You may remember, a few years ago in 2015, reading a news story about two American soldiers and their buddy who saved a whole train full of people traveling to France from terrorist hijackers. It’s your classic tale of American bravery in the face of grave danger, and so is right up the alley of someone like Clint Eastwood. The actor-turned-director, whose latest efforts include American-bravery-in-the-face-of-grave-danger movies such as American Sniper and Sully, has decided to take on the story of the train, titled The 15:17 to Paris.
It’s Criterion season again, and this June the Criterion Collection is adding a whole bunch of unmissable classics from around the world. Take a trip to Provence with the newly-restored Marseille Trilogy, marvel at Alfred Hitchcock’s silent thriller The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog, and tremble at Kenji Mizoguchi’s wartime ghost story Ugetsu. Then, strap in for Nicholas Ray’s film noir debut They Live By Night, and marvel at a young Dustin Hoffman in Sam Peckinpah’s shocking, controversial Straw Dogs. If you need any more convincing that any one of these movies is worth spending the extra money on (they are), we’ve got the deets from the Criterion press release right here.
It’s no secret that women have it a little tougher than men when it comes to directing movies. In 2015, women helmed 9% of the top 250 domestic grossing films – that’s 22 movies out of 250. A lot of movie fans have taken it upon themselves to seek out and watch more female-directed or otherwise female-led films, but that sometimes isn’t easy due to the extreme lack of women in charge of movies that Hollywood is still experiencing. IMDb has just adopted the “F-rating” to highlight movies directed by, written by, and starring women, and how we still have a long way to go before the split is 50/50.
This year’s Beauty and the Beast promises that we will see every iconic shot and dance number from the original, but now in glorious live-action. Actors whose faces we recognize will bring timeless characters to life, and sing all of the songs we loved as kids. There are a few great songs in the original movie: “Tale as Old as Time” is a classic, and “Belle” has plenty of fake French accents to try to copy, but the best scene, and the scene yours truly is anticipating the most, is “Gaston.”
Nowadays, actors are often straight-up forbidden from doing their own stunts so that they don’t suffer from any lasting injuries. Some, like Tom Cruise, have the star-power needed to convince a director he wants to be strapped to the side of a jetliner while it takes off, but most of the time it’s the stunt-doubles doing all the work. Not so for Burt Ward, who played sidekick Robin in the original 1960’s Batman TV show. He recounts a time during production during which he had to perform a stunt so dangerous he was sent to the emergency room.
It’s that time of year again: Halloween month is the harbinger of the gift-giving season, retail stores throwing up the snowflake decorations before Thanksgiving is even a blip on our radars. But, for cinephiles, October is the month when Criterion announces their new releases for the following January, and next year’s slate, with three directors joining the collection for the first time, looks fantastic.
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