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It's amazing to consider how prolific Clint Eastwood has been as a director. When actors direct, they tend to focus on just a few projects. Kevin Costner, for instance, has just three directing credits to his name. Mel Gibson has four. And yet it took Eastwood almost twenty films before he received the same accolades that they did for his skills. (He currently stands at 35-plus movies.) It took him that long to be properly acknowledged. Luckily, because he has so many, we can genuinely chart his growth and progress as a creative force in ways we can't with those other filmmaker/stars. High Plains Drifter, which has arrived in freshly minted Blu-ray form, was the first Western he directed, and remains one of his most challenging (and disturbing) efforts behind the camera. Hit the jump for my full review. It's a far cry from more confident and polished directing jobs waiting in his future. »
- Rob Vaux
Since busting out of director jail last year and helming a big screen treatment of Jim Grant’s Jack Reacher series, Christopher McQuarrie has been making every effort to keep himself busy; the former Wolverine scribe has hopped on board for a feature-length rendition of British TV series Unforgiven (not, as one might assume, a remake of the classic Clint Eastwood Western), and more recently signed up to take the reigns on Mission: Impossible 5, which will reunite him with Reacher star Tom Cruise. (To say nothing of his numerous writing credits, which include, but aren’t limited to, Jack the Giant Slayer and Cruise’s 2014 sci-fi action flick, Edge of Tomorrow.)
- Andrew Crump
Odd List Simon Brew 15 Nov 2013 - 07:08
Lots of films are dedicated to, or in memory of someone. But it's not always clear why. We've been finding out...
Back when Breaking Bad returned for its final batch of episodes in August 2013, it had a dedication at the end of it. The card read 'Dedicated to our friend Kevin Cordasco'. As it turned out, Kevin Cordasco was a 16-year old who had been battling cancer for seven years, who had met both Bryan Cranston and Vince Gilligan. Cordasco died before he could ever get to see the episode dedicated to him.
I found this such a moving story, that it got me wondering about the dedications that appear on films, and what the story behind them was. After all, the dedications are there for a reason. What I uncovered was some funny stories, mainly extremely sad ones, and some extremely moving dedications. »
It's the most all-American of film genres, filled with he-men and black hats. But the western has given us some great movies: the Guardian and Observer's critics pick the 10 best
• Top 10 crime movies
• Top 10 arthouse movies
• Top 10 family movies
• Top 10 war movies
• Top 10 teen movies
• Top 10 superhero movies
• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s
10. Rancho Notorious
Like Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang moved effortlessly between genres; his "western period" scattered throughout his "urban crime" and "film noir" periods. Even now, 60 years on, Rancho Notorious remains one of the strangest westerns ever made, furthering Lang's fascination (obsession?) with retribution, which arguably started with the 1936 lynch-mob drama Fury, his first film as a German émigré in the Us.
Perversely, although the protagonist is the wronged Vern (Arthur Kennedy), whose fiancee has been raped and killed by bandits unknown, Lang's film - which, as we are constantly reminded by its theme song, tells a tale of "hate, »
Book claims Mitt Romney was 'starstruck' by actor, whose national convention address caused one adviser to vomit
Clint Eastwood's eccentric performance at last year's Republican National Convention earned the veteran actor and film-maker some of the most bemused reviews of his illustrious career. Now a new book sheds light on how it played to the Republican faithful within the auditorium. One senior strategist was so horrified by the spectacle, it is alleged, that he promptly took himself off to vomit.
Double Down, by Mark Halperin and John Heilemann, details the negotiations that led to Eastwood making a surprise appearance at the August 2012 convention. It is claimed that Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, was "starstruck" by his association with Eastwood and that the film-maker's speech was not vetted beforehand. Once at the podium, the Unforgiven star implied that Barack Obama had directed profanities at both himself and Romney. He »
- Xan Brooks
Another great week for the streaming services with some good watches from this year, last year, the year before and about ten or twenty years back. I struggle to believe we can keep up this kind of momentum and variety until Christmas but we will see what happens. At the moment this column is just a pleasure to write due to the variety of stuff available.
One thing that has amazed me this week is how a worthy and quite brilliant drama like Disconnect can just squeak out on to streaming with so little fanfare. Have things really changed that much? Is relevant, timely cinema worthy of discussion made independently really such an off-putting thing to studios and distributors? A few years back when the Mubi service was introduced on the PlayStation Network, it threatened to give us free and pay per view independent cinema that you couldn’t see anywhere else. »
- Chris Holt
When you step off the plane at Busan’s Gimhae airport, Robert De Niro is there to welcome you. Not literally, of course, but everywhere you turn, that familiar mole, those permanently squinted eyes, and that strained, insidious smile entreat you to visit the nearby Paradise Casino, in the kind of ad campaign A-list stars once did clandestinely for foreign markets — and still continue to do, even if in the Internet era nothing stays secret for long. (And really, if De Niro needs the work, better this than more movies like “The Family.”)
Though one doubts that Bobby D has ever actually set foot in the South Korean port city of 4 million residents, his “Jackie Brown” director Quentin Tarantino was among the guests who did pass through for the 18th Busan Intl. Film Festival (Oct. 3-12). Nor was Tarantino, who stopped in Busan after picking up a career achievement prize »
- Scott Foundas
James Gray's reception in North America is a little bewildering, regardless of which side you stand on. To some, including this author, Gray's qualities as a filmmaker are obvious. Decidedly at odds with the trends of contemporary cinema since he made his debut with Little Odessa in 1994 (something discussed in the following interview), Gray's so-called "classical" style is invested in things seemingly forgotten in American movies. He stands outside of the present, yet it is far too simple to say he comes out of the past. Aside from Clint Eastwood, is there another director working in Hollywood making subtle, emotional, expertly-crafted dramas while also maintaining a delicately mannered mise en scène? Because of this, Gray seems out of place. Maybe that explains the lack of Cannes awards on his shelf (despite four trips to the festival's competition), the dissenting reviews (which don't even appear to be written on the »
- Adam Cook
The cross-pollination between Japanese chambara films and the traditional Hollywood-style Western has resulted in some of the most important films in cinema history. As Kurosawa looked to John Ford for inspiration, the cycle would continue in the 60s and 70s as Italians like Sergio Leone would traipse all over Spain remaking one Japanese film after another. The star of many of these projects, Leone's Mifune, was a tall lanky TV actor best known at the time for his role on Rawhide.In 1992, Clint Eastwood toyed with his own mythology with the extraordinary Unforgiven. Telling the tale of a former gunslinger forced out of retirement to settle one last score, it would go on to win a slew of Oscars, including Best Picture and Director for...
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- Sasha Stone
The almost outrageously intense, kidnapping thriller is hitting this week, and the Prisoners trailer doesn’t pull any punches.
With the possible exceptions of Jake Gyllenhaal (because he is still underrated) and Paul Dano (because not enough people know who he is), the cast of Prisoners should sell the film by itself. The word “Oscar®” follows this movie around like a bad penny.
Hugh Jackman and Terence Howard fill the pivotal roles of fathers whose daughters have been abducted. Gyllenhaal is the lead detective on the case, and Dano plays a suspect who is caught up in the thick of things, but is too mentally challenged to have orchestrated anything as complex as this case seems to be.
- Marc Eastman
Westerns and samurai films translate fairly well. They both feature groups who have a code, those groups are skilled with a particular weapon, and their way of life has begun to fade as the frontier closes and modernity arrives. Most famous among the films that have made successful transfers are Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai going to John Sturges’ The Magnifcent Seven and Kurosawa’s Yojimbo going to Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars, although Kurosawa’s movies are superior to their remakes. Now, America has sent one back the other way with director Lee Sang-il remaking Clint Eastwood’s classic western, Unforgiven. While the markers are still in place, Sang-il attempts to reframe his remake through the lens of Japanese history. However, he doesn’t change enough and remains tethered to the themes of Eastwood’s film, and these themes don’t coalesce in Sang-il’s picture. Although »
- Matt Goldberg
Adapting Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven” to 19th-century Japan proves remarkably apt in Lee Sang-il’s version of David Webb Peoples’ celebrated script, though the original’s undercurrent of wrenching emotion here becomes more of a surface trickle. Nevertheless, Lee (“Villain,” “Hula Girls”) presents an impressive vista that’s loyal to the source material, with the inspired inclusion of an indigenous leitmotif courtesy of Hokkaido’s aboriginal Ainu people. Stunningly shot and never less than entertaining, this new “Unforgiven” will find receptive auds at fests and could see a small, targeted international rollout; local B.O. should be strong.
Just as Akira Kurosawa chose the perfect correlates when shifting horse operas to a Japanese setting, so Lee was inspired in selecting the early Meiji period for his “Unforgiven.” It’s 1869, and imperial troops hotly pursue renegade samurai, loyal to the Shogun system, who have fled to the northern island of Hokkaido. »
- Jay Weissberg
Feature Aliya Whiteley 16 Sep 2013 - 06:50
Let’s start at the end of this story.
Unforgiven (1992) is a film that builds on the groundwork of others, and takes the ideas of the past to a new level. In it, Clint Eastwood plays a once-vicious killer, William Munny, who chooses to return to the role of bounty-hunter in his old age. It's no wonder that the film is dedicated to the two directors who shaped the public image of Eastwood to such an extent that we can view Unforgiven as an extension of the mythology of his classic role- the anti-hero. One is Sergio Leone, who turned Eastwood into the Man With No Name. The other director is Don Siegel.
Siegel directed five films that starred Eastwood and was a great influence on him »
Faye Dunaway in ‘Mommie Dearest’ — Joan Crawford portrayal ‘Greatest Bad Performance’? Clint Eastwood Best Picture Oscar nominee among ‘Greatest Bad Movies’ See previous post: “From John Travolta to Bob Dylan: ‘The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time’: Q&A with Phil Hall.” (Photo: Mommie Dearest, Faye Dunaway as Joan Crawford.) I noticed you have included some Bad Movies that were well received upon their release, e.g., Clint Eastwood’s Best Picture Oscar nominee ‘Mystic River’ (2003) and Henry King’s ‘In Old Chicago’ (1937) — another Best Picture nominee. Why are those movies not only Bad Movies, but also Great Bad Movies? I need to begin my answer by insisting that my new book is strictly about opinion. I don’t pretend to be the author of a be-all/end-all encyclopedia on the subject. Many people may disagree with the selection of films, both from an inclusive viewpoint and from »
- Andre Soares
From Alcon Entertainment comes Prisoners, a Warner Bros. Pictures release starring Oscar® nominees Hugh Jackman (“Les Misérables”) and Jake Gyllenhaal (“Brokeback Mountain”), under the direction of Denis Villeneuve, who helmed the Oscar-nominated foreign language film “Incendies.”
How far would you go to protect your family? Keller Dover (Hugh Jackman) is facing every parent’s worst nightmare. His six-year-old daughter, Anna, is missing, together with her young friend, Joy, and as minutes turn to hours, panic sets in. The best lead is a dilapidated Rv that had earlier been parked on their street. Heading the investigation, Detective Loki (Jake Gyllenhaal) arrests its driver, Alex Jones (Paul Dano), but a lack of evidence forces his release.
As the police pursue multiple leads and pressure mounts, knowing his child’s life is at stake, the frantic Dover decides he has no choice but to take matters into his own hands. But just how »
- Movie Geeks
Lord knows that, over the years, Hollywood has plundered its fair share of Japanese cinema. From the appropriation of "Godzilla," "Seven Samurai" turning into "The Magnificent Seven," to the long run of J-horror re-dos, to—only last week—the announcement of a DreamWorks version of Cannes film "Like Father Like Son," there aren't many major and successful Japanese movies that haven't been at least developed as a remake. So it only seems fair that the favor should be returned at some point, and what could be a better way of doing so than by remaking one of the greatest films by Clint Eastwood, whose own star was launched when "Yojimbo" was remade as "A Fistful Of Dollars." "Unforgiven" is, as the name might suggest, a remake of Eastwood's 1992 Oscar-winning revisionist Western, which we'd still argue is probably his finest hour as a director and as an actor. Here, Lee Sang-il, »
- Oliver Lyttelton
The 18th Busan International FIlm Festival (Biff) is just a month away and yesterday Biff revealed their packed new lineup. 301 films from 70 countries will be screened over the event's 10 days, including 95 world premieres and 42 international premieres. Opening the festival will be the Bhutanese Vara: A Blessing from Bhutan. Closing the event will be The Dinner, the 3rd feature by local indie filmmaker Kim Dong-hyun. Gala presentations include Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer, billed as its major festival debut by the programming team, and Kim Jee-woon's new short The X, which is the first film developed with Cgv's brand new Screen X exhibition technology. The Japanese remake of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven will also get the red carpet treatment. Many of the luminaries of...
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Steve McQueen's "12 Years A Slave" wasn't the only film to make a surprise debut at the 2013 Telluride Film Festival on Friday night. Warner Bros. snuck Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" into the Colorado town for its debut, days before the Canadian filmmaker is set to bring his major studio debut to the Toronto International Film Festival.
"['Prisoners'] sustains an almost unbearable tension for two-and-a-half hours of screen time, satisfying as both a high-end genre exercise and a searing adult drama of the sort Hollywood almost never makes anymore," Variety critic Scott Foundas wrote in a rave review of the film, before adding that "Prisoners" is "fully deserving of mention in the same breath as 'Seven,' 'Mystic River' and 'In the Bedroom.'" (Both "Mystic River" and "In The Bedroom" were Best Picture nominees.)
- The Huffington Post
As Tiff 2013 approaches, running September 5 through 15, we're compiling an ongoing group of trailers for the buzzy titles set to screen at the fest. Newly added to the roundup is the English-subtitled trailer for Hayao Miyazaki's "The Wind Rises" and Roger Michell's "Le Week-End," starring Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan and Jeff Goldblum. Also included is the trailer for the Ken Watanabe remake of Clint Eastwood classic "Unforgiven," Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin," Ulrich Seidl's "Paradise: Hope," the international trailer for Palme d'Or winner "Blue Is the Warmest Color," the stunning trailer for "Martha Marcy May Marlene" director Sean Durkin's Brit miniseries "Southcliffe," John Turturro's sex comedy starring Woody Allen, "Fading Gigolo"; a clip from "Blue Is the Warmest Color," and the trailers for Stephen Frears' "Philomena," Joseph Gordon-Levitt's "Don Jon," Hitoshi Matsumoto's "R100," Alfonso Cuaron's "Gravity," Steve McQueen's "12 Years a Slave, »
- Beth Hanna
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