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In the second installment of my conversation with The Pulitzer At 100 director Kirk Simon we discussed where Michael Cunningham (The Hours) and Michael Chabon (The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay which is also read by Martin Scorsese) keep their Pulitzers, multiple winners Thomas Friedman and Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times on working hard every day, a Tony Kushner Angels In America accent, Paula Vogel's (How I Learned to Drive) winning headline, Ayad Akhtar (Disgraced), and paying homage to Walter Hill's The Warriors when filming Tracy K Smith's reading of Life On Mars.
Pulitzer winner Paula Vogel taught Ayad Akhtar, »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
The AppleThe musical possesses a unique form of power rarely afforded to other Hollywood genres. In the words of film scholar Rick Altman, “The musical invites us to forget familiar notions of plot, psychological motivation, and causal relationships.” In contrast to other commercial genres, the musical is almost one-of-a-kind in its ability to arrest time and space, to suspend disbelief, to defy our lived understanding of human relationships and even the very conventions of filmgoing. In what other mainstream genre can fictional characters get away with looking into the camera lens so often? Dramatic logic is replaced in the Hollywood musical by spectacle and raw emotional appeal, with singing as the defining device for such purely cinematic priorities.But what happens to the musical when singing is taken out of it? This was the conundrum of the short-lived disco musical, a sub-genre that ended as soon as it began.Popular »
There’s nothing like a good mystery, and HBO’s Blackout (1985) has a central premise that’s hard to deny: You survive a car crash, but have no memory of who you were before. Until, 7 years later, someone shows up and insinuates that you were a man who murdered his entire family and then fled. Now, could you go about your life, or would you want to know the truth? And if you were a killer, would that impulse return?
HBO’s original programming was still in its infancy, so the film, which debuted on Sunday, July 28th, plays as a barely more graphic version of a network offering, which is fine anyway; Blackout offers enough story and characterization to diminish any desire for extra blood or sleaze.
Once more, to our faux TV Guide:
Blackout (Sunday, check local listings for the 42 of you who have HBO)
Following a horrific car accident, »
- Scott Drebit
Now you can own The Assignment Blu-ray. We Are Movie Geeks has Four copies to give away. All you have to do is leave a comment answering this question: What is your favorite movie directed by Walter Hill (mine is Hard Times!). It’s so easy!
1. You Must Be A Us Resident. Prize Will Only Be Shipped To Us Addresses. No P.O. Boxes. No Duplicate Addresses.
2. Winners Will Be Chosen From All Qualifying Entries.
The Assignment, the jaw-dropping audacious revenge thriller from legendary director Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hrs.), starring Michelle Rodriguez and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver (Best Actress, Motion Picture – Drama, Gorillas in the Mist: The Adventure of Dian Fossey; 1989; Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture, Working Girl, 1989,) heads home to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and »
- Tom Stockman
It’s kind of hard for me to undersell the impact Batman and Adam West had on me as a boy. I was six years old when the show premiered, and it was the first program I can remember seeing previews for and *begging* my mom to commit to letting me watch it when it finally came on. Like most every boy my age in the mid ’60s, I had a makeshift costume, a lunchbox, a plastic Batmobile, the Batman TV soundtrack (I still own the original LP), and of course the comic books, which never seemed quite as captivating to me compared to the vivid pop-art energy of the series. And hardly least of all, Batman introduced Julie Newmar’s Catwoman to me, who in turn introduced a whole other set of feelings to this six-year-old– fear and sex all rolled up into one inexplicable but ooh-la-la! package. (I’ll spare you, »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Crooked treasure hunters tangle with menacing black gangsters in this crime-action siege movie from 1992, with a fine filmmaker pedigree. The late Bill Paxton leads a great cast — William Sadler, Ice-t, Art Evans — in a tense standoff that turns into a murderous ordeal when it’s discovered that a million-dollar cache of gold is to be had. The Shout Selects extras include an informative interview with co-writer Bob Gale.
Shout! Factory ‘Shout Selects’
1992 / Color / 2:35 1:85 widescreen 1:37 flat full frame / 101 min. / Street Date June 27, 2017 / 27.99
Cinematography: Lloyd Ahern II
Film Editor: Freeman Davies
Original Music: Ry Cooder
Produced by Neil Canton
Directed by Walter Hill
A lot of movies struggle and strain and suffer to get made, and then »
- Glenn Erickson
The Assignment, the jaw-dropping audacious revenge thriller from legendary director Walter Hill (The Warriors, 48 Hrs.), starring Michelle Rodriguez and Golden Globe winner Sigourney Weaver (Best Actress, Motion Picture – Drama, Gorillas in the Mist: The Adventure of Dian Fossey; 1989; Best Supporting Actress, Motion Picture, Working Girl, 1989,) heads home to Blu-ray™ Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital HD), DVD and Digital HD on June 6 from Lionsgate. The film is available On Demand now. Rodriguez stars as a lowlife killer put through a full male-to-female gender reassignment surgery by a score-settling surgeon played by Weaver. Also starring Emmy® and Golden Globe® winners Tony Shalhoub (Golden Globe®: Best Actor, Television Series – Comedy, “Monk”, 2003) and Anthony Lapaglia (Golden Globe®: Best Actor, Television Series – Drama, “Without a Trace,” 2004), The Assignment Blu-ray Combo Pack and »
- Tom Stockman
These days, everyone and their dog has a podcast, but sitting pretty much near the top of the audio tree is Marc Maron. The comedian was a well-regarded but not especially famous comic when he began interviewing fellow comedians in 2009, and since then, he’s gone from strength to strength, with guests on the show ranging from A-list stars (Anne Hathaway was on recently) and comedy legends to, well, the goddamn President Of The United States, with Barack Obama making an appearance two years ago.
- Oliver Lyttelton
Premiering back in September at the Toronto Film Festival, Walter Hill‘s The Assignment (formerly known as (Re)Assignment) came not necessarily as a galvanizing work from an old action master, but a charming, off-beat genre exercise as well as show-off for older thespians (chiefly Sigourney Weaver and Tony Shaloub). With the film now in theaters and on VOD, we were able to talk to Hill about the freedom and fun he had in making his first real low-budget film.
The Film Stage: How have action films changed since you returned to directing with Bullet to the Head?
Walter Hill: I think the changes were well in the works before I did Bullet to the Head. Obviously the superhero comic-book film has taken over. They’re now what’s referred to as action films, but I think they’re very different from the kind of movies we used to »
- Ethan Vestby
The problem with “The Assignment,” Water Hill’s neo-noir action thriller about a hit man-turned-woman against his will by a vengeful doctor, is all in the title.
Originally known as “(Re)Assignment,” the title is based on an outdated surgical term, “gender reassignment,” now known as gender confirmation surgery. The change reflects that transgender individuals who choose to undergo medical transition are confirming their true gender identity, not re-assigning it.
In “The Assignment,” which follows Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) as a hit man who receives the surgery against his will by a vengeful doctor named Rachel Kay (Sigourney Weaver), using the accurate terminology would be inaccurate. That should give you a hint as to why “The Assignment” is exploitative, insulting, and dangerous to trans people.
Trans rights and good-taste advocates alike delivered their disdain swiftly and loudly when the first trailer for Walter Hill’s movie dropped in 2015. The fact »
- Jude Dry
With a career that started early as Steve McQueen’s screenwriter, Walter Hill has more than made his mark on American cinema. The writer of The Getaway and Alien, and director of Hard Times, The Warriors, 48 Hours, Streets of Fire, Wild Bill, and so many iconic films spoke with me about his latest, the neo-noir crime thriller, The Assignment. The Lady Miz Diva: The Assignment came under controversy practically from the moment it was announced. Do you think there were misconceived notions about the film? What was your take on the controversy? Walter Hill: Well, I certainly think that there are some misconceptions. Where to begin? The movie was attacked because the premise was felt to be in some ways disrespectful to the transgender...
[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...] »
Walter Hill is one of the great action and genre directors of the last 40 years, having made classics like “The Driver,” “The Warriors,” directed the pilot of HBO’s “Deadwood,” and produced, guided and rewrote the first three “Alien” films. With his latest film, “The Assignment” (originally titled “REAssignment” when it premiered at Tiff last fall), Hill finds himself in the unusual position of receiving sharp criticism for being transphobic.
“Want to know the truth, I don’t think it is very controversial,” said director Walter Hill, when he was a guest on IndieWire’s Filmmaker Toolkit podcast. “It’s been attacked mainly by people that haven’t seen the movie.”
- Chris O'Falt
Welcome back to the Weekend Warrior, your weekly look at the new movies hitting theaters this weekend, as well as other cool events and things to check out.
Three New Movies May Have Trouble Making Much of a Mark
After a couple impressive March weekends with one new box office record, and a couple impressive openings, we’re now into April, and of the new movies, there just doesn’t seem like anything can defeat last week’s powerful duo of DreamWorks Animation’s The Boss Baby--which exceeded all predictions with $49 million, taking the top spot from Beauty and the Beast. Ghost in the Shell didn’t even do as well as I thought it may, opening with just $19 million, those late reviews helping to kill its weekend.
- Edward Douglas
Stars: Michelle Rodriguez, Sigourney Weaver, Caitlin Gerard, Tony Shalhoub, Terry Chen, Anthony Lapaglia, Paul McGillion, Paul Lazenby, Ken Kirzinger, Zak Santiago, Caroline Chan, Adrian Hough | Written by Walter Hill, Denis Hamill | Directed by Walter Hill
Frank Kitchen is an assassin at the top of his game. When he’s double-crossed by a group of ruthless gangsters he falls into the hands of a rogue surgeon, known only as The Doctor, who transforms him into a woman against his will. Aided by a nurse with her own set of secrets, Frank the hitman becomes Tomboy the hitwoman and revenge is the first thing on her mind…
Tomboy (aka The Assignment), arrives on DVD and VOD here in the UK to little fanfare. Which, looking at the cast and crew, you’d think is surprising. The film is headlined by Michelle Rodriguez from the Fast & Furious franchise and Aliens’ Sigourney Weaver; with »
- Phil Wheat
Hill will join newly-announced showrunner Clyde Phillips and direct the season’s opening and closing episodes. The series’ cast is led by Billy Bob Thornton, who in January won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series for Season 1. David E. Kelley, Jonathan Shapiro, Ross Fineman and Larry Trilling serve as executive producers.
Hill is a veteran director of twenty feature films, including “The Warriors,” “48 Hours,” “Brewster’s Millions,” and “Wild Bill.” He has also produced multiple popular films and shows, like all of the films in the blockbuster “Alien” franchise and the horror anthology series “Tales from the Crypt.”
He also directed AMC’s acclaimed Emmy Award-winning debut television movie, “Broken Trail,” chronicling a story of five lost immigrant women and their trail driving rescuers during the waning days of »
- Joe Otterson
You may not know The Assignment by name -- it's had a number of different titles, after all, at various points known as TomBoy: A Revenger's Tale and (Re)Assignment -- but you might recognize it by its premise: Sigourney Weaver plays a vengeful plastic surgeon who performs a retaliatory sex-change operation on the assassin who killed her brother, turning Michelle Rodriguez wearing a prosthetic penis into just Michelle Rodriguez. It's...wild. The movie has also proven controversial since first screening on the festival circuit, with claims that the premise is either somewhat insensitive or wholly transphobic. "In retrospect I'm glad I took the plunge," Rodriguez wrote on Instagram. "The industry seems to be running low on edgy creativity & 'real take a chance' controversy, sometimes it makes me want to scream."
Director Walter Hill is being honored with a multi-day film festival at the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica April 6-10. Hill will be discussing his new thriller "The Assignment" as well as appearing at screenings of "The Driver" and "The Warriors". (The listing for "Hard Times" indicates that Hill will be interviewed on stage by Josh Olson). For more, click here. »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
Aside from the guaranteed global behemoth F8 of the Furious, a.k.a. Furious 8, a.k.a. All in the Fambly, this April is conspicuously blockbuster-lite. (Unless you count Smurfs: The Lost Village, and we do not.) No better time, then, to do a bit of exploring around the indie fringes. Offbeat genre pictures are abound this month, from a sleazy revenge picture to a slippery character study/kaiju movie combo to a virtuosic opera of gunfire. Elsewhere, Tom Hanks tackles a technothriller, Charlie Hunnam and Robert Pattinson venture into »
Something spooky is happening in the halls of a prep school in Osgood Perkins' The Blackcoat's Daughter (currently available on DirecTV), and to give horror fans a tease of what's to come, yesterday A24 released a new clip on Collider ahead of the film's March 31st theatrical release, and we now have it for Daily Dead readers to enjoy.
"Written and directed by Osgood "Oz" Perkins (I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House), the film stars Emma Roberts (Fox's "Scream Queens," FX's "American Horror Story"), Kiernan Shipka (AMC's "Mad Men," Lifetime's "Flowers in the Attic"), Lucy Boynton (Sing Street, Don't Knock Twice), Lauren Holly (ABC's "Motive," Dumb & Dumber), and James Remar (Showtime's "Dexter," Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, The Warriors).
The film premieres in theaters March 31, 2017 and is now available exclusively on DirecTV.
A deeply atmospheric and terrifying new horror film, The Blackcoat’s Daughter »
- Derek Anderson
Saban Films and Lionsgate have released the first trailer for The Assignment, which puts a unique twist on the assassin thriller genre. Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Rodriguez lead a diverse and impressive cast in this thriller, which also includes Tony Shalhoub, Anthony Lapaglia and Caitlin Gerard. If that wasn't enough, we also have the first poster for The Assignment, which you can check out below the trailer.
Legendary director Walter Hill (The Warriors) gives the revenge film a modern neo-noir twist with this electrifying thriller. Hitman Frank Kitchen (Michelle Rodriguez) is given a lethal assignment, but after being double-crossed, he discovers he's not the man he thought he was, he's been surgically altered and now has the body of a woman. Seeking vengeance, Frank heads for a showdown with the person (Sigourney Weaver) who transformed him, a brilliant surgeon with a chilling agenda of her own. The hitman, now a hitwoman, »
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