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Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

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 Cathedral
Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral

Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels

Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral Monday 15th November 2010 Hollywood producer Dino De Laurentiis funeral Mass at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels Los Angeles, California

Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral
Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral
Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral
Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral
Dino De Laurentiis and Cathedral

Academy Of Motion Pictures And Sciences' 2009 Governors Awards Gala - Arrivals held at Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center

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

Hannibal Rising Review


Terrible
As bad as Hannibal Rising is -- and believe me, it's terrible - this fictional biography of the beloved Dr. Hannibal Lecter could have been worse. After all, financing studio MGM and its assorted producers could have tossed a small fortune at Sir Anthony Hopkins in hopes of coercing the Academy Award winner back to the title role -- never mind the fact that the picture covers the cannibal's formative years.

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

Barabbas Review


OK
Any good Christian or Jeopardy! fan knows that Barabbas was the murderer that the Romans chose to free rather than Jesus when Pontius Pilate asked them to pick someone to receive a pardon. The film (based on the novel of the same name) imagines -- with minimal attention to anything that is historically known -- what might have happened to Barabbas after he was freed, tracking him back into a life of crime, a decades-long sentence of hard labor, and a stint in the gladiator pit, all before he's eventually redeemed through the message of the man who hung on the cross instead of him. Barabbas, in keeping with the Biblical epics of its era, is overwrought and overlong, but Anthony Quinn is memorable in the leading role, even when the script is derivative of everything from Spartacus to Ben-Hur, films which were still fresh in the public's mind. Barabbas has aged poorly in comparison (though Spartacus isn't the masterpiece many wish it to be, either).

Ragtime Review


OK
The late 1970s and early 1980s were heavy times for cinema. This was the era of the majestic miniseries: Roots, Rich Man Poor Man, The Thorn Birds, Shogun. Why, if your film couldn't stretch over at least four hours, it probably wasn't worth telling.

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

Flash Gordon Review


OK
In the grand heirarchy of high camp, The Rocky Horror Picture Show is at the top. Flash Gordon is directly beneath it. In many ways, Flash is both as good and as bad as moviemaking gets. The battle between Jones and Dalton on the deadly, spike-ridden, tilting platform hovering over a 50-mile drop is as tense as fight scenes get. The football-inspired fight in Ming's throne room is otherwise. A must-see on DVD for purists and superhero freaks. He will save every one of us!

La Strada Review


Essential
La Strada begins and ends with two of Federico Fellini's most simple yet memorable images.

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

Red Dragon Review


Good
Red Dragon has just about everything going against it.

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

Amityville II: The Possession Review


Terrible
At least Amityville II: The Possession has some basis in fact. This is -- on the surface -- the story of how the DeFeo family (here the Montellis) got murdered one night at 112 Ocean Avenue on Long Island, New York. (The subsequent events are the subject of the original Amityville Horror.)

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 Review


OK
It's finally time to reassess the submarine movie to see if it's outlived its useful life. I was skeptical enough when Crimson Tide came out in 1995, feeling like a knockoff of The Hunt for Red October, itself an homage to Das Boot, it something of an homage to Run Silent, Run Deep. They even made Down Periscope, which four years of therapy have not helped me to forget.

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

Nights of Cabiria Review


Weak
Fellini. For some reason we in film perform a sort of idolatry at the altar of all of the films he made. Ironically, this seems to be just what Fellini would have wanted of us. His films aren't great. They have good camerawork, are visually stunning, and have plenty of lofty notions behind them... but they're not great. Yet we come. And we worship. And we put up with those damn white subtitles on a black and white movie one-too-many times.

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

Year of the Dragon Review


Good
Once upon a time, Mickey Rourke was a major Hollywood player, and Year of the Dragon finds him in one of his most respectable leading roles, the last film he made before 9 1/2 Weeks got everyone a little scared about Rourke's future. Here's Rourke, as well, in a prototypical role: As a hard boiled cop that will do anything it takes to bring down the new leader of New York's Chinese mafia. Rourke is like a rabid dog, and his torn-apart, hangdog performance surpasses the rest of the film, which plays like a rehash of Scarface.

Unforgettable Review


Grim
Winner of this year's "Most Ironic Title" award, Unforgettable is anything but, taking a subject with some promise--memory transfer--and managing to butcher it into a hackneyed thriller.

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

Breakdown Review


OK
It's Rednecks 1, Yuppies 0! At least it is for most of Breakdown, a film that pits hapless Massachusettsans against wily Arizonans in a battle of automotive might on America's highways.

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

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