12 items from 2009
For my money, one of the best directors during the the late 70’s through the 80’s was Walter Hill. A tough director who made some of the leanest, meanest, toughest action thrillers during that period such as, The Driver, 48 Hours (and the sequel Another 48 Hours), the truly off-the-wall Extreme Prejudice, The Warriors, Hard Times, the western The Long Riders and several others. His output slowed down after a couple of big flops and Hollywood started ignoring macho action films for comic book superheroes. Since then Hill basically worked on cable TV series like the HBO western Deadwood and the western mini series The Broken Trail – still the highest rated cable movie ever. Now Hill is about to return to the big screen, after an 8 year absence, since his overlooked terrific prison boxing movie Undisputed with Wesley Snipes and Ving Rhames, with the thriller, St. Vincent, which was announced last week, »
While talent shows provided national talking points, it was a slew of dramas that really gripped this viewer
This year I'm devoting the top 10 to drama, partly because it feels as though the genre is having a harder time of television's indisputable Hard Times than, for example, anything featuring Cheryl Cole, but also because, despite this, there have been some truly extraordinary TV dramas in 2009.
Though this decision did seem slightly perverse when, looking back over the year's reviews, I noted an unprecedented amount of coverage of pretty much anything but drama – in marked contrast to, say, 1999, when I started my TV-reviewing career and when the big drama of the week, whether a one-off mini-series or a soap episode, was invariably the cornerstone of a review.
- Kathryn Flett
Episode Title: "August"
Synopsis: The Observer (Michael Cerveris) is back, and just as he ominously warned Walter Bishop (John Noble) in last season's finale, there is more than one of everything — including himself. A renegade Observer named August (Peter Woodward) draws attention from Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) and the Fringe team after he abducts a young woman in broad daylight. What is August's plan? Why is he acting rather than observing? More importantly, where are his eyebrows?
Observations: We sure learned a lot about the Observers, didn't we? Let's recount the facts: they have access to crazy weaponry. They can activate sophisticated machinery simply by touching it. They can catch bullets. They aren't all identical. They write in weird characters that Astrid Farnsworth (Jasika Nicole) can't decipher. They know what you are about to say and, worse yet, they say it alongside you. They've been around forever, »
- Josh Wigler
Singer-songwriter Patrick Wolf has said that The X Factor is more about light entertainment than music. The 'Hard Times' star told Digital Spy that there should be greater opportunities for artists to get their songs heard on TV since the demise of Top Of The Pops. Wolf explained: "I do watch The X Factor. It's like watching the Royal Variety show or something, I don't take it seriously as music, it's light entertainment. "There's no music TV shows apart from ... Jools Holland. The only place you can experience music on a mass level seems to be X Factor. If there (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
What’s the best movie from the late 70’s that features light sabers, an enormous space fortress capable of annihilating entire planets, wisecracking robot sidekicks, and dogfights between interplanetary spaceships? If you said Star Wars, you’d be wrong! Leave it to the wacky Italians, always quick to exploit a popular trend, to rip off George Lucas’s cash cow resulting in a film so spectacularly cheesy that over 30 years later it has actually aged better than the film it emulates. That movie is of course is the insane 1978 sci-fi “epic” Star Crash, an infamously harebrained but entertaining-as-hell Star Wars knockoff that is Not available on DVD.
Like Star Wars, most of Star Crash is comprised of a string of Flash Gordon-inspired cliffhanger adventures. Caroline Munro stars as Stella Star, an intergalactic smuggler who, along with her alien companion Akton (Marjoe Gortner), is captured by some sort of galaxy-wide »
Patrick Wolf has revealed that he does not want to be marginalised as a gay artist. The 'Hard Times' singer told Digital Spy that his previous record company wanted to compartmentalise him because of his sexuality. Wolf said: "When I got a boyfriend, they suddenly went, 'How are we going to market you as a gay artist?' But I'm not a straight or gay artist. I'm just a musician. "It was a bit of a boring time and there was a lot of typical record company bulls**t." When asked if he thinks homophobia still exists in the mainstream (more) »
- By Mayer Nissim
There's a great line-up of quirky films being shown back-to-back on TCM (North America) tonight. At 8:00 Pm is Woody Allen's hilarious Take the Money and Run. At 10:00 Pm is Ridley Scott's The Duellists starring Keith Carradine and Harvey Keitel. At midnight is Stephen Frear's Gumshoe starring Albert Finney, and capping it off at 1:30 Am is Walter Hill's superb (and under-rated) Hard Times (aka The Streetfighter) starring Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Strother Martin. Crank up those DVD recorders! »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Next Tuesday, October 6th is Super-8 Movie Madness Night at The Way Out Club in St. Louis! Younger movie geeks might not be familiar with Super-8 movie madness, so a brief history of the malady is in order. Besides waiting for a favorite film to pop up on TV, what did movie buffs do before home video? That’s not a rhetorical question because I have the answer: Super-8 millimeter Films! I’m not talking about the kind our dads made of us on vacation in the 60’s and 70’s but the kind that were sold at stores and through mail-order that were condensed versions of popular feature films. Ken Films, Castle Films, and Blackhawk were just some of the distributors of these digest versions of famous movies. I remember the ads that ran in the back of “Famous Monsters of Filmland” magazine advertising mini horror films and I collected them as a kid. »
Sufjan’s former bandmate makes lovely home recording
Before Sufjan Stevens dug into the Midwest’s history books, he played in a college band called Marzuki with the sweet-voiced Shannon Stephens. After school, Stephens moved to Seattle and quietly released a brilliant self-titled solo record—then, aside from the occasional gig with friends Rosie Thomas and Denison Witmer, stopped performing for several years. But she’s come back to the musical fold with her second LP, The Breadwinner, and it’s a welcome return. Like a stripped down Hem album, the home recording features friends dropping by to add subtle touches of horns and strings. The slowest songs on the down-tempo affair are pretty enough, but the best tracks (like “Hard Times Are Coming”) benefit from the other instrumentalists adding their own bursts of energy. »
Director Walter Hill.
Kicking Ass with Walter Hill
by Jon Zelazny
Action flicks. Two-fisted tales. Guy movies. Whatever you want to call them, writer, producer, and director Walter Hill is one of the living masters, with a resume full of classics from The Getaway (1972), to the Alien series, and the definitive eighties action-comedy blockbuster, 48 Hrs. (1982).
2009 marks the 30th anniversary of The Warriors (1979), Hill’s surreal “street gang on the run” cult classic, and his breakout success as a director.
Jon: A couple years ago, you did an audio commentary and on-camera intro for a new DVD edition of The Warriors. It was the first time I’d ever seen you; is it my imagination, or have you kept a low profile over the years?
Walter Hill: I’d never done a commentary before on one of my films. I don’t like the idea of explaining a movie; I »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
MTV's reinvention of the 1980s movie "Teen Wolf" is inching closer to reality with a pilot presentation order.
The cable network announced the project in January as part of its development slate. After seeing the script, MTV brass picked it up to presentation.
The 1985 film starred Michael J. Fox as a teenager who discovers he is a werewolf. The MTV version will be set in high school, draw from the horror genre to explore werewolf mythology and include a romantic plot line.
"It has a fresh take and is very different from the original," said Liz Gateley, senior vp MTV series development. "It has more of an 'American Werewolf in London' feel to it. It's a dramatic thriller with two best friends in the center who provide a great comedy element: They are two very relatable characters on the outer circles of popular cliques."
- By Nellie Andreeva
Here's a great reason to be a couch potato for the day: tomorrow, TCM's Summer Under the Stars series features an all-day James Coburn film festival including showings of The Americanization of Emily, The Carey Treatment, The President's Analyst, Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round, Hell is For Heroes, What Did You Do in the War Daddy?, Major Dundee, Harry in Your Pocket and Hard Times (which memorably pairs Coburn with streetfighter Charles Bronson). For full schedule click here »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
12 items from 2009
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