March 21, 2014 |
NEW YORK--Pretty much since the moment it began shooting, Lars von Trier's “Nymphomaniac” has whipped up controversy for its explicit nature and willingness to tackle sexual taboos. The film's frank portrayal of sexual obsession--and a character's eagerness to act thereon - is a notion most English-language films stay away from, and certainly English-language films with mainstream celebrities like Shia LaBeouf. But one of the film's stars says that there's little place or reason for outrage.
February 7, 2010 |
When girls are good they are very good, but when they are bad they are even better. And during the height of the film noir genre in the 1940s and '50s, some of the juiciest roles for women were as femmes fatales in snappy B-movies. Sony's terrific two-volume "Bad Girls of Film Noir" DVD collections, due out Tuesday, offer eight scrappy samples featuring several female icons of the genre. Volume I kicks off with the 1950 thriller "The Killer That Stalked New York." The killer in question is played by Evelyn Keyes, though she isn't a typical film noir villainess.
December 3, 2010 |
Novelist Mordecai Richler, a caustically brilliant observer of the human condition ? especially when it was Jewish, Canadian or politically incorrect ? was never one to spare himself or his loved ones. So I have to believe that somewhere in the great beyond, he is chuckling over a single malt and a Montecristo at the sublime, dark distraction of "Barney's Version," the screen adaptation of his final and most autobiographical work, starring Paul Giamatti and Dustin Hoffman. This is, as Richler offered by way of introduction, the story of Barney Panofsky's "wasted life" and the scandal that followed him to his grave.
November 12, 2012 |
Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" and Sam Mendes' "Skyfall," the latest installment in the James Bond series, both enjoyed overflow crowds at theaters this weekend, including one venue of particular note -- the 1,012-seat Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills -- which had to turn away film academy members who showed up too close to the movies' 7:30 p.m. start times. "Lincoln" screened Saturday night and, judging from the ovations afforded the post-screening panel -- director Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, leads Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field, screenwriter Tony Kushner and composer John Williams -- the film appears poised to fulfill its promise as an awards-season juggernaut. "You could feel the respect in the room, but it went beyond that," said one academy member in attendance.
March 28, 2011
Charles McGraw The gravely voiced actor, who died in 1980 at age 66, played a hit man in the 1946 noir classic "The Killers" and went on to appear in such noir hits as 1950's "Armored Car Robbery, 1951's "Roadblock" and the 1952 classic "The Narrow Margin. " Audrey Totter Totter, now 92, made her film debut in 1945's "Main Street After Dark" and excelled in numerous film noirs, including Robert Montgomery's 1947 version of "Lady in the Lake" and "High Wall," which opens the "Noir City" festival.
December 15, 2013 |
Tom Laughlin, who came to fame as the half-Native American, half-white ex-Green Beret in the 1971 indie blockbuster "Billy Jack," died Thursday at age 82. A lot of his films are on DVD and on streaming services. If you want to go back to his earliest films, check out "The Delinquents" (1957) -- which was directed by Robert Altman -- "South Pacific" (1958) and even "Gidget" (1959). And for those who want to revisit his best-known films, or perhaps see them for the first time, here are five: PHOTOS: Tom Laughlin, filmmaker who drew huge following for 'Billy Jack,' dies "The Born Losers": Laughlin first introduced Billy Jack in this low-budget 1967 biker film, which American International Pictures released in 1968.
March 17, 2014 |
Tyler Perry's "The Single Moms Club" was greeted over the weekend with disastrous box office and horrible reviews. Most networks that had been planning to base a series on the film might be having second thoughts about those plans after seeing the evidence that the movie not only tanked with Perry's core audience, but marked his worst showing ever at the box office. But OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, isn't most networks. Perry apparently can do whatever he wants at OWN, with Winfrey's blessing.
July 5, 2012 |
When I was with a group of parents earlier this week, watching our kids play in a 14-and-under baseball tournament, I asked them how many of the boys - aged 13 and 14--had gone to see the R-rated movie “Ted.” The answer: Just about all of 'em. But here's what I found really surprising: Nearly all of them went with their mothers. Put simply: Despite its rampant drug use, crude sexual banter and profanity-fueled humor, “Ted” has become a family movie. I have to admit that I wasn't exactly shocked.
August 3, 2012 |
The intrepid folks at Criterion have put out a fine pair of three-disc sets, each one celebrating a little-known but gifted foreign-language director who has a very particular place in film history. Perhaps most familiar to American audiences is the Samurai Trilogy of Japan's Hiroshi Inagaki, the 1950s trio starring Toshiro Mifune that began the West's enduring fascination with the samurai genre. Mifune plays a fictionalized version of the legendary 17th century swordsman Musashi Miyamoto as he takes the now-familiar journey from country bumpkin to wise killing machine.
April 18, 1993 |
In Adrian Lyne's new film, "Indecent Proposal," billionaire playboy Robert Redford comes to visit Demi Moore at her realty company. As he walks into her office, we catch a glimpse of Moore's secretary, a blond bimbo busily filing her nails and reading "Backlash," Susan Faludi's 1991 expose of the war against women's rights. The shot is meant as a playful jab at Faludi. But after seeing Lyne's new film, in which Redford offers a happily married young couple $1 million for a one-night stand with the sultry wife, the outspoken author--and many of her female Hollywood peers--are in no laughing mood.