Google+ Cinema Viewfinder: June 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Week in Review: Richard Matheson, World War Z and Maniac (2013)

by Tony Dayoub

Between a well earned vacation down in my hometown (which just won the NBA Finals, people), Wendy Davis's Texas filibuster and the Supreme Court rulings rightfully dominating the conversation online this week, I just haven't felt up to posting anything major. (If a blogger posts a movie review online and no one is around to read it, does it still make a cogent argument?) Still, the world keeps turning, so here's some stuff worth mentioning if only in brief.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

James Gandolfini

by Tony Dayoub

I read it. I liked it. I thought it was good. But I thought they would have to hire some good looking guy—not George Clooney but some Italian George Clooney—and that would be that. But they called me and they said can I meet David for breakfast at 9 a.m. At the time I was younger, and I stayed out late a lot. And I was like, "Oh, for fuck's sake. This guy wants to eat breakfast? This guy's going to be a pain in the ass."

-Actor James Gandolfini on The Sopranos and its creator, David Chase

The passing of James Gandolfini yesterday came as a shock to just about everyone it seems. After hearing it, I went through the 21st century version of the five stages of grief. First, I visited reliable online news sources to confirm that the reports were indeed true. Second, I shared my sadness with Facebook friends. Then I went on Twitter to read the reactions of celebrities and journalists. Next, I scoured the cable guide for any showings of The Sopranos, a show I hadn't seen since its cancellation. And finally, I find myself here writing up whatever kind of minuscule tribute to the actor I can offer.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Movie Review: Man of Steel (2013)

by Tony Dayoub

"You'll believe a man can fly." That was the now famous tagline for Superman: The Movie (1978) as it was known then, a film that changed my life when I first saw it at 6 years of age at Miami's now non-existent Dadeland Theatre. I had seen plenty of movies by now, even films with more glorious special effects than that one. Star Wars had come out 19 months earlier, of course. But there was something magical about seeing one of my comic book heroes interpreted onto the screen so masterfully by director Richard Donner and the late actor Christopher Reeve, something about seeing it in a darkened theater balcony, the kind one rarely finds in existence these days. That film is a linchpin in my life I now realize, responsible for my love of Manhattan (which doubled for Superman's adopted city, Metropolis), inspiring me to learn about much of Hollywood history later due to its conflux of new and old actors, like Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Gene Hackman, and others. The point is Superman: The Movie casts a pretty large shadow in my life. So it was with some uneasiness that I went into Man of Steel.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Movie Review: This Is the End (2013)

by Tony Dayoub

A clever, funny and, most of all, incredibly original comedy, This Is the End is a surprising contender for most hilarious movie I've seen all year. Concocted by Evan Goldberg and actor Seth Rogen as a nihilistic, self-reflexive satire featuring Rogen and his actor friends as themselves, This Is the End successfully overcomes its biggest potential liability, extending its one-joke premise too far, by keeping the movie short and, as this film's version of Jonah Hill would say, tight.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Movie Reviews: The Internship and The Kings of Summer

by Tony Dayoub

Considering how easy it has been for moviegoers to score an advance ticket to The Internship (opening tomorrow), the lengths to which studio marketers have gone to prevent critics from publishing reviews are rather surprising. This week many major cities screened the film gratis for anyone, that's regardless of whether you actually had a pass or not, who was interested in attending. Yet critics were told to hold off on posting reviews until this afternoon. You'd think they were afraid of bad word of mouth or something, right? Unnecessary I say. Despite a rocky beginning, the new comedy re-teaming Wedding Crashers stars Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson rights itself halfway through, overcoming dull fish-out-of-water hijinks to become something sweeter revolving around starting over in mid-life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's Jubal (1956) and 3:10 to Yuma (1957)

by Tony Dayoub

Criterion's release of two Delmer Daves westerns, both sporting crisp 4K digital transfers if a bit lean on the frills, offer two of the finest catalogue Blu-rays of 2013 thus far. Taken together, both showcase the true range of their underrated star, Glenn Ford. The better known of the two is 3:10 to Yuma. The first screen adaptation of an Elmore Leonard story, it's about what you'd expect from the author, by turns brutal and quite funny, and it features Ford as a rather generously spirited outlaw. But more on that one later. Instead, can we talk about the underappreciated Jubal?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Warner Bros.' Big Plans for The Wizard of Oz's 75th Anniversary

by Tony Dayoub

Fans who were left unsatisfied by the recent prequel to The Wizard of Oz will find cause to celebrate as my friends over at Warner Bros. inform me of their big plans for its 75th anniversary. A new 3D remastered version of the film is the basis for numerous cross-promotional ties, including
  • a one-week theatrical run in IMAX 3D starting September 20th
  • a five-disc, limited Collector’s Edition debuting on October 1, a set that will include Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D, DVD and UltraViolet versions of the film, a new documentary, "The Making of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz," bonus features and premium collectibles
  • three other editions which will also contain the new documentary and extra content: a two-disc 3D/Blu-ray, a one-disc Blu-ray and a two-disc DVD