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‘Joker’ Film Review: Joaquin Phoenix Channels Classic Robert De Niro in Grungy ’70s Homage

  • The Wrap
‘Joker’ Film Review: Joaquin Phoenix Channels Classic Robert De Niro in Grungy ’70s Homage
When Martin Scorsese directed “Taxi Driver” in 1976 and “The King of Comedy” in 1982, he was commenting directly on the contemporary world and on the damaged individuals trying to survive in it. When director Todd Phillips chose to set “Joker” in a 1981 that very much resembles those films (it’s Gotham City as “Fun City”) and with a character that seems to be an amalgam of Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle and Rupert Pupkin from those two classics, he seems to be doing so because he’s such a Scorsese fan.

After all, if you’re going to make a film about working-class people being crushed by the wealthy, and about a sociopath who inspires violent followers after committing crimes and going on television, 2019 is just sitting here.

Viewers will no doubt disagree about whether or not “Joker” should have been a period piece, but there’s no question that
See full article at The Wrap »

Giveaway – Win The Incident on Blu-ray

The Incident, the raw and intense 1967 New York thriller featuring Martin Sheen, Tony Musante and an ensemble cast, makes its worldwide debut on Blu-ray in a Dual Format (Blu-ray & DVD) edition as part of the Eureka Classics range from 12 August 2019, and we have three copies to give away. Read on for details of how to enter…

A riveting urban tension thriller, and a fantastic snapshot of 1967 New York City in all its seedy, black-and-white glory, The Incident also features an iconic 60s cast that must be seen to be believed. Martin Sheen makes his feature film debut as one of two small-time hoods – the other is Tony Musante (The Bird with the Crystal Plumage) in one of his earliest roles – terrorising a subway car full of trapped passengers, portrayed by an ensemble cast including Thelma Ritter (Rear Window), Beau Bridges (The Fabulous Baker Boys), Ed McMahon, Donna Mills (Play Misty
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

10 Crime Movies That Are Completely Underrated

If you're a crime movie fan, you've probably seen The Godfather, Scarface, and Heat. Or, at the very least you've watched half of them on TV with your Dad. Still, crime enthusiast, there is a world beyond the cop and gangster canon. There are those unsung masterworks, those hidden gems, those instant crime classics. Keep on scrolling for ten of the very best.

Related: 10 Crime Movies All Anti-Hero Lovers Should Watch

10. Running Scared (2006)

Maybe the finest work of the late Paul Walker, Running Scared is about as dark as crime thrillers get. Dealing with sensitive subject matter in a brazen, haphazard way, it's most definitely not for everyone. Still, even beyond Walker's committed performance, there's something to it. The end credit sequence point to the idea that Scared is a Grimm fairy tale, a paranoid nightmare that explores the worst fears of both parent and child. So dour and tasteless it's almost a Grindhouse movie,
See full article at Screen Rant »

The Origins of Early Creepy Computer Movies

Jim Knipfel Mar 4, 2019

We look at some of the lesser-remembered but influential evil artificial intelligence computer movies, Colossus and Demon Seed.

The ugly turns taken by assorted historical vectors in the late 1960s and early ‘70s—a string of high-profile assassinations, race riots, Manson, the Weather Underground, Vietnam, Nixon, a broader awareness of impending environmental collapse—made the 1970s a particular golden era for dystopian cinema. All the above mentioned forces and more gave us the likes of Soylent Green, No Blade of Grass, Thx-1138, Frogs, The Omega Man, and countless other visions of our doomed future. In and amongst all our other inescapable anxieties and paranoias was an increasing awareness of the role computers were playing in our daily lives.

Technoparanoid fears of dehumanization and power-mad machines can of course be traced back to the silent era in cinema, and much earlier than that in literature and legend, but
See full article at Den of Geek »

Sunshine

Before TV movies were dissed with the phrase ‘disease of the month,’ this 1973 film surprised and moved audiences with the realistic story of a young mother facing a fatal illness. It’s directed by the great Joseph Sargent and graced with the music of John Denver, but its impact rests upon the remarkable, affecting performance of actress Cristina Raines, then just twenty years old.

Sunshine

Blu-ray

Redwind Productions

1973 / Color / 1:33 flat / 124 min. / Street Date 2018 / Signature Release / 33.95

Starring: Cristina Raines, Cliff De Young, Meg Foster, Brenda Vaccaro, Bill Mumy, Alan Fudge, Corey Fischer, James Hong, Bill Stout, Noble Willingham.

Cinematography: Bill Butler

Film Editor: Buddy Small, Richard M. Sprague

Original Music: Hal Mooney

Songs by John Denver

Written by Carol Sobieski suggested by the journal of Jacquelyn Helton

Produced by George Ekstein

Directed by Joseph Sargent

“What can you say about a twenty-five-year-old girl who died?” That’s the first line
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Alixe Gordin Dies: ‘Scarface’, ‘Klute’ Casting Director Was 96

  • Deadline
Alixe Gordin Dies: ‘Scarface’, ‘Klute’ Casting Director Was 96
Award-winning casting director Alixe Gordin died at her home in Duxbury, Massachusetts on November 28. She was 96. Additional details about her death were not revealed.

Born Alixe Glas on April 10, 1922 in Dayton, Ohio, she took her stage name Gordin when she started performing as a musician and an actor. She got into casting in the ’60s with Studio One and The Defenders on CBS.

Gordin is known for her casting work on some of the most iconic films in history. She served as casting director for the Brian De Palma classic Scarface which earned Al Pacino and Steven Bauer a Golden Globe nomination in 1984. She worked on Alan J. Pakula’s Klute which won Jane Fonda an Academy Award in 1971. She reteamed with Pakula for his film Sophie’s Choice which went on to win an Academy Award for Meryl Streep in 1982. Gordin’s magic touch would continue with John Huston’s Prizzi’s Honor,
See full article at Deadline »

The Desert Heart Of Charley Varrick

Had I not recently revisited Don Siegel’s dusty, nail-hard crime thriller Charley Varrick, in fact just the night before seeing Hou Hsiao-hsien’s Three Times, it stands to reason that I probably would not have found myself thinking about the Walter Matthau-starring crime thriller midway through the Taiwanese director’s film. After all, Siegel’s tale of morally ambivalent “heroes,” scabrous, misanthropic villains, and the various levels of grime and corruption to be waded through and scraped off on the way toward accidentally absconding with three-quarters of a million dollars in laundered mob money would seem to have little in common with Hou’s deliberately paced, exquisitely mounted collection of three love stories, each from a different time, each told in a manner most rewardingly compared to the elliptical style of a short story on the page.

And yet, as the first episode of Three Times, “A Time of Love,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

O The Choices I Have! A 2018 Tcmff Preamble

So much time, so few movies to see. Scratch that. Reverse it.

Running a little later than usual this year, the 2018 Turner Classic Movies Film Festival gets under way this coming Thursday, screening approximately 88 films and special programs over the course of the festival’s three-and-a-half days, beginning Thursday evening, and no doubt about it, this year’s schedule, no less than any other year, will lay out a banquet for classic film buffs, casual film fans and harder-core cinephiles looking for the opportunity to see long-time favorites as well as rare and unusual treats on the big screen. I’ve attended every festival since its inaugural run back in 2010, and since then if I have not reined in my enthusiasm for the festival and being given the opportunity to attend it every year, then I have at least managed to lasso my verbiage. That first year I wrote about
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Charley Varrick (Region B)

It’s the loose-censored early 1970s, and screen bandits shootin’ up the American movie landscape are no longer suffering the once-mandated automatic moral retribution. Walter Matthau launched himself into the genre with this excellent Don Siegel on-the-run epic, about an old-fashioned independent bandit who accidentally rips off the mob for a million. It’s great, wicked fun.

Charley Varrick

Region B Blu-ray

Indicator

1973 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Charley Varrick the Last of the Independents; Kill Charley Varrick / Street Date January 22, 2018 / available from Powerhouse Films UK / £14.99

Starring: Walter Matthau, Joe Don Baker, Andrew Robinson, John Vernon, Felicia Farr, Sheree North, Jacqueline Scott, William Schallert, Norman Fell, Benson Fong, Woodrow Parfrey, Rudy Diaz, Charles Matthau, Tom Tully, Albert Popwell

Cinematography: Michael Butler

Film Editor: Frank Morriss

Original Music: Lalo Schifrin

Written by Dean Riesner, Howard Rodman from the novel The Looters by John Reese

Produced by Jennings Lang, Don Siegel

Directed by
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Hopscotch

A generic spy story becomes an inspired light comedy with the application of great talent led by the star-power of Walter Matthau. Matthau’s CIA spook hooks up with old flame Glenda Jackson to retaliate against his insufferable CIA boss (Ned Beatty) with a humiliating tell-all book about the agency’s dirty tricks history. Matthau’s sloppy, slouchy master agent is a comic delight; Ronald Neame’s stylishly assured direction makes a deadly spy chase into a wholly pleasant romp.

Hopscotch

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 163

1980 / Color / 2:39 widescreen / 105 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date August 15, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Walter Matthau, Glenda Jackson, Sam Waterston, Ned Beatty, Herbert Lom, David Matthau, George Baker, Ivor Roberts, Lucy Saroyan, Severn Darden, George Pravda.

Cinematography: Arthur Ibbetson, Brian W. Roy

Production Designer: William J. Creber

Film Editor: Carl Kress

Original Music: Ian Fraser

Written by Bryan Forbes from a novel by Brian Garfield

Produced
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Free Fire: The 70’s Crime Pictures It Takes a Bullet From

Tony Black on Free Fire

Let’s be honest, if you’ve seen Free Fire, you’ll know it’s not particularly like a lot of the 1970’s crime films that, on the face of it, Ben Wheatley’s movie would sit alongside. This pulpy, lean slice of comic violence owes more to the early 90’s stylistics of down’n’dirty Tarantino than to Scorsese or Friedkin, but given i’ts set in the 70’s, was executive produced by Martin Scorsese, and certainly has plenty of now retro-connections to that decade, this seems a good place to analyse Free Fire in the context of the crime pictures of that decade. Where does it fit? Should it fit at all? Or should it rather tuck in behind Reservoir Dogs and, anachronistically, exist slightly out of the time it’s very much rooted in?

Crime thrillers of the 1970’s, for a start,
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Something Wild (1961)

Something Wild

Blu-ray

The Criterion Collection 850

1961 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen 1:37 flat Academy / 113 min. / available through The Criterion Collection / Street Date January 17, 2017 / 39.95

Starring: Carroll Baker, Ralph Meeker, Mildred Dunnock, Jean Stapleton, Martin Kosleck, Charles Watts, Clifton James, Doris Roberts, Anita Cooper, Tanya Lopert.

Cinematography: Eugen Schüfftan

Film Editor: Carl Lerner

Original Music: Aaron Copland

Written by Jack Garfein and Alex Karmel from his novel Mary Ann

Produced by George Justin

Directed by Jack Garfein

After writing up an earlier Mod disc release of the 1961 movie Something Wild, I received a brief but welcome email note from its director:

“Dear Glenn Erickson,

Thank you for your profound appreciation of Something Wild.

If possible, I would appreciate if you could send

me a copy of your review by email.

Sincerely yours, Jack Garfein

Somewhere back East (or in London), the Actors Studio legend Jack Garfein had found favor with the review. Although
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Pretty Poison

Psycho launched a thousand twisted sickos and pathological relationships in films, but none can best Noel Black’s fascinating, funny romance between a newly-released arsonist and a fetching high schooler, hungry for freedom and lacking a moral compass. The pairing of Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld is inspired.

Pretty Poison

Blu-ray

Twilight Time

1968 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 89 min. / Street Date November 15, 2016 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store / 29.95

Starring Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, Beverly Garland, John Randolph, Dick O’Neill, Clarice Blackburn, Joseph Bova, Ken Kercheval.

Cinematography David L. Quaid

Original Music Johnny Mandel

Written by Lorenzo Semple, Jr. from the novel She Let Him Continue by Stephen Geller

Produced by Marshall Backlar, Noel Black, Lawrence Turman

Directed by Noel Black

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Although the dates don’t match up, I’m absolutely certain that I saw Noel Black’s theatrical short Skaterdater when it was screened as a warm-up for,
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Runaway Train

Cannon Films knocks one out of the park: Jon Voight and Eric Roberts escape from prison only to end up on a huge, speeding, out of control juggernaut of a freight train plowing through the Alaskan wilderness. It's both an action bruise-fest and an existential statement, and it's still a wild thrill ride. Runaway Train Blu-ray Twilight Time 1985 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 111 min. / Street Date October 11, 2016 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95 Starring Jon Voight, Eric Roberts, Rebecca De Mornay, Kyle T. Heffner, John P. Ryan T.K. Carter, Kenneth McMillan, Edward Bunker, Hank Worden, Danny Trejo, Tommy Lister, Don MacLaughlin, Loren James, Dick Durock, Dennis Franz. Cinematography Alan Hume Original Music Trevor Jones Written by Djordje Milecevic, Paul Zindel, Edward Bunker based on a screenplay by Akira Kurosawa. Produced by Yoram Globus, Menachem Golan Directed by Andrei Konchalovsky

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

When I stumbled into The Cannon Group on
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

The Laughing Policeman

In the early '70s Walter Matthau excelled in three powerful cops 'n' robbers movies; the second sees him as a tough, laconic San Francisco detective charged with an impossible task -- running down a machine gun mass murderer, with no clues and no living witnesses. The Laughing Policeman Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1973 / Color / 1:85 enhanced widescreen / 112 min. / Street Date October 18, 2016 / available through Kl Studio Classics / 29.95 Starring Walter Matthau, Bruce Dern, Louis Gossett Jr., Albert Paulsen, Anthony Zerbe, Val Avery, Cathy Lee Crosby, Mario Gallo, Joanna Cassidy, Shirley Ballard, William Hansen, Paul Koslo, Louis Guss, Clifton James, Gregory Sierra, Warren Finnerty, Matt Clark, Joseph Bernard, Leigh French, Anthony Costello. Cinematography David M. Walsh Film Editor Bob Wyman Original Music Charles Fox Written by Thomas Rickman from the novel by Maj Sjowall, Per Wahloo Produced and Directed by Stuart Rosenberg

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Viewers that like Walter Matthau in The Taking of Pelham One Two Three
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three': THR's 1974 Review

'The Taking of Pelham One Two Three': THR's 1974 Review
On Oct. 2, 1974, the R-rated, 105-minute thriller The Taking of Pelham One Two Three debuted in theaters with a plot that was "perfect for the national obsession with disaster." The Hollywood Reporter's original review is below.

With a clear conception of contemporary values, Joseph Sargent has directed the best of the multiple jeopardy pictures to date. This co-presentation of Palomar Pictures and Palladium Productions, produced by Edgar J. Scherick and Gabriel Katzka, is sure-fire entertainment, gripping, exciting and humanly funny from beginning to end. 

Peter Stone has adapted John Godey's compelling novel about ...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter »

Jaws The Revenge: How the sequel went so horribly wrong

Ryan Lambie Jul 25, 2016

It's famously one of the worst sequels ever, but why did Jaws The Revenge go so wrong? Ryan looks at its disastrous nine-month production...

It's an oft-repeated adage that nobody sets out to make a bad movie, but Jaws The Revenge is so legendarily, comically bad that it almost looks like an inside job. The fishy sequel, released in 1987 to scathing reviews, famously stars a rubbery shark that growls when its head rears out of the water, Michael Caine spouting bizarre dialogue and some of the most glaring continuity errors this side of an Ed Wood movie.

What separates Jaws The Revenge from the usual bad-movie crowd is its otherwise decent pedigree. It was the product of a major Hollywood studio. The budget was generous. The director, Joseph Sargent, was far from a hack - a veteran of TV and film, he'd previously made the classic thriller
See full article at Den of Geek »

70s Rewind: The Taking Of Pelham One Two Three Remains a Highly Charged, Terrific Thriller

Newly available on Blu-ray, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three remains a great, charged, gritty thriller, shot through with sardonic humor. Growing up in Los Angeles, I couldn't help but take my hometown for granted and wish that I lived in New York. It was an adolescent fantasy that I fulfilled eventually, at least for a dozen years or so before the city that never sleeps wore me down and kicked me out, but in the 1970s I fed my dreams by reading and watching as many NYC-based dramas as possible. John Godey's novel The Taking of Pelham One Two Three caught my imagination immediately after I read the end flaps at my local public library. It was a workingman's thriller, which was appealing,...

[Read the whole post on screenanarchy.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Recommended Discs & Deals: ‘Only Yesterday,’ ‘The In-Laws,’ ‘Boy & the World’ & More

Every week we dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to home releases, including Blu-ray and DVDs, as well as recommended deals of the week. Check out our rundown below and return every Tuesday for the best (or most interesting) films one can take home. Note that if you’re looking to support the site, every purchase you make through the links below helps us and is greatly appreciated.

Boy & the World (Alê Abreu)

Crayon-like scribblings and simple geometric patterns meticulously complicate themselves like a fractal over the course of this child’s-eye odyssey through the global struggle between humankind and the forces that oppress it. Kaleidoscopic visuals use repetition to explore the communal nature of both work and celebration. This film continually pulls back to show the larger picture of society, its visuals becoming more complex in kind, before it reduces to a more intimate view
See full article at The Film Stage »

The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

A special edition of this confirmed '70s crowd pleaser?  I'm there. Robert Shaw has big plans to hijack a New York subway car, and subway cop Walter Matthau is determined to stop him. The Taking of Pelham One Two Three 42nd Anniversary Special Edition Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1974 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 104 min. / Street Date July 5, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 1974 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 104 min. / Street Date November 1, 2011 / 19.99 Starring Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman, James Broderick, Dick O'Neill, Lee Wallace, Tom Pedi, Jerry Stiller, Rudy Bond, Kenneth McMillan, Doris Roberts, Julius Harris. Cinematography Owen Roizman Original Music David Shire Written by Peter Stone from the novel by John Godey Produced by Gabriel Katzka, Edgar J. Sherick Directed by Joseph Sargent

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

I reviewed an MGM-Fox Blu-ray of United Artists' The Taking of Pelham One Two Three back in late 2011, and I can't
See full article at Trailers from Hell »
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