deadline TV »

Ed Lauter, Acclaimed Character Actor, Dead At 74

  • CinemaRetro
Ed Lauter, the popular character actor who specialized in playing tough guys, has died at age 74. Lauter was one of those familiar faces who was recognized by audiences even though many viewers did not know his name. For movie buffs, however, Lauter was well known and highly respected. He had dabbled with being a standup comic in the 1960s before  trying his hand at acting. Lauter quickly gained a reputation as a reliable character actor and he became in-demand during the 1970s. Among his most memorable roles were a ruthless prison guard in director Robert Aldrich's 1974 hit The Longest Yard and as Ann-Margret's ill-fated husband in Richard Attenborough's 1978 thriller Magic. Other prominent roles included Hitchcock's final film Family Plot, The Magnificent Seven Ride!, Breakheart Pass, French Connection II, Hickey& Boggs, Death Wish 3 and, most recently Trouble With the Curve and the 2011 Best Picture Oscar winner The Artist.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

1970s Crime Classics That Said ‘Screw You Hollywood’!

During the late 1960s, the world – and more specifically the United States – was in the midst of serious change as it took a long, hard look in the mirror. Coming off of the drug-addled haze of free love, the madness of the Vietnam war, and the hypocrisy of authority, people were no longer afraid to make a statement about the ugly side to human nature and of what man was truly capable. Hollywood was always known to play it safe, even with its grittier films about life’s seedy underbelly and living on the edge. Few films dared to break the mould prior to the 70s, but there were a few that would set trends for the upcoming years, such as groundbreaking trailblazers Point Blank (1967), In The Heat Of The Night (1967), Bonnie & Clyde (1967) or Bullitt (1968).

So, with Friday’s Us release of Killing Them Softly, Thn has decided to take
See full article at The Hollywood News »

The Essentials: The 5 Best John Frankenheimer Films

  • The Playlist
Few filmmakers these days name John Frankenheimer as an influence. He was never particularly trendy, never embraced by the auteurists or overtly paid homage by those who came after. In part, it's because of some of his later projects; the commercial failure of thriller "Black Sunday" in 1977 drove him to alcoholism that lasted for several years (it was only when he was reduced to drinking on the set of martial arts actioner "The Challenge" in 1981 that he checked himself into rehab), and some of his later projects, including his final film, "Reindeer Games," and the famous disaster "The Island Of Doctor Moreau" (on which the helmer replaced Richard Stanley several weeks into production) meant his critical reputation took a hit. But Frankenheimer was also a master of the American thriller, with an extraordinary run in the 1960s, and many underrated subsequent highlights, from "French Connection II," multiple HBO and TNT.
See full article at The Playlist »

The origins and evolution of the movie sequel

We delve deep into the mists of time to discover the origins of the sequel, and come up with an unusual prime suspect…

If you want to blame somebody in particular for the rise and lingering popularity of movie sequels, you may want to point an accusatory finger at Johannes Gutenberg. Several hundred years before the first moving image was projected onto a wall somewhere in the late Victorian era, it was with the invention of the printing press by Gutenberg and his contemporaries that the concept of the sequel almost certainly began.

The first book to go into mass publication was the Bible, which was hardly the kind of book you'd dare to attempt to follow up with a sequel (though Jerry Bruckheimer may have tried, had he been a 15th century publisher). It was the modern novel, an invention that properly came into being in the 1700s, that
See full article at Den of Geek »

Jonah Hill On Set Interview Get Him To The Greek - Also Talks The Adventurer’S Handbook, His Career, Sequels, and So Much More

  • Collider.com
Last June I got to visit the set of writer/director Nick Stoller’s Get Him to the Greek while the production was filming at the famous Greek Theater in Los Angeles. While I sometimes travel across the country to watch a movie getting made, for this set visit, I needed to drive about 15 minutes from my apartment.

Anyway, when you do a set visit, you usually get to interview the cast. That’s normal. What isn’t normal is getting an hour with one of the leads! But that’s what happened backstage at the Greek Theater as Jonah Hill gave the group of online reporters on the visit an awesome extended interview that covered absolutely everything. From how Get Him to the Greek came together, to his love for Back to the Future 2, we practically covered all of his projects on IMDb - including The Adventurer’s Handbook.
See full article at Collider.com »

The New Breed of Filmmakers: A Multiplication of Myths

  • MUBI
The difference between the two obsessive quests in The Searchers (1956) and French Connection II (1975) is one of quantity: Popeye Doyle’s one goal, revenging himself on the hedonistic narcotics king, Charnier, to hell with everything else! involves more staccato cuts, more bits of cheerful Mediterranean color, more focus changing, and, especially more mobility and paranoia in Hackman’s acting than occurs during the entirety of Ethan Edward’s (John Wayne) endless Monument Valley search for little white Debbie (Natalie Wood) who, unthinkable for a Wayne-Ford adobe epic, has been cohabiting rather sensibly with a Comanche chief named Scar.

Effulgence, luxuriance . . . the new Hollywood film multiplies everything, trying to get the mythic aspect as well as a very contemporaneous attitude about candidness, what does candidness mean as a way of life? Old studio works like Double Indemnity (1944) stick to one hard-boiled attitude about the Forties in the L.A. suburbs: the camera-lighting-acting-language is dry,
See full article at MUBI »

Movie Art As Life

  • CinemaRetro
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By Peter DeMarco

On our second date in my studio apartment, my wife shared her spaghetti dinner with a decaying corpse who had just climbed out of his grave.

This not-for-the-squeamish image was from the 1972 horror anthology Tales from the Crypt, which also featured a skull with cobwebs in its black eye socket. Dirty Harry’s, .44 magnum pointed at her from another wall, while a hand beckoned her into 1973’s The Vault of Horror.

You’re an unusual decorator, she’d said. I told her it was only art. That I wasn’t the Starry Night type.

The rest of my 350 square foot apartment was consumed with over 25 framed pieces of movie memorabilia from the 1970s, horrifying and violent artwork which symbolized, paradoxically, the nostalgia I felt for the innocence of my movie-going youth. Equinox. Race with the Devil. Westworld. Straw Dogs.
See full article at CinemaRetro »
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