Treat Williams, William Forsythe, James Woods and Robert De Niro - 52nd New York Film Festival - 'Once Upon a Time in America' Extended Director's Cut Collector's Edition - Premiere - Manhattan, New York, United States - Saturday 27th September 2014
William Forsythe, Lynn Eastman-Rossi, Skip Deneberg, Tony Luke and Leo Rossi - William Forsythe, Lynn Eastman-Rossi, Skip Deneberg, Tony Luke and Leo Rossi Philadelphia, USA - World premiere of 'The Nail: The Story of Joey Nardone' at the Philadelphia Film Festival Friday 27th March 2009
City by the Sea is inspired by the true events surrounding the life of New York City Homicide Detective Vincent LaMarca. A veteran of the police force, LaMarca (Robert De Niro) returns to the boardwalks of Long Beach, Long Island (a.k.a. City by the Sea), where he grew up, to investigate a homicide that his son Joey (James Franco) is under suspicion of committing. Vincent and Joey have been estranged since Vincent divorced his wife (Patti LuPone) 14 years ago. As a result, Joey has fallen into the pitfalls of drugs and vagrancy. When a drug deal goes bad, and Joey kills the dealer in the ensuing struggle, he becomes the target of many overzealous police officers who want to charge him with the crime. Joey is also the target for another drug dealer (William Forsythe) who wants the drug money he thinks Joey stole.
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As with many ensemble flicks, Jam has some good stories and some bad, some good actors and some poor ones. There's a couple dealing with overwork and considering whether to have a baby, a woman on the way to her wedding, and a lesbian couple, one of whom is nine months pregnant. One vehicle is stolen, and at least one angst-ridden teen can be found in the mix. In fact, everyone is pretty angry... though no one seems to overly mind being stuck on the road for hours on end.
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Like a series of linked MAD TV skits done without regard to network censors - the humor is about that intelligent - the film presents the 1992 Rodney King beating and subsequent riots as a grand comic opera of greed and stupidity, going after everybody involved with equal vigor. One can get a feel for how writer/director Marc Klasfeld intends to approach his subject a few minutes in, when the car chase and police beating of King (T.K. Carter) is done as a jokey game, with a police helicopter pilot serving as the announcer ("and they're off!"), while the cops themselves, having pulled King over, place beats over the ethnicity of the guy inside. Then Snoop Dogg shows up - serving, appropriately enough, as the film's narrator and chorus - to introduce the film proper, while fireworks go off behind him.
Continue reading: The L.A. Riot Spectacular Review
Price accepted the challenge of converting his own novel into a shootable screenplay, which is good news. He retains the suspense and social commentary that strengthened his book. Sony then turned the script over to Joe Roth, which should terrify anyone who sat through the director's dippy America's Sweethearts or foul Christmas with the Kranks. Fear not, for Roth lets slip a gritty side as he allows Price to guide us through some darkened passages, literally and figuratively.
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The Devil's Rejects diverges from its predecessor beginning with its opening frames, in which the depiction of the Firefly residence - no longer a remote, forest-shrouded funhouse of horrors but, rather, a dilapidated structure situated in a stretch of open land - speaks to the film's rejection of atmospheric claustrophobia in favor of wide-open anarchy. A fascination with rampant disorder certainly fuels the tour de force intro sequence, a bullet-strewn siege on the Firefly home by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe) and an army of police officers heightened by Zombie's sly use of freeze frames, Sergio Leone-esque close-ups, and The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider." Exhibiting a directorial maturity devoid of his former MTV-ish gimmickry (no hyper-edited montages with varying film stocks or bludgeoning industrial heavy metal here), the director orchestrates the chaotic events with feverish abandon, his shaky handheld camera set-ups and scraggly, sun-bleached cinematography (courtesy of Phil Parmet) placing us directly inside the carnage. By the time murderous siblings Otis (Bill Moseley) and Baby (Sheri Moon) escape their now overrun home to seek shelter in the rotting, blindingly white desert, Zombie has demonstrated a newfound adeptness at lacing nasty action with a breakneck thrust and vicious wit.
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What it does have is some of the best actors working in film today (Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery, and Ed Harris), seasoned producers Jerry Bruckheimer and the late Don Simpson (Top Gun, for starters), Bad Boys director Michael Bay, and some relatively unknown screenwriters (David Weisberg, Douglas S. Cook, and Mark Rosner), who all pull together to tell one hell of a story -- and hands-down the best action flick of the year-to-date.
Continue reading: The Rock Review
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There seems to be an unwritten rule that movies starring ex-stand-up comedians must come to a grinding halt at some point for the star to have a vanity improv scene.
Every Robin Williams has such moments -- even his syrupy, sentimental pictures. Every Martin Lawrence movie does too. In "Blue Streak," the improv moment comes when Lawrence dons a nappy pigtails wig, gnarly false teeth, body padding and a velour jogging suit to pose as a hyperactive pizza delivery boy.
For that one scene, any common sense regarding the story is put on pause and Lawrence cuts loose with an epileptic booty bump dance and a lot of babbling smack, all of which is designed to produce seat-bouncing laughs (it doesn't), but has little to do with the movie.
Continue reading: Blue Streak Review
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