Tag Archives: John Hurt

My 12 Favorite Horror Movies

Halloween is coming, and the dead shall rise from their graves. At least on a TV screen near you. We are awash in lists of the greatest horror movies ever made, and everybody’s trying to come up with a twist of their own. Well, I decided to just list my 12 favorites, a bunch of … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Horror Movies

Jackie: After Dealey Plaza

I WANT THEM TO SEE WHAT THEY HAVE DONE TO JACK.  Chilean director Pablo Larraín was about to make his first American film, but had doubts. He had been offered a biopic about Jackie Kennedy, but didn’t know anything about the Kennedys and the assassination other than what he (and we) had read in newspapers … Continue reading Jackie: After Dealey Plaza

Snowpiercer

FIGHT YOUR WAY TO THE FRONT.  After a catastrophic event resulting in a new ice age, mankind’s only survivors are packed onboard a huge train traveling a worldwide track; one day, the poor in the back mount another attempt at revolt… The Korean director’s English-language debut has a premise that won’t stand up to scrutiny, … Continue reading Snowpiercer

Contact

A MESSAGE FROM DEEP SPACE. WHO WILL BE THE FIRST TO GO? A JOURNEY TO THE HEART OF THE UNIVERSE. When Eleanor Arroway (Jodie Foster) suddenly hears a signal coming from the star Vega while working for a program that is exploring extraterrestrial life, the U.S. government quickly takes control of this historic event. Based … Continue reading Contact

Hercules

BEFORE HE WAS A LEGEND, HE WAS A MAN. After completing his twelve labors, Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) becomes the leader of a merry band of mercenaries and is hired by the King of Thrace (John Hurt) to defeat a warlord. A surprisingly entertaining action-adventure from Brett Ratner, released the same year as The Legend of … Continue reading Hercules

Dogville

A QUIET LITTLE TOWN NOT FAR FROM HERE.   The residents of Dogville, Colorado, agree to offer runaway Grace (Nicole Kidman) sanctuary, with discomforting consequences. Lars von Trier’s first part of a planned trilogy about the U.S. was shot entirely on a soundstage with white stripes standing in for the buildings of Dogville (and the … Continue reading Dogville

Only Lovers Left Alive

Adam and Eve (Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton) are vampires who have been married for ages; during a stay in Tangier, Eve senses Adam’s depression and goes to see him in Detroit where he’s gained a reputation as an underground rock genius. When Jim Jarmusch makes a romantic film about vampires, the results are neither horror … Continue reading Only Lovers Left Alive

Midnight Express: Trapped in Turkey

A STORY OF TRIUMPH.   When Barack Obama became president, Republicans accused him of embarking on an apology tour. Well, here’s an example of a cultural event that did lead to what might be called an apology tour. Oliver Stone won an Oscar for adapting Billy Hayes’s account of his time in Turkish prison, but … Continue reading Midnight Express: Trapped in Turkey

Heaven’s Gate

THE ONLY THING GREATER THAN THEIR PASSION FOR AMERICA… WAS THEIR PASSION FOR EACH OTHER. Director Michael Cimino’s legendary follow-up to The Deer Hunter (1978) ruined his reputation and became such a commercial failure that it almost destroyed a movie studio – but the criticism hasn’t always been fair. This depiction of the 1890s Johnson County War … Continue reading Heaven’s Gate

The Hit

WILLIE PARKER GRASSED… TEN YEARS LATER THEY CAME FOR THEIR REVENGE.  In 1972, Willie Parker (Terence Stamp) testified in court against his gangster companions and moved to Spain; a decade later he’s kidnapped by two men (John Hurt, Tim Roth) who work for Willie’s vengeful former partners. One of director Stephen Frears’s earliest films is … Continue reading The Hit

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Return of the Ringmaster

TRUST NO ONE. SUSPECT EVERYONE. I prefer my spies dapper. I want to see them sip martinis and seduce women in one breath, and in the next kill enemy agents in cold blood. I want to see nifty little toys, fast cars and insane supervillains hiding in lairs that could only be designed by Ken … Continue reading Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy: Return of the Ringmaster

Immortals

THE GODS NEED A HERO. In a quest to liberate his fellow Titans and have revenge against the Olympians, King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) declares war on mankind… whose best hope is Theseus (Henry Cavill). Another chance for Tarsem Singh to dazzle audiences with visual splendor, but this 3D adventure in the mold of 300 (2007) has an unapologetically … Continue reading Immortals