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17 items from 2009

Harden Embarrassed By Eastwood Meeting

8 December 2009 4:01 AM, PST | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Marcia Gay Harden was left red-faced after meeting her idol Clint Eastwood - because she acted like a star-struck teenager.

The Oscar-winner was delighted to land a role alongside the Dirty Harry star on his 2000 film Space Cowboys.

But she spent the whole shoot cringing following her embarrassing first meeting with Eastwood.

Harden, 50, tells the New York Daily News, "On my first day (on the set of Space Cowboys), he came into the hair and make-up trailer, and the 13-year-old girl in me took over. I flung myself across the trailer and hugged him - and I hugged him hard. I said 'Hi, I'm Marcia Gay Harden!' and he said, 'I know, I cast you.' I had let out a high-pitched laugh so hard, I bit a hole in my tongue just to shut myself up.

"I had heard that Clint only likes to do one or two takes... but that day, he did about 10 with me saying, 'It's going to be a wonderful space mission' with a lisp - because of the hole I had bitten in my tongue." »

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Warner Bros. to release 35 Clint Eastwood films in special DVD collection; list of movies

1 December 2009 11:52 AM, PST | The Scorecard Review | See recent Scorecard Review news »

On February 16, 2010, Warner Bros. is planning to release a 19-disc collection of 35 films that were either acted, directed, or both, by Clint Eastwood. The package is entitled “Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years at Warner Bros.,” and will contain features that span from 1968’s Where Eagles Dare to last year’s Gran Torino. The 35th film will be a short  documentary by film critic Richard Schickel called “The Eastwood Factor,” which is a play on the original title for Invictus, which was “The Human Factor.”

“I’ve known Clint for most of the time he’s been at Warner Bros.,” said Schickel. “I was fortunate to be able to wander around the Warner lot with him and hear his reminiscences. To be able to show him in the places where he works and lives and feels most comfortable is, I think, a unique opportunity.”

The package has a beginning price of »

- Nick Allen

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Warner Brothers Unveils Massive Clint Eastwood Box Set

30 November 2009 10:49 AM, PST | FilmJunk | See recent FilmJunk news »

So you've got The Dirty Harry Collection, The Man with No Name Trilogy and maybe one of the other previously released Clint Eastwood DVD box sets, but still you need more. More Clint. Well, you must be feeling pretty lucky, punk, because Warner Brothers have just announced plans to release a rather insane collection of Clint Eastwood's films early next year. Clint Eastwood: 35 Films 35 Years at Warner Bros will be a 19-disc set that covers all of his movies released through Warner Brothers between 1968 and 2008, starting with Where Eagles Dare and ending with Gran Torino. This is the kind of thing you usually only see years after someone has passed away, but we all know that Eastwood is still going strong. It's too bad they couldn't get this thing ready in time for Christmas though because I'm sure a lot of dads would probably love to see this under their tree. »

- Sean

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Top Ten Working American Directors

7 October 2009 2:18 AM, PDT | Rope of Silicon | See recent Rope Of Silicon news »

Top Ten Working American Directors

A list like this is tricky to the point of madness. However, I'm going to save you the trouble by saying it right here, right now: Most of the choices on this list are obvious. There's a reason why certain names continually pop up whenever conversation drifts toward great American films. So there. I said it.

Yet, how do you weigh the likes of Francis Ford Coppola, a genius who delivered some of the all-time greatest films, but fizzled out 25 or so years ago, against a filmmaker like Woody Allen who has worked consistently for decades churning out both brilliant gems and disposable time wasters? How do you compare either of these directors against an auteur such as Spike Jonze who has only opened two films so far, but both are masterpieces?

In the end I just went with my gut. I knew there were »

- David Frank

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Staunton Hill Coming to DVD

11 September 2009 5:24 PM, PDT | | See recent Dread Central news »

While Papa George is out touring the world with Survival of the Dead, the younger Romero, Cameron, is set to make his filmmaking debut with Staunton Hill, which will be touching down soon courtesy of Anchor Bay.

Cameron Romero is clearly following in his father’s fearful footsteps as a master of terror and suspense. When a group of hikers take off for a weekend of fun and adventure in a remote mountain region, they unwittingly stumble across the Staunton family – for whom the hill is named – and find themselves at the mercy of a depraved, diabolical brood that will stop at nothing to rid their property of these “trespassers.”

Staunton Hill stars Kathy Lamkin (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, No Country for Old Men), Cristen Coppen (Road Trip, Art School Confidential), Kiko Ellsworth (“Heroes,” “Dexter”), and Cooper Huckabee (Space Cowboys, Tobe Hooper’s The Funhouse).

Check out the cover art below, »

- Uncle Creepy

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Mad Men’s Jon Hamm Delivers a Sucker Punch

19 August 2009 1:02 AM, PDT | | See recent FilmSchoolRejects news »

Hot off the heels of the start of Mad Men's third season, Jon Hamm is reaching out and touching pen to paper in hopes of finding success on the big screen. Hamm, who has found his sweet spot in the role of Don Draper, is yet to get into a groove on the silver screen, signing on to such duds as The Day the Earth Stood Still (the lame remake version) and David Wain's abysmal The Ten. And lest we forget him as 'Young Pilot #2' in Space Cowboys... It appears as if his saving grace is coming, however, as Hamm will star alongside James Franco and Mary-Louise Parker in director Rob Epstein's Allen Ginsberg biopic Howl, which looks to be a solid entry into the 2010 release fray. And according to a report from Variety today, Hamm is going to also be getting some action in 2011 alongside the heavy-hitting female cast of Zack Snyder's »

- Neil Miller

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Blu-Ray Review: Beloved ‘Gran Torino’ Gets HD Treatment

18 June 2009 6:00 AM, PDT | | See recent news »

Chicago – Is it coincidental that Clint Eastwood’s beloved and uber-manly “Gran Torino” is hitting Blu-Ray and DVD just in time for shoppers looking for a great Father’s Day gift? Of course not. No one knows marketing like Warner Brothers and the well-timed and transferred “Gran Torino” should satisfy many a proud pop this season.

Blu-Ray Rating: 3.0/5.0 I’m a huge Clint Eastwood fan as an actor and director. “Mystic River”, “Million Dollar Baby”, “Unforgiven,” and “Letters From Iwo Jima” are some of the best films of the last twenty years. But he’s not perfect and when I saw “Gran Torino” in theaters, I thought it fell much closer to missteps like “Space Cowboys” and “Pink Cadillac” than his best.

Gran Torino was released on Blu-Ray on June 9th, 2009.

Photo credit: WB Watching it again on a very well-transferred Blu-Ray release and after months of near-glowing praise, I »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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Nothing But the Truth (review)

5 May 2009 5:59 PM, PDT | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

And here we come to the tricksy middle ground of my green light/yellow light/red light ratings scale: When I saw Nothing But the Truth last year, it was slated for theatrical release, and would have garnered a yellow-light/wait-for-dvd rating. Then the film became a casualty of distributor Yari Film Group’s financial woes and subsequent bankruptcy, never got its theatrical release, and went straight to DVD last week. Can I recommend you check it out on DVD? Yes... but the green-on-dvd rating still comes with caveats. It’s hard to put a finger on anything actually wrong with this earnest drama of politics, conscience, and democratic ideals -- and I must emphasize that I like film critic-turned-filmmaker Rod Lurie (Resurrecting the Champ) not just because he’s one of my own but for his storytelling sincerity and dedication -- but it’s equally difficult to embrace it enthusiastically, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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Imagine this! Stingray Sam review

28 April 2009 12:42 PM, PDT | Twitch | See recent Twitch news »

Hi y’all! Time to get silly.


Having never seen Cory McAbee’s previous film “American Astronaut” I had no clue what to expect from his latest sci-fi non-epic “Stingray Sam”. So as I waited for the venue to open its doors, I checked out the scores so far for the Silver Scream Award, which is the Imagine Film Festival’s yearly award based on audience ratings. Guess what: “Let The Right One In” dominated the chart as expected. But to my surprise “Stingray Sam” was in second place with almost the same score!

This made me very curious to say the least, as on paper this title didn’t look in the least like like an audience pleaser.


For “Stingray Sam” is mostly shot in black & white and on an below-low budget. It’s also allegedly meant to be seen on mobile phones as a series of six ten-minute episodes, »

- Ard Vijn

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DVD Review: Catch Current Season of ‘Battlestar Galactica’ Before Mid-Season Premiere

14 January 2009 2:31 PM, PST | | See recent news »

Chicago – “Battlestar Galactica” returns to the Sci-Fi Channel on January 16th, 2009, at 9pm Cst for the final arc of episodes of the beloved series. There’s still time to catch up with season 4.0 before the mid-season premiere of 4.5 in an excellent TV set from Universal. The “Battlestar Galactica” TV packages have been some of the most critically lauded and popular of the format and the new release is no exception.

With perfect video and audio and exhaustive special features, the only negative thing that can possibly be said about “Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0” is that you’ll eventually have to replace it with a Blu-Ray set. Universal has revealed that “BSG” seasons will be released on the HD format as soon as later this year.

Battlestar Galactica: Season 4.0 is released by Universal Home Video on January 6th, 2009.

Photo credit: Universal Home Video

“Season 4.0” features ten episodes on three discs and the 101 minute movie, »

- (Adam Fendelman)

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'Gran Torino' Muscles In

12 January 2009 3:17 PM, PST | Box Office Mojo | See recent news »

Clint Eastwood vehicle Gran Torino charged the weekend box office with $29.5 million in its nationwide expansion, while comedy Bride Wars and horror The Unborn debuted solidly. On the strength of those pictures, overall business was up nearly 13 percent over the same weekend last year as well as on the high end for January in general. Playing on approximately 3,200 screens at 2,808 theaters, Gran Torino scored the highest-grossing nationwide launch of Eastwood's career as an actor or director, shooting past his previous high, Space Cowboys at $18.1 million. Adjusted for ticket price inflation, the action drama's start slots in second behind Every Which Way But Loose, which is also Eastwood's most attended movie overall, and was around ten percent bigger than In the »

- Brandon Gray

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'Torino' beats 'Bride Wars' to Us top spot

12 January 2009 4:21 AM, PST | Digital Spy | See recent Digital Spy - Movie News news »

Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino has claimed the number one spot at the Us box office. The drama, which the 78-year-old directed and stars in, holds off competition from Kate Hudson/Anne Hathaway comedy Bride Wars and horror movie The Unborn to take first place. With weekend takings of $$29 million, Gran Torino smashes Eastwood's previous box office record of $$18 million, set in 2000 for Space Cowboys. Last week's number one Marley & Me falls to number four, while Bill Duke's (more) »

- By Simon Reynolds

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Clint Eastwood Box-office Career High For "Gran Torino"

11 January 2009 6:06 PM, PST | | See recent CinemaRetro news »

The results of this weekend's box-office race are in and 78 year-old Clint Eastwood has easily defeated Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson at the ticket booth. Eastwood's acclaimed Gran Torino took in $29 million this weekend, besting by far his previous opening weekend gross ($18 million) for Space Cowboys back in 2000. The results also back Eastwood's marketing plan to release his films on a staggered basis in limited runs to build critical support and momentum. The second-place spot was taken by the poorly-reviewed Bride Wars which took in $21 million. The groundswell of support for Gran Torino may help Eastwood nab some key Oscar nominations, though he was inexplicably not nominated for tonight's Golden Globe awards, except for his contribution to writing the film's haunting theme song. In other box-office news, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button continues to perform very well and, in limited release, the WWII pic Defiance had a massive per-theater »

- (Cinema Retro)

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'Gran Torino' revs up weekend b.o.

11 January 2009 2:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter | See recent The Hollywood Reporter news »

Warner Bros. sped to the top of the domestic boxoffice this weekend, as Clint Eastwood's urban drama "Gran Torino" registered an estimated $29 million with a turbocharged expansion into wide release.

Fox's opening salvo with the romantic comedy "Bride Wars" captured second place with $21.5 million, while Universal's supernatural thriller "The Unborn" delivered $21.1 million in third. The three top debutantes outpaced expectations in a weekend so robust as to blow away any concern that economic hard times might discourage moviegoing.

Sony's urban drama "Not Easily Broken" bowed less dramatically, but with just 724 runs even its ninth-place showing of $5.6 million amounted to a solid showing.

Industrywide, the first weekend of the 2009 boxoffice year marked a 4% improvement over the same frame last year with $146 million in collective grosses, according to Nielsen Edi data.

The specialty market also was ebullient.

Paramount Vantage added 97 playdates for a total of 135 for its Leonardo DiCaprio-Kate Winslet »

- By Carl DiOrio

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"Gran Torino" Blasts Away Box-Office Competition

11 January 2009 12:29 PM, PST | Manny the Movie Guy | See recent Manny the Movie Guy news »

No dueling brides or unborn spawn of Satan could outrank Clint Eastwood at the box-office!

Mister Clint has had the best movie opening of his glorious career! "Gran Torino" made $29 million in ticket sales beating the $18 million his "Space Cowboys" made in 2000.

Settling in at No. 2 is the wedding comedy "Bride Wars" starring Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson. The film opened with $21.5 million in its debut.

The horror film "The Unborn" followed at No. 3 with $21.1 million.

All the Academy Awards-baiting flicks are enjoying box-office success stories. According to, "Focus Features'"Milk," Paramount Vantage's "Revolutionary Road" and Fox Searchlight's "The Wrestler" - all with awards hopes at the Globes and beyond - were among the best performers in screen average. Each hopes to continue to build momentum as the Oscars near."

Here's the Top 10 films at the box-office for weekend of January 9th, 2009:

1. "Gran Torino," $29 million.

2. "Bride Wars, »

- Manny

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Clint Eastwood's Gran Torino Tops Box Office

11 January 2009 | | See recent news »

The Box Office Report has been updated with studio estimates for the weekend. Click here for the full box office estimates of the top 12 films and then check back on Monday for the final figures based on actual box office. Clint Eastwood's new drama Gran Torino took first place at the box office with an estimated $29 million, a new record for the 78-year-old actor, topping the $18 million his Space Cowboys made in 2000. The movie increased its theater count from 84 theaters to 2,808 this weekend and averaged an impressive $10,337 per location. Since opening on December 12 in New York and Los Angeles, the film has earned $40.1 million so far. The Warner Bros. release, directed by, produced by and starring Eastwood, cost about $33 million to make. Two »

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Box Office: Gran Torino Grabs $10M Friday, Could Reach $30M Weekend

9 January 2009 10:58 PM, PST | Slash Film | See recent Slash Film news »

Clint Eastwood may have saved his biggest for last.

If Gran Torino (Warner Bros) is, as he has hinted, his final big screen acting role, he is going out on top. The 78-year-old multi-Oscar winning director has the #1 movie in America, and the biggest opening of his career.

Gran Torino, the redemptive story of a racist Korean War veteran named Walt Kowalski, has expanded to just over 2,800 playdates with an estimated $10M Friday. That puts the modestly budgeted film on target for a $30M wide opening, easily the biggest of the screen legend’s career.

All-time Best Clint Eastwood Openings - wide release – 1. Gran Torino - $30M (projected) 2. Space Cowboys - $18.09M 3. In the Line of Fire - $15.2M 4. Unforgiven - $15M 5. Absolute Power - $14.6M

Novice screenwriter Nick Schenk managed to get a copy of Gran Torino into Eastwood’s hands and the legendary actor/director/composer decided to »

- Steve Mason

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