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The Top 10 Movies Directed By Clint Eastwood


Clint Eastwood Million Dollar Baby Mystic River Meryl Streep Morgan Freeman Hilary Swank Tim Robbins Kevin Bacon Gene Hackman

Having first installed himself within American culture with his recurring role as Rowdy Yates in the cowboy seriesRawhide, San Francisco native Clint Eastwood would become renowned across the world for his roles in a succession of violent and iconic Westerns. The ‘Man With No Name’ character, first seen in the hallowed ‘Spaghetti Western’ trilogy, saw Eastwood become internationally known as a steely actor who went down a storm with domestic and global audiences. 

Clint EastwoodClint Eastwood on the set of 'Changeling'

More: Eastwood Made Jersey Boys Actors Sing Live On Set

Continue reading: The Top 10 Movies Directed By Clint Eastwood

Elmore Leonard Dies Aged 87 - 'Justified' Cast Pay Tribute


John Travolta Gene Hackman Timothy Olyphant Graham Yost

Elmore Leonard, the crime novelist, died yesterday morning (20th August) of complications following a stroke. Leonard wrote such stories as Get Shorty and 3:10 to Yuma.

Elmore Leonard
Elmore Leonard with his award at the 72nd Peabody Award ceremony, held at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.

In a statement released by Michael Morrison, the president and publisher of HarperCollins, Leonard died "surrounded by his loving family." He was at his home in Bloomfield Village, in Michigan when he passed away. Morrison described the late author as "a true legend - unpretentious, unbelievably talented and the coolest dude in the room."

Continue reading: Elmore Leonard Dies Aged 87 - 'Justified' Cast Pay Tribute

'I'll Eat You Last' Sees Beth Midler At Her Very Best As The Witty And Cynical Sue Mengers


Bette Midler Barbra Streisand Faye Dunaway Michael Caine Gene Hackman

Bette Midler is Sue Mengers. In I’ll Eat You Last, the funny, outspoken actress plays the infamous 70s talent agent with such clarity and wit, that you can’t help but believe her throughout. Midler is the sole performer in the production and, while the set is visually interesting, she herself hardly moves from the couch for the duration of the play. But if you think this would make for a boring or static production, you clearly haven’t seen Midler act to her fullest, which is exactly what she is doing in the John Logan play, which opened last night (Wednesday, April 24) at Broadway’s Booth theatre.

The setup is simple – the play is set in 1981, when Mengers, who represented stars of Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Michael Caine and Gene Hackman is already losing relevance. But she isn’t one to moan about it – not on the surface at least. Middler is the perfect actress to bring the quippy, somewhat cynical, occasionally foul-mouthed Mengers back to life. She is an actress experienced enough to not only fill up the stage, but to also possess enough knowledge of the harsh world of Tinseltown, giving her character some essential depth. I’ll Eat You Last captures the essence of a woman who has experienced Hollywood to its fullest and lived to tell the tale.

Bette Midler, Booth Theatre
Midler has been collecting praise from fans and critics for her spot on performance.

Continue reading: 'I'll Eat You Last' Sees Beth Midler At Her Very Best As The Witty And Cynical Sue Mengers

William Friedkin Book Reveals Struggles With Al Pacino, Gene Hackman


William Friedkin Al Pacino Gene Hackman

William Friedkin’s career rose to pretty heady heights in the 1970s, with the highly revered French Connection, followed by The Exorcist – one of the most successful horror movies of the era (though Friedkin himself refuses to classify the movie as ‘horror’). However, his career plummeted quite dramatically, with the critical and financial failure of 1977’s ‘Sorcerer,’ which only recouped around half of its then-staggering $22 million production budget. In a new book from the director, he reveals in brutally honest account of his own successes and failures.

In the book, Friedkin also describes the struggles that he had with some of the best known actors with whom he worked throughout his career. Having clashed with the star of his controversial movie, Cruising – Al Pacino – he tells The Wrap that he never really got a chance to make amends with the actor. “I have not seen him a lot. We never moved in the same circles. I wanted Richard Gere for the role. Having seen the film at special screenings, I've come to realize he is still pretty damn effective in it, but he gave me a rough time for reasons other than the normal actor-director relationship. He wasn't on time and often didn't know what we were doing on a particular day.”

And it wasn’t just Pacino that gets a pasting from Friedkin. There’s not much love lost between him and Gene Hackman either: “I had a strained relationship with Gene. The important thing is he gave a damn good performance even though we had a rocky time of it.” Friedman also revealed in the interview that a new BluRay version of The Exorcist will be released this year, with an hour and a half of new extras. 

Continue reading: William Friedkin Book Reveals Struggles With Al Pacino, Gene Hackman

Gene Hackman Donated Clothes To The Homeless Man He Slapped


Gene Hackman

Actor Gene Hackman had given clothes, money and the odd ride to the homeless man he slapped in New Mexico this week, Fox News reports. 

It's a story corroborated by the homeless man, who confirmed that he'd received help from the Oscar winning actor, but it was the violent altercation that they didn't agree on. Bruce Becker, 63, said he was hit 10 to 12 times by the tough-guy actor, but Hackman says he slapped the man once. Becker said he told Hackman, "Gene, you are just another Clint Eastwood, you are nothing but an empty chair," an apparent reference to Eastwood's Republican National Convention appearance this summer. That's when Hackman went "ballistic" and began "pummeling" him, he told officers. Hackman, 82, told police Becker became angry when he refused to give him money, and that after some names were thrown, the homeless man's threatening movements lead him to give him a swift slap, at which point they both fell to the ground. Police say Hackman acted in self-defense and no charges have been filed.

TMZ had reported that Hackman "pimp-slapped" the homeless man, in a perpetuation of what can only be described as a ridiculous scene. We've only just seen the end of 'happy-slapping', please don't say we're in line for its deformed cousin, 'Hackman-slapping'. Contact Music denounces all types all violence. We're a tranquil bunch. 

Continue reading: Gene Hackman Donated Clothes To The Homeless Man He Slapped

Gene Hackman Admits Slapping A Homeless Person


Gene Hackman

Oscar-winning actor Gene Hackman has admitted to “slapping” a homeless man after the vagrant became hostile towards him and his wife.

TMZ.com reported that the screen icon, whose filmography includes The French Connection, Superman and Unforgiven, and his wife, Betsy Arakawa, became embroiled in the scuffle whilst walking through Santa Fe yesterday (Oct 30) afternoon. Hackman, 82, and his wife both share a home in the city.

The incident is said to have occurred as Hackman was defending his wife’s honour following the homeless person’s hostility towards the couple. The leading man acted in self-defence against the aggressor, who has not been identified by police, after reportedly calling Mrs Hackman a rude name. The vagabond then went to local police to report the incident, although no charges against either him or Hackman have been pressed.

Continue reading: Gene Hackman Admits Slapping A Homeless Person

The Quick And The Dead Review


Excellent
All right, all right, I'm sorry I haven't been seeing the movies I should. I haven't seen A Simple Plan yet, I admit it. Everyone's been nagging me, bothering me about it, telling me: "James, it's such a great film." But I haven't seen it.

Anyway, that apology aside, I'm very glad I took time to watch Sam Raimi's 1995 film The Quick and the Dead.

Continue reading: The Quick And The Dead Review

Marooned Review


Very Good
Remarkably prescient, this 1969 drama about astronauts stuck in space, unable to return home due to a rocket malfunction preceded the real Apollo 13 drama by only one year. For its era, the special effects are impressive, though the plot -- which involves a massive rescue attempt that sees not one but two spacecraft attempting to rendezvous with our heros -- is on the far-fetched side. Kudos for impressive realism in its treatment of the effects of the lack of oxygen on the crew and its long periods of quiet frustration, a great respite from typical in-your-face adventure fare.

Antz Review


Very Good
Every ant has his day. At least, that's what Woody Allen would have you think, in this twisted animated version of Annie Hall meets Brazil. Starting with a moody grass-scape of what turns out to be a quiet corner of Central Park, voiced-over by Allen's "Z", a hapless worker ant who feels the weight of the colony--so to speak--on his back, Antz tracks a lot like any Allen flick.

In fact, if it wasn't for all the formula-driven bad guys, perilous situations, and narrow escapes, Antz would be exactly like any other Allen film. But this is animation, and that means kid-pleasing effects must plaster the screen. Sadly, this hurts the story to the point where Antz will quickly get lost in the shuffle of animated films coming out over the next year, despite its unique touches. To make matters worse, some of the more gruesome scenes, including an ant-termite battle that would leave Private Ryan wetting himself, are decidedly not for children.

Continue reading: Antz Review

The Replacements Review


Weak
I wish I could have been in the pitch meeting for this ridiculous notion of a sports film. I bet it was some hotshot Warner Brothers agent with an dark Armani suit and manicured fingernails saying, "It would be a very light comedic version of Any Given Sunday, and we could throw in the Hoosiers angle with the casting of Gene Hackman as the tough but determined coach. Throw in that hunk of a guy Keanu Reeves and a cast of wacky characters and poof! We'll have a hit on our hands!"

The Replacements is a hokey mistake of a football film, a mishmash collage of one-dimensional characters, rampant stereotypes of cultures and races, cliched emotional statements of purpose, and Keanu Reeves wishing for The Matrix sequel to start principal photography. The story is loosely based around the pro football players' strike in 1987 and a rag-tag team of replacement football players taking up the reins of professional play for a variety of teams with names like the Washington Sentinels. Keanu Reeves stars as Shane Falco, a has-been football college player looking for redemption. Gene Hackman dons a fedora like Tom Landry and speaks with gusto like a certain coach in Hoosiers.

Continue reading: The Replacements Review

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