I remember when I had just turned 14, and on Bravo was this TV Spot for a movie called Being John Malkovich. I had never heard of it, and I had no idea what it was about. All I knew was that the cast alone would guarantee that I would see it. The TV spot that guaranteed my viewing of it was this:
A (not so) long time ago, in a galaxy (not so) far, far away…
It is a period of intergalactically-themed humor. A group of friends, striking at George Lucas‘s fortified base, have launched an attempt to steal a copy of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace before its 1999 release date.
Meanwhile, two British nerds, fresh from attending their first ComicCon, attempt to help a drug-addled alien with the voice of Seth Rogen escape our planet.
They are loving and raucous odes to science fiction fandom, locked in deadly combat. Two films will enter, one will leave. Even now, the first bell rings, and the epic battle of Paul vs. Fanboys is under way… Read the rest of this entry »
Overshadowed by other films from its director and year of release, Steven Soderbergh‘s 1999 thriller The Limey is an unfairly forgotten piece of cinematic gold. Starring Terence Stamp as an ex-con known only as “Wilson”, The Limey succeeds as a revenge film while refusing to submit to the traps that most films of its sort fall into.
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.