When it comes to being a comedian, there are good things (great material, popularity, success), and there are definitely bad things (accusations of stealing jokes, scorn from other comedians, drugs), but when it comes down to it, comedy and being a comedian can lead to a very important life lesson and rewarding career. There have been a few TV shows that showcase the often turbulent paths of comedians, but the semi-autobiographical Crashing (created by Pete Holmes and Judd Apatow), is actually the most realistic. The show stars real-life comedian Pete Holmes (playing himself), a Christian man who is gearing towards
July 2017 Archives
An edgy and painfully honest TV show about the lives of comedians.
Are your favorites appearing this week?
August on TCM sees the return of the month-long programming event Summer Under The Stars, which sees the channel offer a daily tribute to actors and actresses. The event gets off to an early start with Diane Keaton in the spotlight with a selection of some of her movies and the TV special where she received her AFI Lifetime Achievement Award. AFI Lifetime Achievement Award: A Tribute to Diane Keaton - Monday, July 31 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) TCM pays tribute to Diane Keaton, recipient of the AFI Life Achievement Award. Tune in for a night of programming including the
A hysterical showdown between gangs that couldn't shoot straight.
Ben Wheatley's Free Fire is a hysterical shoot-'em up destined for cult status, because this slightly gruesome, black comedy is not for everyone. The story centers around a gun deal in '70s Boston between two IRA members, Chris (Cillian Murphy) and Frank (Michael Smiley), South African weapons dealer Vernon (Sharlto Copley), their respective associates, and a couple of facilitators, like Justine (Brie Larson). Unfortunately for them (and lucky for us), her presence is unable to counteract all the testosterone. Tensions are continually on the rise, from the misunderstanding of smug Ord's (Armie Hammer) sense of humor to the wrong rifles
With Great Power tells the story of Marvel Comics' biggest name.
When Stanley Martin Lieber took a job as an assistant at Timely Comics in 1939, little did he know that 78 years later, he’d arguably become the biggest name in comic-book history. Yet that is exactly what happened, with a little help from some equally legendary artists, of course. The documentary With Great Power…The Stan Lee Story takes a detailed view at Lee’s life, attempting (and generally succeeding) to tell his story in 80 minutes. Originally released in 2010, and winner of numerous awards such as “Best Directors Docufest” at Atlanta 2011 and the “Special Jury Prize” at the 2011
In which Mystery Inc. are in LEGO for no good reason.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided Cinema Sentries with a free copy reviewed in the Blog Post. Shawn's opinions are his own. The title alone should tell you that this is going to be a mish-mash of properties and stories. Anyone who has followed my reviews for the past decade knows that I love Scooby-Doo! But it's the most schizophrenic property over at Warner Bros. They have had a series of good movies since the relaunch in 1998 including Scooby-Doo! on Zombie Island and Chill Out, Scooby-Doo! The recent TV series Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated and Be Cool, Scooby-Doo! have led the
James Garner finds himself right in the middle of a dirty Nazi trick in this taut WWII thriller from the Warner Archive Collection.
Imagine waking up one day, only to discover five years have passed and your memory isn't what it used to be. No, it's not another melodrama about people suffering from Alzheimer's. Rather, that is the heart of a nifty Nazi conspiracy in George Seaton's 1964 World War II thriller 36 Hours. Here, the late great James Garner stars as an American intelligence officer who ‒ after attending a top-secret briefing about the forthcoming Invasion of Normandy ‒ heads off to Lisbon to meet an informant. Alas, he doesn't make it that far. Kidnapped by Der Führer's men, our hero instead
Four days in July that celebrate everything to do with popular culture.
What if I said that the San Diego Comic-Con International has nothing to do with comics? For anyone that has attended in the past 15 years, that's probably not a shocking statement on the surface. But what if I told you that the much heralded Comic-Con didn't exist as a cultural touchstone because of movies, television, art, anime, or even Star Wars cosplay? I've written reviews of my experiences at Comic-Con for over ten years and they all follow a similar pattern - I listen to very talented and passionate people talk about shows, books, and subjects that have evolved
Arrow Academy releases Joseph H. Lewis' wonderful western/film noir hybrid, which features Sterling Hayden as a Swedish sailor who brings a whaling harpoon to a gunfight.
Though he mostly helmed B-grade crime dramas, Saturday matinee western oaters, and early entries in what would eventually become a part of The Bowery Boys legacy, director Joseph H. Lewis nevertheless made several notable contributions to the world of film noir. One such title was 1950's Gun Crazy, which writer Dalton Trumbo was forced to employ a front for due to the fact he had been blacklisted by the McCarthy Era witch hunts. Appropriately, the writer and director would pair once more in 1958 for Lewis' final theatrical film: a nifty little B-grade western film noir sporting a parallel or
Hope you have a nest egg ready to buy these releases.
Reading Mat's Pick of the Week column over the years, it's quite clear that he is a horror-movie fan. Personally, I have always found myself more attracted to comedy. From great wit to utter silliness, there's just something so appealing about being brought to fits of laughter. Albert Brooks has a great comic sensibility. The third film he directed, Lost in America, is a comedy classic about David and Linda Howard (Brooks and Julie Hagerty), a married couple that rejects the modern life of the '80s by dropping out "like in Easy Rider" and traveling the country in an RV.
There were cool things all over San Diego this weekend.
Mat, the normal curator for this coulmn, and his family have gone on vacation, but with San Diego Comic-Con having happened over the weekend, there were too many cool things not to draw attention to some of them. For example: Brigsby Bear While upcoming superhero movies dominated the Con, the one that looked the most interesting was this strange film from Kyle Mooney and friends about a young man obsessed with a television show that features the titular character. Attendees were treated to the first twelve minutes or so just as Kyle's character's life is about to be forever altered
The semi-weekly spotlight 50 Years of Hitchcock comes to an end as July comes to an end.
The last full week of July on TCM has nights paying tribute to Ava Gardner and star-of-the-month Ronald Coleman. The semi-weekly spotlight "50 Years of Hitchcock" comes to an end, Noir Alley continues, and '50s Car Culture gets featured one night. Starring Ava Gardner: The Barefoot Contessa (1954) - Monday, July 24 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A Spanish dancer becomes an international star but still longs to get her feet in the dirt. Click above to see an exclusive video on why The Barefoot Contessa means so much to TCM Primetime Host Ben Mankiewicz. '50s Car Culture: Hot Rod (1950)
The Warner Archive Collection wrangles up a classic western comedy starring two of filmdom's greatest cowboys.
The Rounders is the sort of film that made a bigger impression on the public than anyone had anticipated. Originally released on the tail end of a double feature ‒ a spot generally reserved for movies nobody expected much from ‒ the 1965 cowboy comedy starring the unbeatable pairing of western icons Glenn Ford and Henry Fonda garnered enough attention to launch a prequel TV series starring Ron Hayes and Patrick Wayne. But whereas the television version was doomed to failure (as was just about any project starring Ron Hayes or Patrick Wayne), this adaptation of Max Evans' 1960 novel
Four classics ranging from comedic capers to World War II musicals to soul-stirring Woody Allen dramas make their HD home video debut.
Luck. Timing. Fate. Coincidence. Good or bad, they're all on display here in this quartet of catalog classics now available on Blu-ray from Twilight Time, beginning with a once-timeless expression which the essential oil and mustache wax-obsessed entrepreneurial youth of today could do with a reminder of: You'll Never Get Rich. Granted, times have changed just slightly since this black-and-white wartime musical comedy first premiered in 1941 ‒ beginning with the more than immediately noticeable observation that they just don't make black-and-white wartime musical comedies anymore for some reason. Featuring songs by the legendary Cole Porter himself, You'll Never Get
Gillian Robespierre's follow-up to Obvious Child.
Rewatching films of the past quite often leaves audiences saying, "This premise would never work in the era of cell phones." Gillian Robespierre's Obvious Child follow-up, Landline, takes this concept and runs with it, setting her story in 1995 when floppy discs were the height of technology. With instant communication delayed, characters are required to evoke precise timing when delivering hard truths. But for all its attempts to say "everything old is new again," Landline falls into a sandtrap of being too similar to countless movies of the past and present. Neatly checking off every box in the "indie family
A discussion about the long-running panel's history and workings.
Stranglehold is a not-for-profit, San-Diego-based fan group that not only puts on the long running Klingon Lifestyles panel at San Diego Comic-Con (this year held 8:30 PM on Friday in Room 6A), they also cosplay as pirates, steampunk villains, and now Doctor Who. I spoke with Dennis Hanon, who portrays Fleet Admiral K'Han Den to learn more about the panel. How did the fan group start? It started as a fan group dedicated to the Star Trek aliens known as Klingons. Through the years it changed from being a fan group to a performance troupe and later adding other elements
The Warner Archive Collection releases Blake Edwards' bitingly funny stab at Hollywood, featuring his famous wife's only nude scene.
For a film director, there surely can be no greater blow to the ego than to have your work re-edited without your consent. In fact, studio interference has had dire consequences in the allegedly "magical" world of motion pictures, resulting in vastly talented filmmakers being reduced to little more than mystical scapegoats when things don't go the way the people who screwed everything up had hoped for (also see: Politics). There have even been unforgivably unfortunate moments in Tinseltown history where directors have committed suicide after things didn't quite work out in the favor of the businessmen who thought they
A rare movie about fencing and Soviet oppression, The Fencer infuses the sports movie formula with real-world stakes.
Never before have I seen a sports movie whose main emotional tone was quiet dread. One look at the title: The Fencer, and you know the film is about fencing, and when you hear the basic storyline - in 1953, a man moves from the big city and begins a fencing school in a small town - many of the story beats will already be known to a savvy viewer. Yes, he’s reluctant to teach at first but darn it if the moppets don’t get into his heart. There's a love story with a demure teacher. There’s a big tournament
The Warner Archive's Blu-ray delivers quality video and good audio.
Auto enthusiast and writer Brock Yates conceived the Cannonball Baker Sea-To-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, an unsanctioned cross country race. He tried to turn the idea into a movie, which he did with The Cannonball Run (1981) but a few films beat him to release, including The Gumball Rally, which has been given a Blu-ray release from the Warner Archive Collection. Bored candy executive Steve Bannon (Michael Sarrazin) sets in motion The Gumball Rally, an illegal 2,900-mile race that starts in Manhattan, New York and ends in Long Beach, CA, which he won the previous year. There are 11 different vehicles
Yugi must save the world but can he do it without the help of the Pharaoh?
The last time we saw Yugi Moto (Dan Green) and his friends they had once again saved the world and finally laid to rest the spirit of the Pharaoh, who resided in the Millennium Puzzle worn around Yugi’s neck. It’s now a year later and Yugi, Joey (Wayne Grayson), Tea (Amy Birnbaum), and Tristan (Greg Abbey) have bigger concerns than the end of the world. They are about to graduate from high school and things will never be the same again. But before they get to walk across that stage and receive their diplomas, strange things begin happening across the
This week brings us another King Kong story, a couple of interesting looking TV shows, a weird-looking Tarkovsky film, and more.
What is it about a giant ape wreaking havoc that enthralls us so? Since his inception in 1933, King Kong has become one of the most iconic movie monsters of all time. That original film was a huge success and remains a paragon of early special-effects movies. It was rebooted by Dino De Laurentis in 1976 and again by Peter Jackson in 2005 and now he’s come to the big screen again with Kong: Skull Island. It gets props for at least not telling the exact same story as the original did, though its not exactly a fount of originality.
See what thrills and chills Criterion has in store for October.
The Criterion Collection is releasing five films in October that are spooky to various degrees. New to the collection are Agnieszka Smoczyńska's The Lure, Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, David Lynch's Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me, and Olivier Assayas' Personal Shopper. A high-def upgrade is also being provided to Carl Theodor Dreyer's Vampyr. Read on to learn more about them. Vampyr (#437) out Oct 3 With Vampyr, Danish filmmaker Carl Theodor Dreyer channeled his genius for creating mesmerizing atmosphere and austere, unsettling imagery into the horror genre. The result—a chilling film about a student of the occult who encounters supernatural
The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog (Criterion Collection) Blu-ray Review: A Stealth Double Feature
This release allows viewers to see Hitchcock at the early stage of career on his way to becoming a legendary director.
The Criterion Collection's release of Alfred Hitchcock's third feature, The Lodger (1927), is actually a stealth double feature of Hitchcock and actor Ivor Novello as it includes their film Downhill (1927) as an extra. The Lodger, considered the first “Hitchcock” film, even by the man himself, tells of a mystery revolving around a serial killer working the streets of London. It has many story and visual elements that populate Hitchcock's filmography. Based on the novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes, the film opens, a young woman found murdered along the river. She is the seventh golden-haired victim
The key to its success, and a lesson for filmmakers of today, is keep it simple.
After 40 years, this little film made by a bunch of people who were still learning their craft, produced on a shoestring budget, starring both actors and non-actors whom you had never heard of, still manages to do exactly what it was intended: scare the audience. Produced in 1968, the film that set the trend for all zombie movies to come, tells the story of a group of people trapped in a farmhouse surrounded by zombies over the course of a night in which radiation from space has caused the recently deceased to come back to life in search of
An R&B legend's struggle with the spiritual and sensual is chronicled in this electrifying portrait.
In 1977, R&B legend Al Green signaled to fans that he was undergoing a life—and career—transformation. “Belle,” a track off his LP The Belle Album, contains a telling lyric: “It’s you that I want, but it’s Him that I need.” Green’s struggle to reconcile the spiritual and sensual, the sacred and profane, is chronicled in the newly reissued 1984 documentary Gospel According to Al Green. Originally produced for the BBC, this Robert Mugge-directed film has been remastered for DVD and Blu-ray, and features extras such as updated director commentary, previously unaired outtakes, and the full audio of Mugge’s two-hour interview
Arrow Video unleashes a truly mind-blowing 1970s exploitation action-comedy equivalent to fusion cuisine starring the larger-than-life Shin'ichi Chiba.
An unconventional policeman from the boonies travels to the big city to help out on a case, complete with a pet pig in tow. No, it's not the beginning of another Italian cop comedy starring Terence Hill. Rather, this particular picture marked both the beginning and the end of two distinctively different eras in Japanese cinema. After maybe overdoing the yakuza genre just a tad throughout the '70s, the film industry in Japan started to explore different options. And if there is one good word which may be employed in a noble effort to accurately describe all of the sights
This week's cool things include Search Party, Castlevania, Stranger Things, and more.
As I’m desperately searching for cool things to write about each week, I’ve come to realize that while I’m discovering a lot of new TV shows I’m rarely completing them. Scroll through the archives and you’ll find me talking about starting a new show or a new season of an old show, but ask me if I made it through the season and likely I’ll be answering in the negative. Once I’ve written about something, I have to move on and find something else. This article would be boring if I just wrote about one show every week. Maybe someday
Highlights from pop-culture purveyor include cast signings, convention exclusives and two highly anticipated panels.
Press release: A mainstay at San Diego Comic-Con International, pop-culture purveyor Shout! Factory returns to the convention in 2017 with a dynamic lineup, featuring captivating panel events, a showcase of new and upcoming theatrical and home entertainment releases, new official Mystery Science Theater 3000 merchandise, Comic-Con exclusive items and engaging booth activities, including a signing with the cast of the critically acclaimed Netflix Original Series Mystery Science Theater 3000. Fans and convention attendees are invited to join in on the excitement at the Shout! Factory booth (#4118) on the main convention floor. Genre and horror film buffs, collectors and pop
Gloria Swanson stars as a singing star who just wants her man in this silent comedy melodrama.
It's hard to get around the fact that, for a modern movie viewer, silent movies are a lot of extra work. Even for a viewer more used to enjoying silents than most, it can be extra taxing to pay attention without audio cues. For some genres this can ultimately is a bonus - fantasy and horror silents tend to have a dream-like quality that makes the material extra-effective. For comedies and melodramas, it can be a lot iffier. Zaza, a 1923 comedy that morphs into a melodrama, is an odd duck in any case for a modern viewer. First, there's
Fate looks good for the F&F family and for fans.
The Fate opens with the series returning to its roots. Dom (Vin Diesel) gets involved in a race on the streets of Havana standing up for his cousin Fernando. The audience's senses become engaged with bright colors, loud sounds, and beautiful bodies, as the cars race through the streets of Cuba in an intense action sequence that gets wilder by the minute. While walking the streets alone, Dom plays the Good Samaritan to a woman with car trouble, only she turns out to be the notorious cyber-terrorist Cipher (Charlize Theron), who mysteriously gets Dom to work for her and turn
One of the year's best movies looks to get a new audience on a wonderful Blu-ray.
It's always disheartening to see a movie fail to capture audience's attentions like it should. And whether you believe 2017 has already presented some incredible films, or the worst, it's impossible to make a decision without seeing Their Finest. Lone Scherfig's tale of perserverance is both a love letter to WWII-era production in Britain, as well as a blistering condemnation of the double standards, in film and life, that are just as fresh today as they were in the '40s. Catrin Cole (Gemma Arterton) is struggling to make ends meet for her and her husband. She takes what she presumes
A very full week includes releases of a cool looking jungle movie, a Doctor Who spin-off, a Prime Suspect prequel, plus films from Arrow, Criterion and much more.
I’ve always loved jungle-adventure movies. There’s just something really exciting and mysterious about the jungle. It's exotic and foreign, beautiful and terrifying. It's teeming with life and can kill you in a heartbeat. There remain to this day parts of jungles that have never been fully explored. Think about that - we've had people on the moon and sent ships to the outer edges of the solar system, but never documented parts of our own planet. Setting a film inside that madness is thrilling. The best part of Raiders of the Lost Ark takes place in a jungle. King Kong
Arrow Video throws us a bone in the form of a shapeshifting werewolf feller like no other.
Much like vampirism, the subject of lycanthropy is generally reserved for horror films. Or perhaps a comedy horror film. There have even been action horror comedies pertaining to the subject of werewolves and shapeshifters. But there are very few movies like Wolf Guy floating about. In fact, I think Kazuhiko Yamaguchi's Wolf Guy may be a real one-of-a-kind filmic outing; a gory, over-the-top Japanese action thriller which has very little to do with the common folklore western civilization seems to be better familiar with. But then, I can't even say Wolf Guy's peculiarity is purely attributable to a foreign culture
Jessica Chastain can't even save this underwhelming World War II drama.
Even in movies that aren’t good, such as last year’s Miss Sloane, Jessica Chastain has proven to be a major highlight. She can give a commanding performance that deserves to be in something better. But what The Zookeeper’s Wife proves is that she can’t always be the movie’s brightest spot. Chastain doesn’t give an all-around bad performance in The Zookeeper’s Wife; there are moments where she does exceptionally well. But the biggest flaw with her performance is her attempt at a Polish accent. She slips in and out of it for the duration of the movie, and it doesn’t even
Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, a creepy Giger alien design, and Natasha Henstridge's breasts fail to make this sci-fi horror flick interesting.
Species hit theaters the summer after my freshman year at college. It was the only summer I came home for the entire break. It looked like a fun little sci-fi flick, so one random Sunday I decided to catch it at a matinee. My 16-year-old sister begged to come, so I let her and her friend Andrea tag along. I remember very little about the film except it was terrible and I felt very awkward sitting next to two teenaged girls while staring at Natasha Henstridge’s naked breasts. Shout! Factory is putting out a nice looking Blu-ray of the film
The past adventures of Donald Duck come alive again!
Everything old is new again with the upcoming reboot of Duck Tales on Disney XD, which is looking to include an expanded role for “Unca Donald.” Often modern Disney-enthusiasts might only know Donald for his temper, but a few decades ago, he was one of the champions of cleverness and comedy. These aspects of his character come to life in IDW’s fourth collection of the Donald Duck daily newspaper comic strip. Over 750 strips, most with just four panels, show piles of hilarity from 1945 to 1947. The Donald Duck portrayed in the comics was largely through the work of
If you are still there Sunday, this is where you might find us.
Sunday at San Diego Comic-Con 2017 has a stronger emphasis on kids, wraps at 5pm, and is a great opportunity to find deals on the show floor as the shop keepers want to reduce what they take back. Gordon S. Miller's picks: 1. SPOTLIGHT ON PAUL DINI (10:00am - 11:00am, Room 7AB) - I am as much interested in Dini as I am the panel's moderator, Veep showrunner David Mandel. 2. MARVEL'S SPIDER-MAN WORLD PREMIERE (10:15am - 11:15am, Room 6A) - Getting to see new episodes before they debut is always a great treat at Comic Con and I am
And just like that it's the end of Saturday and the Con starts to wind down.
Superheroes crossing over into each other's comics to take on villains and occasionally fight each other was usually a thrill for readers. Clearly those running the major comic-book film franchises understand the appeal as it's happening more often regardless what character's movie it is. Following their lead, Sentries Shawn Bourdo and Gordon S. Miller are teaming together again for this post. Gordon S. Miller's picks: 1. WARNER ARCHIVE'S MONSTERS FROM HELL (11:30am - 12:30pm, Room 5AB) - Representatives from Warner Archive Collection (WAC), Trailers From Hell and Famous Monsters of Filmland unite to talk about monster/dinosaur films and upcoming Blu-ray
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: Johnny and Friends Featuring Steve Martin, Robin Williams & Eddie Murphy DVD Review
In addition to how wonderful it is having Carson's Tonight Show at one's fingertips, it is interesting to compare the different styles of the comedians.
The latest Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson release from Time Life collects Volumes 2, 7, and 10 of the "Featured Guest Series" in a three-disc set with each disc focusing on one classic comedian for a total of nine episodes. Disc 1 / Volume 7 features Steve Martin from July 21, 1976; May 21, 1982; and December 19, 1991. On the '76 episode, the only one is this set when the show ran 90 minutes, Martin comes out after Jimmy Stewart and performs stand-up, some of which appeared on his debut album Let's Get Small. He then got a segment
Now that's a Good Friday.
Superheroes crossing over into each other's comics to take on villains and ocassionally fight each other was usually a thrill for readers. Clearly those running the major comic-book film franchises understand the appeal as it's happening more often regardless what character's movie it is. Following their lead, Sentries Shawn Bourdo and Gordon S. Miller are teaming together again for this post. Shawn Bourdo's picks: 1. THE BLACK PANEL (10am, Room 5AB) This panel reaches a 20-year anniversary. I've been going for the past three-four years and it is consistently the most chaotic and most political of all the panels. Judging
Here's the first day of my breakdown of the panels I would waltz into at the drop of a hat.
The closest I can come as an adult to recreating the joy of looking through the Sears catalog a couple months before Christmas is when the Comic-Con schedules get posted. Before the reality of lines out the door and down the hall intersect with my reality, I imagine it's still 2003 and I can just walk into any panel at any moment and not have to take up residence with meal and laundry service in Hall H to see the Previews for a Marvel film a mere four minutes before it's posted on YouTube. Here's the first day of my
Cool things I consumed this week include the Cornetto Trilogy, Baby Driver, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver came out last week. I made plans with my cousin to see it on Tuesday afternoon. So of course I spent all day Monday watching the Cornetto Trilogy. What else is a guy supposed to do on a long weekend? I didn’t actually plan it that way, but after finishing up a little work Monday morning, I thought it would be fun to throw on Shaun of the Dead as a way to hype myself up for Baby Driver. When I finished it, the wife was happily sewing something and the daughter was busy upstairs playing
Any of these make your list?
Good news for readers: there will be more San Diego Comic-Con coverage at Cinema Sentries this year. Now that the programming schedule is starting to be announced, we are going to highlight some of the panels that look the most intriguing and we hope to be attending, although it's always best to 1. The 18th Annual Animation Show of Shows (10:00am - 11:30am, Room 20) - Ron Diamond (founder and curator of the Animation Show of Shows and Acme Filmworks) is hosting this presentation of work from 11 countries, including Walt Disney Pictures' and Pixar Animation Studios' Academy Award winner
The soundtrack is definitely the highlight of the film
Vision Quest is a movie that I have always been surprised that I haven’t seen, considering there were not many coming-of-age movies from the 1980s that I missed. The only thing I really knew about it going in, other than it starred Matthew Modine, was that it was Madonna’s first movie appearance and featured her hit “Crazy for You”. Lowden Swain (Matthew Modine) is a wrestler who has decided that in his senior year of high school he needs to compete against the state champion from their biggest rival. In order to do that, he must drop two weight classes.
Entertaining cop movie despite a wildly fluctuating tone, a departure from director Fukasaku's harder-edged Yakuza material.
Kinji Fukasaku, of Battles Without Honor or Humanity fame, is best known as the director of hard-edged, cynical material with an almost documentary edge to it (that is, before he directed his final film Battle Royale, 20 years after his career heyday). When he was tapped to direct a manga adaptation, it was an odd pairing. Manga, or more specifically, gegika, which is manga that takes itself seriously, still tends toward over-heated material, with one foot in reality and on foot in comic book exaggeration. The book Fukasaku was tasked with adapting, Doberman Cop, is about a Harley-riding tough who
This week's new releases include Terrence Malick's latest, an obscure Japanese trilogy, a WWII drama, and more.
It is a grand July 4th weekend and everybody is out cooking burgers, drinking beer, soaking up radiation at the beach, and watching overly priced explosives light up the night. We might be going to the movies but nobody is interested in buying them to sit at home in our darkened living rooms. Or at least that’s the theory anyway. Not mine, mind you, as I’ve already watched a few DVDs this weekend and hope to watch a couple more before going back to work on Wednesday, but those who officially release Blu-rays to the chosen stores seem to think
The movie plays like a dress rehearsal of an outline.
With the counterculture comics going mainstream on the strength of the funny songs and routines from their comedy albums, it was no surprise they eventually made their way to the movies with Up in Smoke, which saw them strike box-office (Acapulco) gold with the first stoner comedy, making back 22 times the film's budget. That success gave them even greater creative control, which may have been a mistake. Next Movie clearly needed an outside force to focus and edit the fellas because the humor buzz wears off quick. Next Movie doesn't so much have a plot as it just finds
The week ahead.
This week begins with looks at the American Dream and Independence Day. The big summer spotlight "50 Years of Hitchcock" runs on Wednesdays and Fridays and is sure to bust DVRs. Ronald Coleman is the Star in the Month running on Thursdays. The American Dream: America America (1963) - Monday, July 3 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A young Greek stops at nothing to secure a passage to America. Independence Day: Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) - Tuesday, July 4 at 8:00 p.m. (ET) A musical portrait of composer/singer/dancer George M. Cohan. From his early days as a child-star in his family's
Dario Argento's first feature film is given a lovely 4k transfer, and the set is filled with an incredible amount of extras.
Dario Argento has been referred to as the “Italian Hitchcock,” and when you see his debut feature, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage, you’ll understand why people called him that. Argento’s first film is a stylishly edited slasher flick that dishes out the blood in such a unique way that’s not overly grotesque. Those of you who have seen other Argento films, but have not seen this one, are probably chuckling at that last comment, but it’s true. The Bird with the Crystal Plumage contains some rather disturbing moments, but Argento doesn’t show the knife going into the person’s body,
A marvelous collection from the Disney vaults.
Walt Disney was a savvy businessman. With a staff of talented writers and artists employed to create films, he was not content working within one medium and used some staff members to create comics as well. The first was a comic strip that starred Mickey Mouse and debuted on January 13, 1930. In his well-researched Introduction, Michael Barrier writes about Disney features making their way to the Sunday paper, starting with the studio's first animated feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. In a great bit of marketing, the Snow White strips began a couple weeks before the film premiered