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Showing posts from August, 2013

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #295: The Untouchables

Hat-wearing gangsters armed with Tommy guns have been gone for decades, but movies and TV shows about them are as popular as ever. From The Godfather to Boardwalk Empire, stories about bootleggers, hoodlums, mobsters and the cops doing their best to bring them down still fascinate people. Some are based on fact while some are based on legends. Brian De Palma’s The Untouchables (1987), working off a script from David Mamet, seems to lean more towards the legend in order to offer more of a spectacle. Understandable, given the movie’s villain, Al Capone, is a legend of crime.
As it is a crowd-favourite, I had seen bits and pieces of The Untouchables playing on TV every now and then. I eventually rented the DVD to watch the whole thing with some nifty behind-the-scenes nuggets, something you don’t get today with Netflix and iTunes. It was my little ritual when I was finishing high school in Quebec City if I had nothing to do that weekend. Head to the video store, get one of those three for…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #296: All the President's Men

There have been many great duos in the last half of the 20th century. Cinema has DeNiro and Scorsese. Magicians have Siegfried and Roy. Film critics had Siskel and Ebert. For journalists, there is no greater duo than Woodward and Bernstein, the men who uncovered the Watergate scandal, bringing the eventual downfall of American president Richard Nixon. The scandal happened in 1972 and in 1976 Alan J. Pakula brought the story to the big screen with Robert Redford as Woodward and Dustin Hoffman as Bernstein in All the President’s Men.
In the film’s special features a talking head says he believes All the President’s Men should be shown in journalism schools. How appropriate then that while I was watching this I was at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario, as part of the college’s Journalism – New Media program. As my classmates and I watched Woodward and Bernstein at work we could not help but notice how the media has changed since the days of Watergate. Today if a scandal erupts it is …