Wrestling (real wrestling - not that soap-opera stuff you see on cable TV) is an odd sort of sport. You basically dress two people in tights, toss them on a rubber mat, and watch while they try to roll each other on the ground. I know there is more to it than that and I don’t mean to belittle the sport’s rich history, its athleticism, or the skill involved, but really it is pretty silly. Which probably helps explain why it never really took off professionally (aside from the even more silly aforementioned soap-opera stuff) and why there aren’t a
This week brings us a very serious Steve Carell, a not so humble Al Pacino, an old Robin Hood, and a gruff sheriff.
It offers something different than the many formulaic crime dramas these days.
The third season of Longmire continued what had been previously established in the first two seasons as a strong crime drama rooted in deep and interesting characters. What was unique about this season is that it followed three fully developed storylines involving the main characters rather than just standalone murder mysteries, unfolding a complex interconnectedness between them. It is a much darker season as well with a strong undercurrent of evil that wove throughout. This drew me in further and resulted in a huge cliffhanger that left me anxious for the next season. A&E didn’t have as much faith and
It even has a gangsta rap theme song.
A movie like WolfCop doesn't need a lot of explanation -- the title kind of tells you everything you need to know going in. When I first heard about it, I thought of Full Eclipse (1993) starring Mario Van Peebles as part of a team of werewolf cops out to clean up the crime-ridden streets of Los Angeles. With all the recycling of ideas in Hollywood, I guess 21 years is a reasonable amount of time to pass between movies about werewolf cops. First thing you'll notice is that this isn't a big city, big budget action thriller. It was
The ultra-violent cult classic from a very ambitious cabaret entertainer returns to entertain and shock once more.
It is sometimes interesting - well, to me, that is - how many of the articles I request or wind up for review can often be "connected" to one another like a really outrageous game of Six Degrees of Separation. Not too terribly far back, I found myself diving into the Warner Archive Collection re-releases of the Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis Collections. Just last week, I was viewing Twilight Time's new Blu-ray issue of Roger Corman's neglected Prohibition Era gangster picture, The St. Valentine's Day Massacre. Believe it or not, there's more than one common denominator at play between
While there are some laughs, it suffers like many sequels do from not being as good as the original and covering similar ground.
It's no surprise that the directing team of Bobby and Peter Farrelly would write, produce, and direct The Three Stooges, the 2012 modern-day update with new actors playing Moe, Larry, and Curly. The Stooges' brand of dim-witted lunacy and aggressive slapstick is seen throughout the Farrelly Brothers' work, including their feature-film debut, Dumb and Dumber. Starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as Lloyd Christmas and Harry Dunne, who are perfectly described by the film's title, Dumb and Dumber was a smash hit, turning a $17 million budget into $247 million at the box office. It led to an animated series
His work will live long and the audience will prosper from it.
Leonard Nimoy died on February 27 due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which he claimed was due to having been a smoker even though he had kicked the habit nearly 30 years. Though he had a long career as an actor playing a variety of parts, he became forever identified the world over as Star Trek's Mr. Spock, the half-human/half-Vulcan First Officer of the Enterprise. He not only played Spock on the initial TV series for three seasons, but would return to it many times over the years from The Animated Series and the theatrical movies, and
Bring Sheriff Walt Longmire home.
In conjunction with the March 3 release of Longmire: The Complete Third Season on DVD, Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Warner Bros. Home Entertainment to award a lucky reader one (1) copy of the DVD set. For those wanting to learn more about the release, the official synopsis reads: Wyoming Sheriff Walt Longmire is back for the third season of hit Big Sky crime drama Longmire, based on the “Walt Longmire” mystery novels written by best-selling author Craig Johnson. In this gripping two-disc, 10-episode set, characters must test their courage and face challenges that will ultimately define them. The
The Woody Allen film that even Woody Allen likes gets the High-Def treatment.
Though some people out there would just assume never hear his name ever again, there is ultimately no denying the contributions Woody Allen has made to the worlds of both comedy and cinema alike since he first starting writing gags for television in the late 1950s. Since then, he has directed 50 (count 'em, fifty) projects in addition to writing, producing, and/or starring in several dozen others. Heck, some of the classic comedians who would become the filmmaker's inspirations growing up did not have such a filmic output (even when combined in some instances). But it wasn't just the witty
Clint Eastwood and Bradley Cooper unite their considerable talents in what may well be the best Eastwood film yet.
I really didn't know what to expect when I decided to see American Sniper. I had resolved not to read anything about it that might predispose my mind to the film and the experience of seeing it. I thought in terms of “seeing it” because, as a Vietnam veteran, I had refrained from seeing all but a couple of the plethora of films about that conflict. In fact, the number of movies which attempt to deal with the ambiguities and puzzles produced as a result of America's participation in Vietnam is staggering - so many that they collectively can (and
The series does a wonderful service in telling stories about some of these little-known artist's lives and shining a light on their talents.
Art historian and host Amanda Vickery (professor of early modern history at Queen Mary University of London) poses a question at the start of her series The Story of Women and Art: Women as muses and artists' models line countless gallery and museum walls - in sculptures and paintings made by male "old masters" - but where are all of the female artists? In three one-hour episodes, Vickery travels the world to try to highlight some of the unknown heroines of art history. In the first episode, Vickery travels through Italy and Holland to showcase the work of 16th and
The movie that almost put gangsters films back on the map returns for another round (of ammunition).
While movies like Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch and Arthur Penn's Bonnie and Clyde generally get the most credit for being the movies that really introduced gritty onscreen violence into the movies (the former was released just months after the MPAA rating system was introduced in 1968), they weren't the first to do so. Not by a long shot. In fact, copious amounts of blood were being spilled by Herschell Gordon Lewis in his outrageous horror movies that made a real killing at drive-ins for jaded teen and rural audiences during the early '60s. The occasional big-budget Cinemascope war film
Press release: Start the week with some of Tinsel Town’s finest and most desirable actors, as getTV presents a special “Hollywood Heartthrobs” block, every Monday in March at 7 p.m. ET. The stunt pays tribute to some of the most distinguished and finely chiseled men to ever hit the silver screen and kicks off on March 2 with the incomparable Cary Grant in the Howard Hawks comedy HIS GIRL FRIDAY, and THE TALK OF THE TOWN, with Jean Arthur. Then, Steve McQueen soars as a bomber pilot in THE WAR LOVER with Robert Wagner, and BABY THE RAIN MUST FALL
With but one season in existence, Lillies makes a nice snack between larger Television meals.
Lillies is a costume drama that ran on the BBC for one season in 2007. It was set in Liverpool in 1920. The story revolved around three sisters: Iris (Catherine Tyldesley), Ruby (Kerrie Hayes), and May (Leanne Rowe.) Plus their father (Brian McCardie), brother Billy (Daniel Rigby), and various friends and potential lovers. It is loosely based on the stories creator Heidi Thomas' grandmother used to tell of her life in the early 1920s. The girls all dream of bigger and better lives but are held back by their loving, but often hard, harsh, and drunk father. He can’t bare
The roster of guests and films has expanded.
New additions to the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festivals line-up have been announced by The Hollywood Reporter. Shirley MacLaine will be appearing at screenings of Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960) and William Wyler's The Children's Hour (1961). She will also sit with Robert Osborne for a conversation about her career. Peter Fonda is set to introduce two films in which his father Henry was directed by John Ford, Young Mr. Lincoln (1939) and My Darling Clementine (1946). Peter will also appear at a separate interview session with author Scott Eyman, who has written a number of books about Hollywood luminaries
Yasujiro Ozu left us with one final masterpiece in An Autumn Afternoon, a culmination of many of his favorite themes.
Before he died of cancer on his 60th birthday in 1963, Yasujiro Ozu left us with one final masterpiece in An Autumn Afternoon, a culmination of many of his favorite themes. The twilight work of many filmmakers often lends itself better to footnotes than introductions, but the remarkably consistent Ozu has a career filled with potential jumping-off points, and his last film is also an excellent first one for Ozu neophytes. I should know — An Autumn Afternoon was my gateway into Ozu’s exquisite cinematic worlds. Frequent collaborator Chishu Ryu stars as Shuhei Hirayama, a widower who comes to accept
Yes, it's "Still a better love story than Twilight" time.
If someone would have told me three years ago that I would be repeating myself, well, I probably would have believed them. Indeed, when I initially sat down to work on a review for Twilight Time's 30th Anniversary Edition of the 1985 vampire horror classic, Fright Night, I nearly found myself writing the exact same words I had jotted down for my original article for the company's initial release of the film. Not wanting to repeat myself - and with little else to say on the title, I must sadly confess - I figured, since I greedily ignored my editor's
As big a tearjerker as I have ever seen, but my tears are from having spent four hours of my life watching it.
One thing is certain, Nicholas Sparks is the king of romance. Guys, if you are rolling your eyes, you should be. Sparks writes the most manipulative and frankly ludicrous plots I have ever seen. And to continue my crass generalizations, chicks eat this stuff up like candy. The author of such weepers as Message in a Bottle (1999) and The Notebook (2004) is back with The Best of Me (2014). With the new Blu-ray “Tears of Joy” edition, we actually get two movies for the price of one. The disc includes both the theatrical version (1:57) and the "Tears of
With a live orchestra playing, it draws attention to Nino Rota's amazing soundtrack.
While any chance to see the Francis Ford Coppola's award-winning masterpiece is a great treat, this LIVE presentation of The Godfather by CineConcerts was delightfully augmented by Nino Rota's classic score being performed on stage by the Hollywood Studio Symphony. The Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE was buzzing with excitement. Many attendees had their pictures taken in front of the stage before most the musicians were seated. I had a front row seat off to the left side of the theater. As it was set below the stage, my view was limited to a small porton of the orchestra and its
This week features two Oscar winners, two Criterions, and a quaint historical drama.
Out of all the winners (and even nominees) of last night’s Oscars, I’ve seen exactly one (The Grand Budapest Hotel). That’s low by even my standards. I’ve lamented in these pages before how I rarely get out to the movies anymore, but this year it was even worse. This is mainly due to me losing my privileges as a stay-at-home dad and having to go out and get a job. Employment means being away from the house for many hours at a time which means less time to take in a film (though I must add being a stay-at-home dad
Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Mia Wasikowska in David Cronenberg's dark Hollywood satire/ghost story that's both unsettling and compelling.
Unsettling and often unpleasant, Maps to the Stars teeters between dark (albeit funny) satire of Hollywood and luridly over-baked melodrama. Director David Cronenberg presents Bruce Wagner’s screenplay, full of greed, ambition, and multiple flavors of bad behavior, simultaneously as a ghost story, a modern-day Greek tragedy, and a peek behind the curtain at the lives of the rich, famous, and ridiculously over-privileged. (Confused yet? Don’t think seeing the movie will straighten things out for you; it’s only likely to raise more questions.) Maps’ multiple intersecting plots follow Havana Segrand (Julianne Moore, incredible as always), a famous but fortysomething movie star
The Warner Archive Collection unburies the famous late actor's first starring role, wherein he is paired with Ted Healy as a sidekick!
In-between the vast unnecessary space taken up within the confines of the virtual world by loving tributes to reality-TV celebrities and the hateful comments left behind by internet users who are an entirely different waste of space, there are a few really cool things on the web. One thing I occasionally grin with delight at are the sight of re-imagined artwork for movies - such as the fan-made poster artwork for Ghostbusters starring iconic British horror legends Christopher Lee, Peter Cushing, and Vincent Price (with Woody Strode jokingly tossed in as the token black guy) - and even records (a
Bruce Sinofsky has passed away at 58, but the work he did for the West Memphis Three lives on.
Part of the reason I tend to review a lot of documentaries for Cinema Sentries because I know, on a personal level, how the work of documentary filmmakers can change your life. The film community has lost one of its greats as I found out yesterday when Bruce Sinofsky died at the age of 58 from complications related to diabetes. I cannot say that I knew Bruce Sinofsky well, but his worked changed my life. I only met Bruce once, and it was at the West Memphis Three benefit I put together at the Melrose Improv back in 2004. Both
Spencer Tracy's first starring role for MGM is supported by the feature film debut by James Stewart in this unconventional murder mystery.
It was 1935. The Hays Office had recently begun to enforce their code of morals in film. Meanwhile, film itself was finally getting used to the whole sound thing. Projects were practically bursting from the seems of studios all around town, be it over on Poverty Row or on the lot of the more prestigious outlets. And one such outlet was MGM, where a modest murder mystery was being manufactured under the direction the man who would later bring us The Thief of Bagdad - Tim Whelan - with a script written by he and future Robinson Crusoe on Mars
If you enjoyed MST3K at all, you will want to check this out.
Sharknado really came and took the world by storm, which is not an intended pun no matter how much it feels like one. It's probably the most well-known bad movie in recent memory. Sure, you've got your The Room and your Birdemic, but those are more on the down low. Sharknado was on SyFy. Anybody could tune in and check it out, and many people did, and they laughed and laughed at its cheesiness and goofiness. Given this fact, it seemed inevitable that the guys at RiffTrax would eventually tackle this movie. For those not in the know, RiffTrax features
HBO Asia's first foray into original programming brings forth an entertaining, but ultimately disappointing crime drama.
HBO has been making must-see TV for a couple of decades now. Its original programming is consistently not only the best in its time-slot but often the best that’s ever aired in the history of television. A brief glance at the shows its created - from The Larry Sanders Show to The Sopranos, from Curb Your Enthusiasm to Band of Brothers - and you wind up with a handful of the best TV the world has ever produced. It's not just a marketing gimmick to say that’s it's not just TV, it's HBO, for the cable channel really has pushed
Press release: Long Beach Comic Expo is unveiling legendary guests and buzzworthy panels, as well as innovative programs and new partners, in preparation for the 6th annual Long Beach Comic Expo, to be held at the Long Beach Convention Center on February 28 and March 1, 2015. The Expo will play host to more than 140 guests and 50 panels and, for the first time, it will be held in the full exhibit hall. Long Beach Comic Expo is proud to announce bestselling writer Chris Claremont and bestselling artist Ethan Van Sciver as the Long Beach Comic Expo Guests of
Hot Tub Time Machine (Unrated) Blu-ray Review: Round up Your Friends and Your Favorite Adult Beverages
Sure to become a cult classic among the “let’s get wasted and laugh our asses off” set.
Hot Tub Time Machine is rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug use, and pervasive language, which are pluses in the right company when done right, and director Steve Pink and his team most certainly do it right. While certainly not a movie for everyone to be sure, HTTM is wildly over-the-top, filled with so much raunchy silliness (or silly raunchiness) it is sure to become a cult classic among the “let’s get wasted and laugh our asses off” set. After Lou (Rob Corddry) ends up in the hospital, he is reunited with former friends Nick (Craig Robinson) and Adam
Also appearing are Oscar-winning film editor Anne V. Coates and stuntman and stunt coordinator Terry Leonard.
Press release: TCM (Turner Classic Movies) will welcome several notable film luminaries to the already-exciting lineup for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival. Oscar® winner Dustin Hoffman, Oscar nominee Alec Baldwin, and Oscar-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee are set to appear at the festival, taking place in Hollywood March 26-29. Dustin Hoffman will sit down for an extended discussion with Oscar nominee and former co-host of TCM’s The Essentials, Alec Baldwin following a screening of Bob Fosse’s Lenny (1974). Hoffman earned an Oscar nomination for his performance as comedian Lenny Bruce. Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Spike Lee will present a screening of
Seriously, Hollywood, take a cue from the Germans and make more shows like this.
If you listed out jobs that seem terribly unpleasant to perform, you’d likely hit upon things like garbage man, porta-potty maintenance, and road-kill remover. I’m not sure you’d think of crime scene cleaner. I’m not even sure that’s a real job. It makes a certain amount of sense as I don’t see that the police are going to clean up after your murders and homeowners aren’t likely to fee like mopping up after Aunt Betty’s decomposed on the living-room couch. But it's not exactly the sort of job you see listed on Monster.com or the local classifieds all too often.
This month's releases may break your bank.
In May, Criterion offers six releases. Five are new to the Collection. Those titles are Mark Rydell's The Rose, Charlie Chaplin's Limelight, Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Merchant of Four Seasons, and two from Costa-Gavras' State of Siege and The Confession. Also scheduled is one high-definition digital restoration: Leo McCarey’s Make Way for Tomorrow. The Rose (#757) out May 19 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions Bette Midler exploded onto the screen with her take-no-prisoners performance in this quintessential film about fame and addiction from director Mark Rydell. Midler is the rock-and-roll singer Mary Rose Foster (known as the Rose to her
The one-day-only “An Encore Of Interstellar: The IMAX Experience” will play in AMC Theatres on Saturday, February 21, 2015.
Press release: Paramount Pictures, IMAX Corporation and AMC Theatres are giving fans one last opportunity to see Christopher Nolan’s Academy Award-nominated film Interstellar. The critically acclaimed film will play in the IMAX format in select AMC Theatres in the U.S. on Saturday, February 21st, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. local times and will feature more than 12 minutes of never-before-seen exclusive behind-the-scenes content. Moviegoers who purchase a ticket at a participating AMC Theatres box office to see “An Encore of Interstellar: The IMAX Experience” can receive an additional ticket free. This special offer is only available at participating AMC Theatres box
This week has us talking about has-been super-heroes, Japanese folk-tales, dumb comedies, and life itself.
Last year, I moved from a teeny tiny little town in Tennessee to a slightly larger one in Oklahoma. The benefit of the slightly larger one is that it's fairly close to a much larger city, namely Tulsa, Oklahoma. Now, Tulsa isn’t the most cosmopolitan of metropolises. It isn’t the biggest and brightest of places in the universe. It's not even the largest city in Oklahoma, and lord knows Oklahoma rarely shows up on anybody’s places you want to be. But it has its appeal. It has some nice shopping, some big parks, a couple of museums (and while they
A silly French historical crime drama delivers good mysteries and some hearty laughs.
Nicolas Le Floch is a French crime series that began in France in October of 2008. Each series contains two episodic short films (lasting roughly 90 minutes each.) It is being brought to the US market by MHZ Mysteries. Volume Two contains episodes 7-10. It stars Jérôme Robart as Nicholas Le Floch, Marquis of Ranreuil, Commissaire of the Châtelet which is the flowery French way of saying detective. He solves crimes in 18th century Paris. It is based upon a series of novels by Jean-François Parot. I had not seen any previous episodes before coming to this set, but jumping
It would be a crime not to own this.
After years of legal rights issues needing to be sorted out (and likely a fascinating story in its own right), the legendary Batman television series (1966-68) finally made its Blu-ray/DVD debut last November with The Complete Series set and the simultaneous release of The Complete First Season on DVD. Those who bought the latter can continue adding to their Bat-collection with the next installment from Warner Brothers, The Complete Second Season, Part One. The camp comedy style from the '60s series was so successful it was how the DC Comics character was best known to the general public until Tim
"He remembered that bone was called the humerus, and he had a little chuckle as he heard it snap."
D.W. Smith is a screenwriter, novelist, and podcaster living in Orange County, California with his wife and two little girls. He co-wrote the movies Replicant (2001) and Assassin’s Code (2011) and would like to take this opportunity to apologize for both. Whiskey Tango: A Whole 'Nuther Kind of Spy Novel is his first book. His podcast, The Indispensable Thursday Show, can be heard weekly at an internet-connected device near you. What's the origin and/or inspiration of 'Nuther? It always bugged me in the back of my mind that Superman went out of his way not to kill really bad people
A great edition in the series, with lots of the usual fun that Ian McShane's Lovejoy brings.
In the second season of Lovejoy, the last time we saw the irascible but ever-charming antiques dealer played by Ian McShane, he was swindling (for a good cause, naturally) crooked antiques dealer Harry Catapodis (Brian Blessed) in order to help out a Japanese businessman (Mako) and a lovely widow Victoria (Joanna Lumley) who had both been cheated by Harry. Lovejoy Series 3, recently released on DVD by Acorn Media, picks up a year later, after Lovejoy has been taking a holiday in Spain, where he has enjoyed (and spent) all the proceeds from that last big deal. He returns home
A delightfully dumb ditty that is bursting with equestrian euphemisms and great B-grade bombshells.
Though the notion of an actor or actress being a "sex symbol" had been in existence well before the someone coined the phrase in the '50s, it wasn't until that glamorous decade itself rolled around that things really started busting out all over. Quite literally in some cases - so much so that the concept of "skill" was often regarded as secondary when it came to some of America's "biggest" sex symbols, such as a legendary trio of lasses who would become known as The Three Ms in some circles: Marilyn Monroe, Jayne Mansfield, and Mamie Van Doren. They were
It's like Lena Dunham's 'Girls,' but for guys.
Jane Clark's Crazy Bitches describes itself as a "horror comedy sex romp." It's definitely at least two of those things. We kick off with a group of former sorority sisters and their gay best friend (Andy Gala) reuniting for a weekend in a cabin off the beaten path. Each of the characters represents an obvious stereotype common to the genre, be it the good girl (Liz McGeever), the innocent virgin (Samantha Colburn), the athletic dyke (Cathy DeBuono), the fashionista (Guinevere Turner), the bombshell slut (Candis Cayne), the homely nerd (Mary Jane Wells), the quiet voice of reason (Nayo Wallace), or
For detective genre fans, Marie's Mind for Murder is a nice bit of diversionary television.
If you took Mr. Monk with all his eccentricities, but dialed back the OCD then mixed him with Dr. House without the anger issues, you’d have something approaching Marie Brand. She’s a bit eccentric but she’s got a brilliant mind. She’s retired from the police force but is unexpectedly brought back to solve a murder. She works best alone, but is teamed up with her exact opposite. Still, they are good at what they do and compliment each other superbly. Marie’s Mind For Murder takes the classic police procedural cliches and runs with it. It stars a mix-matched pair of
You'd be dumb not to enter.
In conjunction with the February 17 release of Dumb and Dumber To on Blu-ray and DVD, Cinema Sentries has teamed up with Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to award a lucky reader one (1) copy of the Blu-ray set paired with a decal cling. For those wanting to learn more about the film, the official synopsis reads: Two decades after Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels’ endearingly dense pairing spun slapstick comedy into box office gold in Dumb and Dumber, the long-awaited sequel, Dumb and Dumber To, arrives on Digital HD on February 3, 2015 and on DVD and Blu-ray Combo Pack