Walter Bernstein

Walter Bernstein

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Fail-Safe (1964) Review


Extraordinary
An underseen classic, Fail-Safe is based on a very similar story (though not the same book) as filmcritic.com's #1 movie, Dr. Strangelove. (In fact, Kubrick sued Sidney Lumet and co. over the similarities between the films, before either ever came out.) But Fail-Safe plays it straight, to equally powerful effect: An accident sends a bombing team on its way to Moscow, and the U.S. wrestles with what to do when it can't be recalled. Walter Matthau is a scene stealer, playing a rare serious role as a civilian advisor to the Pentagon who advocates all-out war. Jaw-dropping and tense, despite some rough production values.

Fail Safe (2000) Review


Very Good
CBS -- of all places -- remade the original, masterful Fail-Safe, a cautionary tale about nuclear war, jammed full of big name movie stars (check out that cast!), and shot in black and white from Walter Bernstein's original screenplay. It's a very faithful remake, even though the production values (it's shot on video) are atrocious. It's a fabulous original film and a worthwhile redo -- but it comes about 20 years too late. Why waste time remaking a tale about nuclear war with the Soviet Union -- a country that no longer existed -- in this millennium? Still, it's worth a look if you're a fan of the original.
Walter Bernstein

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Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Five years after his first stint as hitman Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic, Jason Statham has returned to the role for Mechanic: Resurrection.

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John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

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