Archive for category: by Sean Axmaker

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Why ‘Goldfinger’ at 50 remains the definitive James Bond movie

17 September, 2014 (08:24) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

Goldfinger was the third Bond feature but the first Bond blockbuster, an instant smash hit that turned the series into a phenomenon. Fifty years after its Sept. 17, 1964 London premiere, which was overrun by fans fighting to get into the theater, it remains the definitive big-screen incarnation of the world’s most famous secret agent. […]

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Videophiled: ‘Burning Bush’ is fiery history

16 September, 2014 (16:12) | by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Burning Bush (Kino Lorber, DVD), Agnieszka Holland’s almost four-hour political thriller, tackles one of the most harrowing events of Czech social history: On January 6, 1969, college student Jan Palach doused himself in gasoline and lit himself afire in downtown Prague to protest the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia. Originally created as a three-part cable film […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of September 12

12 September, 2014 (08:24) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

In response to an industrial bias that has grown from little-remarked upon oversight to universally decried embarrassment in a few short years, the New York Times’s movie section of late has a decidedly female slant, from A. O. Scott and Manohla Dargis’s roundup of the new roles (or at least more complex variations on the […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘Godzilla 2000’ and more giant monster mashes of the new millennium

11 September, 2014 (17:37) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Science Fiction | By: Sean Axmaker

When it comes reviving the past, timing and presentation is everything. Sony’s first wave of “The Toho Godzilla Collection” of second- and third- generation Japanese Godzilla films on Blu-ray came out in May, timed to the theatrical release of the American remake (the discs are reviewed on Cinephiled here). This second wave arrives the week […]

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‘Horses of God': The Making of a Martyr

10 September, 2014 (08:14) | by Sean Axmaker, Essays | By: Sean Axmaker

There’s not one reason why a young boy can turn into a suicide bomber. There are many of them. —Nabil Ayouch, director of Horses of God, in a 2014 interview with Dan Lybarger In 2003, just a couple of years after the Twin Towers attack, twelve suicide bombers blew up multiple targets in Casablanca. The bombers […]

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Videophiled Classic: ‘High School Confidential!’

7 September, 2014 (09:36) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

High School Confidential! (Olive, Blu-ray, DVD) – Trashy, tawdry, and weirdly energetic, with tough talking high school delinquents played by college grads spouting mock-beat dialogue, this B+ exploitation classic from producer Albert Zugsmith (who went from Written on the Wind and Touch of Evil to such artifacts as Sex Kittens Go to College and Confessions […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of September 5

5 September, 2014 (10:30) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“At this point, John had been burned three times by commercial animation: during the Disney strike, at UPA, and by Finian’s Rainbow. Faith had never had anything but distrust of commercial projects to begin with. So as a condition of their marriage, they made a pact: They would make one serious film a year, for […]

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Channeling Movies: Sex and Sin on Pre-Code Fridays on Turner Classic Movies

4 September, 2014 (16:28) | by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Pre-code Cinema, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Turner Classic Movies is turning all the Fridays in September over to films from that brief period in the early thirties when the studios thumbed their collective noses at the toothless Production Code and pushed the boundaries of sex, violence, and bad behavior without judgment or consequences in film after film. The iron boot of […]

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Treasure Hunting with the Zellners

3 September, 2014 (13:10) | by Sean Axmaker, Interviews | By: Sean Axmaker

David and Nathan Zellner started making films together when they were kids, acting in their own home movies shot on camcorder. “I think that’s what first got is interested in making films is wanting to perform,” says David, director and co-star of their new feature Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter. It premiered at the 2014 Sundance […]

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Videophiled: ‘Night Moves’

2 September, 2014 (18:16) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews | By: Sean Axmaker

Night Moves (New Video, Blu-ray, DVD, Cable VOD), the fourth film that New York-based director Kelly Reichardt has made in Oregon, is her most commercial project yet, though you won’t mistake this drama of eco-terrorists who blow a dam on a southern Oregon river for a Hollywood thriller. Reichardt and longtime screenwriting partner Jon Raymond […]

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Videophiled Classic: Chaplin at Mutual and 25 Years of Mack Sennett

30 August, 2014 (09:09) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, Film Reviews, Silent Cinema | By: Sean Axmaker

Flicker Alley releases two more collections of classic silent comedies. Chaplin’s Mutual Comedies 1916-1917 (Flicker Alley, Blu-ray+DVD) collects the greatest run of comedy shorts in Chaplin’s career in newly restored and remastered editions, and The Mack Sennett Collection: Vol. One (Flicker Alley, Blu-ray) collects 50 comedies of a variety of lengths (including one feature) from […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of August 29

29 August, 2014 (08:24) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

As the title indicates, Arabian Nights—Miguel Gomes’s follow-up to Tabu—doesn’t seem to lack for ambition. Featuring real news stories (researched for the director by a trio of journalists) filtered through the telling by a modern Scheherazade, it looks another dazzling intermingling of Portuguese history and fanciful imagination. Rachel Donadio has a set visit, complete with […]

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Streamers: See Orson Welles’ ‘Too Much Johnson’ and Amazon’s Third Pilot Season for Free

27 August, 2014 (08:06) | by Sean Axmaker, news, Orson Welles, Silent Cinema, streaming, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

Too Much Johnson, the Orson Welles film (or rather film project) that was long thought lost (the last print was reportedly destroyed in a fire in Welles’ Spanish home in 1970), was found a few years ago and restored. It’s not a feature or even a short, per se, more of an experiment shot to […]

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Videophiled: Emmy-winner ‘The Normal Heart’ on Blu-ray and DVD

26 August, 2014 (16:59) | Blu-ray, by Sean Axmaker, DVD, Film Reviews, Television | By: Sean Axmaker

The Normal Heart (HBO, Blu-ray, DVD, Digital HD), the made-for-HBO feature based on Larry Kramer’s play and directed for cable by Ryan Murphy, arrives on disc the day after winning the Emmy Award for Outstanding Television Movie. Kramer wrote the play in 1985, based in part on his own experiences as a gay activist in […]

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The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for the week of August 22

22 August, 2014 (09:11) | by Bruce Reid, by Sean Axmaker, Links | By: Bruce Reid

“My brother and I have always been fans of B movies. Agustiín would kill to make a women-in-prison film, pack it to the gills with girls of all races, each more deviant than the next. We’d follow the line of Jonathan Demme’s Caged Heat, or the line of films made by Linda Blair after she […]

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