Maximilian Schell

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'Judgment At Nuremberg' Actor, Maximilian Schell, Dies Aged 83


Maximilian Schell

Maximilian Schell, the Oscar winning actor, has died aged 83. The actor passed away in Innsbruck, Austria yesterday (1st February).

The Austrian actor was born in Vienna in 1930, one of four children to an Austrian author and Swiss actress. His family were forced to flee their home country during the Nazi annexation of Austria in 1938. They moved to Switzerland before Schell moved to Germany in the 1950s to attend university.

He remained in Europe until 1958 when he was invited to star in a Broadway production. From then on he starred in a number of Hollywood movies alongside the likes of Marlon Brando. 

Continue reading: 'Judgment At Nuremberg' Actor, Maximilian Schell, Dies Aged 83

The Brothers Bloom Review


Good
A perfectly swell caper film that ultimately can't sustain the propelling giddiness of its first hour, The Brothers Bloom burns bright with brilliance before sputtering out in the end. In a case of extreme overreach, writer/director Rian Johnson (Brick) sets out to make a magical-realist brother-buddy screwball romantic comedy heist film, and actually comes close to making it all work. Given the cock-eyed neo-noir linguistic mania of his first film, Johnson seems to be just the right kind of blooming genius to pull off this kind of over-ambitious cinematic caper, but in the end he just sets himself an impossible task.

Johnson's brothers Stephen (Mark Ruffalo) and Bloom (Adrien Brody) appear in the film like some kind of magic vaudeville act gone to seed. A spectacularly goofy opener (including a fake magic cave and a one-legged cat locomoting about on a roller skate) about their childhood paints them as Damon Runyon-style scamps set free in a landscape of innocent marks. It's a cotton-candy world that the boys, with their slouchy hats and black suits, are going to take for everything they can. Their roles are cut and dried: Stephen as the storytelling author of their scams, Bloom as his moody and conflicted accomplice, fated to never live a real life of his own.

Continue reading: The Brothers Bloom Review

House Of The Sleeping Beauties Review


Terrible
In a segment of the Woody Allen film Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sex But Were Afraid To Ask, Allen engages in a sexual tryst with Louise Lasser. As they lay in bed afterwards evaluating their performance, Allen glumly takes a drag on his cigarette and complains to Lasser, "But you just lay there passive... like a lox." In Vadim Glowna's turgid porn fantasy tale for depressed old men, House of the Sleeping Beauties, an old guy gets to sleep with drugged up, somnolent, nubile young women, who lay nude and prostrate in a bed of silk sheets ---women who if awake had encountered this aged reprobate would probably react in a Tex Avery-animated expression of terror with eyes bulging out and tongues flapping before bolting away in terror and calling the cops. Glowna's film is also a passive lox, but it's a piece of fish that has sat out in the sun too long -- it shines but it stinks.

The film begins with an air of foreboding dread (Vadim Perelman on Quaaludes) as an elderly man, Edmund (Glowna), is seen descending a series of stairways at an empty rail station. He doesn't look happy. The reason? Although he's a successful businessman, he has been brooding and moping for 15 years since the death of his wife and daughter in a car crash. He goes to see his sinister friend Koga (Maximilian Schell) who tries to cheer him up by saying, "You know, we are both at an age in which it is filling to occupy ourselves with death." Kogi encourages Edmund to visit a "meditational" house (aka The House of the Sleeping Beauties) and Edmund complies. At the House, Edmund encounters the severe Madame (Angela Winkler) whom Edmund describes as "a bringer of death." Before she introduces him to his first sleeping beauty, she warns him, "Please don't play any weird pranks -- like sticking your finger in the girl's mouth." Of course, despite that alarm and despite being told by the Madame and Kogi to "be careful," as the maidens are successively unveiled before him, he pulls the finger stunt and a lot more besides.

Continue reading: House Of The Sleeping Beauties Review

The Odessa File Review


OK
Here's a long way to go for nothing in the way of payoff: Jon Voight stars as a European journalist who masquerades as a former Nazi in postwar Germany in order to infiltrate a gang of ex-SS members intent on launching a Fourth Reich. Unfortunately, this ends up being mostly a series of mano-a-mano confrontations behind closed doors, with the "revelations" reaching absurd level by the end.

A Bridge Too Far Review


Good
There are star-studded projects, and then there's A Bridge Too Far, a World War II movie the likes of which would cost upwards of $300 million to make today. There are lots of bridges in the film, actually: The Allies aim to capture a series of them in German-occupied Holland as part of Operation Market-Garden, a byzantine plot that would theoretically cripple the German war machine in western Europe, where Germany is already on the run. However, Allied mistakes and an unexpected amount of German firepower nip the plan in the bud. The film is more a showcase for some searing acting -- and at three hours long, there's plenty of it -- than it is a classic war film. The battle scenes just don't come across as impressively as in other films of the era -- the fact that VW Beetles with plastic tank shells on them were used in lieu of some of the Panzers is just one sign that all the budget went to that exhaustive cast list.

Telling Lies In America Review


Very Good
This '60s slice of life story comes from the unlikely pen of Joe Eszterhas, best known for neo-porn like Basic Instinct. Renfro plays Eszterhas's obvious alter-ego, an immigrant kid that's unpopular at school and has iffy luck with the ladies. He falls in with a corrupt radio DJ (Kevin Bacon) while tentatively wooing a pre-fame Calista Flockhart. The story hangs together loosely, bouyed by strong performances from the three leads.

Judgment At Nuremberg Review


Excellent
In the grand tradition of courtroom dramas, Judgment at Nuremberg has the distinction of being probably the most "important" of them all -- even if it's not the most blatantly entertaining.

The three-hour film concerns the trial of four Nazi-era German judges accused of killing millions as part of the regime. The trial circumstances are tricky: The four accused didn't pull any triggers, nor were they in the upper echelons of power. They were middlemen, just signing off on the whims of Hitler. How guilty are they of murder? And so it is that American Judge Dan Hawood is flown in to lead a tribunal to determine their fate.

Continue reading: Judgment At Nuremberg Review

Little Odessa Review


Good
Little Odessa refers to an old Russian Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, along the lines of Little Italy or Chinatown. There, everyone speaks Russian, wanders through bleak snow-covered streets, drinks vodka, wears heavy wool coats...and most carry guns. This is the age of the "organizatsya," the Russian mafia, for whom Joshua (Tim Roth) is employed as a hit man.

Joshua, a long-time Little Odessa expatriate, is called back to the neighborhood to perform a hit on a big shot resident. When he arrives, he encounters his worshipful brother Reuben (Edward Furlong), former lover Alla (Moira Kelly), hateful father Arkady (Maximilian Schell), and dying mother Irina (Vanessa Redgrave). Together, the cast creates a highly dysfunctional family the likes of which you've probably never seen before.

Continue reading: Little Odessa Review

Deep Impact Review


Very Good
I admit it. I'm a sap for the touchy-feely business sometimes.

Deep Impact makes no apologies for being a sob-fest. I mean, how else do you smash a comet into the earth without killing off a few hundred million people, and breaking a few hearts in the process? As the first disaster-from-space film of the year, Deep Impact sets the bar at an interesting level. It's not an action film, although it has action elements. It's not a thriller, although suspense is in the mix. It's more a drama than anything else, the main story lines being a reporter (Téa Leoni) estranged from her father, a young astronomer (Wood) who finds he can't abandon his girlfriend, and a codgery astronaut (Robert Duvall) who gains acceptance among a younger crew.

Continue reading: Deep Impact Review

Festival In Cannes Review


Excellent
Attending a film festival is a remarkable experience. For a few solid days, a individual can recline in comfortable movie theater seats, consume buckets of warm, buttery popcorn, and enjoy cold fountain drinks. People can also relish that rare film which hasn't been mistreated by studio budgets or stipulations by censor boards. It's altogether a little slice of heaven, and Festival in Cannes provides an insider's look at such an experience.

Each year, hundreds of film festivals transpire, but Cannes is definitely one of the most celebrated. Indie director Henry Jaglom takes us within the 1999 Cannes Film Festival and regenerates the flavor of what it's like to be there. As the movie opens, Jaglom inserts a montage of photographs featuring actors and filmmakers who have visited the festival earlier. Actors like Grace Kelly, Charlie Chaplin, and directors like Alfred Hitchcock have attended.

Continue reading: Festival In Cannes Review

Maximilian Schell

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Maximilian Schell Movies

House of the Sleeping Beauties Movie Review

House of the Sleeping Beauties Movie Review

In a segment of the Woody Allen film Everything You Always Wanted To Know About...

Little Odessa Movie Review

Little Odessa Movie Review

Little Odessa refers to an old Russian Jewish neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York, along the...

Deep Impact Movie Review

Deep Impact Movie Review

I admit it. I'm a sap for the touchy-feely business sometimes.Deep Impact makes no...

Festival In Cannes Movie Review

Festival In Cannes Movie Review

Attending a film festival is a remarkable experience. For a few solid days, a...

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