By the time 1972 rolled in, Charles Bronson was already 51-years-old and had been making moving pictures for 21 years. And yet, it wasn't until Charles Bronson made a splash in Sergio Leone's 1968 epic Once Upon a Time in the West that he finally became a truly "bankable" name in the US. Here, in the dusty wake of his westerns shot in Spain, Bronson finally made his "official" domestic starring role debut in a western ‒ shot in Spain ‒ which took perhaps just a tad bit of inspiration from his Italian cinema phase. Cast as a half-Apache character
Charles Bronson is turned loose for the first time in a marvelously bleak western now available from Twilight Time.
While the unrated version had some extra scenes and funny moments, the theatrical version is tighter.
Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) is an orphan, rejected by numerous families, who bucks the ideals of traditional family in order to become the celebrity tycoon of her own financial life-coaching empire. After she tells her former-lover-turned-arch-enemy Renault (Peter Dinklage) about her recent insider trading deal, he turns her into the FCC causing Darnell's assets to be frozen, her properties seized, and a prison sentence. After Darnell is released, she ends up on the doorstep of her former assistant Claire (Kristen Bell), who lives in a small apartment with her young daughter Rachel (Ella Anderson). While Claire is in a hurry
This week brings us a huge collection of African-American films, several revenge style flicks, Pocahontas. and much more.
I consider myself an amateur cinephile. By which I mean I take films seriously - I watch with a critical eye, I attempt to understand the artistry and craftsmanship of cinema, and I do my best to dig into the history of the medium. But I also have a life, a job, a family, and not nearly the time I need to dedicate myself full-time to watching movies. This means there are large gaps in both genre and history of movies that I’ve never seen. There is a very long list of movies I really ought to watch before I
TCM offers a diverse roster of films this week.
TCM finally gets to Shane in their Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns series. The cable channels also features a night of Robert Francis films, a night showcasing America in the '70s, and pioneers of African American Cinema. Starring Robert Francis - The Long Gray Line (1955) Monday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An Irish immigrant becomes one of West Point's most beloved officers. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: Shane (1953) Tuesday, July 26 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A mysterious drifter helps farmers fight off a vicious gunman. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred
Ken Russell's controversial sexual thriller gets a new life in this Arrow re-release.
The name Ken Russell usually doesn't get mentioned along the ranks of other stylized filmmakers like Kubrick, Cronenberg, Anderson, and Lynch, yet his somewhat trippy-looking films have been an influence for many fellow film buffs so that when you watch one of his movies you start to think you've seen the shots used before but don't remember where. The prolific director has made such films as The Who's Tommy (musical), Altered States (sci-fi/horror), and The Music Lovers (comedy/drama). His 1984 feature Crimes of Passion can fit into many subgenres. It's an erotic drama, a tense psycho sexual thriller, and also
A lack of punch smothers a truly terrifying premise.
No matter the environmental documentary, from global warming to fast food production, most emphasize the negativity that arises from complacency and how it is up to humanity to get off the couch and change things. Ivy Meerpool's Indian Point espouses similar messages regarding nuclear power, but it too often keeps cutting off the ever sprouting tentacles of the octopus found in discussions of nuclear power. In the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster Americans have become increasingly concerned about their own nuclear power stability, with many plants located near major metropolitan areas. One such plant is Indian
Three movies from the 1960s show the Japanese made more than just deeply felt dramas and samurai flicks.
The Nikkatsu Corporation was formed in 1912 when several smaller production companies and theatre chains consolidated. They had some success in those years, but struggled in the early post war era. By the 1950s, they hit their stride, producing hundreds of movies in every conceivable genre that drew in the youth crowd by the truckload weekend after weekend. Arrow Video has been mining the Nikkatsu vaults during this “Golden Era” for a number of excellent video releases. Much like the Hollywood system of this era, Nikkatsu began contracting its directors and stars locking them into multi-film deals which created something
An interesting premise gets lost in a rushed narrative and overused jump scares.
What's the first thing people do when the power goes out? Search for light. Whether it's for safety or a genuine fear, no one likes the dark, and the new horror film Lights Out will tell you no one likes it before there's something lurking within it. Lights Out was one of my most anticipated films this year and I hate to say it didn't do anything for me. This could due to a fatigue that's setting in around the films James Wan - who still solid as a horror director - is producing at a pace that verges on
"Food court! Food court!"
In which things make a little more sense to Kim and Shawn, but that's not always a good thing for one of them. Kim: This week’s write-up is painful. Look, I love Dominic Cooper and Ruth Negga. I really, really do. I love the characters in this shit hole town. I love the ideas behind this story and all that it entails. But when the best part of a show is some hick getting his dick shot off and carrying it around like it’s his baby, I’ve got to say something. This is a slow burn, and it’s the worst
Severin Films presents a spectacular two-disc, two-movie version of one of 42nd Street's most legendarily notorious offerings.
If you were one of the lucky lads or lasses who "matured" amid the days of VHS rental outlets, you know how exciting it could be to hunt for something truly extraordinary on the shelves of your local mom and pop store. Sure, the big time stores carried their own fair share of fun flicks, but those corporate suits almost always folded when it came to stocking their boutiques with more controversial filmic offerings. And when it came to being controversial, there was perhaps no greater ground to cover than that which was located in the horror section. Why, even
Even with the major changes, it still held true to the previous seasons and was just as enjoyable.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. When we last left Clarke (Eliza Taylor), she had just walked away from her friends after their battle with the Mountain Men. Having had to pull the switch that killed them all with radiation and some of the other horrific things she had to do to keep her people safe. she felt herself unworthy to be amongst them and committed self-exile. Unbeknownst to her it, was too late to simply walk away.
The prescient network TV action thriller comes to a satisfying, emotional conclusion.
Disclaimer: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy of the DVD reviewed in this post. The opinions shared are those solely of the writer. Person of Interest has had a strange trajectory. As its themes and storylines became more relevant to real world fears and concerns, its audience has eroded. What was once the fifth-highest rated show on network TV has been unceremoniously burnt off, 13 episodes broadcast in eight weeks, in May and June of this year. What had been a bright spot in CBS's rather staid lineup became an afterthought. The premise behind Person
This week brings us O.J., Elvis meeting Nixon, three films from Criterion, and much more.
In the summer of 1994, I was 18, had just graduated high school, and was doing my best to have "The Best Summer Ever" while college loomed just over my shoulder. I was looking forward to that experience, but I had signed on to University in Alabama - a good 800 miles away from my home in Oklahoma - so I was a little nervous about leaving everything I knew for something new. At the same time, the entire world became obsessed with a football player turned actor and the lurid murder of his wife and her friend. Somehow, I
Five films from both film and real life history alike make their High-Definition debuts.
From the rise and fall of great lands to the genesis of new ones, and a few odd points in-between, Twilight Time has all bases of great storytelling covered in this assortment of features from their March 2016 lineup. Here, we pay our respects to filmic adaptations of true historical accounts of the lives (and sometimes deaths) of the grandiose, the humble, and the downright dangerous. We being in a time and place far removed from contemporary society (though the political situation hasn't changed all that much, when you think about it), with a tale of some minor footnote of
The week starts with a visit to the studio by guest programmer Lou Gossett Jr. Then it's another two-night stint of westerns followed by a time jump to "America in the 70s" and other classic titles. TCM Guest Programmer: Lou Gossett Jr. - Blackboard Jungle (1955) Monday, July 18 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An idealistic teacher confronts the realities of juvenile delinquency. TCM Presents: Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: A Fistful of Dollars (1967) Tuesday, July 19 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A mysterious stranger plays dueling families against each other in a Mexican border town. TCM Presents: Shane
Return of the Killer Tomatoes Blu-ray Review: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love My Vegetables and George Clooney's Mullet
This is comedy at most silliest, but it is quite smart and very entertaining, while being self-aware and mocking.
Once in a while, there is a classic comedy, a comedy so funny and so legendary that it sets the standard for every other comedy that comes after it. The 1988 sequel, Return of the Killer Tomatoes, is not that movie. It is the ridiciously fun follow-up to sheerly absurd 1978 cult film, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which was a spoof of horror-monster movies directed in the style of the Zuckers Brothers' films that redefined parody. While that movie did receive its fair share of love from a certain demographic, Return is actually the better film (yes I said
This feature-length doc on the special effects master reveals the artistry behind his creature features.
The advent of DVD extras has, I think, cost a toll on entertainment documentaries. I've seen reviews that refer to serious documentaries on movies, like Man of La Mancha, as "extended DVD extras." At the same time, this overrates most DVD extra documentaries and underrates the hard work documentarians can put into crafting a real film on an entertainment industry subject. Ray Harryhausen: Special Effects Titan is a movie about the stop-motion and general special effects pioneer behind numerous beloved creature features of the '50s, '60s, and '70s. It's also a film that has a point of view, both on
Tricks and treats from Criterion.
In October, Guillermo del Toro's Pan’s Labyrinth is available as a standalone from Criterion and also together in Trilogía de Guillermo del Toro with previous entries in the Collection with Cronos and The Devil’s Backbone. Other new titles include Richard Linklater's Boyhood, Ermanno Olmi’s The Tree of Wooden Clogs, and Luis García Berlanga's The Executioner. Lastly, Robert Altman's Short Cuts gets a high-definition upgrade. Read on to learn more about them. Boyhood (#839) out Oct 11 There has never been another movie like Boyhood, from director Richard Linklater. An event film of the utmost modesty, it was shot over the
An exploitation flick with a message.
Quentin Tarantino once called director Jack Hill the “Howard Hawks of exploitation filmmaking.” I don’t know that I’d go quite that far but certainly Hill made some of the most memorable films in the genre. Working with minuscule budgets and, shall we politely say colorful plots, Hill still put our a fairly large number of very well-made and quite enjoyable films. One of the more interesting things to me is how, though working in the various exploitation genres, Hill still managed to make somewhat thoughtful films that dealt with racism, sexism, and other cultural ills. Certainly he’s still being exploitive,
Paul Feig and crew make a rollicking comedy on par with the original.
To say that a Ghostbusters reboot courts controversy is like saying water is wet. It took, for lack of a better word, balls. Is the hate warranted? Considering the animosity stems from the film putting women in male roles, hell no. "No self-respecting scientist believes in the paranormal," Kristen Wiig's Erin Gilbert says and I'd have to chime in with "or the idea of women playing Ghosbusters" in spite of all the cosplay to the contrary. Ghostbusters is a fun summer movie that may try too hard to justify its own existence and feminist impulses, but there is plenty of
Just so you know, vanilla extract is flammable.
In which Kim and Shawn use the bullet-point button for an episode where not much happens. Kim: What I’ve learned this week: The power of suggestion, apparently, wears off. The heartbreak of Tulip and Jesse goes back a long, long way. Cassidy has feelings! Lots and lots of feelings! They use really shitty ketchup in this show. If you’re going to Pokémon Go! at work, you need to bring your charger. Tulip looked amazing in that shirt and skirt. Tulip is done with everyone’s shit. Vanilla extract is flammable. Cass’ cheap shot with the fire extinguisher made me giggly. I
It has been met with constant criticism and seemingly more so than previous reboots and remakes of classic films. What makes this film franchise stand out above the rest?
The past few years have been met with constant reboots and remakes of old classics, such as Jurassic Park and Spider-Man. Although some have been treated as a money-grab, others have been tactfully remade and received dozens of positive reviews. Regardless, Hollywood stays hopeful and relies on the nostalgic factor of older audiences who once loved popular films of the past. Probably one of the best recent examples of this eternal hope is the soon-to-be-released reboot of the iconic 1984 film, Ghostbusters, gender-switched and set to appear in theaters July 15. Any time a film gets a reboot, you can
Ever wonder what might have happened had James Bond been born an American and started out in World War II? The Warner Archive Collection may have the answer.
The late great production designer Ken Adam left behind a legacy which no mere mortal could ever live up to. The immaculate lairs he designed and constructed for Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb as well as several monumentally iconic James Bond movies ‒ whether they were in outer space, underwater, or inside of a dormant volcano ‒ have since gone on to astonish and inspire, with plenty of room left over for parody to boot. But shortly before the German-born award winner started designing his first 007 set on Dr.
This week brings us a green room, a carnival of souls, passionate crimes and much more.
Last week I wrote about buying a house and noted that we would be moving in on Tuesday. We did exactly that and then moved right back out. The very evening we moved in the wife and I both took showers. Upon exiting, I noted that the tub was very slow to drain. An hour or so later my wife asked me if I had made a mess getting out of the tub as the towel I had put down was sopping wet. Further investigation noted large amounts of water filling in around the toilet. Our lines were clogged and
The year's best (and strangest) documentary will leave you 'tickled'.
Tickling is a dangerous business; just ask the directing duo of David Farrier and Dylan Reeve whose documentary debut, Tickled proves just that. Tickled is a deliciously watchable mystery with the intrigue and guilty pleasure personality of a Law and Order: SVU/To Catch a Predator marathon. The story Farrier and Reeve set out to expose is so deliriously weird it makes up for any amateurishness in the directing duo's presentation. Tickled is one of the year's weirdest (and downright) best films of the year! David Farrier is a New Zealand-based journalist who one day comes upon a site advertising "competitive
The Warner Archive Collection uncovers a fun little flick about reeling in one big Commie plot.
There are many ways a film can become outdated. Our increasingly advancing world of technological wonders has made countless science fiction films archaic. Obsessions with keeping fit have resulted in reanimated individuals with rigor mortis able to run in zombie movies. Shifting political and economic winds have turned allies into enemies in stories of war. But of all the things which date a motion picture, none has the ability to alienate quite as much as employing a current trend or popular saying in a feature. Mullets may have been "in" at one fashionably challenged point in time (see: hipsters) ‒
Samuel Goldwyn's one and only film noir is also the bleakest irreligious religious movies in history.
Prolific filmmaker Samuel Goldwyn left this world in 1974 to start issuing malapropisms in the world beyond, he had personally produced no less than 139 films, to say nothing of the motion pictures he had distributed, presented, or even lent his assistance to for other filmmakers around the world. And yet, with titles such as Wuthering Heights, The Best Years of Our Lives, and These Three under his belt, Mr. Goldwyn only ever made one film noir. And just like many of his other successes, the seldom-seen 1950 noir Edge of Doom, has the distinction of being one of the
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You Movie Review: A Sensitive Portrait of a Socially Conscious Mind
The creator of All in the Family looks at his life, career, and the family ghosts that still haunt him.
"Each of us is responsible for our own happiness," says television producer and impresario Norman Lear. And Lear, 90 years young, has found plenty of happiness in his own life that it's hard to fathom all the additional happiness he brought to others with his television shows, capturing hearts and opening up minds. It's said there was a time "before Norman" and "after Norman," and in Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You audiences see what the world was like, both before and after Lear's ground-breaking television shows asked audiences to think and act. His socially critical and controversial television
Run in a serpentine pattern to get yourself a copy.
While there's a lot of hand-wringing and pearl-clutching that goes on whenever a sequel or remake is announced in Hollywood, it's rather surprising anyone bothers since it's long been a business model, and not just with movies, to try and replicate a success. What's even more surprising is when a winning formula is found that isn't repeated, such as the pairing of Peter Falk and Alan Arkin in Arthur Hiller's The In-Laws (1979), a recent addiction to the Criterion Collection. Rather than the typical clashing of families with different personality types, Andrew Bergman's very funny script turns that idea on
The Warner Archive Collection outs Lillian Hellman's first filmic adaptation of a once-controversial play.
Even before the Hays Office began enforcing the content of motion pictures in 1934, certain things just weren't permitted to be said aloud in public. One such topic was that of homosexuality (the more things change, the more they stay the same, eh?), which was completely illegal to mention in public when playwright/screenwriter/activist Lillian Hellman's play The Children's Hour first debuted on Broadway in 1934. Due to the critical success of the stageplay, however, local authorities in New York City decided to be lax regarding their own law (again, some things never really change, do they?). Alas, the story's subject
Looking for a movie this week? TCM can help.
Director Martin Scorsese is featured when the TCM spotlight focuses on America in the '70s. Also, the two westerns highlighted below certainly fit the series title, "Hundred More Great Westerns." About Mrs. Leslie (1954) Monday, July 11 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) An aging woman recalls the affair that consumed her life. Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: The Naked Spur (1953) Tuesday, July 12 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A captive outlaw uses psychological tactics to prey on a bounty hunter. Shane Plus A Hundred More Great Westerns: The Magnificent Seven (1960) Wednesday, July 13 at 10:00 p.m. (ET) Seven
Some classic films to end your summer with.
Kino Lorber Studio Classics has presented its August roster, which includes two films starring Tyrone Power, two westerns starring Randolph Scott, and a slew of other titles that include a silent film by John Ford and the '60s spy spoof Modesty Blaise starring Monica Vitt. THE MARK OF ZORRO (1940) Blu-ray Street Date: August 2, 2016 Blu-ray SRP $29.95 Blu-ray UPC 738329206192 Adventure | NR | 94 min Director: Rouben Mamoulian Starring Tyrone Power, Linda Darnell, Basil Rathbone, Gale Sondergaard, Eugene Pallette Synopsis: The Mark Of Zorro is regarded by most as the finest telling of the Zorro legend -
Fans challenged to test their fears in American Horror Story’s Immersive VR Experience.
Press release: FX Networks is headed to the City in Motion, bringing innovative activations and live entertainment to San Diego this July. FX Networks will take center stage at Hilton Bayfront Park during San Diego Comic-Con July 21-24, 2016 with groundbreaking activations and installations of fan-favorite shows Archer, American Horror Story, The Strain, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, and Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll. FXhibition will transport guests to each FX series through a visually arresting, one-of-a-kind interactive art space featuring the riveting American Horror Story Fearless VR Experience. For attendees who love a thrill, American Horror Story will curate a virtual reality experience
Learn about the panels, events, and signings.
Press release: Get ready for an epic summer event with Cartoon Network at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con with debut panels of fan-favorites, The Powerpuff Girls, We Bare Bears and a first-of-its-kind musical panel of the critically-acclaimed Steven Universe that will have everyone singing alongside Grammy Award-winner Estelle, creator Rebecca Sugar and other key cast and crew. Soaring high above the convention floor, larger-than-life balloons of Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup will be suspended above the Townsville-inspired booth (#3735), where convention goers can immerse themselves in all things sugar, spice and everything nice. Fans can also walk away with their own,
Bit characters get their story about their roles in one of the biggest stories ever.
I love documentaries. True stories are irresistible Maybe it's the story of an product or invention or behind the scenes of a movie or historical event. Often, it's a biography of an important person or group of people. The stories work best when there is a little history between the film and the event. Even if it's your favorite movie ever, I don't want to hear a commentary or see a documentary on Transformers: Age of Extinction. There's just not enough perspective on how important that film is historically yet. That's part of what is wrong with putting all the
Two forgotten mysteries, each with their own dark histories, get definitive makeovers in these must-have releases from Flicker Alley.
There is nothing quite so overwhelming as being utterly unable to control one's situation. Despite all of our best efforts, we remain powerless to stop the unseen forces of time and fate. All over the planet, archaeologists have discovered the remains of vast cities and civilizations which have either been buried away by the sands of time or destroyed by cruel acts of fate. For those of us who like to refer to ourselves as film buffs, similar disasters and overall bad bits of luck have obscured many a motion picture. And while the ultimate uncovering of a previously lost
What is Art? And if you are an artist, what do you sacrifice for your art?
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang use public disruption to create their art. Once they become parents they include their children "A" (for Annie) and "B" (for Baxter) in their antics as well. From pretending they are homeless street children who are jeered by adult onlookers to an elaborate bank-robbery stunt, art becomes the family pastime for all of the Fangs. Their performance art divides the art world but garners devoted fans along the way. Annie grows up to be a talented but troubled actress, and Baxter becomes a best-selling author who self-medicates. However both of them have moved far
Mario Bava's seminal Giallo film couples a gleeful disregard for good taste with incredibly artful imagery.
Blood and Black Lace, a lurid proto-slasher movie with gruesome and copious violence, is one of the most visually beautiful movies ever made. Bathing his shots in ostentatious colors with little concern for sourcing the light, Mario Bava’s seminal Giallo film has only a glancing connection to realism (Giallo being the particularly Italian style of murder mystery, de-emphasizing the investigation and focusing on the murders themselves.) It’s more like a fever dream, too sensuous to be a nightmare but too bloody and malign to be a pleasant fantasy. It’s one hell of a movie. The story is hardly the point
"Everything feels headed in the right direction." - Shawn
In which the Sundowner fight redeems everything. Shawn: I certainly felt that there was a pacing shift here from the slight slow down of the past couple episodes. We were just about back to the craziness of the "Pilot" episode. I have a few observations that don't relate to men in underwear that I'm sure you will cover in detail. 1.) EVIL NOT DEAD. The fight in the Sundowner Motel to start the episode was easily the best fight since Cassidy brought down a plane and Tulip fought her way through the cornfield in the first episode. Killing characters that
A key player in the birth of rock and roll as we know it, you just didn't know about it until now.
When most people think of live music in the late '60s, they probably think of Haight-Ashbury, The Fillmore East and West, "Summer of Love"-type things. The new documentary Louder Than Love tells the story of The Grande Ballroom in Detroit and the musical revolution that happened in its hallowed halls. In the midst of economic and racial struggles that led to riots, fires, and other unrest, there was a haven of peace downtown where local bands were blossoming and the top British acts were making their debuts. The venue may have been peaceful but the music was anything but. The