Robert Towne

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The Yakuza Review


Good
In 1974, the advertisements for Sidney Pollack's Americanized Japanese gangster movie The Yakuza stated, "A man doesn't forget. A man pays his debts." Well, not in today's economy. But in 1974 paying debts meant something else. It meant honor and obligation and a code of duty among hired killers and thugs. The Japanese yakuza action movie was a staple of Japanese cinema in the 1970s, the films packed with high energy, low budgets, and gratuitous violence. Pollack's westernized version of the genre tamps down the action and examines the yakuza film like an English literature grad student, looking for subtext as characters engage in slow and ponderous dialogues about honor and duty before they erupt and pull out swords and shotguns and turn rooms into abattoirs. Neither a Japanese nor an American action film nor really a philosophical discourse over tea and sushi, The Yakuza doesn't know what it wants to be.

Robert Mitchum plays Harry Kilmer, a retired detective, called back into service by old World War II army pal George Tanner (Brian Keith), who asks for his help in rescuing his daughter, who is being held in Japan by the yakuza. Tanner knows Kilmer is owed a debt of honor by ex-yakuza member Tanaka Ken (Ken Takakura, the big Japanese star of all those '70s yakuza films) and convinces him to travel back to Japan to see if Ken will honor his obligation to Kilmer by infiltrating the yakuza gang holding his daughter and bringing her back home (significantly, the daughter is no more than a unconscious blip on the radar in The Yakuza). Once there, events spin out of control, and Kilmer and Ken become embroiled in ritual obligations and mayhem.

Continue reading: The Yakuza Review

Chinatown Review


Extraordinary
I do my homework. All right. So I don't always do my homework, but when it comes to film critiquing, I'm pretty good at doing my homework. So, since The Ninth Gate is being released later this week, I figured I should check out the Chinatown DVD, in order to get background on Roman Polanski's career.

Ain't homework painful?

Continue reading: Chinatown Review

Charlie Hunnam Attributes His Rise To Stardom To His Former Father-In-Law, Robert Towne


Charlie Hunnam Katharine Towne Robert Towne

Charlie Hunnam, formerly known for 'Queer As Folk' is set to appear in 'Cold Mountain' in December. But according to the actor, it was his ultimately doomed marriage to Katherine Towne which led to him making his way in Hollywood - mainly because her father is an Oscar-winning screenwriter.

Related: Charlie Hunnam: "Nervous Breakdown Led to Fifty Shades Drop Out"

The English-born actor divorced from Towne in 2002 after four years of marriage. He admits that being married to the daughter of the 'Chinatown' and 'Mission Impossible' screenwriter was to driving force behind his transformation from Television actor to movie star. Hunnam explained his relationship with Katherine, saying: "We met at an audition for 'Dawson's Creek' and bonded over our mutual distress at being there in the first place."

Continue reading: Charlie Hunnam Attributes His Rise To Stardom To His Former Father-In-Law, Robert Towne

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