Fail-Safe (1964) - News Poster



O The Choices I Have! A 2018 Tcmff Preamble

So much time, so few movies to see. Scratch that. Reverse it.

Running a little later than usual this year, the 2018 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival gets under way this coming Thursday, screening approximately 88 films and special programs over the course of the festival’s three-and-a-half days, beginning Thursday evening, and no doubt about it, this year’s schedule, no less than any other year, will lay out a banquet for classic film buffs, casual film fans and harder-core cinephiles looking for the opportunity to see long-time favorites as well as rare and unusual treats on the big screen. I’ve attended every festival since its inaugural run back in 2010, and since then if I have not reined in my enthusiasm for the festival and being given the opportunity to attend it every year, then I have at least managed to lasso my verbiage. That first year I wrote about
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Canon Of Film: ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ (1974)

In this week’s edition of Canon Of Film, we take a look Sidney Lumet‘s hypnotic ‘Murder on the Orient Express‘ just in time for the release of Kenneth Branagh‘s remake of the same name. For the story behind the genesis of the Canon, you can click here.

Murder On The Orient Express (1974)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Screenplay: Paul Dehn based on the novel by Agatha Christie (uncredited)

Strangely, the detective story is actually a fairly newer genre when compared to others, in terms of literary history, it is, and the inventor of the genre is not who you’d think it’d be either, it was Edgar Allen Poe, with his trilogy of C. Auguste Dupin stories, ‘The Murder of the Rue Morgue‘, ‘The Mystery of Marie Roget,’ and my favorite, ‘The Purloined Letter‘ back in the 1840s. I’m not sure why this genre didn’t pick up until then,
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Destiny 2 Review

Bungie bit off a little more than they could chew three years ago when they unleashed the first Destiny game into the world. It was a franchise-in-the-making that made so many promises, that when gamers finally got their hands on it, it was impossible to not be a little disappointed. But Bungie wasn’t done. The famed developer of Halo set out to right the Destiny ship one expansion at a time, and by year three and the release of Rise of Iron, the franchise was on solid ground, both critically and commercially. Now, Bungie has left the first epic part of the story of the Traveler and the Guardians in the past, and has forged ahead with a brand new tale with Destiny 2.

Destiny 2 is a true rebirth of the franchise. Taking a page out of Nintendo’s playbook with Metroid’s Samus Aran, Destiny 2 opens with the player
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Jon Hamm Is a Great Actor, So Why Can’t He Find Another Great Role?

Jon Hamm Is a Great Actor, So Why Can’t He Find Another Great Role?
In his latest movie, “Marjorie Prime,” Jon Hamm plays a hologram who gives tender therapeutic advice to the aging lady he was once married to (it’s complicated), and if that doesn’t strike you as exciting, you’re not alone. The movie is a precious indie bauble that has already whiffed at the specialty box office. Hamm is crafty and spry in it; you might say — as some have — that it’s an adventurous role for him, in the same way that playing a violent sociopath with choppy shaved hair in “Baby Driver” was an adventurous role for him. These characters aren’t what we “expect” from Jon Hamm, so they make it look like he’s in there, trying on audacious things and working it. The question is: Why does Jon Hamm now look like he’s trying so hard?

I think what I’m asking is: Why isn’t Jon Hamm a movie star
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Night Moves

Arthur Penn’s detective movie is one of the best ever in the genre, one that rewards repeat viewings particularly well. Gumshoe Harry Moseby compartmentalizes his marriage, his job, his past and the greedy Hollywood has-beens he meets, not realizing that everything is interconnected, and fully capable of assembling a world-class conspiracy. Gene Hackman tops a sterling cast in the film that introduced most of us to Melanie Griffith.

Night Moves


Warner Archive Collection

1975 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 100 min. / Street Date August 15, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring: Gene Hackman, Jennifer Warren, Melanie Griffith, Susan Clark, Edward Binns, Harris Yulin, Kenneth Mars, Janet Ward, James Woods, Anthony Costello.

Cinematography: Bruce Surtees

Production Designer: George Jenkins

Film Editor: Dede Allen

Original Music: Michael Small

Written by Alan Sharp

Produced by Robert M. Sherman

Directed by Arthur Penn

Night Moves is a superb detective thriller that plays with profound ideas without getting its fingers burned.
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Mindy Newell: Collecting

  • Comicmix
Yesterday was a tough one for the Newell family. Actually, the past few months haven’t been easy; my dad is – well, the best way to describe the situation is that my father is a soul trapped in the shell of what was once a healthy, vibrant human being. To be honest, I don’t know why he isn’t dead. And my mom had a stroke about a month ago – and although she’s up and walking around (with the aid of a walker), the energetic and vivacious woman with whom I laughed and fought and loved is gone, too, leaving behind an old lady who is dip-shit batty – though I must admit that some of what she says is pretty funny.

And at least they both are in the same nursing home.

We have spent the last few weeks cleaning out their apartment – especially my brother, who has
See full article at Comicmix »

Dennis O’Neil: Ecclesiastes

  • Comicmix
There, on the mountain and the sky,

On all the tragic scene they stare.

One asks for mournful melodies;

Accomplished fingers begin to play.

Their eyes mid many wrinkles, their eyes,

Their ancient, glittering eyes, are gay.

William Butler Yeats • Lapis Lazuli

Here we are, having our last visit before the big hokey pokey on the Potomac and I am being reminded of post-apocalyptic fiction. If you can’t guess why I’m suffering this brain scratch, maybe you can be excused.

Now, for those of you still with me, hey gang – let’s talk end of the world!

Time was when apocalypses were rare, if not nonexistent, on theater screens and – I’m taking a flyer here – utterly absent from video. Today, though, IMDb’s entry lists 50 films that qualify as post-apocalyptic and surely there are more on the way. Why the deluge?

I can think of only four
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Jelani Cobb Tapped for Writers Guild East’s Walter Bernstein Award

The Writers Guild of America East has named “Policing the Police” filmmaker Jelani Cobb as the inaugural winner of its Walter Bernstein Award.

Cobb will be presented with the honor at the 69th annual Writers Guild Awards at New York’s Edison Ballroom on Feb. 19. The award is presented “to honor writers who have demonstrated with creativity, grace and bravery a willingness to confront social injustice in the face of adversity.”

“Policing the Police,” which aired in June as part of the PBS investigative series “Frontline,” explores the complexities involved in reforming the Newark Police Department and its fractured relationship with the community. Cobb embedded with two detectives in the Newark Police Department’s gang unit to witness firsthand how undercover officers operate following a 2014 report from the U.S. Department of Justice that showed Newark’s police had engaged in a pattern of unconstitutional conduct.

Bernstein, who is 97, became
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Film Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed’ Has Odd Breeding for a Movie

Chicago – I’m not a gamer, but of course I’ve heard about “Assassin’s Creed.” The film based on the video game is a wild and undisciplined attempt to expand that particular universe, but does succeed in creating an oddball science fiction that has implications in geo-religious power and control.

Rating: 3.0/5.0

It is the combination of game and story that nearly does both sides in, but there is just enough to keep the intrigue intact. The high octane story from director Justin Kurzel – who used lead performers Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard in his adaptation of “Macbeth” in 2015 – manages a symbolic story about duality, technology and megalomania, while barely clinging to any of it making sense. There are crazy visuals, overwrought action and knocks on religion aplenty, which sets it apart both as a video game adaptation and creative use of a dystopian prophecy. Part Indiana Jones, part “Fail Safe” and all weird,
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25 underrated political thrillers

Rebecca Clough Jan 13, 2017

Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Kirk Douglas, Denzel Washington and more, as we explore underrated political thrillers...

Ask someone for their favourite political thrillers and you’re likely to get a list of Oscar-winning classics, from JFK to The Day Of The Jackal, Blow Out to Argo. But what about those electrifying tales that have slipped under the radar, been largely forgotten or just didn’t get the love they deserved? Here are 25 political thrillers which are underappreciated but brilliant.

See related Star Wars: Episode IX lands Jurassic World director 25. The Amateur (1981)

Generally, the first hostage to get shot in a heist movie is considered insignificant; luckily this time the young woman killed by terrorists has a devoted boyfriend who vows to avenge her death. Charles Heller (John Savage) already works for the CIA, so he’s able to use secret information to blackmail his bosses into
See full article at Den of Geek »

Warner Bros. Boss Talks ‘Game of Thrones’-Sized Dreams for ‘Westworld,’ Growing Franchises

Warner Bros. Boss Talks ‘Game of Thrones’-Sized Dreams for ‘Westworld,’ Growing Franchises
The strong opening for “Westworld” on HBO has Warner Bros. Entertainment CEO Kevin Tsujihara thinking big — “Game of Thrones” big.

“I am really, really excited about the opportunity that we potentially have with ‘Westworld,'” Tsujihara said at the Credit Suisse Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in Phoenix on Tuesday. “If you look at the viewer data on ‘Westworld,’ its first year viewing on all platforms is greater than ‘Game of Thrones.'”

Tsujihara hastened to add that “Westworld” — which drew 3 million or more viewers across multiple platforms in its maiden season — has a ways to go to match mega-hit “Game of Thrones.” That epic occasionally brought HBO audiences of 8 million, or more, per show.

“I am not saying it’s ‘Game of Thrones.’ I am not saying it’s going to be ‘Game of Thrones,'” Tsujihara said. “But if gives you a context of where it sits this first
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Fritz Weaver, Acclaimed Actor Of Stage And Screen, Dead At Age 90

  • CinemaRetro
Cinema Retro hosted Fritz Weaver at a screening of "Fail Safe" at the Players club in New York City. Here Editor-in-Chief Lee Pfeiffer (L) and contributor Paul Scrabo present Weaver with marketing materials for "To Trap a Spy", the feature film made from an extended version of the "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." TV show pilot, "The Vulcan Affair". Weaver discussed how surprised he was at the level of interest there was in the fact that he was the first U.N.C.L.E. villain. (Photo: GeorgeAnn Muller).


By Lee Pfeiffer

Fritz Weaver, who won acclaim for his work in film, TV and on the Broadway stage, has passed away at age 90. Weaver was primarily a character actor but sometimes top-lined in stage productions.He played Sherlock Holmes in the 1960s Broadway musical production of "Baker Street". He won a Tony in 1970 for his performance in "Child's Play". Weaver also
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Film Review: ‘By Sidney Lumet’

Film Review: ‘By Sidney Lumet’
In “By Sidney Lumet,” a documentary portrait of the late director who was one of the defining filmmakers of the ’70s — but whose ability to charge a scene with dark moral turbulence and excitement was right there, from his first feature, “12 Angry Men,” in 1957 — Lumet tells an extraordinarily candid story about an event that shaped and changed his entire worldview. He was a young man in the military, in Calcutta, when he saw that a group of his fellow soldiers were inside a train compartment sexually abusing a young girl. “Do I do anything about this?” he thought. He knew the answer was yes, that he should try to stop this hideous crime, but he lacked the courage to do so. Instead of acting, he simply let it happen.

To any Lumet watcher, it’s obvious that the story fuses with themes that run through his work: the preoccupation with corruption,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Atomic Kid

From Fail Safe to Dr. Strangelove, Hollywood’s reaction to the atomic bomb has veered between grim horror and black comedy; Mickey Rooney’s The Atomic Kid considers our nuclear future with the gravitas of a Bowery Boys movie. Rooney plays an unlucky schmoe trapped in an atomic blast and, instead of gaining extraordinary powers or shooting up 50 feet, he’s merely coerced by the FBI to help trap a spy ring (to the disappointment of kids everywhere). Co-star Elaine Devry was the only female in the cast and, not so coincidentally, was married to Rooney at the time (a fact played up in the movie’s advertising).
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The Sum of All Fears: Sidney Lumet’s "Fail-Safe"

Mubi is showing Sidney Lumet's Fail-Safe (1964) May 7 - June 6 and Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) May 8 - June 7, 2016 in the UK.“Yes, it’s a hard day. Goodbye, my friend.”— General Koniev, Fail-Safe“Jack, this is Helen.”— Helen Grady, Fail-SafeTiming was everything during the Cold War. A matter of life and death, democracy or communism, us versus them. And, for true megalomaniacs, my motion picture against your motion picture. In January 1963, Stanley Kubrick filed a lawsuit to halt the production of Fail-Safe, an upcoming adaptation of the recently published novel by Eugene Burdick and Harvey Wheeler. A political thriller about nuclear war, it was being directed by Sidney Lumet and starred Henry Fonda. Kubrick’s charge was plagiarism: Fail-Safe, the director claimed, was a copy in all but name of Peter George’s Red Alert, the 1958 novel that
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Does Disney’s ‘Jungle Book’ Success Spell Trouble for Warner Bros. Version?

In the battle between the two “Jungle Book” movies, Disney appears to have the upper hand.

The studio just enjoyed a massive $103.6 million opening weekend for its live-action update of its 1967 animated classic and is already hard at work on a sequel that would bring back director Jon Favreau and focus on more of Mowgli’s adventures. Warner Bros. won’t counter with its own version of the Rudyard Kipling tales until 2018, 30 months after the Disney version took multiplexes by storm.

Warner Bros. has to be really concerned,” said Jeff Bock, an analyst with Exhibitor Relations. “It could spell disaster.”

The history of competing studio projects with similar story lines is nearly as old as the movie business itself. Think of how 1938’s “Jezebel” and 1939’s “Gone With the Wind” pitted two scheming Southern belles (Bette Davis and Vivian Leigh) against each other, or when 1964’s “Dr. Strangelove” and the
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Eye In the Sky: an indictment of drones or just a wishy-washy liberal war movie?

Gavin Hood’s drone-strike thriller tries to create taut drama with a starry cast. But the message is masked by snoozeworthy scenes of them talking into phones

In pondering why Gavin Hood’s drone-strike thriller Eye In The Sky failed to involve me very deeply, I keep coming back to other movies like it. These are the films in which soldiers, spies and politicians stand around in different locations worrying about moral issues as the clock ticks down to zero-hour and the political complications and unspeakable dilemmas become ever more excruciating: Sydney Lumet’s Fail-Safe, and various wishy-washy Dlc-liberal movies by Rod Lurie, Andrew Niccol and George Clooney/Grant Heslov. My conclusion is that, like many of them, it allows the Big Issue to become the main character, and neglects to allow the drama to unfold among the characters.

In Eye In The Sky, people in different locations – military bases in England and Nevada,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Legends Of Tomorrow episode 8 review: Night Of The Hawk




Legends Of Tomorrow mounts another ill-thought-out attack on Vandal Savage this week, in a 1958 adventure that was otherwise pretty good…

This review contains spoilers

1.8 Night Of The Hawk

Okay, let’s get this bit of housekeeping/complaining out of the way first: Night Of The Hawk was yet another Legends Of Tomorrow episode that culminated in a botched opportunity to bring down Vandal Savage. Ray blasted the immortal tyrant out of a window and then, for all we know, the Waverider crew just wandered off and left Savage to regroup once again.

I know that capturing the villain and putting them in a cage has already been done recently by Skyfall, The Avengers and Jessica Jones, and that Vandal Savage obviously can’t be properly killed until the season finale for plotting reasons. But still, couldn’t the writers come up with something else to do with
See full article at Den of Geek »

Legends Of Tomorrow episode 7 review: Marooned




In taking a week off from its main plot to battle time pirates, Legends Of Tomorrow delivered one of its best episodes yet…

This review contains spoilers

1.7 Marooned

‘Legends Vs. Time Pirates’ sounds just as naff as ‘The Red Dwarf Crew Meet A Space Squid And Hallucinate For Half An Hour’ on paper. But luckily, the most naff-sounding episode premises often end up delivering the best entertainment. My expectation levels were low for Marooned, but it ended up being one of my favourite Legends Of Tomorrow episodes so far.

Putting The Waverider team in a situation where everything’s gone to pot but there’s no major plotline to progress allowed for this episode to be highly unpredictable, and for the characters to bounce off each other in surprising new ways.

The character pairings we may have expected Legends to stick to have seemingly been shattered altogether now,
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Legends Of Tomorrow episode 6 review: Star City 2046




Arrow's Stephen Amell makes a guest appearance in Legends Of Tomorrow’s mostly-ace future jaunt, Star City 2046…

This review contains spoilers.

1.6 Star City 2046

Set in a futuristic Star(ling) City with new versions of the Green Arrow and Deathstroke duking it out across an almost-totally-destroyed cityscape, this week’s Legends Of Tomorrow had a lot going for it. Unlike most of the prior episodes, Star City 2046 wasn’t shackled to the ongoing quest to defeat Vandal Savage and instead allowed the Waverider crew to cover all-new ground.

And, when they were out exploring this catastrophically-ruined locale, a lot of fun was had by all. For one, we got to see Dominic Purcell’s Heat Wave and Wentworth Miller’s Captain Cold showcasing how different they’ve become, as the former wished to stay in this criminal’s paradise while the latter wanted to get back to saving the world.
See full article at Den of Geek »
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