Tag Archives: Charlton Heston

Jaws 3-D: Roland Emmerich’s Midway, reviewed.

Ed Skrein and Luke Kleintank as real-life WWII veterans Dick Best and Clarence Dickinson.

Just in time for Veterans Day, disaster artist Roland Emmerich has made a bid to improve upon 1976’s Technicolor / Sensurround-sound sensation Midway with a more historically-focused (but also more heavily-animated) dramatization of the three-day battle that turned the tide of the war in the Pacific. My NPR review of the movie is here.

Everybody Ben-Hurts: Wherein I answer all your questions about the new (fourth) big-screen adaption of the 19th century novel Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ except “Why?”

Jack Huston, who is descended from showbiz royalty but in no way related to Keanu Reeves, and Toby Kebbell in the fourth movie version of Lew Wallace's 1880 novel Ben-Hur.

Here’s is the sort of sterling-quality joke that got whittled from what started out as a straight-up review of the new, Timur Bekmambetov-directed adaptation of Ben-Hur, but quickly turned into this.

EDITOR: Agreed. So they got an actor of Middle Eastern descent?

KLIMEK: They got a guy from Memphis.

EDITOR: You mean Memphis, Egypt?

KLIMEK: I do not. His name is Morgan Freeman.

EDITOR: I have heard of him.

KLIMEK: He has been in some other movies.

You can’t blame me for digging in to the little differences between new and old, especially in light of the fact that Ben-Hur ’59 is a venerable classic that I first saw when I was whatever age I was last Saturday night.
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Pop Culture Happy Hour No. 278: The Hateful Eight and the Theatrical Filmgoing Experience

Jennifer Jason Leigh in "The Hateful Eight." (The Weinstein Co.)

It’s a split verdict from the Pop Culture Happy Hour panel this week on the merits of Quentin Tarantino’s eighth and—on account of having been shot in 65mm Super Panavision, for a 2.76:1 aspect ratio when projected in 70mm—widest feature, The Hateful Eight. I don’t think I was at my sharpest trying to defend the picture. All I can tell is you that I saw its refusal to give us any character to empathize with fully as a strength, not a weakness, and reflective of a deliberate decision by Tarantino. Although more modest in scale and contained in its setting, this is a more complicated film than the two historical fantasias that preceded it, 2009’s Inglorious Basterds and 2012’s Django Unchained. I enjoy and admire all of these films, but it’s very clear in the latter two who is supposed to enjoy the audience’s support. Not so in The Hateful Eight. That discomfiture ain’t for everyone. “The viewership for this one narrows to the self-selected,” wrote my pal Scott Tobias in his NPR review three weeks ago.

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