I just bought this the other day. Excellent visual and sound values for a 1960 film. But they should have called this western semi-classic The Magnificent Six. Because Robert Vaughn‘s aloof, relentlessly self-regarding gunslinger does nothing throughout the entire film. He talks incessantly about his issues and how he has to prove he’s still got it. But does he even shoot his weapon? He pulls it out, yes, but does he fire? At anyone or anything?
Hollywood Elsewhere is currently sitting in Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport, waiting for a 3:05 pm flight to Albuquerque. Expecting a four-hour drive (6 pm to 10 pm) from AB to Durango, Colorado.
I understand Jack Daniels & ginger ale. I understand vodka and grapefruit juice. I understand boilermarkers. I even understand mixing clam and tomato juice. But beer and clamato? Who would even sample this, much less buy it?
The first thing you see in Las Vegas’s McCarran Airport every time you get off a Southwest flight from LAX/Burbank…every time.
A friend has asked for a quote about the apparent sleeper-hit status of Gavin O’Connor‘s Warrior (Lionsgate, 9.9), and specifically about whether it’ll be getting any award-season action. “Not a chance in the world for Oscar impact,” I answered. “Forget it. It’s a good film, but not that kind of film.
“It’s an emotionally rousing MMA sports flick, very intensely acted and atmospherically believable as far as it goes, but it’s very calculated. You can see and feel the buttons being pushed and the levers being cranked. It’s Gavin O’Connor making another Gavin O’Connor movie. A good one, yes, but straight off the assembly line. Not that there’s anything wrong with...Read More »
Hotshot Connecticut-based columnist Scott Feinberg has just signed on with The Hollywood Reporter to provide awards-season coverage. His deal was only cut a couple of days ago because Feinberg was scrambling yesterday to figure out flights to the Telluride Film Festival. Wait until 72 hours before the start of an influential, very-hard-to-get-to film festival in a remote Rocky Mountain hamlet to buy the pass and get it together? Spend top dollar to arrange transportation and lodging at the very last minute? Only way to roll.Read More »
Reviewing from the Venice Film Festival, The Playlist‘s Oliver Lyttleton has given George Clooney‘s The Ides of March a solid B. “We had a blast,” he says. “It’s not as accomplished and impassioned as Good Night and Good Luck, but unlike Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, it’s tonally assured, and unlike Leatherheads, it’s, well, watchable. Very watchable in fact.
“Whether wider audiences enjoy it as much [as I did] remains to be seen. We’re fairly sure that its early annointment as an Oscar front-runner will disappear quickly , but it at least happily confirms that Clooney-the-director is here to...Read More »
“There’s no Scarface 2, no part three, none of that with this picture. There’s just Scarface. And I think there’s something to that.” — Al Pacino during last night’s Scarface Bluray event at L.A.’s Belasco theatre (1050 So. Hill Street).
Why does Michelle Pfeiffer never take part in these tributes? She never records commentary tracks or is interviewed in any looking-back video essays…nothing. Her performance as the snotty trophy wife Elvira wasn’t Lysistrata-level, but...Read More »
The Scarface Bluray (Universal Home Video, 9.6) is edge-enhanced, all right, but it’s a better-looking home video rendering than I’ve ever seen before. Sharper, more vibrant, more detailed. Yes, it looks like two-thirds celluloid and one-third video game. Okay, maybe 75-25. But that, to me, is mostly okay, because it really looks good.
Particularly the well-lit outdoor scenes. Plus the hair texture and beard follicles. The sweat beads on Pacino’s face during the Little Havana dishwash scene. The shimmer of Michelle Pfeiffer‘s dress in the first nightclub scene. But the darker scenes inside Lopez Motors and the Havana Club? Not so much. And if you put your face...Read More »
Similar to Joel Schumacher‘s Trespass, that Nic Cage-Nicole Kidman hostage thriller, Michael Brandt‘s The Double — an espionage thriller starring Richard Gere and Topher Grace — is another another nearly-straight-to-DVD release. It’s opening in roughly 100 theaters nationwide on 9.23 before hitting disc. Image Entertainment is distributing.
Jim Field Smith‘s Butter will play the 2011 Toronto Film Festival, of course, but you never know if it’ll appear somewhere else first. I’ve been avoiding reading about it, to be honest. I mean, a little-girl orphan in Iowa (Yara Shahidi) with a natural butter-carving talent entering an annual butter-carving competition? Going up against the ambitious wife (Jennifer Garner) of the reigning champion (Ty Burrell)?
I know we’re not supposed to judge a movie by its synopsis, but still…Read More »
I was going to embed A.O. Scott‘s Critics Picks’ essay about Nicholas Ray’s In A Lonely Place, but the N.Y. Times tech guys, as usual, haven’t posted this video on YouTube yet. So the hell with it. Instead, in honor of the forthcoming Criterion Bluray of Wes Anderson‘s Rushmore, here’s Scott’s essay about that, posted two years and two months ago.Read More »
I only suffered once through Return of the Jedi (although I’ve watched pieces of it since on laser disc and DVD), but I remember the finale pretty clearly, and I’ll bet at least $1000 that the version I saw at Loew’s Astor Plaza in June 1983 didn’t have Darth Vader going “noooo!…no!” when the Emperor is zapping Luke at the climax.
I haven’t seen the forthcoming Jedi Bluray, and for all I know the clip below (a portion of the original mixed with an alleged audio recording from the Bluray Jedi ) is a phony. So let’s hold off for now. But if the Bluray does have the “noooo!,” watch out.
“It’s hard to believe this because Vader crying ‘Noooo!’ was one of the most widely derided aspects of Revenge of the...Read More »
“My name is Molly” was first spoken in a good film by a cool actor (i.e., Joe Don Baker) in the legendary Charley Varrick (’73). The line returns in this scene between Ryan Gosling and whatsername…Evan Rachel Wood in George Clooney‘s The Ides of March.
No, I don’t think anyone had this in mind when the line was written or when this scene was shot. But the instant I heard Wood say it, I immediately thought of Charley Varrick . Right away, less than second…wham.
The Ides of March will have its world premiere at the Venice Film...Read More »
Not to sound like what I’m sounding like, but why wasn’t this uploaded and passed around before X-Men: First Class came out?Read More »
N.Y. Press is no longer a print publication, having published its final edition on 8.24.11. The publication lasted for 23 and 1/2 years, give or take, starting on 4.13.88. And what of film critic Armond White? Most high-profile crickets are primarily online voices anyway so lacking a print component is hardly the end of the world. The Fake Armond tweets about this are funny.Read More »
With Phil Contrino‘s wifi knocked out by the moderate tropical rainstorm that began as Hurricane Irene, yesterday’s Oscar Poker was just between Sasha Stone and myself. We talked about Hurricane Irene and possible Telluride Film Festival selections and the most likely Best Picture contenders. Here’s a non-iTunes, stand-alone link.
Deadline is reporting that Josh Brolin will star in Spike Lee‘s Oldboy, a remake of Park Chan-wook‘s 2003 cult thriller. The script (which I wouldn’t mind reading if anyone has a PDF lying around) is by Mark Protosevich. Pic will roll in March or seven months’ hence. Brolin’s next gig is Warner Bros’ Gangster Squad. Then comes Oldboy followed by a June lensing of Jason Reitman‘s Labor Day, costarring Kate Winslet. Let’s ignore the fact that Brolin is in Men in Black 3 — nobody wants to think about that.Read More »
Albert Brooks‘ Real Life “hammers on a conundrum ducked by most documentaries, An American Family included: no matter how unobtrusive a filmmaker tries to be, his subject is still likely to react to the cameras by subtly altering his behavior, thereby making existence into a kind of performance, infusing life with fiction’s DNA and creating a hybrid monster that’s at once real and unreal.” — from a “Press Play” essay on this 1979 film by Robert Nishimura and Matt Zoller Seitz.Read More »
Update: Variety‘s Gregg Goldstein covertly reported on 8.23 (i.e., behind Variety‘s paywall) that Fox Int’l is working with David Dinerstein‘s D2 Films to give Gerardo Naranjo‘s Miss Bala a limited domestic release starting on 10.14, along with another Fox International production, The Yellow Sea. Indiewire also ran a story.
“News of both pics comes three months after Fox announced its Fox World Cinema label, designed to capitalize on...Read More »
An 8.29 story in the French-language edition of Le Figaro says Muammar Qadaffi is hiding out in Bani Walid, a mid-sized town with an airport about 100 km southeast of Tripoli. Once he’s captured, the Libyan rebels need to dramatize the former dictator’s status to Libyan citizens. Bring him back to Tripoli and slowly drive him around the city inside a bulletproof, hard-plastic cage. Make it clear that he’s over.
Didn’t the Romans do this with defeated foes, forcing them to walk through the streets in chains, etc.? Same difference. The Romans weren’t animals. They knew that such...Read More »
This anti-meat-industry essay, narrated by Paul McCartney and initially posted in late ’09, made me sick. That’s the intention, of course, but also the reality. I’ll never stop eating fish (especially salmon) but I never buy steak or hamburger or chicken or pork to bring home. The entire country is going to be overweight or obese by 2048, in large part due to fast-food meats. Face it — the majority of fast-food eaters are probably going to vote for Rick Perry and Michelle Bachmann.Read More »
Initially posted by Twitch and then by Badass Digest‘s Devin Faraci, this trailer for Jaime Osorio Marquez‘s The Squad (El Paramo) indicates an above-average ride. The Columbian-made thriller will open sometime in 2012. It may not be fully finished, which would be an acceptable reason why it’s not playing at the Toronto Film Festival.Read More »
A film-industry hotshot and festival maven has taken issue with Kris Tapley‘s certainty about how there are “always” holdovers from Sundance and Cannes playing at Telluride Film Festival. “There are actually Sundance films playing there only once in a very blue moon,” the hotshot says. “Though it’s not an officially stated rule, 99% of what screens there is a North American premiere, so it’s Cannes, okay, but Sundance, not okay.
“In the decade I’ve been attending, the only exceptions that come immediately to mind are The Savages, which screened in large part due to Laura Linney, who met her future husband in Telluride the year they tributed her and now lives there part of the year and is always around during the festival, and An Education, because, well, it was An Education. Just to set the record straight there.”Read More »
Three and a half years old, I mean. Dennis Lee‘s Fireflies in the Garden, shown at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival and having played theatrically across the globe in ’08 and ’09 primarily, is finally getting a limited U.S. opening on 10.14. It has the earmarks of a rote family-dysfunction-and-abuse drama. Ryan Reynolds Julia Roberts and Willem Dafoe costar. It has a 28% Rotten Tomatoes average thus far.Read More »
“Hud thrives,” the UnTexan wrote or or about 9.20.10, following the death of screenwriter Irving Ravetch, who co-wrote Hud with his wife, Harriet Frank. “His offspring litter their shit in McMansion-sized heaps across the landscape. They’re everywhere and they go by various names. Texas Governor Rick Perry is a hardcore Hud-ite. Wasn’t Jesse Jackson just warning President Obama to beware of Hud-ism and its many charms?
“Now Texas is all over the place. Hud’s world is our world...Read More »
“You know how to hunt”? I’ve privately interviewed Jennifer Lawrence and seen her at a couple of events and in four movies (Winter’s Bone, The Burning Plain, X-Men: First Class and Like Crazy), and honestly? She doesn’t really look like herself with dark brown hair. I suppose I’ll get used to it, but why did they brown her up in the first place? Because Katniss Everdeen, her Hunger Games character, has dark hair? Who cares?
As rendered by Universal’s new Bluray, Brian DePalma‘s Scarface “has, quite simply, never looked better,” according to Bluay.com’s Kenneth Brown. “There are a number of scenes that look quite good, fantastic even,” he says. And yet “edge enhancement has been liberally applied, edge halos and minor ringing are apparent throughout, intermittent noise reduction takes a toll, and crush is a serious issue.”
I need to take a...Read More »
It might be better for younger would-be viewers of Rod Lurie‘s Straw Dogs (Screen Gems, 9.16) to not see the 1971 Sam Peckinpah original, which is out on Bluray on 9.6. They’re very similar films, and I for one couldn’t stop thinking how similar as I watched Lurie’s version. It’s his best film ever, I feel, but seeing it clean without any back-and-forth going on in your head is preferable, I think, for Peckinpah virgins. See Lurie’s film and then see the Peckinpah — that’s my advice.
Two days ago I wrote about Paramount’s planned remake of Karel Reisz and James Toback‘s The Gambler (’74), and expressed curiosity about Paramount’s hiring of William Monahan (The Departed) to rewrite Toback’s jewel-perfect script. “Monahan is too good of a writer to just update or do touch-ups,” I noted, “so I’m wondering if Paramount wants to make The Gambler into a somewhat different thing?”
Leonardo DiCaprio, James Toback at a Revolutionary Road luncheon, thrown by Manhattan blue-chip party madame Peggy Siegal and Paramount Vantage in the Plaza’s Oak Room bar and restaurant — Wednesday, 12.3.08,...