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DVD Obscura for the Holidays

Whatever kind of entertainment gets you – or your guests -- in the mood for the holidays, there’s an overflowing stocking-full of new Blu-ray and DVD releases that will make your home theater the most festive spot in town. Don’t Forget Thanksgiving Before Christmas takes over, check out these two holiday favorites that revolve around the holiday season’s November warm-up, Thanksgiving. Director Jodie Foster offers a commentary track on the new Blu-ray for Home for the Holidays (Shout Factory), a merry dysfunctional-family comedy whose impressive ensemble cast includes Holly Hunter, Robert Downey Jr., Anne Bancroft, Claire Danes, Charles Durning, Geraldine Chaplin, Dylan McDermott, Steve Guttenberg and Cynthia Stevenson. And I know plenty of...

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See full article at Movies.com »

Actress Anna Graham Hunter Accuses Dustin Hoffman of Harassing Her on Movie Set When She Was 17

Actress Anna Graham Hunter Accuses Dustin Hoffman of Harassing Her on Movie Set When She Was 17
A woman has accused Dustin Hoffman of sexually harassing her while she interned as a production assistant on the set of the 1985 Death of a Salesman TV film — when she was just 17.

In a column for The Hollywood Reporter, actress Anna Graham Hunter said the actor was “openly flirtatious” with her, asking for a foot massage, groping her bum and talking about sex to her.

“One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris,
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

The Movie Within Mindhunter Is More Important Than You Think

Image Source: Netflix In the premiere episode of Netflix's new drama, Mindhunter, FBI special agent Holden Ford takes his would-be girlfriend, Debbie, to a screening of Dog Day Afternoon, an Oscar-winning 1975 film based on a true story and starring Al Pacino as a bank robber who takes hostages in a desperate move to try to exit the intense situation in which he finds himself. While we cannot find any evidence that this is some kind of particularly important event in the life of John E. Douglas (the FBI profiler on whom Ford is based) - and in fact Debbie does not seem to be based on Douglas's real-life wife, Pamela - the choice of the film is probably not a coincidence. On the surface, there's an obvious connection between Ford's work as a hostage negotiator and the scene from Dog Day Afternoon chosen to be seen on screen while Ford
See full article at BuzzSugar »

Review: Woody Allen's "September" (1987) Starring Mia Farrow; Twilight Time Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
“Love And Angst”

By Raymond Benson

Woody Allen came off an incredible run of five superior films released between 1983 and 1987 (Zelig, Broadway Danny Rose, The Purple Rose of Cairo, Hannah and Her Sisters, and Radio Days) and then delivered one of his occasional “serious” pictures (without his presence as an actor) in late ’87 that was so dire that it only grossed approximately $500,000 in its initial run.

Basically a six-character “play” that takes many cues from the works of Anton Chekhov, September is set in a Vermont country house where depressed Lane (Mia Farrow) is recovering from a suicide attempt. Her best friend Stephanie (Dianne Wiest) is there for moral support. Lane is in love with tenant/writer Peter (Sam Waterston), and neighbor/teacher Howard (Denholm Elliott) is in love with Lane. She doesn’t share Howard’s affections, but Peter, however, is in love with Stephanie. Coming to visit into
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Mary Goldberg, Casting Director of ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Alien,’ Dies at 72

Mary Goldberg, Casting Director of ‘Amadeus’ and ‘Alien,’ Dies at 72
Mary Goldberg, casting director of films including “Amadeus” and “Alien,” died Sept. 7 at her home in Ojai, Calif., following a short battle with lung cancer. She was 72.

Goldberg’s career spanned the New York theater community and the West Coast film industry, but she is best known for casting talent. She began her career in the early 1970s as an assistant to Bernard Gersten, the Public Theater’s associate producer, and became the Shakespeare Festival’s head of casting for both the Public Theater in downtown New York and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park in 1973. There, Goldberg assembled the casts of plays including “Two Gentlemen of Verona” starring Raul Julia, “King Lear” starring James Earl Jones, and “Much Ado About Nothing” starring Sam Waterston and Kathleen Widdoes.

From 1973 until 1975, Goldberg was also casting director for the Lincoln Center Repertory Company, managed by the New York Shakespeare Festival under Joseph Papp’s direction. At
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Scott Reviews Robert Aldrich’s Twilight’s Last Gleaming [Masters of Cinema Blu-ray Review]

There’s a sense I get from a lot of late-1970s American films that following the hope of the early 1960s, the anger of the late 1960s, and the despondency of the early 1970s, a lot of people felt that they had one last chance to truly reclaim the spirit of America, which was arguably on the precipice of being lost forever. With the bicentennial came a renewed focus on the foundations of freedom, democracy, and optimism on which the United States was founded, a realization of how far it had fallen from that promise, and how fast that fall seemed to have happened. We can look back now and see that in many ways they were right. A globalized economy pushed the working class to the margins. Government became limited in its capacity to help and unimaginably powerful in its capacity to destroy. Improved legislation for civil rights
See full article at CriterionCast »

25 underrated political thrillers

Rebecca Clough Jan 13, 2017

Samuel L Jackson, Colin Farrell, Kirk Douglas, Denzel Washington and more, as we explore underrated political thrillers...

Ask someone for their favourite political thrillers and you’re likely to get a list of Oscar-winning classics, from JFK to The Day Of The Jackal, Blow Out to Argo. But what about those electrifying tales that have slipped under the radar, been largely forgotten or just didn’t get the love they deserved? Here are 25 political thrillers which are underappreciated but brilliant.

See related Star Wars: Episode IX lands Jurassic World director 25. The Amateur (1981)

Generally, the first hostage to get shot in a heist movie is considered insignificant; luckily this time the young woman killed by terrorists has a devoted boyfriend who vows to avenge her death. Charles Heller (John Savage) already works for the CIA, so he’s able to use secret information to blackmail his bosses into
See full article at Den of Geek »

The Truculent Cinema of Robert Aldrich

  • MUBI
The quintessential shot in Robert Aldrich’s filmography is that of a close-up, held for a smidgen longer than the normal length one would think appropriate for such a shot. The face the camera is focusing on is usually a signifier of the most central element in Aldrich’s films: tension. Whether it’s melodrama (Autumn Leaves, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?), war pictures (Too Late the Hero, Attack!), or Westerns, both sober and jocular (Ulzana’s Raid and 4 For Texas, respectively), ideological and external forces wrestle within the psyche that defines Aldrich’s cinema. Metrograph's all-35mm retrospective in New York offers us the opportunity to survey the oeuvre of the auteur who hammered out his cinematic legacy with the vigor of an undoubtedly indignant and irreverent artist. Too Late the Hero (1970)Consistency across genre and modes of filmmaking marks Aldrich as one of the last great studio auteurs,
See full article at MUBI »

Drive-In Dust Offs: The Fury (1978)

1978 cast a long shadow in the world of horror. From Dawn of the Dead to Halloween, the landscape was abundant with everything from the socially relevant to the singularly terrifying, from superior remakes (Invasion of the Body Snatchers) to quirky haunted houses (The Evil). And then there’s the red headed stepchild that no one talks about: Brian DePalma’s The Fury. Frenetic, action packed, and gruesome, The Fury never gets the love from even most DePalma fanatics. What a shame – it’s never less than entertaining, and at its best showcases the director’s mesmerizing visual touch.

Released in March by Twentieth Century Fox, The Fury made $24 million against its $5.5 million budget. That’s good green, folks, and DePalma received favorable reviews, still basking in a critical glow left over from his previous effort, Carrie (’76). So why is it so easily dismissed, ranked along the lines of efforts like Wise Guys,
See full article at DailyDead »

The Fury: Brian De Palma’s underrated, explosive movie

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Director Brian De Palma followed Carrie with another gory vaunt into the supernatural. Here's why The Fury deserves a revisit...

When it comes to telekinesis and gory visual effects, the movie that generally springs to mind is David Cronenberg’s 1981 exploding head opus, Scanners. But years before that, American director Brian De Palma was liberally dowsing the screen with claret in his 1976 adaptation of Carrie - still rightly regarded as one of the best Stephen King adaptations made so far. A less widely remembered supernatural film from De Palma came two years after: De Palma’s supernatural thriller, The Fury.

The Fury was made with a more generous budget than Carrie, had a starrier cast (Kirk Douglas in the lead, John Cassavetes playing the villain), and it even did pretty well in financial terms. Yet The Fury had the misfortune of being caught in a kind of pincer movement between Carrie,
See full article at Den of Geek »

It Came From The Tube: Dark Night Of The Scarecrow

TV is usually the first portal for horror when you’re a kid. At least it was for me; pre internet horror was found either: a) at the movies, b) in comic books, or c) the idiot box. And before we were allowed to see big screen horror, TV scratched that itch. Saturday mornings had Scooby Doo, The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, and various other shows, animated or not, to quench our growing curiosity for the weird, creepy, and unusual. But if we were lucky enough to be able to watch after 9 pm, things got much more interesting.

Terrifying stories of miniature monsters, witchcraft, Satanism, and creepy cults awaited our bloodshot eyes. TV was absolutely inundated with horror, channels dripping with malicious behavior in the form of weekly shows or made for TV movies. Of course, the networks (the big – and only – three: ABC, NBC, and CBS) back then had
See full article at DailyDead »

Blu-ray Review – Tootsie (1982)

Tootsie,1982.

Directed by Sydney Pollack.

Starring Dustin Hoffman, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, Teri Garr, Charles Gaynes, Jessica Lange, Bill Murray, and Sydney Pollack.

Synopsis:

A New York actor’s volatile reputation keeps him unemployed, which forces him to adopt a new identity as a woman to secure any roles.

With transgender rights being such a hot and important topic in the modern era, Tootsie marks as a befitting, albeit a likely coincidence, Criterion release a Blu-ray for this week. The film follows the talented, yet hostile actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) who comes from the old Method-style of acting from yesteryear, and he cannot adapt to the contemporary (1980s) mode of the homogenised, easily relatable/identifiable performers. His long-suffering agent George (Sydney Pollack) explains that Michael has burnt every bridge and nobody will hire him. Michael hears of an audition from a friend, and one of his acting students Sandy
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

50 More of the Greatest Matte Paintings of All Time

A few years ago the editors of Shadowlocked asked me to compile a list of what was initially to be, the ten greatest movie matte paintings of all time. A mere ten selections was too slim by a long shot, so my list stretched considerably to twenty, then thirty and finally a nice round fifty entries. Even with that number I found it wasn’t easy to narrow down a suitably wide ranging showcase of motion picture matte art that best represented the artform. So with that in mind, and due to the surprising popularity of that 2012 Shadowlocked list (which is well worth a visit, here Ed), I’ve assembled a further fifty wonderful examples of this vast, vital and more extensively utilised than you’d imagine – though now sadly ‘dead and buried’ – movie magic.

It would of course be so easy to simply concentrate on the well known, iconic,
See full article at Shadowlocked »

The Forgotten Hit: Beatty’s Dazzling ‘Dick Tracy’

In the summer of 1990, Warren Beatty’s labor-of-love, Dick Tracy, became a surprise commercial hit, earned acclaim for its visuals and technical artistry, and went on to win a number of high-profile awards. Its cast was bursting with stars and beloved character actors. So why, 25 years on, does it feel so forgotten?

Certainly, director-producer-star Beatty created a visual masterpiece and proved that “style over substance” isn’t always a bad thing. The design team was limited to the seven colors available to comic strip creator Chester Gould, and the movie reproduces that vivid look as faithfully as any live-action film could. From the spectacular flight across the twilit city that appears under the opening credits, it’s clear that Dick Tracy is something different.

Moments later, Gould’s trademark Rogues’ Gallery villains make their first appearance, brought to life by the makeup of John Caglione, Jr. and Doug Drexler, who
See full article at SoundOnSight »

The Forgotten Hit: Beatty’s Dazzling Dick Tracy

In the summer of 1990, Warren Beatty’s labor-of-love, Dick Tracy, became a surprise commercial hit, earned acclaim for its visuals and technical artistry, and went on to win a number of high-profile awards. Its cast was bursting with stars and beloved character actors. So why, 25 years on, does it feel so forgotten?

Certainly, director-producer-star Beatty created a visual masterpiece and proved that “style over substance” isn’t always a bad thing. The design team was limited to the seven colors available to comic strip creator Chester Gould, and the movie reproduces that vivid look as faithfully as any live-action film could. From the spectacular flight across the twilit city that appears under the opening credits, it’s clear that Dick Tracy is something different.

Moments later, Gould’s trademark Rogues’ Gallery villains make their first appearance, brought to life by the makeup of John Caglione, Jr. and Doug Drexler, who
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Martin E. Brooks, Who Played Dr. Rudy Wells on ‘Six Million Dollar Man,’ Dies at 90

Martin E. Brooks, Who Played Dr. Rudy Wells on ‘Six Million Dollar Man,’ Dies at 90
Martin E. Brooks, an actor, singer, director and writer perhaps most widely known for playing the bionic scientist Dr. Rudy Wells in the television series “The Six Million Dollar Man” and its spinoff “The Bionic Woman,” died Dec. 7 in Los Angeles. He was 90.

Brooks’ Broadway career included roles in Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People”; John Steinbeck’s “Burning Bright,” for which he received both the Theatre World Award and the Donaldson Award; Arch Oboler’s “Night of the Auk”; and John Van Druten’s “I Am a Camera,” for which he received a Tony nomination.

The actor also co-starred with Brian Donlevy in the national tour of Saul Levitt’s hit play “The Andersonville Trial.” Charles Durning had a featured role in that production, and as they worked together, he and Brooks forged a friendship that lasted until Durning’s death in 2012.

During his Broadway career,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

200 Greatest Horror Films (190-181)

Special Mention: Gojira (Godzilla)

Written and directed by Ishirô Honda

Japan, 1954

Ishiro Honda’s grim, black-and-white post-Hiroshima nightmare stands the test of time. This allegory for the devastation wrought on Japan by the atomic bomb is quite simply a powerful statement about mankind’s insistence to continue to destroy everyone and everything the surrounds us. With just one shot (a single pan across the ruins of Tokyo), Honda manages to express the devastation that Godzilla represents. Since its debut, Godzilla has become a worldwide cultural icon, but very little is said about actor Takashi Shimura, who adds great depth as Dr. Yamane; his performance is stunning. Special effects director Eiji Tsuburaya originally wanted to use classic stop-motion animation to portray Godzilla, but time and budget limitations forced him to dress actors up in monster suits. Despite this minor setback, Tsuburaya’s scale sets of Tokyo are crafted with such great attention to detail,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Giveaway – Win Dog Day Afternoon on Blu-ray

On September 7th 2015, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will celebrate director Sidney Lumet’s Dog Day Afternoon, the explosive drama starring Al Pacino, with a new 40th Anniversary edition Blu-ray available for the first time in the UK. To celebrate, we are giving away a copy!

This unique thriller, filled with sardonic comedy and based on a real-life incident, earned six Academy Award® nominations (including Best Picture) and won an Oscar® for Frank Pierson’s streetwise screenplay. John Cazale, Charles Durning (Golden Globe®-nominated for their roles) and James Broderick co-star.

Pacino and Lumet (collaborators on Serpico) reteam for the drama which currently has a 97% Fresh Rotten Tomatoes® Score. Pacino plays mastermind Sonny and John Cazale is his partner Sal – two optimistic nobodies who set out to rob a bank, and unexpectedly create a media circus and a complete disaster.

“A tense classic!” ✮✮✮✮✮ Empire

You can order Dog Day Afternoon via Amazon here.
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Review: "When A Stranger Calls" (1979) Starring Carol Kane And Charles Durning; Region 4 Blu-ray Release

  • CinemaRetro
By Todd Garbarini

Just after the school year ended in June 1984, I went to a friend’s house on a Friday night to watch the premiere of Carlin on Campus, an HBO concert of one of my favorite comedians, the legendary George Carlin. When the concert was over, my friend switched around until he reached NBC-tv. They were airing When A Stranger Calls, a 1979 thriller starring Carol Kane, Charles Durning, and Colleen Dewhurst. I saw the film from the beginning, and the first twenty or so minutes had me utterly captivated. It presented a scenario that I found to be terrifying, and apparently so did Rex Reed, whose proclamation “some of the most terrifying sequences ever filmed” was used in the newspaper ads. I thought it was so original – until I saw Bob Clark’s frightening Black Christmas (1974) four years later and saw where the “inspiration” may have come from.
See full article at CinemaRetro »

Scarecrows | Blu-ray Review

At the top of a definite genre shortlist is William Wesley’s 1988 title Scarecrows, a little horror flick about the eponymous objects used to frighten birds away from crops. Unfortunately, to use a cheap analogy, their use as frightful entities on film is parallel to their safeguarding of crops, effective only to the cognitive capabilities of smaller creatures. While Wesley maintains an effective command of ambience throughout this nocturnal jaunt through the vegetation, a bounty of budgetary restraints, strained performances and belabored writing seemingly brought on by a limited concept mark the film as fodder for the Mystery Science Theater 3000 experience.

A band of ex-military criminals heist the Camp Pendleton payroll, take a pilot and his daughter hostage, and make a mad dash through Mexico. However, one of their crew members double crosses them, attempting to murder his cohorts and escape with all the money for himself. This leads
See full article at IONCINEMA.com »
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