13 items from 2013
In the opening moments of “Milius,” a hellzapoppin’ new documentary about John Milius, a genius tyrant and warrior poet of '70s and '80s mainstream Hollywood who wrote and directed testosterone-soaked epics like “Conan the Barbarian” and “Red Dawn,” Sam Elliott, in the same laid back butterscotch drawl he used to narrate the adventures of The Dude, sums up the filmmaker thusly: “He doesn’t write for women and he doesn’t write for pussies. He writes for men. Because he’s a man.” And as “Milius” (the documentary) elaborates on Milius (the man), this was his biggest strength and his greatest weakness – at some point the persona he fashioned for himself, festooned with his fondness for cigars, right wing politics, and guns, would become too much of a liability, ultimately leading to his undoing. A self-styled renegade who was born in Missouri and grew up in California (his »
- Drew Taylor
In 1984, towards the end of Ronald Reagan's first term as president, John Milius, a gifted, rightwing maverick writer-director, made Red Dawn, a "what-if" thriller in which a division of Soviet and Latin American troops takes over a small Colorado town where they're confronted by a band of local teenage guerrillas. Milius's unfashionable patriotism and old-fashioned regard for honour and heroism, as well as his considerable cinematic gifts, gave the movie a certain distinction – in my eyes at least, though not in those of most colleagues. This remake was embarked on three years ago with Chinese invaders, and after a change in Sino-American relations it was reshot to make North Koreans the enemy. The directorial debut of a well-known specialist in stunt work and second-unit action sequences, it is a foolish, ill-considered undertaking, the unexpected topicality of which makes it all the sillier.
ThrillerAction and adventureNorth KoreaCommunismPhilip French
- Philip French
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
It seems that Hollywood’s glut of remaking classic movies is over. They’re now deigning to tackle movies that weren’t very good in the first place, as John Milius’ propaganda cheese-fest Red Dawn gets the makeover treatment this week.
Filmed around three years ago but left to rot in a studio vault until Chris Hemsworth became famous as an Avenger, Red Dawn is the most crass Hollywood production in recent memory. Furthermore, in order to gain access to China’s massive movie market, the film’s antagonists were changed from Chinese to North Korean – as opposed to the original film’s Soviet Union – in post-production.
As an opening montage sequence demonstrates, this is a film desperately trying to cobble together a front of topicality; clips of famous political figures discussing the financial crisis and Kim Jong-un’s ascent to power are however too somber in tone, »
- Shaun Munro
Writer-director John Milius is too colorful of a filmmaker not to have his own documentary. Ironically, the man who wrote Apocalypse Now and Dirty Harry as well as writing and directing Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn has now faded into semi-obscurity behind contemporaries and colleagues such as Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. While Spielberg and Lucas rode to fame on cutting-edge special effects paired with an appreciation of the sci-fi and adventure genres, Milius came from a completely different place that earned him the admiration of his peers, but also turned him into an outsider and eventually a pariah in Hollywood. In Joey Figueroa and Zak Knutson's documentary Milius, his friends and family come to speak about the greatness about the controversial filmmaker, and how his personality brought him to success, but also may have been part of his professional downfall. After a brief montage of various directors, »
- Matt Goldberg
A 1980s piece of anti-communist propaganda has been remade for the modern age. Did they have to?
Say what you will about John Milius's 1980s rightwing cold war flag-waver Red Dawn, at least it had the courage of its convictions. The new remake – released three years after completion, thanks to the MGM bankruptcy restructuring – can't even decide who its real enemies are. When it wrapped, the invading superpower was still Red China; in the interim, some wise suit remembered the billion-plus Chinese moviegoing market and decreed that the enemy should henceforth be North Korea, a black hole for Hollywood releases. Cue some retroactive digital adjustments – commie signage, uniforms, etc – a new opening voiceover, a couple of reshoots and, voila! – a new enemy. The late Kim Jong-il, a budding auteur himself, would have been charmed by the attention.
He might also have wondered, just as I did, what the hell was going on. »
- John Patterson
Do you know of a filmmaker named John Milius? You must do? Milius is probably one of the greatest writers and directors of the late 20th century, responsible for such movies as Dirty Harry, Conan The Barbarian, Apocalypse Now and the original Red Dawn. A brand new documentary based on Milius if about to debut at the SXSW festival over in the Us, and we have the first trailer and poster from it.
Synopsis: The life story of one of the most influential and controversial film directors in the history of Hollywood, John Milius. From his childhood aspirations to join the military to his formative years at the USC Film School, his legendary work on films such as “Apocalypse Now”, “Jaws”, “Conan The Barbarian”, “Dirty Harry” and “Red Dawn” to his ultimate dismissal from Hollywood due to his radical beliefs and controversial behavior. The film includes in depth interviews with »
- Paul Heath
It is a nice coincidence that the trailer for a new documentary about filmmaker John Milius should arrive as the Big Lebowski is celebrating its 15th anniversary, given the writer-director was one of the inspirations for John Goodman’s war-obsessed gun nut Walter Sobchak. But the clip for Milius also serves as a reminder that that piece of trivia is one of the less interesting things about this larger-than-life character who brought us Big Wednesday, Conan the Barbarian, Dillinger, and Red Dawn, and who also cowrote Apocalypse Now and had a hand in penning the U.S.S. Indianapolis monologue in Jaws. »
- Clark Collis
What do Dirty Harry, Conan the Barbarian and Apocalypse Now have in common? Filmmaker John Milius. The Oscar-nominated writer/director/producer is responsible for some of the most iconic and macho films of the late twentieth century, but is also known for his volatile persona off the set. Premiering at SXSW is debut directors' Joey Figueroa and Zak Knutson's documentary on Milius, simply titled, Milius. I could try to describe Milius' work, but I'll just let Sam "The Voice" Elliott sum it up: "He doesn't write for pussies and he doesn't write for women...he writes for men, because he's a man." Well said, sir. Hit the jump to watch the trailer and check out the poster for Milius. Watch the trailer for Milius below: Official synopsis for Milius: The life story of one of the most influential and controversial film directors in the history of Hollywood, »
- Dave Trumbore
Writer. Filmmaker. Gun-owner. And all around bad-ass, John Milius, is the man who is responsible in part for the Dirty Harry franchise, Apocalypse Now, The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, 1941, Conan The Barbarian, Red Dawn and HBO's Rome. He was rumoured to have pulled a piece on a film executive and is the direct inspiration for the Coen Brother's Walter Sobchak character ("Mark It Zero!"). Furthermore, he came up with the idea for the Octagon-shaped ring in Ufc combat, wrote dialogue for the Quint character in Jaws, and a gave folks like Robert Zemeckis and Paul Schrader a leg up in the business when they were starting out.Making its debut at the SXSW festival this week is the documentary from Joey Figueroa and...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Following our exclusive new image of Mr Chris Hemsworth all suited and booted, we’ve got our hands on an exclusive early preview screening for his new movie. Red Dawn is an adrenaline-fuelled action thriller with a heavyweight cast of young stars which is released in UK cinemas on 15 March.
A re-boot of the 1984 cult-classic hit film featuring Patrick Swayze and Charlie Sheen, Red Dawn stars man-of-the- moment Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Snow White And the Huntsman, Avengers) and a host of bright young talent including Josh Hutcherson (The Hunger Games), Josh Peck (The Wackness), Adrianne Palicki (G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Friday Night Lights), Connor Cruise (Seven), Isabel Lucas (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (Watchmen, The Possession, Grey’s Anatomy).
To celebrate the film’s release, we have 5 pairs of tickets to a special screening on 11th March in London at 6.30pm.
To be in with a chance »
Red Dawn hit Us cinemas late last year and is due for release in the UK 15th March. Today we’ve been given this rather fancy new image of Chris Hemsworth suited (and probably booted) in his swanky uniform for his character in the movie. Red Dawn is a remake of the 1984 movie which starred Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson and C. Thomas Howell. The remake sees a case which includes Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise , Jeffrey Dean Morgan and is directed by Dan Bradley.
As well as the first look image of Chris Hemsworth, I’ve included a gallery of images from the movie which you can click to enlarge.
You can find out more by following @Red_DawnUK on Twitter or click here for all our coverage.
In Red Dawn, a city in Washington state awakens to the surreal sight of foreign »
- David Sztypuljak
Home Invasion is a weekly post every Tuesday which shows you what is being released on Blu-Ray & DVD today! We scoured through Amazon to bring you everything you might be interested in. Our Picks of the Week are releases that we are looking forward to checking out, have reviewed and/or were are Picks of the Week on the Dtb Podcast. All descriptions are courtesy of Amazon.com.
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Based on real events the dramatic thriller “Argo” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played-information that was not declassified until many years after the event. On November 4 1979 as the Iranian revolution reaches its boiling point militants storm the U.S. Embassy in Tehran taking 52 Americans hostage. But »
- Andy Triefenbach
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
13 items from 2013
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