11 items from 2010
I have basically resigned myself to reviewing, watching and recommending Blu-rays whenever possible. I love the format and wish everyone could just magically adopt it so the prices would become more reasonable (a dream scenario I'm sure). I am always waiting and looking for deals when it comes to Blu-rays since most often the prices are simply too outrageous. As a matter of fact, while putting this piece together I only now bought myself copies of The African Queen and The Bridge on the River Kwai at Barnes and Noble as both were on sale and I had a 10% off coupon. The way I see it $39 isn't bad for the those two titles, especially when suggested retail is $75 before shipping.
So understand, I know when recommending this many titles at once I realize the possibility of you purchasing all of them is slim to none, but hopefully I may be »
- Brad Brevet
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Matt Spaiser, creator of excellent blog The Suits of James Bond analyses the world’s sharpest spy in the film that started it all – Dr. No.
James Bond has most likely influenced people’s suit-wearing habits more than any other fictional character has. Dr. No (1962, directed by Terence Young) established the classic look for the character for the many films that followed. Throughout Dr. No, Sean Connery wears five unique tailored ensembles. Each outfit is simple, classic and worthy of imitation. The idea was to put Bond in suits that were distinctly British, but keep things simple because a secret agent should never stand out. Yet because of this simplicity, the clothes still look fresh today.
Three of the five tailored ensembles in Dr. No are basic lounge suits: one in dark grey, »
- Chris Laverty
Last week's poll explored some of the the finest train-related thrill rides that cinema has to offer, and clearly there was no shortage of good stuff to choose from. Votes ended up being distributed a little more evenly than usual, but Wes Anderson's The Darjeeling Limited came out on top. Definitely a bit of a surprise, given that it's not one of his most highly praised films. Under Siege 2 and Transsiberian came in at #2 and #3 (also somewhat surprising) followed closely by Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and Runaway Train. Meanwhile, The Great Train Robbery brought up the caboose with just 5% of the votes. Are you pleased with the results, or did Film Junk readers go off the rails with this one? 1. The Darjeeling Limited -- 16.4% 2. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory -- 13.1% 3. Transsiberian -- 12.4% 4. Strangers on a Train -- 12% 5. Runaway Train -- 11.6% 6. The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 (1974) -- »
By Eric Ditzian
Photo: 20th Century Fox
Together Denzel Washington and director Tony Scott can reliably be expected to deliver hyperkinetic action sequences and box-office openings in the low $20 million range. Except for the $18 million "Crimson Tide" debuted to in 1995, this pair's flicks haven't plunged beneath the $20 million mark, nor have they floated past $24 million.
"Unstoppable," the duo's fifth collaboration, is likely to open within that familiar range, though its stellar reviews might lift the action flick's opening. Here's what critics are saying:
"Cinematic narrative doesn't get any simpler than that, and Scott wisely keeps the premise pure, ratcheting up the tension and raising the emotional stakes without cluttering up the story's sleek lines. A young, inexperienced railroad conductor named Will (Chris Pine) is on his first shift with veteran train operator »
Films and trains: they go way back. Take the Lumière brothers' pioneering their new cinématographe invention in 1895 with “Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat” or 1903’s “The Great Train Robbery,” widely considered to be the foundation for all narrative cinema; it seems that back then, anyone holding a movie camera could think of nothing better to do with it than point it at a train. The two were, of course, born of similar mechanical, pre-electronic technology; cogs and spokes and sprockets keep a locomotive on its tracks, even as their tinier counterparts spool celluloid through a projector. It’s… »
Get your chaps and spurs on. The Western genre is riding back into Tinseltown, but perhaps not as you know it.
Westworld starred James Brolin (who is, of course, married to Barbra Streisand) whose son Josh Brolin stepped into the genre for this year's Jonah Hex, based on the DC Comics title about a disfigured gunslinger.
It was a critical and commercial dud but, undeterred, Hollywood is hoping for better luck adapting Western-themed comic books with Cowboys & Aliens - released next July and starring Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford as cowboys »
- David Bentley
We've picked out the 25 best crime movies ever, but no doubt there are masterpieces we failed to nab. Which are your most wanted classics of the genre?
• Datablog: download the full list
"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," says the cop to Jack Nicholson in the closing scene of Roman Polanski's La noir. What the cop means, I think, is that they are in a bad part of town where the law is largely powerless, although the implicit suggestion may also be that the whole world has become like Chinatown and that its crimes are too vast and sprawling to get a hold of. Far safer to wash your hands, walk away and forget the whole thing ever happened. It's Chinatown.
It could be argued that most films are crime films, if only because most drama needs crime, or conflict, or at least transgression in order for it to spark into life. »
- Xan Brooks
‘Sator’ From The Tailor and Cutter forum takes a look at the superior costume design of Edwardian set British classic, Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949).
Kind Hearts and Coronets is a delicious Ealing black comedy starring Dennis Price as Louis Mazzini, distant heir to a dukedom, but with eight members of the D’Ascoyne family standing in his way. He vows to avenge the premature death of his beloved mother who dies in poverty after being ostracised by her family for marrying below her station, after eloping with an Italian opera singer. Mazzini sets out to murder his way to the Dukedom of Chalfont, with each of his victims played to hilarious effect by Alec Guinness – even Lady Agatha D’Ascoyne.
This is a splendid film in its own right, shot in a sumptuous black and white. However, what interests us today is the extraordinary care taken in recreating Edwardian dress. »
Trevor Hogg profiles the career of legendary Hollywood filmmaker Steven Spielberg in the fourth of a five part feature... read parts one, two and three.
Collaborating with co-director Douglas Day Stewart (Listen to Me), filmmaker Steven Spielberg produced a ninety-minute video release called The Visionary (1990). The Western centres around a psychiatrist who skeptically recruits the services of an Indian medicine man to heal the troubled relationship between an American Native Indian and his wife.
A modern-day retelling of a classic children’s tale by British playwright J.M. Barrie was the next theatrical release for Spielberg. Hook (1991) stars Robin Williams (One Hour Photo) as the middle-aged Peter Pan who must return to Neverland in order to rescue his kidnapped son and daughter from the clutches of his pirating archenemy Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman). “When I was eleven years old, I, along with other kids, directed a shorten version of Peter Pan in my elementary school, »
Featuring exclusive insight from Sherlock Holmes costume designer Jenny Beavan, we commence our sartorial analysis of Guy Ritchie’s Victorian-set mystery adventure, and with not a deerstalker in sight.
“Wear a jacket” barks Dr. Watson. “You wear a jacket!” retorts Sherlock Holmes. And he does. Watson sits down to dinner with Holmes and bride-to-be Mary Morstan wearing arguably the most unusual and interesting jacket in the entire film. It is dark blue with a stand collar and pleats across the chest. But more on that later.
Sherlock Holmes (2009) is Guy Ritchie’s re-imagining, re-boot, re-whatever of Arthur Conan Doyle’s renowned fictional detective. It’s greater fun than any of us dared hope for. Moreover the costumes by industry veteran Jenny Beavan were magnificent. Totally reinventing Holmes and Watson in the eyes of moviegoers, Beavan went to town creating a look that was period accurate in all the right places, »
- Chris Laverty
Historians of the Oscars will remember the 2010 celebrations as the year that a possible scenario for a screwball Hollywood comedy became actual when a former husband and wife – James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow – went head to head for the big prize.
However, what will be remembered forever as the cinematic milestone of 2009 is that a week before Christmas an American film called Avatar opened in cinemas from Chicago to China and by the end of January had taken billions of dollars at the box office, becoming the most profitable movie ever made. Moreover, its commercial success established beyond doubt that audiences throughout the world are in thrall to special effects, that they're as ready to accept computer-generated creatures as they are human beings, and that these fantasy figures don't need to speak any known language.
And contrary to the views of superior critics and the advice of concerned oculists, these »
- Philip French
11 items from 2010
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