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'Pink Panther' Filmmaker at His Best Handling More Subtle Fare - Both Comedies and Dead Serious Dramas

Blake Edwards: Director of the 'Pink Panther' movies – and Julie Andrews' husband for more than four decades – was at his best handling polished comedies and a couple of dead serious dramas. Blake Edwards movies: Best known for slapstick fare, but at his best handling polished comedies and dramas The Pink Panther and its sequels[1] are the movies most closely associated with screenwriter-director-producer Blake Edwards, whose film and television career spanned more than half a century.[2] But unless you're a fan of Keystone Kops-style slapstick, they're the filmmaker's least interesting efforts. In fact, Edwards (born William Blake Crump in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on July 26, 1922) was at his best (co-)writing and/or directing polished comedies (e.g., Operation Petticoat, Victor Victoria) and, less frequently, dramas (Days of Wine and Roses, the romantic comedy-drama Breakfast at Tiffany's). The article below and follow-up posts offer a brief look at some of Blake Edwards' non-Pink Panther comedies,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Alexander the Great

Tired of stupid sword 'n' sandal costume pictures? Robert Rossen's all-star bio-epic of the charter founder of the Masons is a superior analysis of political ambition and the ruthless application of power. Yeah, he's wearing a blond wig, but Richard Burton captures the force of Alexander without camping up Asia Minor. Alexander the Great Blu-ray Twilight Time Limited Edition 1956 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 136 min. / Ship Date March 15, 2016 / available through Twilight Time Movies / 29.95 Starring Richard Burton, Fredric March, Claire Bloom, Danielle Darrieux, Barry Jones, Harry Andrews, Stanley Baker, Niall MacGinnis, Peter Cushing. Cinematography Robert Krasker Art Direction Andrej Andrejew Film Editor Ralph Kemplen Original Music Mario Nascimbene Produced by Gordon Griffith, Robert Rossen Written and Directed by Robert Rossen

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Critical opinions aren't supposed to flip-flop with every screening of a film, but I have to admit that my appreciation of Robert Rossen's 1956 epic Alexander the Great
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Mercedes McCambridge Centennial: "Charlie's Angels" & "Bewitched"

Today is the Centennial of one of the most singular character actresses of the 1950s, Mercedes McCambridge, born in Joliet Illinois on this very day in 1916. We hope you've enjoyed our mini retrospective. We previousy discussed her sensational debut in All The King's Men (1949) her final Oscar nomination for the Texas epic Giant (1956) and her sorry fate in a teensy part in the Airport disaster series. (In the past, Icymi, we've amply discussed The Exorcist in which she did truly legendary voice work as well as the fiery abandon of must-see western Johnny Guitar.) 

In The Concorde... Airport '79 article, Tim talked about the disaster genre's often ...um... disastrous treatment of aged film stars in cameos. But discarded stars of Old Hollywood also frequently collected paychecks through TV guest spots. On the small screen there was the same roulette wheel chances at success. In fact McCambridge was more frequently spotted on TV than in film,
See full article at FilmExperience »

Echoes of Stir: Four Hours in Joliet

  • MUBI
Photo by Donnacha Kenny"Congratulations, Tom; you're one of the lucky eight per cent!" —Stir of Echoes (1999)Joliet, Illinois is probably the American city which more people have dreamed more fervently of escaping than any other. But after spending four hours in 'Prison Town'—long synonymous far and wide with incarceration—I was sad to leave; I'll be glad one day to return. Fortunately, such matters are questions of personal choice. Many of the area's residents, including those not serving custodial sentences, have little realistic option but to remain—trapped by personal, social and/or economic circumstances that can feel as confining as any 6-by-8 cell. "Joliet, or "J-Town", is racially diverse and is known as a crime-ridden city, although the area has shown much improvement since the 1990's... The east side is generally known as the ghetto side and the west side is known as middle class, even though
See full article at MUBI »

The Top Father's Day Films Ever Made? Here Are Five Dads - Ranging from the Intellectual to the Pathological

'Father of the Bride': Steve Martin and Kimberly Williams. Top Five Father's Day Movies? From giant Gregory Peck to tyrant John Gielgud What would be the Top Five Father's Day movies ever made? Well, there have been countless films about fathers and/or featuring fathers of various sizes, shapes, and inclinations. In terms of quality, these range from the amusing – e.g., the 1950 version of Cheaper by the Dozen; the Oscar-nominated The Grandfather – to the nauseating – e.g., the 1950 version of Father of the Bride; its atrocious sequel, Father's Little Dividend. Although I'm unable to come up with the absolute Top Five Father's Day Movies – or rather, just plain Father Movies – ever made, below are the first five (actually six, including a remake) "quality" patriarch-centered films that come to mind. Now, the fathers portrayed in these films aren't all heroic, loving, and/or saintly paternal figures. Several are
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Cannes 2015. Day 8

  • MUBI
How nice it's been to anticipate another set of tales from modern Portugal in the form of Miguel Gomes's Arabian Nights! The film's three parts have been shown every other day here in Cannes, and I've finally caught the last and I must say I already miss the idea that Gomes and his Scheherazade will unspool even more for me two days hence. If she told the stories to her king to stave off her death, I feel Gomes is telling me stories, among many others reasons, in order to stave off the powerful aura of respectable averageness prevalent at Cannes 2015.Arabian Nights Volume 3: The Enchanted One had me smiling for a good forty-five minutes in a row. After a brief glimpse of Gomes's modern version of Scheherazade in Volume 1, we finally get to spend some time with her in "Baghdad," wandering the landscape encountering lovers and bandits,
See full article at MUBI »

Every Best Picture Oscar Winner, Ranked From Worst to Best

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."

The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later.
See full article at Moviefone »

Time Machine: Best Picture Nominee Co-Star Timberlake on the Oscars' Red Carpet

Justin Timberlake on the Oscars' Red Carpet Justin Timberlake at the Academy Awards The Social Network actor Justin Timberlake arrives at the 83rd Academy Awards, which took place on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood. At the ceremony, Timberlake and Black Swan actress Mila Kunis introduced the nominees – and eventual winners – in the animation categories. Throughout the proceedings, he pretended to be the elusive Banksy, whose Exit Through the Gift Shop was a Best Documentary Feature contender. The joke fell mostly flat, but Timberlake actually elicited some laughs when he imitated three-time Oscar-nominated veteran Kirk Douglas*, who mercilessly stretched the Best Supporting Actress announcement into what seemed like hours. Admittedly, Douglas was funny. (The winner in that particular category turned out to be Melissa Leo for David O. Russell's The Fighter.) As announced by the Justin Timberlake-Mila Kunis duo, the Best Animated Short Film was Shaun Tan
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Penn Is Latest Hollywood Celeb to Take Home French Academy's Honor

Sean Penn: Honorary César goes Hollywood – again (photo: Sean Penn in '21 Grams') Sean Penn, 54, will receive the 2015 Honorary César (César d'Honneur), the French Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Crafts has announced. That means the French Academy's powers-that-be are once again trying to make the Prix César ceremony relevant to the American media. Their tactic is to hand out the career award to a widely known and relatively young – i.e., media friendly – Hollywood celebrity. (Scroll down for more such examples.) In the words of the French Academy, Honorary César 2015 recipient Sean Penn is a "living legend" and "a stand-alone icon in American cinema." It has also hailed the two-time Best Actor Oscar winner as a "mythical actor, a politically active personality and an exceptional director." Penn will be honored at the César Awards ceremony on Feb. 20, 2015. Sean Penn movies Sean Penn movies range from the teen comedy
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

'12 Years a Slave' in good Oscar company with just 3 wins: 'The Godfather,' 'Casablanca,' ...

'12 Years a Slave' in good Oscar company with just 3 wins: 'The Godfather,' 'Casablanca,' ...
"12 Years a Slave" may only have won three of its nine Oscar bids, but one of them was the big one -- Best Picture. It also claimed an acting prize for featured player Lupita Nyongo and the adapted screenplay award.  So, where does this haul put it among the 86 Best Picture winners in Oscar history? Only 20 other champs have claimed three or fewer Oscars in all. But of these, there are some genuine classics, including "Casablanca" and "The Godfather." Below, a list of all these films.  -Break- Two Other Oscars  2012: "Argo" - Adapted Screenplay, Editing 2004: "Crash" - Original Screenplay, Editing 1976: "Rocky" - Director, Editing 1972: "The Godfather" - Actor (Marlon Brando), Adapted Screenplay 1969: "Midnight Cowboy" - Director, Adapted Screenplay 1949: "All the King's Men" - Actor (Broderick Crawford), Supporting Actress (Mer...
See full article at Gold Derby »

'Silence of the Lambs', 'No Country for Old Men' & 32 More, Award-Winning Books Turned into Movies on Sale for Kindle

I received a Kindle for Christmas and I absolutely love it. I am not a particularly fast reader, but with this device my reading speed has dramatically increased and one thing I do every day is check the Kindle Daily Deals at Amazon as they frequently offer something worth picking up for only $1.99. Well, today the list is rather long as they have 34 books that eventually inspired award-winning movies on sale. No, this doesn't mean Oscar winning as you'll notice the book that helped inspire Ron Howard's Rush is included here and the Academy couldn't even see fit to offer it a Sound nomination. However, we all saw Daniel Bruhl take home a few awards already so it definitely counts. Books that inspired this year's Oscar crop are limited to the books behind Philomena and The Invisible Woman, but there is a lot more to take away beyond that.
See full article at Rope Of Silicon »

Save $105 On Columbia Best Pictures 14 DVD Set!

  • CinemaRetro
Amazon is offering $105 off The Columbia Best Pictures boxed DVD set containing 11 winners of the Best Picture Oscar. Here are the details:

14-disc set of 11 Best Picture Oscar winning films in an attractive, collectible, black fiber cover with slipcase. The pages within will have film synopsis, details on the Oscar win for each film, and art from key scenes. This set features Columbia Pictures' Best Picture Oscar winners spanning the years from 1934 to 1982 and include the following films:

1934 It Happened One Night

1938 You Can't Take It with You

1949 All the King's Men

1953 From Here to Eternity

1954 On the Waterfront

1957 The Bridge on the River Kwai

1962 Lawrence of Arabia

1966 A Man for All Seasons

1968 Oliver!

1979 Kramer vs. Kramer

1982 Gandhi

Bonus extras include:

Ben Kingsley talks about Gandhi

Designing Gandhi

Lord Attenborough Audio Commentary

From the Director's Chair

In Search of Gandhi

Looking Back

Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad

Reflections on
See full article at CinemaRetro »

'Slumdog Millionaire' enters second round of Oscar Bracket Challenge

'Slumdog Millionaire' enters second round of Oscar Bracket Challenge
Washington, Feb 8: 'Slumdog Millionaire' has advanced in the ABC News' Oscar Bracket Challenge, edging out film 'No Country for Old Men'.

Only 48 votes separated the two Academy Award winning pictures after the first round of votes were tabulated, in order to find the best Oscar- winning movie in the past 64 years of Academy Awards.

This means that 'Slumdog Millionaire' earning 3,058 votes has moved on to the next round of voting on Feb 9.

In total, 32 films will advance to the second round.

Other films in the second round include 'Argo', 'The Kings Speech', 'Titanic' and 'All the King's Men'..
See full article at RealBollywood »

Will Lupita Nyongo and Barkhad Abdi join 15 Oscar winners for film debuts?

Will Lupita Nyongo and Barkhad Abdi join 15 Oscar winners for film debuts?
Both Lupita Nyongo ("12 Years a Slave") and Barkhad Abdi ("Captain Phillips") have earned Oscar nominations for their feature film debuts, making this the first time in 17 years that two actors have done so. The last time was Edward Norton ("Primal Fear") and Emily Watson ("Breaking the Waves") in 1996; if their careers are any indication, Nyongo and Abdi have a lot to look forward to regardless of the Oscar results. Since winning at Critics' Choice and the SAG Awards, Nyongo has dramatically widened her lead in the Best Supporting Actress race over Golden Globe champ Jennifer Lawrence ("American Hustle"). Indeed, Supporting Actress has crowned more debuts that any other category; Nyongo would be the ninth, following: Gale Sondergaard ("Anthony Adverse," 1936) Katina Paxinou ("For Whom the Bell Tolls," 1943) Mercedes McCambridge ("All the King's Men," 1949) ...
See full article at Gold Derby »

Top 10 sports movies

Fighting, dying, hoping, hating … great sports films are about far more than sport itself. Here Guardian and Observer critics pick their 10 best

• Top 10 superhero movies

• Top 10 westerns

• Top 10 documentaries

• Top 10 movie adaptations

• Top 10 animated movies

• Top 10 silent movies

• More Guardian and Observer critics' top 10s

10. This Sporting Life

Lindsay Anderson brought to bear on his adaptation of David Storey's first novel, all the poetic-realist instincts he had been honing for the previous decade as a documentarian in the Humphrey Jennings mould. (Anderson had won the 1953 best doc Oscar for Thursday's Children.) Filmed partly in Halifax and Leeds, but mainly in and around Wakefield Trinity Rugby League Club, one of its incidental attractions is its record of a northern, working-class sports culture that would change out of all recognition over the next couple of decades.

The story of Frank Machin, a miner who becomes a star on the rugby field,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

David Walliams – Snapshot in Time: TV review

Revisiting David Walliams' first school play is not so much Friends Reunited as Casual Acquaintances Reunited

'Our photographs capture the stories of our lives, of who we were, and who we become," says Jack Davenport, doing the cheesier than cheese narration of David Walliams – Snapshot in Time (ITV). "Most of us have a favourite photograph, a shot that captures a special memory. For David Walliams, this is that photograph."

It is a good one – taken in 1983, of the Reigate grammar school production of All The King's Men. One figure stands out, a tall boy in a white dress, fanning himself – herself – queenily; he's playing the Queen. It is unmistakably David Walliams, then David Williams (who is the other acting David Williams, the reason this one had to change his name?) This was his first stage experience. It was such an incredible high, hearing the laughter and the applause; he thought,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

The Sex Clinic; Trauma Doctors: TV review

The Sex Clinic is probably a good thing – I'm just not sure I want to watch

• The Sex Clinic on 4oD

• Trauma Doctors on Demand 5

You see more and more cocks on TV, don't you find? The Piers Morgan variety, yes, but I'm talking about actual cocks. Look, here's one, in Birmingham. At one end is 31-year-old Bompinge; at the other, the business end, is a new stinging itchiness. Because this is The Sex Clinic (on Channel 4! I know! Can you believe it?).

The problems started, Bompinge explains, when he had unprotected sex with his ex. If he's honest, this – the stinging and itching – is why she's his ex, though it doesn't seem to stop him having sex with her. "I did try and tell her, not in a disrespectful way, there was something wrong with her," he says. "But she was very defensive and kind of argumentative about it,
See full article at The Guardian - TV News »

What Is 'Zero Dark Thirty'? Oscar Nominee Guide 2013

"Zero Dark Thirty" Nominated For: Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Chastain), Best Editing, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Screenplay (Mark Boal) What's It About? The film documents the decade-long manhunt for the world's most wanted fugitive, Osama bin Laden. Told through the eyes of Maya (Chastain), the CIA agent tasked with finding the Al Qaeda leader, we get to see the difficult and frustrating attempts made by our government to track down and kill bin Laden. It all leads up to the night of the heart-stopping Seal Team Six raid in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Why You Should See It: You should try your best to ignore the torture controversy surrounding the film, because "Zero Dark Thirty" is worth your time. It's an emotionally draining adventure, a world-class suspense flick and a tense political drama, all wrapped into one. This was a movie made for adrenaline junkies, and it deserves to be seen on the big screen.
See full article at Moviefone »

Ok, Let's Talk About the Amazing "75 Best Supporting Actresses" Reenactment Video

I've waited a few days to collect my thoughts and weigh in on the most important YouTube video since Corgis Enjoy A Treadmill, so here goes: A fast-yapping vlogger who goes by the name The Doomsday Diaries (and the Twitter handle @Diariesofdoom) zeroed in on The Academy Awards' Best Supporting Actress category -- the greatest Oscar category, by the way -- and toasted it by reenacting scenes/moments from all 75 winning performances since 1936.

Let me be clear: This is a staggering feat. This guy has democratized everyone from Eva Marie Saint and Lila Kedrova to Gale Sondergaard and Helen Hayes in the clippiest, hippest way possible. It's explosive. It's gigantic. It's a pink diamond. And so much of it is amazingly good. It's like a version of "The Snatch Game"from RuPaul's Drag Race, except with dignified actresses up for satire and not, say, Snooki.

I thought we'd have a little debate.
See full article at The Backlot »

The Essentials: 5 Of Michael Curtiz's Greatest Films, On The 50th Anniversary Of His Death

The Essentials: 5 Of Michael Curtiz's Greatest Films, On The 50th Anniversary Of His Death
With the arrival of the auteur theory, filmmakers like Michael Curtiz no longer get as much sway among the current generation of directors. Curtiz (born Kertész Kaminer Manó in Hungary in 1886), was a journeyman, a man who flourished in the studio system after being picked out by Jack Warner for his Austrian Biblical epic "Moon of Israel" in 1924. He stayed at the studio for nearly 20 years, taking on whatever he was assigned at a terrifyingly prolific rate -- he made over 100 Hollywood movies up to "The Comancheros" in 1961. And some of them are terrible, as you might expect.

But Curtiz was also responsible for some of the greatest films of the era, and those who diminish his abilities (including the director himself, who once said "Who cares about character? I make it go so fast nobody notices") are ignoring his enormous skill behind the camera, and his undeniable capacity for
See full article at The Playlist »
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