3 items from 2013
For the first hour or so of The Call, you’ll think you’re watching a new B-movie classic. The picture is staged as a typical ‘special location’ thriller. We get a solid prologue, a decent chunk of the movie set during the actual situation we paid to see, and then, as must always be a the case, a finale set away from the prime location. Speed had to eventually leave the bus, Shoot to Kill had to eventually get out of the mountains, and Red Eye couldn’t just end on that plane. It’s how a film like this handles the eventual disembarking that determines its overall success. Sadly, The Call blows the dismount by a considerable margin, trading plausible real-world tension for generic genre cliches. But up until that time, it is a superior thriller, and a successful return to the somewhat lost art of what Roger Ebert »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Scott Mendelson)
Above: Filmmaker Andrei Ujică in conversation with Dennis Lim.
Dennis Lim is the new year-round Cinematheque programmer for the Film Society at Lincoln Center. Not too long ago we reported Robert Koehler had taken the position, but due to family health issues, he has stepped down. We congratulate Dennis Lim and our thoughts are with Robert Koehler. He may not be a household name, but he meant a lot to those who knew him: Ric Menello passed away at the age of 60 last week. Menello is known for co-writing Two Lovers and Lowlife with James Gray, and for directing this. Take a look at the Ditmas Park Corner blog's remembrance of Menello.
Editor of The Chiseler and Notebook contributor Daniel Riccuito has a new book coming out, and it's a humdinger: The Depression Alphabet Primer, with illustrations by Tony Millionaire. You can find a sample of the delights »
- Adam Cook
There may be a slight possibility that standards for movie titles have become more lenient over the years, since we can't really fathom an action movie like this week's "Bullet to the Head" coming out in 1954 with a title like that. No sir.
The Sylvester Stallone vehicle does stick in your head for some reason, so we thought we'd dig in and find the most gruesome, lurid and downright threatening movie titles ever conceived. Remember, the criteria here ain't the violent content of the film itself, just its nastified handle.
15. '8 Million Ways to Die' (1986)
The unlikely combination of star Jeff Bridges, screenwriter Oliver Stone and director Hal Ashby ("Harold and Maude") came up with this neo-noir concoction, which failed to ignite at the box office and ultimately served as Ashby's swan song. The film itself has a pulpy, sub-"Miami Vice" plot about an alcoholic ex-detective drawn into a »
- Max Evry
3 items from 2013
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