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Award Winning Actress, Karen Black, Dies After Losing Cancer Battle Aged 74


Karen Black Jack Nicholson Dennis Hopper Peter Fonda

Karen Black, the actress famous for her roles in films such as Easy Rider, Five Easy Pieces and Nashville, died yesterday (Thursday 8th August). Her husband, Stephen Eckelberry, made the announcement on his Facebook page. She passed away in a nursing facility in Santa Monica, CA after a lengthy battle with cancer. She was 74 years old.

Karen Black
Karen Black after a performance, at the Metropolitan in New York, of her How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Sing the Song.

Eckelberry wrote: "it is with great sadness that I have to report that my wife and best friend, Karen Black has just passed away, only a few minutes ago." He thanked Black's friends and fans for their "prayers and love", adding "they meant so much to her as they did to me."

Continue reading: Award Winning Actress, Karen Black, Dies After Losing Cancer Battle Aged 74

Apocalypse Now Redux Review


Essential
Just issued on a remastered DVD, Coppola's 1979 masterpiece gets the director's cut treatment in this Redux version, as 49 minutes of previously edited footage are reinserted to bring the film in line with the director's original vision.

And the result is stunning, making an astonishing film even more powerful ...

but changing it completely in the process.

Continue reading: Apocalypse Now Redux Review

Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and his granddaughter - Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and his granddaughter Friday 26th March 2010 at Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame Los Angeles, California

Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and His Granddaughter
Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper and His Granddaughter
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson

Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper Saturday 27th March 2010 at Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame

Jack Nicholson and Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper Sunday 15th February 2009 4th annual Los Angeles Italia Film, Fashion and Art Festival's opening night at Mann's Chinese 6 Los Angeles, California

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper Tuesday 2nd December 2008 18th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - Arrivals New York City, USA

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper

Dennis Hopper Monday 20th October 2008 Screening of 'The Last Movie' at the Institute of Contemporary Art London, England

Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper
Dennis Hopper

Apocalypse Now Review


Essential
In the grand tradition of movies that explore the reality that is the Vietnam War, one film stands out -- for defying reality.

Martin Sheen stars as Captain Willard, sent upriver in war-torn 'Nam to "terminate, with extreme prejudice" one Colonel Kurtz (Brando), a former green beret who has gone primal all the way in Cambodia and has taken on the guise of a god to the local people of the area.

Continue reading: Apocalypse Now Review

Luck Of The Draw Review


Bad
The biggest thugs in cinema get a workout in Luck of the Draw, a direct-to-video gangster flick that has Dennis Hopper, Eric Roberts, Michael Madsen, William Forsythe, and Ice-T all chasing down a pair of ultra-valuable counterfeit $100 printing plates.

The story is pretty straightforward, as Twin Peaks' James Marshall finds the plates in his possession and discovers has warring factions of thugs as well as cops immediately on his ass. Frankly, that rather pedestrian story occupies the entire film, and it doesn't merit much additional detail.

Continue reading: Luck Of The Draw Review

Speed Review


Extraordinary
Speed is to hostage thrillers as Psycho is to slasher flicks. Voted one of AFI's Top 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies of all time, few hostage movies reach this level of tension and sustain it throughout the entire running time. Audiences may have experienced similar stories before, but they are seldom done this well and with this level of energy.

The movie begins when a deranged mad bomber, Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper), severs cables to an elevator inside a Los Angeles skyscraper. The bomber demands $3 million ransom or he'll blow the emergency cables. LA Bomb Squad members Jack (Keanu Reeves) and his partner, Harry (Jeff Daniels), must defuse the bomb before Payne blows the cables. This situation alone could provoke a feature length thriller, but it merely serves as the first act for Speed.

Continue reading: Speed Review

Unspeakable Review


Terrible
You kinda deserve to have your ass handed to you when you title your film Unspeakable, but when you make a movie as God-awful as this one, you really deserve it.

The story begs for description but truly makes no sense at all. I'll try my best: Serial killer Jesse Mowatt (Pavan Grover, who also wrote the script) is fried in the electric chair, but it just won't take. He keeps coming back to life! Enter psychologist Diana Purlow (Dina Meyer), who has a kick-ass machine that can turn your memories into video. Somehow she feels this will help matters, and though angry prison warden (Dennis Hopper, yeah baby!) doesn't like the idea, she goes ahead anyway. The subsequent gore is balanced by mealworms crawling out of ears and split-open brains plus a bizarre story about Purlow having an abortion secreted in her past.

Continue reading: Unspeakable Review

All The Way Review


OK
Dennis Hopper as Frank Sinatra? It's a crazy idea, but not as wild as you might think. From a distance, Hopper bears a striking resemblance to the older, chunkier Frank. And whoever's doing the singing for him reasonably approximates a blend of Hopper's voice with Sinatra's.

Of course, there's a plot you need to suffer through to marvel at the stunt casting, and it involves a presumably true story about Sinatra being wooed to visit Australia in 1974 by a two-bit promoter. Getting him Down Under is only half the fun. Once he arrives, Frank -- in his inimitable way -- insults a reporter (Portia de Rossi) by calling her a whore. Aussie's native sons rise to defend her, and over 100 unions go on strike to ensure Frank won't be able to eat, drink, travel, or take a shower -- much less perform on stage. Hilarity ensues as our promoter friend (Joel Edgerton) tries to patch things back together, dealing with his own love life along the way.

Continue reading: All The Way Review

Giant Review


Very Good
A more apt title you won't find for a movie, as Giant's sprawling epic covers some 30 years in the life of a Texas cattle baron (Hudson), his wife (Taylor), and the upstart kid who becomes rich by discovering oil on his small plot of land (Dean). Compelling in a Gone With the Wind style, yet far too long at almost 4 hours, Giant could have stood for some quite obvious cutting. How many Christmas carols, square dances, and Texas cowboy shanties can one man take?

Regardless, James Dean (in one of only three roles on film) makes quite an impression, and Taylor reminds us why we ever liked her to begin with. The cinematography is equally Giant as well -- showing off the dusty nothing of central Texas, long low plains with brush and low hills in the distant background. George Stevens (Shane) has always had a knack for landscapes, and he's at the top of his game here. On the new DVD (two restored discs, one of which is double-sided), Stevens' son asks us to reconsider the film and enjoy it one again, 45 years after the making. In a commentary track with critic Stephen Farmber and writer Ivan Moffat, he reflects on his departed father and the trio reflect on Giant's legacy. That second disc has all the usual retrospectives and testimonials we've come to expect.

Continue reading: Giant Review

Basquiat Review


Weak
Basquiat -- or "Sasquiatch," as I am becoming increasingly fond of calling this film -- may teach you a thing or two. Now you may not want to know any of the stuff you learn during its two long hours of running time, but like it or not, you will learn something.

That something is a base level of information about Jean Michel Basquiat, a Haitian artisté in the early '80s who became Andy Warhol's favorite son. (What is it with Warhol movies this year?) Basquiat rose from living in a cardboard box and decorating the streets of New York with cryptic graffiti to a high-profile yet short-lived career in the highest of art circles. All before his not-too-untimely death at the age of 27 from a (take a guess) heroin overdose.

Continue reading: Basquiat Review

Hoosiers Review


Essential
It's very simple. When you talk about the best sports movies of all time, there is Hoosiers, and then there's everything else.

Hoosiers stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a former successful college coach with a checkered past, who takes a last chance job coaching small Hickory High in 1951. Despite being located in basketball-crazed Indiana, the Huskers only have six players and they're missing their star, Jimmy Chitwood, a troubled boy who doesn't say much. His soft shooting touch does all of the talking.

Continue reading: Hoosiers Review

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Apocalypse Now Redux Movie Review

Apocalypse Now Redux Movie Review

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