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Archive for June, 2007

Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show today.

Dodsworth – On Turner Classic Movies tonight.

To escape an empty nest, an automobile tycoon (Walter Huston) and his forty-something wife (Ruth Chatterton) plan a luxurious vacation in Europe. But as Mrs. Dodsworth embarks on a series of indiscretions — including a romance with a gigolo — it becomes apparent that the couple’s plans for their golden years don’t mesh. From director William Wyler, the film is based on the best-selling novel by Sinclair Lewis and an acclaimed stage play.

 

A Prairie Home Companion – On HBO tonight. From director Robert Altman comes this quirky piece of fiction based on the real-life radio program of the same name, with a wry screenplay penned by the show’s host, Garrison Keillor. Supported by a high-powered cast that includes Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan, John C. Reilly, Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Kline, Keillor also stars in this behind-the-scenes look at the mayhem surrounding the folksy program’s final broadcast.

 

Das Boot – On American Movie Classics tonight. Nominated for six Academy Awards, this edge-of-your-seat German-language triumph follows the trials of a German U-boat crew during World War II. Upon its restored re-release in 1997, an hour was added to the original film, which surprisingly augmented its impact. It also played as a six-hour German miniseries. In all its forms, the realistic and gripping battle scenes and palpable human struggle make Das Boot a critical hit.

The Enemy Below – Also on American Movie Classics tonight.  In this World War II film, Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens are two captains with extraordinary abilities who each command a vessel during the Battle of the Atlantic. Only problem is, they’re commanding two vessels on opposite sides of the battlefield — the USS Haynes and a German U-boat. Who will prevail?

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Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show Saturday.

Breach – Daniel said Chris Cooper delivered a terrific performance and called the film a riveting, tense thriller. I watched this film last weekend and I really liked it. It was well made and it kept you on the edge of your seat from beginning until end.

Soon after landing a plum job working for FBI operative Robert Hanssen (Chris Cooper), Eric O’Neill (Ryan Phillippe) realizes he’s been brought in to spy on his boss, who’s suspected of selling secrets to the Soviets. But can O’Neill handle such an important assignment with so little field experience, or will Hanssen get to him first? Laura Linney and Dennis Haysbert also star in director Billy Ray’s high-stakes thriller based on a true story.

 

The Lost Weekend – It came out in 1945 and won best actor, best screenplay, best picture, and best director…and yet it’s not on the top list of top 100 movies of all time. Daniel said it was kind of a downer of a movie but it was one of the first to deal with alcoholism and Ray Milland delivers a terrific performance. He also said it was a terrific, poignant movie.

Based on the novel by Charles R. Jackson, director Billy Wilder’s searing, Oscar-winning portrait of an alcoholic follows writer Don Birnem (Ray Milland), whose girlfriend (Jane Wyman) and caring brother (Phillip Terry) leave him alone for the weekend. Aching to drink, Don heads to a bar and goes on a binge that sends him into an alcoholic fog — complete with petrifying hallucinations and an unnerving stint in a hospital sanitarium.

 

The Alamo – Daniel said it’s a sweeping, big budget, hodgepodge movie telling the story of the Alamo. It was a $12M movie made in 1960. He said it was a big production and fun, epic story.

Texas’ pivotal battle for independence from Mexico comes blazingly to life courtesy of John Wayne (who also directed) as Davy Crockett. Col. William Travis (Laurence Harvey) and famous knife-fighter Jim Bowie (Richard Widmark) join the Tennessee frontiersman in the crumbling Spanish mission for one of history’s epic last stands. The final attack and rousing defense rank among Hollywood’s finest battle set pieces.

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Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show today.

Harvey –  On Turner Classic Movies tonight at 8pm. Daniel said it was James Stewart at his best.

Affable tippler Elwood P. Dowd (James Stewart) lives with his sister, Veta (Josephine Hull), and her bashful daughter. They hate his drinking, but what rankles them more is his faithful companion: a 6-foot-tall invisible rabbit named Harvey. Elwood’s embarrassing flight of fancy is foiling Veta’s plans to marry off her daughter, so Veta decides to commit Elwood. But when she confesses she’s seen Harvey, the doctor institutionalizes Veta instead!

Daniel also mentioned the new seasons of Entourage and Big Love on HBO.

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Here are the films Daniel recommended on his show today.

Shut Up & Sing – Daniel called it a really good documentary.

Directed by Barbara Kopple (of Harlan County, U.S.A. fame), this documentary centers on country music’s The Dixie Chicks and their nationwide vilification over critical statements they made about President Bush in 2003. Over a three-year period, the singers went from darlings of the industry to political targets, receiving constant death threats and being demonized by the national media and denounced by their fans. Cecilia Peck co-directs.

 

Flyboys – Daniel called it terrific.

Directed by Oscar winner Tony Bill, this epic drama tells the true story of the Lafayette Escadrille, a group of Americans who volunteered for the French military before the United States entered World War I. Farm boy Blaine Rawlings (James Franco) joins up and soon finds himself on an adventure more exciting than he ever imagined as he and his fellow soldiers become the world’s first fighter pilots. Jean Reno stars as their battle-weary leader.

Daniel also mentioned that Tampa’s Antonio Tarver was boxing tonight on Showtime at 10pm ET.

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