After being persuaded by Col. Parker that a movie would be a good career move, George Strait agreed to make Pure Country for release in 1992. It was a surprising move, given “King” George’s reputation for shying away from attention off stage. Unlike nearly every other mainstream country artist, Strait never made the move to Nashville, preferring to go back home to Texas when his tours conclude. There’s an amusing anecdote that survives to this day that when he was introduced to a woman at Warner Bros. who worked in publicity, he replied, “Hi, I’m George Strait and I don’t do publicity.” Even if said tongue in cheek, his notorious resistance to interviews must have appeared entirely sincere and surely gave her pause! Read the rest of this entry »
His career as a director spanned seven decades, starting in the Forties with a small job on an early religious program and ending in 2000 with the action-mystery Reindeer Games. With such meager and lifeless bookends, one might question the abilities of director John Frankenheimer, who passed away shortly after his final film at the age of 93. But as poet laureate for Generation Z Miley Cyrus so eloquently sings, “It’s the climb,” and Frankenheimer’s climb was one populated with a tense body of expertly crafted films that brought action and suspense to breathless new heights. His last great work paired him with a tight script and three brilliant actors for some of the most dizzying and fun car chases this side of The French Connection. But in this week’s Reel Rumbles, Ronin has some fierce competition out of Michael Mann, another talented director, with a film that many consider to be his finest hour. A loose remake of his previous made-for-TV effort L.A. Takedown (1989), Heat won the praise of critics and audiences alike, and built a bridge between an overlooked cadre of masterpieces and a prominent career for the director that continues today. Study the blueprints, sync your watches, and get ready for the big score. It’s time for Heat vs. Ronin.