Judi Dench has played the Queen of England three times in her career. She played Queen Elizabeth I in Shakespeare in Love, Queen Victoria in Mrs. Brown and again in Victoria & Abdul. She is acting royalty having won nearly every award available to her including one Oscar, ten BAFTAs, two Golden Globes, a Tony, and a host of others. She’s actual royalty, too, becoming Dame Judi Dench in 1988. She is magnificent in Victoria & Abdul. At the time of her Golden Jubilee, Queen Victoria has grown lonely and tired of her fawning courtiers, the countless celebrations, and official
December 2017 Archives
A lively historical romp that loses steam in its back half.
It's not to often something comes along that makes Star Wars better, but this book does just that.
The Star Wars universe is defined by conflict. Whether it’s the internal struggle of a young Jedi finding his way in the world while dealing with some pretty heavy family baggage or a ragtag group of rogues trying to pass along some top secret plans, there’s always a lot of fighting going on in these stories. With Star Wars: On the Front Lines, author Daniel Wallace offers fans a unique perspective on eleven pivotal battles from the Star Wars chronology. Starting with the Battle of Naboo and taking us all the way through the attack on Starkiller Base, Wallace uses
The Shape Of Water is a poetic and transcendent film-watching experience that captures you from the first frame.
One word can be used to describe The Shape Of Water: Poetic. The Shape Of Water is a poetic demonstration of the magic of storytelling and after the ambitious yet divisive Crimson Peak, it is a return to form for director Guillermo Del Toro who has proven himself to be a master at crafting poetic genre fare like The Devil’s Backbone and one of the best movies ever made, Pan’s Labyrinth. While those two films are classifiable horror films, The Shape Of Water offers a little something for everyone: It’s romantic, adventurous, funny, musical, and horrific, and its eclectic experience
Season 3 of the acclaimed FX series is just as quirky and brilliant as the previous two seasons.
It may be a while until Fargo returns to television screens, since there has been no news of a fourth season, and showrunner Noah Hawley has his hands filled with Legion and other projects. Heck, this might even be the last time the series is on the air. It was already brutal for fans such as myself to wait a year for a whole new season, when they had to delay it in order to film in the correct weather climates. But now, we won’t even know if the show is coming back again. Thankfully, each season is a new
Kino Lorber gives us a double feature offering of two 'lesser' Michael Dudikoff actioneers.
Yes, that's right, kids ‒ our favorite American Ninja has returned to kick a little ass on Blu-ray once more. This time around, the folks at Kino Lorber have given us a double feature of Vietnam-focused films to star the one and only Michael Dudikoff: 1988's Platoon Leader and 1995's Soldier Boyz. Our first selection, Platoon Leader, hails from the Dudikoff's propitious Cannon days. Oddly enough, however, this was one of very few Cannon releases to not actually be produced by company founders Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus; rather, this drama set during the Vietnam War (and filmed in South
From co-directors Jim Henson and Frank Oz, the film returns to U.S. cinemas February 25 and 28, featuring an exclusive interview with Lisa Henson.
Press release: Thirty-five years after it first stunned audiences and critics with its unprecedented visions and mythic storytelling, Jim Henson’s 1982 epic fantasy-adventure The Dark Crystal, co-directed by Henson and Frank Oz, will return to big screens nationwide in a special two-night presentation from Fathom Events, The Jim Henson Company and Universal Pictures. Newly restored in 4K (at select theaters), The Dark Crystal is a visually spectacular tale of a young hero who must find a legendary relic in order restore harmony to the universe. A watershed in fantasy filmmaking produced by Gary Kurtz (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back),
Desert Hearts is a groundbreaking yet underrated romantic gem for the history books.
I never wanted Desert Hearts to end. I didn’t want to leave behind the breathtaking scenery of the desert and I definitely wanted to see more of the chemistry between the two leads. Desert Hearts is an intimate yet flawless gem that captures forbidden love that is apolitical yet groundbreaking during its time of release because it was the first film about a same-sex relationship between two women that isn’t tragic. While LGBTQ+ films that have a political agenda are meant to be told, Desert Hearts is proof that those aren’t the only stories that should be told. Based on
Set aside some holiday money for these upcoming titles.
In March, Criterion plams on releasing five titles. New to the collection are Martin Scorsese's The Age of Innocence, Volker Schlöndorff's Baal, John Murray Anderson's King of Jazz, and Ken Russell's Women in Love. Getting an HD upgrade are Carl Theodor Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. Read on to learn more about them. The Age of Innocence (#913) out Mar 13 No filmmaker captures the grandeur and energy of New York like Martin Scorsese. With this sumptuous romance, he meticulously adapted the work of another great New York artist, Edith Wharton, bringing to life her tragic novel of
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #10
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. The Extravaganza concludes with a prize pack of books for fans of the DC Expanded Universe franchise. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: The Art and Making of Wonder Woman Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman sees the hero brought to the big screen for the first time in her own movie, and fully realizes the breathtaking wonder, strength, and grace of such an historic character. Wonder Woman: The Art & Making of the
"This show is the 2017-18 Green Bay Packer season, but it is headed to a much darker place." - Kim
In which The Walking Dead finale is the Cleveland Browns. Shawn: I'm not going to lie - I'm just going to put out some observations and let you tie them all together with an amazing conclusion to this piece. I'm still processing some of the events and what they mean for the long term story of the show. How It's Gotta Be. Carl has to die. Not that he had to die before the episode started but they've painted themselves into that corner now. If you save him, then every time someone got barely scratched on the arm or leg
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #9
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: The Art of the Film. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: Rooted in the classic graphic novel series, Valerian and Laureline, visionary writer/director Luc Besson advances this iconic source material into a contemporary, unique and epic science fiction saga. Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline (Cara Delevingne) are special operatives for the government of the human territories charged with maintaining order throughout
Fiftieth anniversary screening celebrates the seminal filmmaker.
Press release: Turner Classic Movies (TCM) will kick off the 9th annual TCM Classic Film Festival on Thursday, April 26th, with a 50th anniversary world premiere restoration screening of the Mel Brooks groundbreaking comedy The Producers with the legendary director, producer, writer and actor in attendance. Recognized as one of the funniest movies ever made, The Producers won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for Brooks and a nomination for Best Supporting Actor for Gene Wilder, it would be the gift that kept on giving. Thirty years after its theatrical release, Brooks turned it into a Tony-Award winning Broadway musical,
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #8
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book The Art and Making of Kong: Skull Island. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: When a scientific expedition to an uncharted island awakens titanic forces of nature, a mission of discovery becomes an explosive war between monster and man. Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly star in a thrilling and original new adventure that reveals the untold story of
VCI Entertainment goes retro with two imperfect releases for two equally flawed horror flicks.
VCI Entertainment is no stranger to the world of home video. In fact, it's (quite possibly) the only label in the US to have survived all of these years without a parental company in the active motion picture business (Universal, Paramount, et al). And while their current library of classic films and forgotten flicks is anything less than impressive, certain "niche" enthusiasts such as myself will always associate the outfit with cult movies. This Fall, VCI has returned to its roots (replete with retro logo) by releasing several cult classics to Blu-ray. Both originally gracing flickering silver screens in 1977,
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #7
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book The Great Wall: The Art of the Film. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: When a mercenary warrior (Matt Damon) is imprisoned within The Great Wall, he discovers the mystery behind one of the greatest wonders of our world. As wave after wave of marauding beasts besiege the massive structure, his quest for fortune turns into a journey toward heroism as he joins a huge army
This week's new releases include a trio of Criterions, a couple of Reese Witherspoons, plus Colin Firth as an action star.
If you read the words I put onto this little website, then you know that I am a Game of Thrones fan. It was about the time my daughter was born that the HBO series came out. I watched a few episodes then decided the story was so dense I really needed to read the books. I put the show on pause and read the first couple of books then returned to the series. I managed to read ahead of the show, but now things have reversed and the show has caught up to the books and then some. Season
Did your favorite films and TV shows get nominated or overlooked?
The Hollywood Foreign Press has selected their nominations in film and television for the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards. Hosted by Seth Meyers, the Golden Globe Awards will air live coast-to-coast on NBC on Sunday, Jan. 7 at 5-8 p.m. PT/8-11 p.m. ET from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Best Motion Picture, Drama Call Me by Your Name Dunkirk The Post The Shape of Water Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri | Review Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy The Disaster Artist Get Out | Review The Greatest Showman I, Tonya Lady Bird | Review Best Director, Motion Picture Guillermo del Toro,
Director Alexandra Dean sits down to talk about Hedy Lamarr and her documentary, Bombshell.
Between the rise of the #metoo movement and Time Magazine naming "the Silence Breakers" as their Person of the Year, the role of courageous women has only intensified in 2017. Adding onto the pile is director Alexandra Dean's investigative documentary on Hedy Lamarr, Bombshell. In the last 24 hours it took home the Best Documentary prize from the New York Film Critics Circle in what's hoped to be the first of many awards. Dean sat down to talk to Cinema Sentries about researching her complex subject and Lamarr's renewed place in history. What was your history with Hedy Lamarr before
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #6
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book The Art of Ferdinand. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: Set in the fabulously colorful world of modern day Spain, Ferdinand is the story of a gentle giant who is nothing like you would expect. Ferdinand’s life of leisure on the family farm is disrupted when he is taken to a school for fighting bulls, where his kind and peaceful manner is at odds with that
As nice as this book looks, it still looks like the Justice League movie.
Let’s get this out of the way right here at the beginning: I haven’t seen Justice League. Nor do I particularly want to see Justice League. Despite being a lifelong fan of comic books and superheroes, I’m not quite sold on Warner Brothers' vision for the DC characters (with the exception of Wonder Woman, which was absolutely stunning), and it’s nearly impossible to avoid, or remain unaffected by the flurry of bad press the film has gotten from the often unfair online media prior to its release. But none of those reasons speak to why I remain uninterested in the
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #5
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize pack contains books for fans of the Alien franchise. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: The Art and Making of Alien: Covenant Ridley Scott returns to the universe he created with Alien: Covenant, a new chapter in the groundbreaking Alien franchise. The crew of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think is an uncharted paradise, but it is actually a dark, dangerous world, whose sole inhabitant is the synthetic
This week's cool things include John Denver singing with the Muppets, a classic James Bond film, Wilco, samurai, and more.
Winter is no longer coming, but is here, and with a vengeance. I woke up to temperatures in the teens this morning. Oklahoma always has wonky weather. We get broiling hot in the summer and freezing cold in the winter and the wind always blows. Which makes it perfect for staying inside and enjoying some cool pop culture, so here’s five cool things I consumed this week. John Denver & The Muppets - A Christmas Together In 1979, John Denver joined the Muppets for a Christmas special on ABC. As far as I can tell, it only aired once and
Kino Lorber's Studio Classics releases the quirky late '90s Canadian comedy starring Dave Foley, David Anthony Higgins, and Jennifer Tilly.
What would happen if comedians from The Kids in the Hall, SCTV, and Mike and Molly got together with a writer from The Simpsons? Well, depending on the circumstances surrounding your first viewing of The Wrong Guy, the end-result can be seen as one of two things: a silly Canadian comedy, or a subtly brilliant neglected masterpiece. Spawned from a sketch lead performer/writer Dave Foley once wrote during his days as one of the The Kids in the Hall, the quirky farce finds Mr. Foley as a meager ‒ and startlingly naïve ‒ executive at a major city high-rise office
Contains only one Silly Symphonies adaptation, but plenty of other Disney magic.
The Silly Symphonies comic strip started as a venue for adaptations of Disney’s long-running series of animated shorts, but by the time of the Sunday color strips presented in this collection, the title was far less indicative of its contents. While the artistic merits remained high, the strips only adapted one animated short, The Ugly Duckling, while devoting the rest of the space to Pluto one-offs, a lengthy adaptation of Pinocchio, and ongoing original adventures of Little Hiawatha. As such, the brand name doesn’t really match the strips, but the contents are still decidedly Disney and completely entertaining. The collection
The film tells a lesser-known part of rock history, but the hour-long format barely scratches the surface.
“Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose,” Janis Joplin sang in “Me and Bobby McGee.” For teens living behind the Iron Curtain in the 1950s, rock itself became a symbol of freedom. The documentary Free to Rock explores the role the rebellious music played in ending the Cold War, ending with the Berlin Wall coming down in 1989. Through interviews with Western musicians as well as Russian artists, the film makes the case that rock ’n’ roll’s attitude changed culture and helped bring about changes that reverberate today. Executive producers Nicholas Brinkley and Douglas Yeager spent ten years
This documentary about a 1978 find of a cache of "lost" silent films traces the history of Dawson City.
In an industry that is lately obsessed with making films available in multiple different versions, both in medium of delivery and in the actual content, it's astounding to conceive just how disposable film was in its early days. Cinema was more curiosity than art form, and it's estimated that nearly 75% of all the films made in the early, silent era are lost. There's a number of reasons for this (not least of which that early film stock, made with silver nitrate, was highly flammable and could even spontaneously combust in the right conditions) but in the end it means
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #4
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book Star Wars: On the Front Lines. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: From the Clone Wars and the Rebellion to the clashes with the First Order, the galaxy is defined by war. Star Wars: On the Front Lines chronicles the tactics, weapons, and armor used in pivotal battles along with profiling acts of valor achieved during the campaign. By focusing on elements of the battles that occurred
"This episode brings us one step closer to ending the agony of this two-day-long half-season." - Shawn
In which Kim and Shawn determine what they would rather do than watch next week's episode. Kim: Well, now they’ve done it. They wrote a show that was complete bullshit without one single redeeming quality. Not a one. I don’t even know where to start voicing my displeasure. And so, right now I will happily present to you a list of things I would rather do next Sunday than spend 90 minutes of my time watching complete bullshit. I would rather pull out my old craft bag and try to work on the blanket I’ve been trying to crochet for
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #3
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book The Movie Art of Syd Mead: Visual Futurist. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: Syd Mead is one of the most accomplished and widely respected artists and industrial designers alive today. His career boasts an incredible array of projects from designing cars to drafting architectural renderings, but he is most famous for his work as a concept artist on some of the most visually arresting films
War for the Planet of the Apes works as both the end of a trilogy or the continuation of the franchise, depending on what happens next.
Taking place 15 years after the events of Rise and the release of the Simian virus, which made apes smarter and killed many humans, and two years after "a distress call to a military base" was made in Dawn, humans and apes find themselves embroiled in a war in this thrilling third installment of the Apes reboot. A devastating attack on their home causes the apes to flee, but they must go without their leader Caesar (Andy Serkis), who is consumed by anger due to the death of his family members. He seeks revenge against the Colonel (Woody Harrelson), and
Franco Nero, Tony Musante, and a flamboyant Jack Palance highlight this Sergio Corbucci western, now available from Kino Lorber.
Amongst the many subgenres of the European western ‒ the tombstones of which typically bear the headings of "Revenge" and "Betrayal" ‒ is another category, informally referred to by devout aficionados as the "Zapata Western." Set during the Mexican Revolution (see: History), these plates of Spaghetti usually feature a pair of protagonists, neither of whom truly adore one another or ever see eye-to-eye, but who form an alliance nevertheless in their individual, alternating quests for glory, money, and/or freedom. Naturally, the American(ized) lead is always the one in pursuit of a fistful of dollars within the confines of these fairly
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #2
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. Today's prize is the book The Art of Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: From DreamWorks Animation comes a movie event based on the global sensation and best-selling book series by Dav Pilkey, Captain Underpants. This comedy for the entire family tells the story of two pranksters named George and Harold, who hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain
They were some of the earliest looks American audiences had at Maigret, and I, for one, am excited to give them a chance.
I have reviewed two different series (one English, the other French) based upon the Georges Simenon character of Maigret. I have never read any of the books, nor do I have a real affinity for the character. Why then do I keep watching and reviewing these things? You can blame my wife. She is a great francophile - a lover of all things French - and she turned me on to Maigret. Honestly, I don’t think she’s ever read one of the books either, but as he is one of the great detectives to come out of France (or Belgium,
Star Trek Beyond: The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow / Star Trek: The Art of the Kelvin Timeline Book Giveaway
Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza Day #1
Cinema Sentries is teaming up with Titan Books for a Holiday Giveaway Extravaganza this month, presenting 10 days of contests for pop-culture fans. First up is a prize pack of books for fans of the modern Star Trek franchise. For those wanting to learn more, read the official synposes below: Star Trek Beyond: The Makeup Artistry of Joel Harlow With the release of Star Trek Beyond in 2016, viewers were given a spectacular visual treat as a whole host of new aliens made their appearance for the first time in the rebooted franchise. At the heart of the process of
The artwork is the real stand out.
While Disney had previously run newspaper comic strips before it, their Treasury of Classic Tales was a Sunday strip that featured 129 stories, running from July 13, 1952 until February 15, 1987. The Library of American Comics is republishing them and the 13 stories in Volume Two, which are collected in a book for the first time, include adaptations of films, both animated and live-action, and original stories. Animation historian Michael Barrier provides Introductions for the book and for each strip. Written by Frank A. Reilly and drawn by Jesse March, except where noted, they are: The Legends of Davy
Lily Tomlin is funny but also charming, smart, and conveys such resilience as a mom fighting for her family and her values.
Pat Kramer (Lily Tomlin) is a normal housewife trying her best to take care of her husband (Charles Grodin) and two children. Her household responsibilities require a myriad of chemical products, the combination of which have a strange effect, causing her to shrink. She goes through every test imaginable and eventually gets so small that she must endure intense media and public scrutiny. As she struggles to keep out of the public eye while continuing to be a proper wife and mother, a group of scientists have their own ideas on how to take advantage of her. The result is
The Warner Archive Collection revs its engines up for one of the greatest cross-country race flicks to hail from the '70s.
It never fails to amuse me how many road/race flicks spawned from the same decade now synonymous with "gas shortage." Similarly, those very motion pictures never fail to delight. And now, thanks to the ever-diligent efforts of the Warner Archive Collection, one of the first films to capitalize on Brock Yates' Cannonball Baker Sea-to-Shining-Sea Memorial Trophy Dash ‒ which Yates himself would cash-in on a few years later with The Cannonball Run, after Burt Reynolds already had in Smokey and the Bandit ‒ has hit Blu-ray for home media enthusiasts who love seeing vintage (and very expensive) automobiles darting across
Cool things this week include The Punisher, two films by Werner Herzog, an animated moving castle and more.
I cut the cord many years ago. Netflix and my DVD collection do me just fine, thank you very much. Until it doesn’t and I start looking for other means to get the videos I want, morally solid or not. I had an Amazon Prime account before I ever used their streaming services, but after purchasing an Amazon Fire box, I use that aspect of the service regularly. Recently, I’ve also started using a third service, but I like switching those around. I started with Filmstruck, which is run by Turner Classic Movies and the Criterion people, and offers up
The Tragically Hip: Long Time Running Blu-ray Review: Beating the Inevitability of Death Just a Little Bit
A fantastic behind-the-scenes look at how the band, their team, and their fans dealt with this farewell tour.
On May 24, 2016, it was announced that The Tragically Hip's lead singer Gord Downie had incurable brain cancer. In spite of that, they intended to tour in support their thirteenth studio album, Man Machine Poem, set for release a few weeks later. They played 15 shows across Canada in just under a month, concluding with a hometown show on August 20, 2016, at the Rogers K-Rock Centre in Kingston, Ontario. It was an unofficial, though presumed, farewell tour, which became official with the passing of Downie on October 17, 2017. The final concert was broadcast to nearly 12 million
The Warner Archive Collection re-releases two of Steve Martin's best films, this time in glorious High-Definition.
From his early days as a collaborator on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, Steve Martin's unique brand of humor has always left an impression. Even on people who have never been able to tune in to his sense of comedy, such as my father and just about every critic who saw The Jerk upon its initial release. Fortunately, time has always been on Mr. Martin's side. Well, maybe so not so much in the case of those Pink Panther remakes, but his original classics have maintained their popularity over the years, especially these two new Warner Archive Blu-ray issues. Originally