Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral - Giada De Laurentiis Los Angeles, California - Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Monday 15th November 2010
Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis - Dino De Laurentiis and Martha De Laurentiis Hollywood, California - Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences' 2009 Governors Awards Gala - Arrivals held at Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center Saturday 14th November 2009
The Lecter character has appeared in five different films now, which by my count is four too many. Brian Cox gets credit for first playing the imprisoned killer in Michael Mann's underrated Manhunter. But Lecter didn't become a household name until Hopkins sank his teeth into the role for The Silence of the Lambs. Since then, Hollywood has strained its muscles beating every dollar it could from this dead horse of a character. We've endured the Jodie Foster-free sequel Hannibal and Red Dragon, an unnecessary Manhunter remake with Hopkins in the Lecter role.
Continue reading: Hannibal Rising Review
The miniseries mentality reached into the theatrical world as well. And so Milos Forman ended up with Ragtime, a sprawling book about American life in the early 1900s, filled with stories of racism, sudden upward mobility, abandonment, psychosis, and of course that good old ragtime music. The result is a film that sprawls well over two hours yet can't ever decide where the best story lies. Is it a tale of a murderous husband who avenges the harsh treatment of his former-chorus girl wife? The story of an abandoned black baby who winds up in the arms of a wealthy white family? No, Ragtime eventually focuses on a black piano player (Howard E. Rollins Jr.) who rises through the ranks of the ragtime scene, only to find bitter racism and resentment waiting for him on the other side. He ultimately winds up holed up in a library with one of the characters from another story in the film. Some of this is based on real events, most is not.
Continue reading: Ragtime Review
Gelsomina (Giulietta Masina, who was Fellini's wife) is walking along a bright and uninhabited beach. She's in the low corner of the frame, a diminutive figure with her back to us, facing an endless stretch of white sand going off to one side and the infinite vastness of sea and sky going the other. Tentatively, yet hopefully, she moves forward. In a few seconds we know this character.
Continue reading: La Strada Review
It's the third movie in a series that won an insane number of Oscars (The Silence of the Lambs) and was promptly followed by one of the worst films in recent memory (Hannibal). It's a prequel... and its big star (Anthony Hopkins) is about 20 years too old. And it's a remake of a minor cult classic (Manhunter), a fantastic film which will invariably stomp the crap out of Red Dragon in the history books.
Continue reading: Red Dragon Review
In real life, the eldest son of the DeFeo family murdered six of his family members in their sleep while they slumbered in their beds. In Amityville II, the family structure is about the same -- and they all get the business -- but little else remains intact. Here we have a tale about a rough and tumble kid named Sonny (Jack Magner), who hates his father, romances his sister (Diane Franklin, best known as Better Off Dead's Monique), and gets possessed by demons who live in a secret room in the basement.
Continue reading: Amityville II: The Possession Review
U-571 takes the Das Boot path, starring a dozen of the sweatiest men in Hollywood (the makeup department working overtime on this one), all led by everyone's favorite naked bongo player, Matthew McConaughey. Loosely based on real events, U-571 involves a WWII mission to capture a German Enigma encryption device from a sinking German submarine adrift in the middle of the Atlantic. Skipper Bill Paxton and his 2nd in charge McConaughey hop to the task, dressing up their wreck of a sub to look just like a German U-boat. One guy on the crew speaks German, so there shouldn't be a problem in posing as a rescue ship, right?
Continue reading: U-571 Review
Fellini's Nights of Cabiria is one of the many movies that no one knows the man directed. Squeezed in between La Strada and La Dolce Vita, it's most remarkable feature is that it immediately proceeds the controversial and three-hour long opus that Fellini will always be remembered for. It is the story of a Hooker with the Heart of Gold, who wants nothing more out of life than romance, marriage, or a job with a health plan. Only one problem... people continually want to off her for the 40,000 to 400,000 lire that she has lying around.
Continue reading: Nights of Cabiria Review
Unforgettable reteams star Linda Fiorentino with director John Dahl, who worked so well together in 1994's The Last Seduction. Unfortunately, Fiorentino, who was mentioned more than once as that year's best actress, has been in free-fall ever since, starting with Jade and now turning to this. In Unforgettable, Ray Liotta plays David Krane, a Seattle medical examiner whose wife was murdered years earlier. Krane was the prime suspect, but a technicality got him off, all the while with him protesting his innocence (yes, it's O.J. again).
Continue reading: Unforgettable Review
If you've seen The Vanishing (either one), you've essentially seen Breakdown. In this incarnation, Kurt Russell finds his wife (my nemesis Kathleen Quinlan) abducted by the brilliantly evil J.T. Walsh and gang, and a cruel conspiracy is revealed that is designed to separate the happy couple from the fortunes that -- it turns out -- they don't really have.
Continue reading: Breakdown Review