The third-act appearance of Kevin Spacey as ‘Seven’ killer John Doe blindsided opening weekend audiences, since Spacey was unbilled on posters and in the opening credits, and unseen in the trailers and TV spots. It’s a good trick—and part of a long-running tradition of surprise, unbilled appearances by actors and actresses of note. …Read More
Only one new movie makes the grade for this week’s new release recommendations, which is part of what’s great about Blu-ray — the opportunity to revisit, reevaluate, and reappraise. So this week, take a look at a rare Richard Pryor drama, an iconic Al Pacino performance, an influential exploitation movie, a powerful Australian drama, and one of Wes Anderson’s very best films.
Industry scuttlebutt has it that Willis was let go, which certainly isn’t an unprecedented move for Mr. Allen. …Read More
Twenty years ago this week, Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects opened in theaters, and everybody lost their minds. It ended up redefining the “twist” ending, becoming a kind of shorthand for a left-field, eleventh-hour plot development that reconfigures everything that’s come before. But it was neither the first nor last movie to do that ending, or do it well. …Read More
Trainwreck celebrity interviews going viral: It’s a trend! And it’s a trend that comes as a direct result of the genuinely stupid way big movies are …Read More
Buried among this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases is a little something called Absolution, an action thriller that teams Vinnie Jones (remember him?) with Steven Seagal. It’s the third film in which the former Under Siege star plays contract killer John Alexander, and if you’re not familiar with the series, don’t worry — you probably aren’t aware of of most of Mr. Seagal’s recent filmography, which (with the exception of his jokey cameo in 2010’s Machete) has consisted of low-profile movies, usually shot in Europe or Asia, and released straight to home video.
This week’s new release shelf contains two movies that I wish we could count among spring’s sleeper hits — but in spite of their high quality and genre trappings, they never found an audience at the art house. But that’s what home video is for, right? Also out this week: a terrific period thriller, and a pair of catalog titles, new to Netflix and worth a second look.
This week, Olive Films is releasing, for the first time on Blu-ray, The Road to Hong Kong, the last of the seven “Road” buddy comedies starring Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. Hitting theaters a full decade after the penultimate entry, Hong Kong is an occasionally funny and occasionally wheezy bit of business, with one honest-to-God great sequence: an unbilled cameo by Peter Sellers, who strolls into the picture and steals the damn thing outright. Hope and Crosby were early adopters of the kind of inside-joke comedy that yielded such cameos, which became increasingly common in the years that followed; we’ve gathered up some of the funniest in movie …Read More