Posted by the editors on Saturday, 14 January 2012
Road to Perdition (2002) Directed by Sam Mendes (American Beauty (1999), Jarhead (2005), Revolutionary Road (2008)), starring Tom Hanks (Cast Away (2000), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2011), and others), Paul Newman (The Hustler (1961), The Verdict (1982), Nobody’s Fool (1994), and, of course, many, many other excellent films) , Daniel Craig (Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011)), Jude Law (partial filmography below) and others. This gangster drama, a Hollywood interpretation of the graphic novel of the same name by Max Allan Collins, set in and around Chicago in the winter of 1931, features an excellent Tom Hanks, as a father, hitman, and yet another man of few words, working for regional mob boss, John Rooney, a superb and essential Paul Newman, in his last theatrical screen appearance, who in turn works for Frank Nitty, an underboss for the legendary Al Capone. Featuring some excellent acting on the part of Hanks, Newman, and to a lesser degree Daniel Craig, as Connor Rooney, John Rooney’s (Newman) deviously corrupt, violent and spoiled son, it must be said that the exquisite cinematography by Conrad L. Hall is almost the real star of the film: rain, especially, and water in general, is used as an almost ever-present motif, with snow magnificently used to filter the light and create a general Hopper-esque darkness with discrete pockets of light, and creates an ominous sense of environment, illuminating characters in ways that underscore their moral ambiguity. Yet, with the simplified moral structure of a traditional western, heaven, hell, the possibility of redemption, the film also adheres to the epigrammatic nature of the graphic novel on which it is based, and to the character of its graphic images: much is half in shadow, people, their faces, rooms, streets. However, it must be said that the Hollywoodian character of the production does at times dominate, with a rather sentimental and falsely moving voice-over and some equally sappy music. Jude Law, though adequately repulsive as a photographer/assassin necessary to the logic of the screenplay, once again shows his severe limitations, especially in contrast to the performances by the rest of the cast, and it’s a shame the character portrayed by Daniel Craig wasn’t further developed; it may have given the film the edge it somehow lacks despite all of the film’s remarkable qualities. Nevertheless, for the wonderful acting of Hanks and Newman, and the superlative cinematography, Road to Perdition is a film very much worth viewing. (PR)
See our post on the films Sherlock Holmes, Repo Men and Closer, starring Jude Law.
We recommend that you buy your DVDs and Blu-ray Disks. Have a great personal film library.. Here are links to amazon.com (Amazon Instant Video, DVDs, and Blu-ray Disks, in that order, when available):
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Posted in Blu-ray Disks, DVDs, film, Film Reviews, General, Movies, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 2002, Al Capone, amazon instant video, amazon.com, American Beauty, Blu-ray Disks, Casino Royale, Cast Away, Charlie Wilson's War, Chicago Gangsters, Closer, Conrad L. Hall, Daniel Craig, DVDs, Edward Hopper, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, film, Film Reviews, Frank Nitty, Gangster Films, Graphic Novels, Jarhead, Jude Law, Max Allan Collins, movies, Nobody's Fool, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, Paul Newman, PR, Quantum of Solace, Repo Men, Revolutionary Road, Road to Perdition, Sam Mendes, Sherlock Holmes (film), The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, The Hustler, The Verdict, Tom Hanks, Wikipedia | 1 Comment »
Posted by the editors on Sunday, 10 April 2011
Serpico (1973), directed by Sidney Lumet, theatrical release poster
The great, and prolific, American film director, Sidney Lumet, who brought us such excellent and memorable films as 12 Angry Men (1957), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976), The Verdict (1982) and Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007), among many, many others, has died at the age of 86.
Robert Berkvist has written a thoughtful article entitled “A Director of Classics, Focused on Conscience” in the Movies section of The New York Times looking at Lumet, his career, films, and motivations.
Excellent slideshow, again from The New York Times, here.
Here is a link to a 13 minute video interview with Sidney Lumet, in The Last Word section of The New York Times (online) where he discusses his career, his gritty New York films and his legacy.
See our review of Sidney Lumet’s excellent, though little-known, 1972 film, The Offence, starring Sean Connery, here.
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Posted in culture, film, Film Reviews, General, Links, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, Slide Shows, video | Tagged: 12 Angry Men, A Director of Classics, American Film Directors, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Dog Day Afternoon, film, Focused on Conscience, movies, Network, Robert Berkvist, Serpico, Sidney Lumet, Slideshows, The Last Word, The New York Times, The Verdict, video, Video Interviews, Wikipedia | Leave a Comment »
Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 15 March 2011
The Offence (1972) directed by Sidney Lumet starring Sean Connery
The Offence (1972) (DVD) directed by Sidney Lumet starring Sean Connery, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant, Ian Bannen. A tightly filmed, tense look at guilt and innocence, perversion and evil, extraordinary and powerful performances by all the actors characterise offer up an intense view of the sordid and the tormented. Truly a MUST SEE.
Following is a brief, but impressive, list of some elements of the filmographies of the actors and director.
Ian Bannen: Flight of the Phoenix (1965), Gorky Park (1983)
Vivien Merchant: Alfie (1966), Frenzy (1972)
Trevor Howard: Brief Encounter (1945), The Third Man (1949), Sons and Lovers (1960), Ryan’s Daughter (1970)
Sean Connery: Aside from the justifiably well-known James Bond and Indiana Jones films, here are a few of Connery’s other films: The Name of the Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1987), The Hunt for Red October (1990), The Rock (1996), Finding Forrester (2000)
Sidney Lumet: The list of excellent films directed by Lumet is seemingly endless; here are just a few of them: 12 Angry Men (1957), The Fugitive Kind (1959), Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1962), The Hill (1965), Serpico (1973), Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Network (1976), The Verdict (1982), and more recently, Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead (2007)
We recommend that you buy your DVDs. Have a wonderful personal film library..
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Posted in culture, Film Reviews, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: 12 Angry Men, Alfie, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Brief Encounter, Dog Day Afternoon, DVDs, Film Reviews, filmographies, Films, Finding Forrester, Flight of the Phoenix, Frenzy, Gorky Park, Ian Bannen, Long Day's Journey Into Night, MUST SEE, Network, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, PR, Ryan's Daughter, Sean Connery, Serpico, Sidney Lumet, Sons and Lovers, The Fugitive Kind, The Hill, The Hunt for Red October, The Name of the Rose, The Offence, The Rock, The Third Man, The Untouchables, The Verdict, Trevor Howard, Vivien Merchant, Wikipedia | 1 Comment »