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Posts Tagged ‘film’

Casablanca, one of the twentieth century’s great films, is memorialized here not so much by stirring film music as by the fact that you get the exquisite screenplay banter that still evokes grins at its genius on, say, the forty-second hearing.

I assume that technology did now allow the separation of Max Steiner’s score from the spoken witticisms that begin at the beginning and don’t end until the end of this fantastic movie. As a result, this ‘soundtrack’ is actually a trip through some of Casablanca’s finest moments, spoken and played. (more…)

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The most startling aspect of this gripping account of the 101st Airborne’s assault on Hill 937 is that this was not even the bloodiest battle fought by the 101st in Vietnam. That one took place at Dat To and produced more than five times the U.S. casualties, occasioning the throw-away parenthesis of one of Hill’s actors, ‘that was a hill ….’. (more…)

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Oliver Stone’s brilliant 1986 film on the grunt’s war in Vietnam had a lot to work with: a controversial subject well placed for dramatic effect, brilliant acting from his three leads (Dafoe, Berenger, and, yes, even Sheen), some stunning visual images (more on this in a moment), and the superb employment of Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings. The result is a movie that must rank in the top three of the 1980s and, to boot, one that is impossible to characterize cleanly as an anti-war movie (No one will suspect it of being pro-war.) (more…)

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If Helen of Troy possessed the face that launched a thousand ships, the young Audrey Hepburn must have been good for, say, nine hundred? (more…)

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Our nation’s fourth graders were not yet born when we fell for this long-shot six-member cast’s story of twenty-somethings who gather regularly in two New York City apartments and seem to own the furniture at the ‘Central Perk’ coffee house. Do you remember where you were when you first found out about Rachel, Har-Monica, Phebes, Joey, Chandler, and Ross?

Of course you do. (more…)

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Season Two is still not the big machine humming at full throttle, but it was evident that Jennifer Aniston and crew were definitely on the way to something big. The writing and acting is a bit more confident than the debut season, and Chandler comes into his own in a strong supporting role. (more…)

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Talk about hitting your stride! That’s what the writers and cast of Friends accomplished in this memorable third season. (more…)

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I was living in England when Seinfeld was in its third or fourth season, blissfully unaware of what people were talkabout with this ‘Seinfeld’ thing when I read in a magazine that you’d have to be hidden in a remote corner of the Amazon to not be into this show. I obviously was in a more inhabited and arguably more sophisticated place than Amazonian corners tend to be, so I tuned in.

Actually, my wife, two boys, and I tuned in.

Good grief, did we get hooked! (more…)

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Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg have honored the Greatest Generation as it deserves with this superb based-on-a-true-story film version of Easy Company’s long march through various kinds of warfare from D-Day through the fall of the Third Reich. (more…)

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Hotel Rwanda shatters complacency, so long as—in the words of Nick Nolte’s UN coronel—we don’t ‘gasp and then turn back to eating dinner’.

Don Cheadle turns in a memorable if unpolished star turn that anchors this survival tale.

That’s precisely what Hotel Rwanda is: a survival tale. A true one, to be sure, and not unlike many that remain unrecorded and unthanked because their own heros perished among the million corpses left behind by this most inexplicable genocide. (more…)

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