happy birthday, clint: army of one

I had no idea I hadn’t blogged since March. I honestly just stepped away from the computer. The house is obviously bigger than I thought. I will do a proper post soon, but since it’s the birthday of one of the great (still living) movie stars, I thought I’d celebrate with a couple of videos from two of Eastwood’s best movies.

I watched Kelly’s Heroes earlier in the week. It’s not a movie I ever cared about. Friends have tried getting me to reassess it, but I’ve been stubborn. I really didn’t like it the last time I struggled through it around 1999 or so.

What an idiot I was. I saw it with new eyes and for my money it’s one of the most entertaining of the later World War II movies. The director, Brian G. Hutton, directed the fabulous Where Eagles Dare, starring Eastwood and Richard Burton, and that one has always been one of my favorite war movies. But Kelly’s Heroes was too anachronistic and silly for me. Like I said, however, I was an idiot. It is very much the things I chastised it for being… so what? That’s why it’s fun. It’s also great because of the cast and it’s well-directed. War movies post-Saving Private Ryan tend to be serious, serious, serious affairs. Real war is certainly grim and depressing. But not every war movie has to be. At least, not all of the time. The video below is the original trailer.

And when I think of Eastwood, I think of Westerns. My favorite of the Eastwood oaters (excluding the Leone ones) is The Outlaw Josey Wales, released in 1976. I was seven years old when it came out and I saw it in the theater. It made quite an impression on me and I’ve watched it numerous times since and its hold hasn’t weakened. The book it’s based on, Gone to Texas, is very good too. The video below is the original trailer. I may just have to re-watch the movie this weekend.

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flagpole movie pick: a dangerous method

There’s a lot to like in David Cronenberg’s latest movie A Dangerous Method.  But I miss the monstrous metaphors that he usually employs in his work.  He’s one of our most original and disturbing filmmakers after all and excels when venturing into territory  where no one else dares to tread.  You can read my full review in this week’s issue of Flagpole.

grassroots gilliam

And speaking of filmmakers who know a little something about battling working in Hollywood, Terry Gilliam’s new film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, will be released in the UK on October 16.  From the sudden, tragic death of star Heath Ledger to uncertainty regarding completion of the film to unenthusiastic distribution from Sony in the US–this film has not had an easy road of it.  Gilliam and many of his fans have been eagerly getting the word out regarding its imminent release (as you’ll see below), trying to turn what was initially a tragedy into something of value.  You’ll get no argument from me that Gilliam’s work this decade has been uneven.  But Parnassus looks wonderful and the reviews have been strong on both sides of the Atlantic.

The video below shows Gilliam/Parnassus supporters getting the word out in London.  It’s not just new filmmakers who need publicity, you know.  Pretty cool.

And if you haven’t yet seen the trailer for the film… watch it below.  Gilliam is still one of our great fantasists and it looks like this may be a return to form.