November 26, 2010
THERE'S A turkey joke looming for the Thanksgiving DVD release of "The Expendables," but I'll leave it alone, because many people mysteriously liked this movie. Sylvester Stallone's sloppily made "Magnificent Seven" earned $100 million thanks to its reputed screen union of action stars Stallone, Bruce Willis, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, and on and on. Most of these turned out to be bait-and-switch cameos, and those stars who did contribute something were stranded in a nonsensical story about mercenaries overthrowing the oppressive regime of a Central American government.
July 2, 2010
THIS WEEK'S DVDs allow us to gauge which is more horrifying: Rampaging zombies, the seeds of Nazi Germany, or the '80s. There are two legit horror movies on the menu, including "The Crazies," a very sturdy little movie featuring Timothy Olyphant as a sheriff who watches the peaceful citizens of his small town go zombie, one by one. Special features include a look back at the George Romero original, and tutorials on makeup and effects. There's also Michael Haneke's creepy black-and-white German movie "The White Ribbon," Oscar-nominated, about a rural prewar village where soulless, repressed children start acting out in nasty ways.
March 11, 2011
A FEW WEEKS back, JP Morgan admitted foreclosing, illegally, on the homes of soldiers fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. JP Morgan contended that it didn't know its actions violated federal law. The bank believed, I guess, that tossing military families out of their homes was merely indecent, and morally grotesque. In other words, business as usual. To understand how a bank that has been rescued, backstopped and subsidized by your tax dollars might come by this arrogance, check out the Oscar-winning documentary "Inside Job," a two-hour primer on the recent financial meltdown.
May 23, 2011
"The Awful Truth" (1937, B&W) with Irene Dunne. Directed by Leo McCarey. "Bringing Up Baby" (1938, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn. Directed by Howard Hawks. "Holiday" (1938, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn. Directed by George Cukor. "His Girl Friday" (1940, B&W) with Rosalind Russell. Directed by Howard Hawks. "My Favorite Wife" (1940, B&W) with Irene Dunne. Directed by Garson Kanin. "The Philadelphia Story" (1940, B&W) with Katharine Hepburn and Jimmy Stewart. Directed by George Cukor.
March 28, 2013 |
Somewhere, as his former team prepares to face La Salle on Thursday in their unlikely West Regional matchup, Gary Thompson must be thankful the NCAA conducts its tournament at neutral sites. In Philadelphia basketball's long and rich history, it's doubtful any coach ever enjoyed a visit here less than the late Wichita State mentor. After his No. 2-ranked Shockers were upset by St. Joseph's in the 1964 Quaker City Tournament final, Thompson called Palestra fans "horrible," the officials "atrocious," and the whole experience "a damn farce.
January 13, 2011
AFTER 20 YEARS of distinctive movies, cult favorites and even an Oscar-winner, the Coen brothers now have something they've never had before - a big hit. One that is, to borrow (and sanitize) a phrase from "O Brother Where Art Thou," gosh-darn bone fide. In "True Grit," they have their first $100 million movie. Actually $110 million, and counting. That's the good news. The bad news is, the Hollywood Reporter has compared it with "The Blind Side," which must shake the "Big Lebowski" auteurs to their core.
December 16, 2010
THE NEXT TIME Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci team up for a movie, it may be to play characters from a video game. That's the dream of David O. Russell, who's currently working on a movie version of "Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. " Mark Wahlberg is already on board as Nathan Drake, and Russell wants De Niro as Drake's father, Pesci as his uncle. "I'm writing the project with Mark, and with De Niro and Pesci in mind," said Russell, who's pitched the idea to both men, whom he's admired as a longtime Martin Scorsese nut, and addicted fan of the movies "Goodfellas," "Casino" and the fight classic "Raging Bull.