Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show today

The Bridge on the River Kwai – Airing tonight on Turner Classic Movies at 8pm ET. Director David Lean’s sweeping epic is set in a Japanese World War II prison camp where British POWs are forced to construct a railway bridge as a morale-building exercise. Yet the real battle of wills is between “play by the rules” British colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness), who is dedicated to the project, and his American rival (William Holden), who vows to destroy it. The POWs’ whistling work theme became legendary.

Infamous – Director Douglas McGrath’s biographical drama stars Toby Jones as iconoclastic writer Truman Capote, whose investigation into the grisly murders of a rural Kansas family has unintended consequences. While probing the psyches of the killers (played by Daniel Craig and Lee Pace) as research for his soon-to-be best seller In Cold Blood, Capote forms an attachment to one of the convicted men. Sandra Bullock and Jeff Daniels also star.

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Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show today.

The High and the Mighty – John Wayne heads the stellar cast as co-pilot Dan Roman in this granddaddy of airplane disaster movies. On a flight from Honolulu to San Francisco, a plane develops engine trouble, and it falls to Roman to land the craft safely when smug pilot John Sullivan (Robert Stack) loses his nerve. Meanwhile, the 22 passengers aboard take stock of their lives in William Wellman’s tautly directed drama, which bagged an Oscar for the film’s haunting score.

My Darling Clementine – Showing on WUSF Ch. 16 9pm ET tonight. As the enforcer of law in the town of Tombstone, Ariz., Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) must balance keeping unruly criminals in line with tracking down and bringing to justice the men who killed his brothers, Morgan (Ward Bond) and Virgil (Tom Holt). With help from Doc Holliday (Victor Mature), with whom he maintains a tepid friendship, Earp’s pursuit ultimately involves the history-making confrontation at the OK Corral.

Easy Rider – On American Movie Classics tonight at 6pm ET. On the way to becoming the ultimate 1960s counterculture film, Dennis Hopper’s antiestablishment road movie (his directorial debut) garnered widespread critical acclaim. Flush with cash from a cocaine sale and looking for the “real America,” motorcycle mavericks Billy (Hopper) and Wyatt (Peter Fonda) are joined by boozy American Civil Liberties Union lawyer George Hanson (Jack Nicholson, in an Oscar-nominated performance) as they hit the road.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – On American Movie Classics tonight at 8 and 10:30pm ET. The first movie since It Happened One Night to win all five major Academy Awards (picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay), Cuckoo’s Nest still has the ability to entertain and inspire. Implacable rabble-rouser Randle Patrick McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) is committed to an asylum and inspires his fellow patients to rebel against the authoritarian rule of head nurse Mildred Ratched (Louise Fletcher).

Gone with the Wind – At Tampa Theatre on Sunday at 3pm. Margaret Mitchell’s sweeping Civil War saga remains one of the greatest examples of cinematic storytelling. Vivien Leigh’s tempestuous Scarlett O’Hara and Clark Gable’s handsome rogue Rhett Butler bicker and battle from antebellum plantations to the streets of postwar Atlanta. This special collector’s edition features a beautifully restored print and many extras.

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Here’s what Daniel recommended on his show Saturday.

Topper – A fun-loving couple returns from the dead to help a henpecked husband.

The Dirty Dozen – In this Academy Award-winning World War II action flick from director Robert Aldrich (The Longest Yard), a U.S. Army major (Lee Marvin) is handed a near-impossible assignment: Turn a group of conscripted convicts into a crack fighting unit and then send them on a mission to destroy a villa filled with Nazi brass. The “volunteers” include Archer J. Maggott (Telly Savalas), Victor Franko (John Cassavetes) and Vernon L. Pinkley (Donald Sutherland).

A Streetcar Named Desire – Marlon Brando spellbinds as the brutish Stanley Kowalski in Tennessee Williams’s classic rumination on carnal attraction and faded gentility. After losing the family plantation to creditors, Blanche DuBois (Vivien Leigh) travels to New Orleans hoping to find comfort with her sister (Kim Hunter), Stanley’s wife. But Blanche gets more than she bargained for. Oscars went to Leigh, Hunter and Karl Malden for their monumental performances.

In the Line of Fire – In this triple-Oscar-nominated thriller, director Wolfgang Peterson sets in motion a deadly mind game: A twisted yet ingenious killer (John Malkovich) torments and teases a veteran Secret Service agent (Clint Eastwood) who’s haunted by his failure years ago to save JFK. Unable to make the current president take the psycho’s assassination threats seriously, the agent and his partner (Rene Russo) pursue him on their own, walking into a trap.

Ted is Sarasota recommended the next two:

Legend of 1900 – From the director of Cinema Paradiso comes a compelling drama of a virtuoso piano player who lives his entire life aboard an ocean liner. Born and raised on the ship, 1900 (Tim Roth) learned about the outside world through interactions with passengers, never setting foot on land, even for the love of his life. Years later, the ship may be destroyed, and a former band member fears that 1900 may still be aboard, willing to go down with the ship.

The Man Who Would Be King – Based on a famous short story by Rudyard Kipling, this tall tale is a prime example of charismatic casting. Daniel Dravot (Sean Connery) and Peachy Carnahan (Michael Caine) are a couple of bored British soldiers stationed in India when they hear of a kingdom filled with riches just ripe for the picking, high in the mountains of Kafiristan. They soon embark on the adventure of a lifetime.

The Devil Wears Prada – After taking a job in the Big Apple as assistant to powerful fashion magazine editor Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep, in an Oscar-nominated role), small-town girl Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway) is thrilled — at first. But the magic soon wears off, leaving Andrea feeling battered and used — and wondering whether working for the boss from hell will pay off. Helmed by David Frankel, this adaptation of Lauren Weisberger’s best-seller also stars Stanley Tucci.

Venus – This romantic dark comedy stars Peter O’Toole as veteran actor Maurice, whose quiet golden years turn topsy-turvy when he falls for a very young and brash nude model. Director Roger Michell’s poignant May-December romance is an uplifting tale of love, lust and the endless pursuit of vitality and youth by a man whose life is drawing to a close. Film legend O’Toole infuses his aging character with his own timeless exuberance and charisma, earning him an Oscar nod.


Touch of Evil (playing at Tampa Theater on Sunday 8 July)
Straight-arrow narcotics detective Mike Vargas (Charlton Heston) sees his honeymoon cut short when a car crossing the U.S.-Mexico border explodes before his eyes. Vargas forsakes his bride (Janet Leigh) to mount an investigation but soon locks horns with corpulent Sheriff Hank Quinlan (Orson Welles), a shady cop who’s not above planting evidence or colluding with the local crime lord to keep Vargas from discovering the ugly truth.

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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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