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Showing posts from July, 2015

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #157: True Romance

True Romance (1993) is probably as close as we are ever going to get to a comic book movie from Quentin Tarantino. Directed by the late great Tony Scott and based on the first script Tarantino wrote for a major motion picture, it is set in the real world with real human beings, but everything they do and accomplish seems to be straight out of comic book panels. The protagonist starts off as an ordinary young man with a love of Elvis Presley and martial arts movies, and ends up being the hero of his own blood-soaked tale of improbable romance, drug deals, and greed in Hollywood. Also, the movie is pretty damn romantic in its own way.
Oddly enough I sort of read this movie before actually seeing it. Back in 2005 I went on a school trip from Quebec City to New York City by bus and while in the Big Apple I of course got a few souvenirs. Some people buy postcards or snowglobes, I bought a book called Quintessential Tarantino by Edwin Page, which chronicles Tarantino’s work from his early d…

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #158: Unforgiven

Clint Eastwood redefined the western genre so it is only fitting that his final film in which he proverbially rides into the sunset would end up deconstructing the genre piece by piece. In Unforgiven (1992)there is no noble hero, no villains in black hats, and killing a man is something that has a lasting impact. The film earned Eastwood two Oscars, for Best Picture and Best Director, but it is Gene Hackman who won in the performance category for his role as one of the most violent men he has ever played. He also happens to play the sheriff.
The first time I started watching Unforgiven was when it was playing on TV when I was living in South America in the late 90s. Unfortunately it was playing in Spanish and it was already halfway started, and when it got to the more violent scenes I think I might have been a tad too young for them. A few years later, I am living in Quebec and I do the old fashion thing of renting the DVD so I can finally watch it from beginning to end. DVD bonus: it …

Empire Magazine (2008) Greatest Movies List - #159: The Royal Tenenbaums

I suppose it would be possible to run into a character from Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums (2001) in real life, but the odds of running into that entire family seems next to impossible. The unique filmmaker’s third film ups the ante from his previous film Rushmore, so of course things become quirkier as he further advances towards his current masterpiece The Grand Budapest Hotel.
The Royal Tenenbaums has all of his usual visual styles, musical preferences, and of course two of his usual collaborators, Bill Murray and Owen Wilson. The story is very “Wes Anderson,” so if it is your first time watching one of his films you may be caught by surprise, as I was when I first watched it in 2002. The film was nominated for many awards and is described as a comedy-drama, but there not many moments when you will be laughing out loud. As the film open with Alec Baldwin narrating the various exploits of the Tenenbaum children you have to wonder if the whole thing is not some long elaborate jo…