4 items from 2016
The Octagon (1980)
There’s a scene in The Killer Elite, a not-great Sam Peckinpah movie from 1975, where Burt Young, the man who would go on to play Paulie in Rocky a year later, fights a ninja on the deck of a battleship. The ninja does not prove to be much of a problem for him. Young casually picks up the ninja and dumps him overboard. If the ninja even resists, we don’t see it. Instead, we see him go screaming into the water. And we see Young—squat, balding, portly, not exactly a physical wonder—leaning on the guardrail and watching him plunge. Then he makes this noise: “Hmp.” Like, “That was ...
- Tom Breihan
There's no doubt that Robert De Niro is a great actor, but there's also little argument that his cinematic choices since the turn of the millennium have been rather questionable. As a result, like various acting legends who've reached their elderly years, these days he's been labelled a 'paycheck actor' in various reviews for films like "Dirty Grandpa," "What Just Happened" and "Killer Elite".
Why has this happened to not just him but many other famed acting legends of the 1980s and 1990s? One of De Niro's old co-stars and highly respected actress in her own right, Illeana Douglas, has a theory and says the fault lies less with De Niro and more with the current movie-making environment. Appearing on Bret Easton Ellis' podcast recently, she spoke about her own experiences working with him on films like "Goodfellas" and "Cape Fear":
"I think that, and I can only »
- Garth Franklin
(This is the first in an occasional series in which I remember some of the best double features I’ve been lucky enough to see projected in a theater.)
The New Beverly Cinema, the oldest surviving revival theater in Los Angeles, has this week dished up a time-capsule glimpse into America’s popular obsession with Cb, or citizen’s band, radio and the largely mythological outlaw trucker culture through which it crackled. If you’re of a certain age (mine), and you ever cruised around town or down the highway jabbering to friends and strangers on an open channel frequency (I did—my handle was The Godfather!), given the opportunity I don’t see how you could possibly resist the chance to see the ultimate trucker-cb action-comedy pairing, Hal Needham’s Smokey and the Bandit and Sam Peckinpah’s Convoy. (I couldn’t!) As of this writing, the morning of »
- Dennis Cozzalio
Fresh off the success of “Spotlight,” Open Road Films is teaming with Crystal City Entertainment/Boundary Stone Films in a multi-picture development financing pact for all of Open Road Films’ own productions over the coming years.
The deal will cover two to four films annually with the titles getting a wide domestic release via Open Road Films and foreign sales being handled by Open Road International and partner Film Nation.
Open Road was launched in 2011 by Regal Entertainment Group and AMC Theaters, two of the largest U.S. exhibitors. Besides “Spotlight,” which has topped $33 million domestically and received six Oscar nominations, Open Road has seen strong performances from mid-budget titles such as “The Grey,” “Killer Elite,” “A Haunted House,” “The Host,” “Side Effects,” “The Nut Job” and “Chef.”
- Dave McNary
4 items from 2016
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