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Stuntman And Director Hal Needham Passes Away, Aged 82


Hal Needham Burt Reynolds

Hollywood stunt legend-turned-moviemaker Hal Needham has passed away, aged 82. The long-time stand in for Burt Reynold, who went on to gain his directorial debut with Smokey and the Bandit, Needham passed away on Friday, 25 October, after a short battle with cancer, The Hollywood Reporter first revealed.

Hal Needham
Hal Needham: 1931 - 2013

Needham was once the highest-paid stuntman in Hollywood and regularly stood in for Burt Reynolds in a number of films. After pitching his idea of a guy and his trucker friend hauling a ton of beer over state lines to Reynolds in the mid-1970's, Hal made his filmmaking debut with Smokey & the Bandit in 1976 and enjoyed immediate success as a director, with the film becoming the second highest grossing movie of 1977. It also spawned two sequels and a series of made-for-TV films, and launched Needham's career as a director.

Continue reading: Stuntman And Director Hal Needham Passes Away, Aged 82

Burt Reynolds Explains Sally Field Was The Love Of His Life


Burt Reynolds Sally Field Piers Morgan

Legendary 80s film star Burt Reynolds has stated that he believes Sally Field was the love of his life and thinks that the only reason they aren't still together is that he was a bad partner.  The actor, known for his role in 'Boogie Nights', became a legendary ladies man due to a string of Hollywood stars. These actresses included Faye Dunaway, Loni Anderson and Kim Basinger, although he has stated that leaving Field was his biggest mistake. 

Related: Burt Reynolds Health Improves Over Weekend After Flu Scare

As part of his appearance on 'Piers Morgan's Life Stories', Reynolds explained the relationship, saying that: "Had I been smarter, you know, with one lady... I still would be together with her. Sally. Without a doubt. I asked her (to marry me) at the wrong time. She asked me at the wrong time. I missed out on that one, that's for sure. I think we would have been very happy, yes. I'd like to think so. I'm not sure she'd say so. She's just a very special woman. I really handled that one pretty bad."

Continue reading: Burt Reynolds Explains Sally Field Was The Love Of His Life

Deal (2008) Review


Weak
Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds gets in on the game, you know the jig is just about up.

Reynolds actually acquits himself amicably in Deal, a harmless but unmemorable little movie about playin' cards: The young buck, the grizzled mentor, and the prostitute... they're all here. Reynolds is Tommy Vinson, the vet who hasn't played poker in 20 years but was a mastermind of the game back in the day. (Hard times, bad string of luck... you know how it goes.) Vinson spots genius Alex (Bret Harrison) on a televised poker tournament and, just like that, figures he can take the talented but undisciplined little puke and teach him a thing or two. Namely, Vinson's secret is all about spotting tells in other players, which he can miraculously do in a matter of seconds and from across the room -- nay, from outside the room, really. Why anyone would let Vinson hang around to spy on them remains one of the film's biggest mysteries.

Continue reading: Deal (2008) Review

Deal Review


Weak
Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds gets in on the game, you know the jig is just about up.

Reynolds actually acquits himself amicably in Deal, a harmless but unmemorable little movie about playin' cards: The young buck, the grizzled mentor, and the prostitute... they're all here. Reynolds is Tommy Vinson, the vet who hasn't played poker in 20 years but was a mastermind of the game back in the day. (Hard times, bad string of luck... you know how it goes.) Vinson spots genius Alex (Bret Harrison) on a televised poker tournament and, just like that, figures he can take the talented but undisciplined little puke and teach him a thing or two. Namely, Vinson's secret is all about spotting tells in other players, which he can miraculously do in a matter of seconds and from across the room -- nay, from outside the room, really. Why anyone would let Vinson hang around to spy on them remains one of the film's biggest mysteries.

Continue reading: Deal Review

Sherman's March Review


Excellent
Ross McElwee is an American original. His films -- almost all of them -- are about himself. Though he almost always starts off to make a film about some legitimate subject (in this case, General William Sherman's infamous "march to the sea" during the Civil War), the movies ultimately never pan out, or the focus changes as McElwee finds something more interesting to focus on. Invariably, that something is Ross McElwee.

Strangely, McElwee's auto-navel gazing is remarkably compelling, and not in the hysterical way that Michael Moore does it. McElwee isn't a loudmouth raconteur. He's a softspoken southerner, though he picked up a strong liberal streak during college in the northeast. As such, he's a fish out of water, and invariably his films begin with a homesick return to North Carolina, where he soon realizes that he's got nowhere he can truly call home.

Continue reading: Sherman's March Review

Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex * But Were Afraid To Ask Review


Excellent
A minor classic and Woody Allen's most absurd film ever, this series of seven short vignettes is worth a look for its '70s fueled humor and sex-crazed hysterics. Based on (well, not really -- inspired by, let's say) the watershed book, Allen indulges in homages to everyone from Scorsese to Kubrick to Fellini, with stops along the way for his traditional neurotic filmmaking style. The stories are goofs on cross-dressing, beastiality, sex in public, and more. Perhaps the most notorious moment involves an enormous breast rampaging the countryside, and the "What's My Perversion?" sketch (a riff on What's My Line?, starring Jack Barry as himself) is classic. Pricelessly ridiculous.

Tempted Review


Good
What the hell is talented mega-hottie Saffron Burrows doing in a Burt Reynolds movie? Well, trying to make you forget Burt Reynolds is in the movie, for starters. When the Brit siren is onscreen, she almost makes you forget the derivative plot ("I'll pay you $10,000 to (try to) sleep with my wife!" Trouble ensues.). Alas, Saffron, that bad southern accent has got to go.

Deliverance Review


Essential
It's got the most memorable opening on movie history -- "Duelling Banjos" speaks for itself after 30 years -- and one of the cinema's most horrifying rape scenes as well (most recently aped in Pulp Fiction). This tale of "city boys" taking a weekend trip by canoe down a soon-to-be-dammed river is about primitivism of both the all-talk and the real kind, and how desperate circumstances can make real men out of the weakest of wills. A landmark in movie history.

Best Friends Review


Weak
When Best Friends is less than halfway over, you'll long for a much better '80s rom-com like Seems Like Old Times, also starring Goldie Hawn in one of her endless roles from the era as (basically) herself.

Hawn is partnered rather tragically here with Burt Reynolds. They play the titular best friends -- screenwriters -- who decide to get married, only to realize that romance is far more difficult than friendship. I mean, there's in-laws! An old and groping father is about as funny as Friends ever gets, as the movie's one-liners fall down flat one after another. That's probably because the film is based on the real life of writers Valerie Curtin and Barry Levinson, and frankly not much amusing seems to have happened during their brief marriage.

Continue reading: Best Friends Review

Without A Paddle Review


Weak
Without a Paddle: The year's most ingenious title. It speaks volumes about the creek we're headed up before the film even starts. Paddle finds its roots in Deliverance, though this updated version clearly has no intention to follow the gravity of its master. To compare the two would be shameful.

Three childhood buddies, now in their early thirties, have reunited to mourn the death of a close childhood friend. Since their last encounter ten years prior, each man has taken his life in a different direction. Dan (Seth Green) is a doctor with a laundry-list of phobias, Jerry (Matthew Lillard) is an executive with a fear of commitment, and Tom (Dax Shepard) is a lying barfly who refuses to grow up and act his age.

Continue reading: Without A Paddle Review

The Hollywood Sign Review


Good
Tom Berenger, Burt Reynolds, and Rod Steiger play washed-up actors who find the opportunity to get back in the biz... if they can rip off some Vegas goons by convincing them they're cops.

No, it isn't high art. It isn't even Lethal Weapon, but the triple-threat of ham-fisted actors makes The Hollywood Sign something of a guilty pleasure.

Continue reading: The Hollywood Sign Review

Driven Review


Good
What better way to start an action movie than with... statistics!

From that rousing introduction we are thrown into the world of Driven, the highly anticipated CART-inspired movie that takes us on a whirlwind tour of made-up races.

Continue reading: Driven Review

The Longest Yard (2005) Review


Weak
Sports and sponsorships go together better than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.

AutoTrader.com dumps millions into a deal with ABC for Monday Night Football rights. Olympic highlights are now known as "Chevy Moments." The currency flooding the pro sports market is getting out of hand. Independent filmmakers could make 71 different Blair Witch projects for the amount of money Anheuser-Busch spent on one 30-second Super Bowl commercial.

Continue reading: The Longest Yard (2005) Review

The Dukes Of Hazzard Review


Weak
I have no problem admitting that the main reason I wanted to review The Dukes of Hazzard was to see Jessica Simpson strutting her stuff in some ass-cheek-hugging short shorts. Yummy! Much of the film's early buzz has been on Simpson's big screen debut as bombshell Daisy Duke. Yet what's been lost amongst all the discussions of Simpson's rump are the even bigger questions surrounding the reasons for reviving this small, unsubstantial television relic from the '80s that few of us remember.

Now, I know I'm not the only one seeing Hazzard because of Simpson, and quite frankly, she's the film's biggest draw. This is her Crossroads. But let me caution that while you'll come to see Simpson, it's really the zoom-zoom of that little orange 1969 Dodge Charger that will make you stay. When the film is all said and done, I'm guessing that you'll leave the theater wondering what all the fuss over Simpson was about to begin with.

Continue reading: The Dukes Of Hazzard Review

Pups Review


Excellent
We're back into the land of the old ultraviolence. The year is not 1979, its 1999. The antihero no longer listens to Beethoven's 9th, he listens to Kurt Loder on MTV. And when Stevie's (Cameron Van Hoy) MTV-generation mind finds his mothers gun and ends up staging his own Dog Day Afternoon with Rockie (Mischa Barton), his like-aged 12-year-old girlfriend, we end up with a film that is utterly funny, somewhat saturated with message, and weak in all other aspects.

Pups is the film in question, and it experienced a 48-hour theatrical release prior to the Columbine massacre. Pulled as soon as that debacle occured, it now makes the festival circuit... far from the indie house where it belongs. To get a sense of this bizarre film, insert the cliche of every hostage-crisis movie you've seen (Airheads and The Negotiator notwithstanding), then insert two youths making crazy demands, a pot-smoking hostage, a Gulf-War vet that the kids just tell to shut up as he spouts rhetoric on the cause of violent children, an old man who constantly tries to sneak out on his cane, and three bank tellers with abosolutely no intelligence between them, and then you have a good degree of humor in a weak film.

Continue reading: Pups Review

The Cannonball Run Review


OK
One weekday morning in 1982, several boys in my fourth grade class, including yours truly, suddenly fell ill and needed to go home from school. Teachers feared an epidemic, and they were right. We had The Cannonball Run fever, and the only cure was not missing its debut on pay cable.

The next day in recess, freshly recovered from our afflictions, we traded reviews, and they were unanimous raves. We all thought the movie was hilarious and kick-ass, and for tween-to-teen boys, it really hit on all cylinders - fast cars racing, dick jokes, fast cars jumping, PG-level sex, fast cars exploding, xenophobic humor, and a big fistfight. This movie had it all.

Continue reading: The Cannonball Run Review

The Dukes Of Hazzard Review


Weak
Once the largely inept and uncouth cast shuts the heckup (i.e. stops trying to act) and starts burnin' rubber and wreckin' cars,there's some good ol' fun to be had in the slipshod big-screen rehash of"The Dukes of Hazzard."

But the first hour of the movie is a punishing parade ofprotracted establishing, colorless characters and painful performancesthat make the picture's amusingly harebrained TV inspiration look likesophisticated action-comedy by comparison.

Seann William Scott (Stiffler from "AmericanPie") and Johnny Knoxville (MTV's "Jackass")play moonshine-running country cousins Bo and Luke Duke -- although theyhave little in common with the sexy charmers in cowboy hats and sparklingsmiles created so charismatically by John Schneider and Tom Wopat in 1979.Scott and Knoxville have re-imagined the characters as the Appalachianequivalent of frat boys, and their acting consists mostly of screaming"woo-hoo!" as they drive around dirt roads at 80 mph.

But at least these two are good for the occasional lowbrowlaugh. Candy-pop "singer" and professional celebrity JessicaSimpson steps into Catherine Bach's butt-hugging cut-off Levi's as sexpotkin Daisy Duke, and she's such a catastrophe as an actress that every timeshe opens her Barbie-doll mouth, just her fake Georgia drawl is enoughto make your ears bleed -- never mind her fumbling dialogue. Knowing whereher assets lie, writer-director Jay Chandrasekhar ("Club Dread,""Super Troopers") does his best to keep Simpson as silent andscantily clad as possible. But even in a bikini, she seems rigid and plastic.

Continue reading: The Dukes Of Hazzard Review

Without A Paddle Review


Weak

A threesome of comedy second-bananas star in "Without a Paddle" as childhood pals (and Central Casting clichés) who reunite after the funeral of an adventurous friend (he died in a parachuting accident) for one "last chance to do something incredibly stupid together" -- they get lost in the Oregon woods while hunting for the missing loot of legendary skyjacker D.B. Cooper.

One guy is an over-achieving pantywaist physician (Seth Green, Scott Evil in "Austin Powers"), one's a slacker stuck in a responsibility-ducking rut (Matthew Lillard, Shaggy from the "Scooby-Doo" flicks), and one's a wisecracking lout (Ashton Kutcher's talent-deficient "Punk'd" sidekick Dax Shepard) who is rapidly approaching an age at which arrested development becomes inescapably pathetic.

But on this boating trip, all of them will overcome their hang-ups and discover that "being alive is the treasure" by way of predictable misadventures: going over waterfalls and having run-ins with bears, a redneck sheriff, heavy-set and heavily-armed hillbilly pot farmers, a mysterious mountain man (wild-bearded Burt Reynolds) and a pair of sexy tree-sitting flower children with shaved pits but hairy legs.

Continue reading: Without A Paddle Review

The Crew Review


Weak

Too many crooks spoil "The Crew," and I'm not talking about the "grumpy old mobsters" played by Richard Dreyfuss, Burt Reynolds, Dan Hedaya and Seymour Cassel in this withering wiseguy comedy.

I'm talking about the throng of sardine-packed subplots that rob these good actors of all their quality screen time.

This facetious foursome play mobsters retired to South Florida who wind up in the middle of a drug war by trying to keep the run-down hotel they live in from going condo in the wake of all the Porsche-driving 20-somethings moving to town.

Continue reading: The Crew Review

Mystery, Alaska Review


Good

"Mystery, Alaska" is a modern, good old-fashioned, American feel-good movie, about a talented hockey team in a snowbound, Arctic Circle hamlet that gets to take on the New York Rangers in an NHL publicity stunt.

It's an obliging tweak on the traditional, triumphant underdog story, used as a backdrop for a delightful character dramedy that mixes tried-and-true with mordant-and-new -- like a frozen, Frank Capra-meets-Robert Altman, ensemble sports movie.

Written by Sean O'Byrne and David E. Kelley ("The Practice," "Ally McBeal," "Lake Placid"), and directed by Jay Roach (the "Austin Powers" movies), it's hard to not get caught up in the energetic spirit of this film from the opening shot, which zooms in on a lone figure, decked out in hockey gear and skating like the wind around icy Alaskan vistas while the soundtrack pumps with drum-driven, inspired determination music.

Continue reading: Mystery, Alaska Review

Burt Reynolds

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Burt Reynolds

Date of birth

11th February, 1936

Occupation

Actor

Sex

Male

Height

1.80


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Burt Reynolds Movies

Deal (2008) Movie Review

Deal (2008) Movie Review

Poker-themed movies are -- finally -- hitting the sunset of their lives. When Burt Reynolds...

Dukes Of Hazzard Trailer

Dukes Of Hazzard Trailer

Action Comedy based on the hit television series that ran from 1979-85. Set in present...

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Without a Paddle Movie Review

Without a Paddle Movie Review

Without a Paddle: The year's most ingenious title. It speaks volumes about the creek we're...

Driven Movie Review

Driven Movie Review

What better way to start an action movie than with... statistics!From that rousing introduction we...

The Longest Yard (2005) Movie Review

The Longest Yard (2005) Movie Review

Sports and sponsorships go together better than Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.AutoTrader.com dumps millions into...

The Dukes of Hazzard Movie Review

The Dukes of Hazzard Movie Review

I have no problem admitting that the main reason I wanted to review The Dukes...

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