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Harry's DVD Picks & Peeks - 4th wk of May 2011: TRANSCENDENT MAN, Ron Howard writes, Chaplin is Brilliant, Platoon is still wow, Civil War, Fast Cars, Russian Sci Fi & Much More!

Hey folks, Harry here with a new DVD Column and things are a bit different this week with some of the titles, and I’m betting that will at least continue with next week’s amazing series of titles. I think you’ll enjoy some of the surprises this week… As usual the pictures and titles link back to AMAZON where you can learn more on a given title, or even pick it up, which would be cool of ya, because a small portion of that price gets kicked back to help support the efforts of this column. Hope you enjoy… Tuesday,

May 24th, 2011


Ray Kurzweil is an interesting as hell fella. Imagine a practical William Gibson or Phillip K Dick. Now, he’s technically not a science fiction author… except that he kind of is. He predicts technology. Anticipates it. He’s one of the foremost Futurists around, and has worked with countries around the globe, Presidents, Corporate minds… He pushes the people that create technology to create new technologies. And he’s been a leader in the field for about 40 or more years. And he believes that huge changes are coming in the next 15-20 years. Look at your Cel phone. Think about what it does, now just think back 3 years ago. We see technology advancing at such an accelerating pace that as a geek, I don’t know about you, but I have had many conversations about “where is it all headed?”
I mentioned TRANSCENDENT MAN in my review of TREE OF LIFE. Why? Well, as much as TREE OF LIFE made me feel connected to the past, my own family and history… It didn’t do anything to particularly illuminate the future. Enter TRANSCENDENT MAN.
I am intrinsically an optimist. I don’t believe in the Terminator eradication of humanity – which would occur moments after Computers and Technology become self-aware and self-improving. Why? Because I trust the minds that are moving technology forward. But we’re on the verge of some of the big science fiction eventualities. LIKE… think about these CLOUD NETWORKS that we have now. Sure, AMAZON had a massive clusterfuck that downed AICN recently, but they get more and more stable, more powerful, faster. APPLE is setting it up so that all your music is stored in a digital cloud that you can access through all your devices. Yes, yes, we know this. Ray is foreseeing and anticipating a point, within his life time (he’s currently 63) where “WE” will be able to upload our consciousness… every intelligent thing that we are. Our memories, our capacity to invent and think into a CLOUD NETWORK. Essentially – think SUPERMAN’s Fortress of Solitude and his interaction with his father, mother and other denizens of Krypton. To have on-going conversations with people that would continue to live, seemingly eternally in a digital after-life. AND… he just about convinces you in this doc. He’s also talking about nanotechnology being fused into us so that are bodies can self-repair WOLVERINE style. That’s a little further out, but we’re heading into all manners of crazy directions – and none of this is particularly new if you read magazines like WIRED, DISCOVER, SCIENCE and the awesome geek websites out there.
This is a very important film to watch and to share with your family. Ray is simply a brilliant man and he is talking about how we as man will self-evolve. Listening to him, watching the people he’s interacting with… It suddenly made me realize… STAR TREK is totally wrong, why? Because MAN is still the same. We wouldn’t have communicators and hand held screens. We will most definitely be something more than we are right now. You won’t use a phone to access IMDB, it’ll just be in your mind, a menu item. All of a sudden, TALKBACK will become a battlefield for the mind. OR – he could be crazy and I’m a gullible fool (yesterday’s posts as evidence).
That said – think about these DVD columns and how rarely I get this involved into speaking about a film. TRANCENDENT MAN is a tremendous documentary that shows an alternative future that doesn’t have doomsday preachers screaming about the sky is falling. The future can be so bright, we gotta wear shades! I’m so excited about this film, that I’m working with the filmmakers to help promote their screenings around the country with Ray – and hopefully to bring him here to Austin as well. Because there’s nothing more cool than SCIENCE!


I love Charlie Chaplin. He’s just. He helped give me some of my soul. He can be shown to be a thief, a troublemaker, but he’s always doing it for the benefit of others. He’s a romantic, a dreamer – and dammit, too many people in this world dare not to dream, lest those dreams be crushed… Chaplin worked for a long time to make THE GREAT DICTATOR – a film about his biggest fan, Adolf Hitler, and Chaplin was merciless. This was the film where the Tramp spoke – and my God, that monologue of his – it’s just astonishing. He’s speaking to a world unmoved, trying to get them up off their asses, out of theaters and fighting. 2 years before the U.S. got their ass in gear. It is a message movie, but a message that had to be given. Chaplin made a lot of enemies in Hollywood making this film – and the result is one of his masterpieces.
Criterion’s Blu of this is tremendous. The image is so clear that there’s points where it actually feels dimensional. And as usual, Criterion loads us up with goodies…
New high-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
New audio commentary by Charlie Chaplin historians Dan Kamin and Hooman Mehran
The Tramp and the Dictator (2001), a documentary narrated by filmmaker Kenneth Branagh and featuring interviews with author Ray Bradbury, director Sidney Lumet, historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., screenwriter Budd Schulberg, and a host of others
Two new visual essays, by Chaplin archivist Cecilia Cenciarelli and Chaplin biographer Jeffrey Vance
On-set, color production footage shot by Chaplin’s half-brother, Sydney
Deleted scene from Chaplin’s 1919 film, Sunnyside
Theatrical trailer
PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Michael Wood and a 1940 article by Chaplin on the film


When PLATOON came out I was a Sophmore in High School living and working on my family’s Ranch in North Texas – and there were many ranch hands that worked with us. In particular there were these two older men named the TINNEY Boys… At least that’s how we always referred to them, but R.C. and Tommy were basically good guys. I say this, because they very much wanted to see PLATOON – and my mom and I took them into Wichita Falls to see the movie, and it was my first experience – and most powerful experience of seeing a movie destroy grown men. For them, this was there experience. I saw this film re-open the scars of their psyche. These were strong men that had buried their experience in some corner of their minds and Stone mined it. They didn’t react this way to Kubrick’s FULL METAL JACKET. I remember watching the film and not fully understanding the emotion they were feeling. I still don’t. I’ve been blessed not to have these types of mental scars, but for some PLATOON isn’t a passive cinematic experience, it is a raw real experienced that they lived & saw people die during.
Today, the film has a wholly different tragedy at play. Charlie Sheen. He was one of the most talented and great actors working at this time. He wasn’t a joke. He wasn’t that idiot son of that great actor, he was that great actor’s great acting son. Then he lost it. As I stated earlier, I’m an optimist and I hope at some point that Charlie has the clarity of mind and self to get his shit together. Then, for the right director and project to give him his self-respect back. Because watching PLATOON – it kills you to see him today. Perhaps he can have that Robert Downey Jr or Mickey Rourke turn around, but that only ever happens when you hit rock bottom.
But as great as Sheen is…. Oh man, Tom Berenger and Willem Dafoe just tear it up in this film. Dafoe especially is extraordinary. I love him so much. But then there’s Kevin Dillon playing the perfect knob. Then as the best weasel ever, John C McGinley. Keith David and Forest Whitaker… Francesco Quinn…. Shit, Johnny Depp is subtle and awesome. So nice to see him not dancing all over the screen. Everything just works perfectly in this film. Not an errant moment once.

The Ron Howard Action Pack ( EAT MY DUST! / GRAND THEFT AUTO )

These two movies are a type of RON HOWARD flick… well, that just doesn’t exist outside of these two flicks. This is YEE HAW, floor-boarding good times. Beer movies. Cars that crash! Now, I still haven’t watched EAT MY DUST, I jumped straight to GRAND THEFT AUTO because I’ve always been curious about Ron’s first film. And before I wrote this column, I reached out to Ron to see what he thought of or remembered about working with Roger Corman – and Ron was awesome enough to send back this remembrance…
I don't look back very often, but.....
I had to star in Eat My Dust in order to black mail my way into getting a chance to direct for Roger. The deal was, if Eat My Dust worked out, then I would be given a chance to at least develop a project with Roger. When the crazy and subversive Chuck Griffith comedy turned out to be a surprise hit on the drive-in circuit, I pitched all kinds of ideas to Roger.
I remember one story I cooked up was a noir thriller about snuff film victims in the bowels of the san fernando valley....another was a futuristic flick about gladiatorial games to the death to determine the outcomes of global territorial disputes, and a comedy set in the world of massage parlors along Western Ave in Hollywood (remember this was 1976....). He heard all the ideas and explained that when they were testing titles for Eat My Dust, another title had come in a very close second....."Grand Theft Auto". He told me that if I could fashion a car crash comedy for me to star in that would feature "young-people-on-the-run" and could be entitled Grand Theft Auto, then he'd green light it and let me direct (for the whopping sum of 250 bucks a week). I was 21 when we shot Eat My Dust....and production on Grand Theft Auto began Mar. 2, '77, the day after my 23rd birthday.
I was so amped up by the process that two weeks in, Joe Dante, the editor, called me and told me I had to "for crissakes eat more". I was wasting away on camera. (and I was skinny to begin with. you've seen Happy Days)
I doubt I ever worked harder in my life. But the wrap party for that a dive bar right next the Saugus Speedway where we had just demolished the shit out of the true star of the movie....the classic Rolls Silver Cloud.... in the last set-up of the production, was the one of the greatest nights of my life. Flamers, the bar band, dancing with my brand new wife, Cheryl (who had prevented a crew mutiny over the lousy food by personally taking over the catering and feeding 50 people meals that they still talk about when I bump into them) father and co-writer, brother Clint and everyone who helped me avoid falling flat on my face/ass during the first directing gig..... The chance I had been dreaming of since I was about 8.
I hope people get a kick out these two genre flicks. Believe it or not, they were pretty favorably reviewed when released. They are absolute products of their time. I haven't seen either in full since their release and I doubt if I ever will. I don't want to pop the nostalgic bubble they exist in for me.
I don't know if Grand Theft Auto suggested to people the filmography that would follow or not. But I learned a hell of a lot, and I gave it everything I had, as I continue to do with varying degrees of success film opportunity after film opportunity. And I haven't quit loving it....or dumping pounds and losing sleep during the course of production yet.
Harry back – and I have to say, I think Ron should really check out GRAND THEFT AUTO – it’s definitely a young film, made on a moderately sized shoestring. I mean, they did a massive ton of car damage in the film, they blow a lot of stuff up – and at its heart is a really sweet couple – and Ron is a lot of fun in this. In fact, I really do want to see Ron in front of the camera again some day. I just think he should occasionally pull his version of a Clint Eastwood. Am I alone?


Ok – Jonathan Demme’s FIGHTING MAD is a tremendous anti-corporation thriller that in many ways reminded me of an even more brutal condemnation of corporate evil than Gibson’s EDGE OF DARKNESS… What makes it particularly great, is the slow grind that the corporate powers apply to torment the locals into selling their land. It’s brutal and mean and absolutely uncompromising – and I love Peter Fonda and Scott Glenn in this. Eddie Albert is just great. And yes, you will see Peter Fonda wield that bow – and it is pretty damn badass. Haven’t caught the second half of this double feature yet. Well, I have, but not since I was a kid. I remember it as being a pretty damn fun redneck exploitation car pick, I’ll probably watch it with EAT MY DUST some night. SHOUT! is quickly becoming one of my favorite releasing companies. Keep em coming!


I like D.J. Caruso. He’s a nice guy and a talented director, but I have no idea what happened on this flick. It is bad. Bad in nearly every possible way. Well, except I like the premise. I like the idea of a last of a species hiding out from some evil genocidal alien bastards. And that could be badass. It really could, but man. Wow. Lead actor Alex Pettyfer just reeks. He’s mannequin hot here… meaning utterly soulless. The aliens coming after him – LAUGHABLY TERRIBLE DESIGN. The powers and abilities were just goofy, but there’s really no wow scale to it. Frankly coming off of EAGLE EYE, I was expecting something on a bigger scale. Totally left me flat.


I can’t do it. I remember liking GETTYSBURG (& the next title) but I really came away feeling like I never needed to see them again. They’re just not the sort of film I can just put on very often. They’re a bit extensive and dry for my taste. If you’re a Civil War enthusiast – well they’re pretty much good as gold. I also feel we’ve yet to see the great Civil War flick. And I’m not sure if that is something that should be historically accurate, rather than evocative of history. So – Civil War lovers – what do you get on this?
Includes 17 minutes of additional footage not seen in theatres, plus:
-Commentary by Director/Screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell, Cinematographer Kees Van Oostrum, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author James M. McPherson and Military Historian Craig Symonds
-2 Featurettes: Making Gettysburg and Vintage Oscar Nominee The Battle of Gettysburg
-Commentary by Director/Screenwriter Ronald F. Maxwell, Cinematographer Kees Van Oostrum, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author James M. McPherson and Military Historian Craig Symonds
-Cast/Director Interview Gallery and Filmographies
-Battlefield Maps
-Theatrical Trailer & TV Spots

GODS AND GENERALS: Extended Director’s Cut (Blu-Ray Book)

I do not like GODS AND GENERALS much at all. In fact, it felt like an exquisitely produced bore. I really did not like Robert Duvall’s interpretation of Robert E Lee. Didn’t feel alive. Felt presented. I do feel there’s a pompousness to this film that was missing from GETTYSBURG, at least to this level. And this time it is longer. Yeah, not for me. This is essentially a theatrical mini-series. The new cut is 280 minutes long, with a 10 minute intro by Ted Turner and the director. All of that has a commentary that I have no desire to wade into. Then there’s a 89 minute Special Audio Commentary cut of the film that’s a feature length chat about the film, cut with pieces of the film. In addition to all of that is about another hour’s worth of stuff that just feels like overkill. But the film does have its champions. This was made for them.

SOLARIS Criterion Blu

Oh yes. Yes. The great Soviet Science Fiction film to come from Russia. The film is beautiful, fascinating, sometimes confounding, but intensely thought provoking. This is a film that makes you wonder about the infinite possibilities of what we could run into out there. Saw this in the 80’s on the U.T. campus. I’d never seen anything quite like it. I also love Soderbergh’s remake, but I still prefer my original Russian telling.  Criterion did a beautiful job on this release and here's the amazing extras they have for us:
High-definition digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition

Audio essay by Andrei Tarkovsky scholars Vida Johnson and Graham Petrie, coauthors of The Films of Andrei Tarkovsky: A Visual Fugue

Nine deleted and alternate scenes

Video interviews with actress Natalya Bondarchuk, cinematographer Vadim Yusov, art director Mikhail Romadin, and composer Eduard Artemyev

Excerpt from a documentary about Stanislaw Lem, the author of the film’s source novel

PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by critic Phillip Lopate and an appreciation by director Akira Kurosawa


Directed by the great John Frankenheimer, starring an international cast that was headlined by James Garner, but included Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, Antonio Sabato and the great Eva Marie Saint! The photography and the spectacle of the racing is just exhilarating. The photography really does demand the beauty of the Blu Ray format. Just beautiful and exciting. Tremendously exhilarating.


Now GRAND PRIX is probably technically the better film, but man… Steve McQueen makes me happy in ways that Garner doesn’t. In my house growing up McQueen was worshipped. My mother had a serious thing for him, so growing up as a kid, McQueen was my image of what a badass man was. Growing up, discovering all of McQueen’s films I can say that over the whole of his career he carried the weight of life upon his characters and I LOVE THAT! There’s such a fierce determination in his concentration that I believe everything he gives me on screen. I don’t think actor. I think Steve McQueen, in the same way I see Bruce Lee, John Wayne, Errol Flynn, Chaplin, Vincent Price, Clint Eastwood and very few others. Here you’ll see Steve drive like a bat out of hell and the film goes in surprising twists and turns. Love the film. Again on Blu, it is just fantastic.


Yeah here’s another just amazing film of Steve McQueen’s. Oh – and Dustin Hoffman is pretty goddamn terrific in it too! This is just the kind of film that I put on whenever I’m getting down about something that I think I can’t do. There’s nothing I can’t do. If Papillon does what he does, with all that against him, I can weather my rehab and cushy life. If I can’t, I’m a pussy, and I’m not a pussy. I love that Dalton Trumbo and Lorenzo Semple Jr wrote this amazing film. I love the look and texture of the film. The performances are iconic beyond belief. And McQueen is the dream. LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS MOVIE! SO much so, that I demand a better release of this title with more fulfilling special features. Dig deeper, interview more… This is a great film!


One of the very best films of Joel Schumacher and Colin Farrell’s career. And I don’t consider that faint praise, I’ve enjoyed a lot of their work, just as there are times where they both make me want to throttle them. I think it’s because I like them that they get me so bent out of shape when they do something less that what they’re capable of. In Farrell’s benefit, there is something kind of special about the movie you discover him in. And in TIGERLAND, he’s bursting to be a star. That said – don’t watch this anywhere close to PLATOON, there’s a difference of emotion and scale and majesty. PLATOON is an open wound. TIGERLAND is intense. Really really like the style of it.

Next week I’ll be taking a look at the 3rd season of TRUE BLOOD, the blu-rays of ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and BARRY LYNDON and LEGEND and A MAN CALLED HORSE and LOLITA and AMERICAN GRAFFITI & BIG JAKE & RIO LOBO & A CLOCKWORK ORANGE! There’s crazy Nick Cage in DRIVE ANGRY, Bardem in BIUTIFUL, Argento’s THE CAT O’ NINE TAILS Blu, ADUA & HER FRIENDS, and a few others hopefully. Till then, have a great time exploring!

Readers Talkback
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  • May 24, 2011, 3:10 a.m. CST

    Post 0


    Got my Dvd Column up with a guest feature from Ron Howard & a full piece on TRANSCENDENT MAN!

  • May 24, 2011, 3:20 a.m. CST

    Post 1!

    by iamnicksaicnsn

    DVD reviews, nice!

  • May 24, 2011, 3:27 a.m. CST

    Solaris on Blu!! Fingers crossed for STALKER next

    by L. Ron Bumquist

  • May 24, 2011, 3:47 a.m. CST

    Have been eager to see EAT MY DUST...

    by KnightShift

    ...ever since seeing the trailer for it during the bumpers at ActionFest last month. Looks like a great fun movie ('course having The Real Don Steele doing the trailer's voiceover didn't hurt either :-P)

  • May 24, 2011, 5:02 a.m. CST

    Gettysburg and Gods & Generals

    by eveelcapitalist

    Harry, if you're not going to bother with them, I'll gladly take those copies off your hands.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:05 a.m. CST

    Gettysburg does not exist in this dojo

    by Cobra--Kai

    GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS. I know i've seen one of these two civil war movies but i'm not sure which. It was the very long one with Jeff Daniels in it.... Aw fuck.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:11 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    pacrone, I totally get what you're saying. PLATOON paints a terrible picture of soldiery in Vietnam with soldiers murdering not only civvies but other soldiers in their own squad! But it's still a fantastic movie. You have to watch it more like an APOCALYPSE NOW type experience of total breakdown. It doesnt tell a conventional story about a specific military battle like THE LONGEST DAY / BRIDGE TOO FAR / WE WERE SOLDIERS. It's more of a fictionalized 'war is hell' tale - and a bloody good one too.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:14 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    Anyone remember that song '19' by Paul Hardcastle? With a repeated sample by a vet "I didn't really know what was going on." That to me sums up PLATOON really well.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:15 a.m. CST

    Gettysburg, for a four hour movie, moves really quick

    by eveelcapitalist

    Gods & Generals, I admit, is an hour shorter and feels twice as long. That does work against it. Certainly it is a movie that has it's moments, but...goddamn. I'm hoping the newly re-edited version at least moves quicker. They've added in the Antietam battle sequence and I really wish Harry would at least view it for all the new shit piled in. If Harry can find the strength to fap to A Serbian Film, he can at least watch something with redeeming value, no?

  • May 24, 2011, 5:33 a.m. CST

    Platoon / Respect for Vets

    by gerhard_futkanister

    The main people who painted a bad picture of the GIs in Vietnam are not the movie producers but the GIs themselves. I know this is not very popular in the US at the moment, with all of your "support the troops" shit and "my country, right or wrong" jingoism, but My fucking Lai _did_ happen. Face the music.

  • May 24, 2011, 5:45 a.m. CST

    by Cobra--Kai

    "we’ve yet to see the great Civil War flick" I was suprised how good GLORY was actually. It's a wee bit cheesy I suppose, but strong performances, good battle scenes and a compelling plot. That'd be my pick for best Civil War movie. Oscar bait COLD MOUNTAIN can fuck off.

  • May 24, 2011, 6:15 a.m. CST

    I'll be grabbing PAPILLON

    by Spandau Belly

    Man, that's just such a powerful film. I think it's got one of the best openings too. Just that dude up on a block hollering at all the convicts "France is dead to you. Forget about France!"

  • May 24, 2011, 6:44 a.m. CST



    Psychic planets, man. Telepathic oceans, maaaaan. Human simulacra, maaaaaaaaaan. Like, faaaar out. And, yes, Glory is great.

  • May 24, 2011, 6:45 a.m. CST

    I know one thing cooler than science.

    by FootFnMaster

    Poon tang. Pussy. V for vagina. There, I said it. Ladies, you know how awesome it is. God love you all.

  • May 24, 2011, 6:46 a.m. CST

    That Great Dictator cover


    It's probably the best DVD/Blu cover art. Ever.

  • May 24, 2011, 6:47 a.m. CST

    If I'm


  • May 24, 2011, 6:48 a.m. CST

    gonna die for a word


  • May 24, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST

    that word's gonna be


  • May 24, 2011, 6:49 a.m. CST



  • ...and the enemy was in us.

  • May 24, 2011, 7:28 a.m. CST

    Pacrone: No Offense, But...

    by Aquatarkusman

    ... that sounds like kind of a bullshit criticism, and one where it seems your relatives pre-supposed Oliver Stone wasn't in the shit himself. "In September 1967 he enlisted in the United States Army, requesting combat duty in Vietnam. He fought with the 25th Infantry Division, then with the First Cavalry Division, earning a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster before his discharge in 1968 after 15 months."

  • May 24, 2011, 7:33 a.m. CST

    You're right, My Lai did happen...

    by expert_40

    ... but it was an ISOLATED FUCKING INCIDENT!!! Fucking movies like Platoon and the god-awful, libelous, lying piece of SHIT Redacted are, as Adam Carolla would say, More Harm Than Good. Films like these distort and shape the way people think of our military, which, in just the history since the 20th century, is by and far the least likely military to commit atrocities on or off the battlefield. My Lai was an isolated incident in a war that lasted about a decade. If you want to understand atrocity in war, read some fucking history books about the things the Japanese army did to the Chinese civilians in WWII, and to our American POWs as well. I speak for all veterans who are thankful to have served at a time when the vast majority of people in our country support those who serve. And if you don't like that attitude, gerhard_futkanister, you can go fuck your bitch whore of a mother. And you're welcome for my service, you abortion-shoud've-been.

  • May 24, 2011, 7:34 a.m. CST

    "These were the same men who were spit on and yelled at"

    by hst666

    Yeah, that's an urban legend. No one can find one documented case or personal experience where that actually happened.

  • May 24, 2011, 7:42 a.m. CST

    Charlie Sheen did those HOT SHOTS movies

    by Spandau Belly

    I think he turned himself into a joke onscreen long before becoming one offscreen. He's got a good knack for comedy, but once you paint yourself as a gag man, it's hard to come back. Just like Leslie Nielsen. Before his mental breakdown I always think of him as "that guy from HOT SHOTS and the garbage men movie" even though he did lots of respectable stuff like WALL STREET and PLATOON.

  • May 24, 2011, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Grand Prix / Le Mans

    by Truxton Spangler

    come closer than any others to authentically capturing the racing. That doesn't make them great, or even good, films, but they'll be respected in ways that crap like Days of Thunder, or Driven never will, at least among fans. And Harry, this site is still having issues, post-hacking and post-Amazon meltdown.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:07 a.m. CST


    by Con Shonnery

    Awesome, powerful movie. McQueen deserved an oscar for his performance. Hoffman too.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:12 a.m. CST

    SOLARIS is terrible.

    by John Maddening

    Boring, drawn-out (2-3/4 hour) stab at a good idea that had been done better five years earlier in less than a third of the running time in the SHORE LEAVE episode of STAR TREK. Gonna grab that GREAT DICTATOR Criterion, though!

  • May 24, 2011, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Ditto on the "Papillion" love

    by KarlKolchak

    First time I ever skipped school was to stay home after lunch to finish watching "Papillion" on HBO. It's a great adventure flick. I'll never forget the part at the leper colony with the cigar. Good stuff. The 70s were the best.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:29 a.m. CST

    In Mother Russia, SOLARIS watches YOU!!!



  • May 24, 2011, 8:32 a.m. CST

    GLORY is the best war film EVER..


    That film will go toe to toe to anything. The score, the acting, it all comes together masterfully. That shit IS real!

  • May 24, 2011, 8:34 a.m. CST


    by gerhard_futkanister

    It's sweet how proud you are that your employer is the least likely to commit war crimes. That's what they keep telling you right? ; ) I suggest YOU read up on some history and you will find (after a very short search) that My Lai was only an isolated incident in scale. Systematic break down of any code of conduct in war was a very common thing in Vietnam, as thousands of dead civilians attest. Look it up, there's some very enlightening articles on it even online (NYTimes for example), you wouldn't even have to look up the location of your local library. It is understandable that your employers want you to believe you are fighting the good fight for truth, liberty, justice and the american way. It is even understandable that you would buy it (tellingly your reaction to a challenge to your beliefs is the retreat to colorful insults). But you should get used to being ridiculed for it by people who will not happily make themselves pawns in a game. You are cannonfodder, kept happy by Propaganda. It's sad really, and i pity you. And even though you are not, i am very angry at the people who use simpletons as you for their ulterior motives. I am not thankful for your service. You are a murderer for hire.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:35 a.m. CST

    oh fuck me! Kubrick comes out next week.


    I am eagerly anticipating Harry wrapping his peck mind around the films of Kubrick.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:38 a.m. CST

    just to save you the time

    by gerhard_futkanister This took me about 3 seconds to find. Isolated incident my ass.

  • Bad shit happened in 'Nam. Deal with it. You do nobody favors by ignoring it. Besides, the Vietnam movies showing bad soldiers was a needed corrective after all the WWII movies showing U.S. soldiers as nothing but heroes. There was some bad shit that went down in WWII, too, but the Hollywood propaganda factories largely shied away from it.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:45 a.m. CST

    Are there any extras on the Platoon Blu?

    by Jeffrey

    You didn't say in the review. I don't want to get into the political discussion about the film, it's a great one no matter where you stand.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:45 a.m. CST

    If every human mind was converted into "mind clouds"

    by Nerd Rage

    Most of it would just be pollution. Sorry but I don't get the point. It does remind me of the Ghost in the Shell manga, which is pretty cool.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:47 a.m. CST


    by Jeffrey

    Good post, LOL.

  • His ADULT son! That's not creepy, at all!

  • A friend and I were watching Apollo 13 the other day and marveling at how many scenes felt like he was trying to do something he saw in another movie. His best Speilberg or shot mimicking a documentary. He and that gremlin Brian Grazier seem to believe they are smarter and better than they really are. Grinch is unwatchable, as is Angels and Demons. As I stated above, he shoots like he's trying to fill a square- not a rectangle. I will give it to him that he's kept going as long as he has not being Jewish - but maybe that's why he keeps Grazier around, to make those deals in temple.

  • May 24, 2011, 8:58 a.m. CST

    Papillon: Missed Opportunity

    by Alfa Jerk

    should've included a digital version on a USB drive shaped like a cigar tube. Portable!

  • May 24, 2011, 9 a.m. CST



    and that son grew to become Dutch in The Karate Kid, disciple of the Cobra-Kai

  • May 24, 2011, 9:07 a.m. CST

    Prof Monster


    You obviously haven't seen BACKDRAFT and WILLOW. Pretty cinematic efforts on both counts if I do say so myself.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Solaris is long, boring and ridiculously overrated...

    by Gary Busey's Upper Half

    and Ray Kurzweil is a kook that seems to think Moore's Law will translate to human consciousness somehow and let him live forever. Keep dreaming dude.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:16 a.m. CST

    And WB appear not to be releasing the Grand Prix Blu in Europe...

    by Big_Bubbaloola

    Ya know, the place that has the highest proportion of F1 fans on the planet, the ones that would kill for this movie to be released here! /facepalm

  • May 24, 2011, 9:17 a.m. CST

    expert 40 and others...

    by Andrew Coleman

    Some of you need to read books yourselves. Ignoring actions American soldiers did is just ignorant. I've read plenty of first hand accounts of Nam where American soldiers did horrible things... Hating a movie that shows it just proves how blind you want to be. It's why the American military today slams on soldiers who do things like this. Soldiers who kill or rape civilians get life in prison or the death penalty. Why? To avoid what happened in Vietnam, the actions of soldiers was used as propaganda and helped fuel the fight against American actions there. If you can't understand that well it's a shame.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:19 a.m. CST



    Yeah she was great in Lady in the Water.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    For best epic war movie, you have to go with the soviet movie WAR AND PEACE. When the movie presents a 100,000 strong army, it really shows a 100,000 men army because they got 100,000 men to play soldiers for the movie. And then you have a whole battle seen from the air by an helicopter flaying backwards until it crosses the clouds line. And no CGI, since this movie was made in 1965. It makes Titanic look art-house small. For the most depressing war movie ever made, again we go for the soviets and watch COME AND SEE, made in 1986. If after you watch the movie you don't want to contemplate suicide as a possible carrer oportunity, you are not human. It's a great, magnificent movie, however, and should be mandatory viewing for any asshole who wants to start a war for whatever reason. For funniest war movie, watch M. Bay's PEARL HARBOR. If you take it as a comedy, that shit is hillarious like hell.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST




  • May 24, 2011, 9:23 a.m. CST

    TRANSCENDENT MAN: An Uncritical Look at a Pseudoscience

    by Browncoat_Jedi

    Sorry, folks. Kurzweil's theories on the singularity have been debunked and his counter-arguments are extremely lame and unconvincing. Immortality is not going to happen, not in this century at least. You believe in this for the same reason you cling to "heaven". FEAR OF DEATH. It's a delusional belief system and wishful, magical thinking.

  • Sooner or later it would happen. It could ahd bene any other day, in any other place, with any other unit. But the massacre was a symptom of the the whole problem of that war. My Lai was not an isolated incident, it was the war itself taken to it's sadly logical conclusion. If war is a fuck up, Vietnam was the fuck up of the fuck ups.

  • Ours was the Colonial Wars, a toaly useless war fough for the most wrong of reasons. Whe all other colonial powers were leting og for their former african colonies, the right-winger dictatorship goverment of Portugal decided to keep them, despiste the flow of history. They decided to row agasint the tide, and the result was a compeltly fucked up usless war that served no porpose whatsoever other then needlessly killing or dammage for life dozens of thousands of people, ruin my own country's economy and fuck up the economy of the later emergent countries of Moçambique, Angola and Guiné-Bissau due to the devastation. Portuguese do understand very well what the americans feel about the Vietnam War because we had our own. Everything about Vietnam can be directly related to our own experience. The difference is that american filmmakers were able to make film masterpieces from their war, while in Portugal nobody has as yet.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:30 a.m. CST

    You know that bit in peanuts when Lucy

    by dalcross

    cajoled Charlie Brown to try to kick the ball only to whip it away yet again? That's how I felt with Tigerland. I'd promised myself never to see a Joel Schumacher film again, they're all terrible, but somehow I was persuaded to see Tigerland only to feel the same sense of JS f*&*ing it up again and wasting 2 hours of my time.

  • May 24, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST



    I'm sorry you misunderstood me when I said BEST WAR FILM. I don't count foreign films in that statement. Only America can make good war films that will stand the test of time because we've seen shit that no other country will ever hope to see.

  • If the Singularity does come I'm moving into a fucking bunker.

  • May 24, 2011, 10:06 a.m. CST

    Backdraft and Willow are your counters? Tee Hee Hahahahaha

    by Professor_Monster

    Backdraft is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. It looks, feels and reads "made for tv"- like one of those movies ABC used to show on Sunday nights. And Willow... Wait Willow?!?! No you don't really mean Willow do you?

  • May 24, 2011, 10:22 a.m. CST

    Ron Howard Pitched Robot Jox!?

    by Stryder

    That's pretty awesome. I wonder if he's seen the finished movie.

  • Baby steps, Harry. You haven't even taken this site beyond 2001, much less far into the future. (someone had to say it)

  • May 24, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Prof Monster


    Name some TV movies or series that are comparative to WILLOW and BACKDRAFT. the general scope of those films and the thing s they did in them have been seen since but not when they came out. Hell there hasnt been a worthy firefighting film (even in the wake of 9/11) that comes close to the fire scenes in BACKDRAFT. Yes, RESCUE ME is the go-to show now about firemen, but all that pathos was seen in first in BACKDRAFT. and Kurt Russell and Scott Glenn rocked it. WILLOW was roughly the last time i gave a shite about what george lucas was doing so I give it a lot of leeway.

  • May 24, 2011, 10:32 a.m. CST

    Gods and Generals

    by pushthebuttonmax

    is a film that was made possible by Ted Turner, and it's beloved in the south, simply because it correctly portrays the motivations of the south, unlike 99% of anything else Civil War related. I didn't realize this was the director's cut coming out! It's been rumored for a long time but now it's finally being released. Yeah it's long, but you get a new battle.

  • May 24, 2011, 10:40 a.m. CST

    One nitpick about Platoon

    by Baron Von Hugenpannts

    I think Platoon is a great film, my only minor nitpick is Charlie Sheen's performance in the lead. Some of his line readings when he is supposed to be upset/angry didn't come off as very natural to me. Still one my favorite war films however.

  • May 24, 2011, 10:42 a.m. CST

    Gods and Generals was the worst moviegoing experience of my life

    by UCB Agent1

    I loved Gettysburg and I loved the book, so I was pumped when I heard they were making "Gods and Generals" into a movie with essentially the same team that did Gettysburg. It was playing in one theater in the DC area in limited release, and I set aside a Sunday afternoon to go see it. Four hours later I wanted to kill myself. "Gods and Generals" managed to make the Civil War dull and lifeless. I thought my life would end in that theater, that I would have passed away from sheer boredom. Harry's right about Duvall's Lee kind of sucking as well. Martin Sheen had fun with it in Gettysburg, but Duvall's Lee was a bore.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:23 a.m. CST

    Gods and Monsters > Gods and Generals

    by Simpsonian

    because Monsters > Generals It's simple logic people.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:40 a.m. CST

    I'm with cobra--kai... Glory is probably the best

    by Nomoredirtyanything

    Even though I'm an Aussie I've seen quite a few (I have a disturbing love for James Stewarts Shenandoah) but Glory is pretty hard to beat. My thoughts on Opie have been expressed here before many times. He frustrates me more than any director. He goes from excellence to excrement like an acrobat. Cocoon Apollo 13 A Beautiful Mind The Paper Night Shift Willow Hell..... throw in Back Draft and Far and Away as at least well made schlock.... Then we have: The Grinch Davinci Code Angels and Demons Movies that should kill anyones careers. Maybe he's bipolar or sumink?

  • May 24, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    For anyone that wants a good war story..

    by Ryan

    ...about survival and the human spirit read "Unbroken". That book is great and is just begging to be put to film. Also Ron Howard has put out more quality films than bad ones, so I think he deserves some credit.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:48 a.m. CST

    and the NEW bond girl is

    by Nick

    Gemma Chan... got it right from her mouth, and her Reps. Will be announced soon... Harry felt this wasn't NEWS worthy... but a fake Catwoman pic is...

  • May 24, 2011, 11:54 a.m. CST

    Ron Howard gets a lifetime pass from me for PARENTHOOD


    Great fucking flick, no matter how you slice it. Smart, charming, heartfelt, and most of all--never false. Great performances by all in that film. Good use of randy newman and mary steenburgen.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:57 a.m. CST

    PLATOON and Ron Howard

    by Monroville

    Okay, I've heard the arguments over PLATOON, but a lot seem to miss some of the more obvious problems with the movie: (1) did anyone NOT think that Tom Berenger was The Bad Guy? I mean, just because he had this big scar running down his face doesn't mean he's evil, does it? (2) Willem Dafoe as the perfect soldier (well, as perfect as a soldier could get), along with being the perfect sacrificial character (along with overtly melodramatic arm throwing into the air before dying in slow motion). (3) could they have played that same somber tune MORE in PLATOON, or were the credits long enough to fit it in? The acting was overall good to really good, and the story was pretty straight-forward (which isn't exactly a bad thing when compared to directors/writers who think convoluted means brilliant) which made it easy to follow. Yet despite the "real" portrayal of soldiers basking in sex and drugs, and even fragging their own (which happened as far back as the Civil War guys, much less WWI and II... hell, I think even the ROMANS did this shit), the real problem is that when you boil it all down, PLATOON is a Vietnam Soap Opera for Men. For as much as I love APOCALYPSE NOW! (especially after reading the original HEARTS OF DARKNESS by Conrad and realizing that A.N.! was an adaptation - which helped me to understand the movie a lot better), it seems to me that the best Vietnam War movies are those that deal with the aftermath, such as THE DEER HUNTER and FIRST BLOOD (hell, the speech Stallone makes at the end of F.B. pretty much sums the entire thing up pretty nicely). ________________ As for Ronnie, I fall in the same ballpark as a lot of the TBers. I love BACKDRAFT, SPLASH and COCOON - immensely entertaining movies. I would have to include RANSOM and APOLLO 13 in there too, though APOLLO 13 has the unfortunate comparison to the better THE RIGHT STUFF. ANGELS AND DEMONS I still find entertaining (for what it is) and better than DAVINCI CODE. Even so, it is not so much that his stuff is filmed like a "Made for TV" audience, as it still comes across as something "Made for TV"... as in, safe for everyone to watch in a somewhat plain way, which is weird considering his overemphasis on visual flairs (such as Russell Crowe's visions in A BEAUTIFUL MIND). I guess it is like Mike Bay: just because the visuals are daring doesn't mean the movie/subject matter is.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    oh, and by the way

    by Monroville

    would it be too much to ask for an EDIT YOUR POST feature, Harry? That would be fantastic.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:58 a.m. CST

    Platoon - its called dramatic license. The GOOD mentor

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    and the EVIL mentor, the massacre of the villagers, etc. It was not a documentary. But next to Apocalypse Now, the best DRAMATIC use of the Vietnam War in a motion picture.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:01 p.m. CST

    Hey, Choppah, get up and make me breakfast.

    by D Ropaela

  • May 24, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST

    Made for TV=Ron Howard chasing Oscar


    His films have gotten a bad rap lately because they feel homogenized and cookie-cutter. They are. He's playing it safe and his art has suffered since he decided he wanted an Academy Award. Best case for nepotism too-->CLINT FUCKING HOWARD!!! His daughter ain't bad either.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:04 p.m. CST

    "The Green Berets"

    by D Ropaela

    The perfect movie for sensitive jingoists who love their Vietnam movies bursting with deluded pride.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:06 p.m. CST



    I made breakfast last night. It has since been relocated to the toilet.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    TRANSCENDENT MAN pisses me off

    by frankenberry

    And why shouldn't it? Sure, the technology is exciting. But how many of us are really going to live long enough to see all of that happen. So our bodies will be able to repair ala Wolverine? Great, except I'll probably be dead by the time that technology arrives. Still, I guess it's good news for my grandkids.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:09 p.m. CST

    What a shitty fucking week!!!

    by Mel

  • May 24, 2011, 12:11 p.m. CST

    The Green Berets. Isn't that the movie where the sun

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    rises in the West and sets in the East? Leave it to The Duke.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:20 p.m. CST

    WILLOW and APOLLO 13

    by victor laszlo

    are Ron Howards' finest films. The day will come when Willow is finally recognized as one of the high water marks of the fantasy genre, alongside Excalibur, Conan the Barbarian and Fellowship of the Ring: EE. The magic is sufficiently grounded, the script is fantastic, the atmosphere is gritty and real. The battles are crisp, heroic, bloody and mean. It's the pinnacle of pre-digital matte painting, and Val Kilmer is at his absolute best. Watch it again, Peck. I HAVE THE CHILD!

  • May 24, 2011, 12:34 p.m. CST


    by thelordofhell

    Warwick Davis' finest moment on film. Still is the only little person to have a commentary track on a DVD.

  • May 24, 2011, 12:45 p.m. CST

    Kurzweil is a very dangerous man

    by Scott R

    As a professional futurist, I can't help but take offense at everything Kurzweil stands for. As a profession, we're already collectively derided as quacks and dime store prophets and the last thing our field needs is to be associated with some trans-humanist messiah. I spent years earning my grad degree in Future Studies learning one fundamental truth about the future, it cannot be predicted. The only way to accurately predict the future is to actively create one you desire. The fact that Kurzweil has set a date for his prediction should send any sane person running for the hills, for in this regard, he is no different than the recently disgraced Harold Camping. As for working towards the future he envisions, well, I'll grudgingly concede he resembles a true futurist in this regard, but I warn anyone interested in learning more about his ideas to look beyond the dazzling future he promises towards the implications his vision has for society. His promises of immortality and technologically liberated beings, living beyond the traditional consequences of their indulgences, is a rotten idea at it's core; one that robs humanity of it's very soul. And if for a second you believe his predictions to be true, ask yourself, do you think there will be equal and fair distribution of these miracle technologies? Or is the more plausible scenario one of a small group of haves using life-altering tech as a means of controlling the have-nots. I've spent time in conferences and classes with Kurzweil's followers. I've seen how hungry these people are to be on top. The promises he pledges are just too appealing for some, many of whom are too old to live to the "singularity" and are now willing to do anything he says to live longer. And the disdain some of these people have for non-transhumanists i.e.; non-believers, is appalling. Of course, this isn't to say that some people have bought into Kurzweil's prophecies in the naive hope that the rising tide lifts all ships. But if history has taught us anything, it's that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

  • May 24, 2011, 1:06 p.m. CST


    by Michael

    I hope your post to expert_40 (whether he was right or not) made you feel good, sitting behind your computer screen where no one can touch you. It would be great to actually see you call a soldier a "murderer for hire" to his/her face and see what happens. But something tells me you wouldn't have the balls to really look someone in the eye and do that. I'd rather be a "murderer for hire" than a shrivled, useless, little cunt like you. Go fuck yourself.

  • May 24, 2011, 1:14 p.m. CST

    The Green Beret karate scene

    by Hipshot

    Was choreographed by Bruce Lee. Never heard a story about Lee meeting John Wayne...but man, I bet one exists.

  • May 24, 2011, 1:28 p.m. CST



    Win this war for me....

  • May 24, 2011, 1:30 p.m. CST

    Glory is good and all

    by macheesmo3

    but best war film ever? That's a bold statement!! There's Patton, and Apocalypse Now and The Longest Day, and A Bridge Too Far, and Bridge in the River Kwai.....oh wait, I know, it's Lawrence of Arabia!!! BTW,gerhard_futkanister , you are an evil little, self important ,retard fuck. I'm going to make it my life's work to get your ass banned from here. You can disagree with a politicians policy, or someones opinion , but to criticize someones military service by calling them a hired murderer is unspeakably weak.If I lived in your town i would drive to your house and force feed you your own feces. You are a coward sir, you are the lowest form of life on earth. I hope for the sake of the world that you have a vasectomy or a ball mangling accident to prevent and sowing of your seed....

  • May 24, 2011, 1:37 p.m. CST

    For all the flack GREEN BERETS gets...

    by Monroville

    It's still a pretty decent movie. Maybe not SEARCHERS great, and maybe still stuck with the 1950's and 60's writing style that Wayne and corporate Hollywood was accustomed to, but I can't really say it was THAT jingoistic, as it had criticisms about how the war was fought too. I mean, is it jingoistic to portray soldiers as actual professionals, and then play the actual Green Beret anthem at the end of the movie? That's like saying you can't play the STAR-SPANGLED BANNER in a movie about the creation of the American flag. Maybe it wasn't the "knee to the nuts" that PLATOON was, but Ollie had the benefit of making PLATOON in the mid-1980's when it was the commercial thing to portray Vietnam in the Cliff Notes version that he did. Seriously: what risk did Oliver take to make PLATOON, when by that time we already had THE DEER HUNTER, FIRST BLOOD, SOLDIER BLUE, APOCALYPSE NOW, COMING HOME, JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN, etc. etc? What did that movie ever tell us that we didn't already know already?

  • May 24, 2011, 1:38 p.m. CST

    And yes I'm aware

    by Monroville

    that it may be the other way around, in that the Green Beret's may have adopted the John Wayne movie theme as their anthem.

  • May 24, 2011, 1:40 p.m. CST

    and can we get an EDIT button?!?

    by Monroville

    Can anyone back me up on this?

  • May 24, 2011, 1:43 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Nice sarcasm about the war film genre.

  • May 24, 2011, 1:57 p.m. CST

    Harry you forgot to mention

    by ganymede3010

  • May 24, 2011, 2:07 p.m. CST

    Harry you forgot to mention the "Singularity"

    by ganymede3010

    That's the phrase that Ray often uses when he's pontificating about Technology. The Singularity in a nutshell, is when the exponential growth of Technology accelerates to a point where the pace of change is happening so fast that technological paradigm shifts will happening by the day, hours, minutes, instead of months or years, or decades. He also mentions the law of accelerating returns. Which stipulates that the pace of technological change is doubling every decade. So each decade will be able to accomplish twice as much as we did in the following decade. I really like Ray, but if you're a fan of his then this documentary is waste, especially if you've read the Singularity is near.

  • "Paths of Glory" "The Thin Red Line" (1998) "Apocalypse Now" "Full Metal Jacket" "The Battle of Algiers"

  • I want views from the pro-Kurzweil and anti-Kurzweil camps. Aaaaaaaaaand GO!

  • May 24, 2011, 2:20 p.m. CST

    Ron had no word on The Dark Tower?

    by Flip63Hole

    What's the scoop?

  • May 24, 2011, 2:26 p.m. CST

    mattman--it went away


    Went away? "I dwell in darkness without you" and it *went away*?

  • May 24, 2011, 2:30 p.m. CST



    While those are technically "good films" they cease to get my juices flowing due to their compromised vision.. Gimmie the 5 hour version of APOCALYPSE or THIN RED LINE or fuck off!! And although i like PATHS OF GLORY, Kirk Douglas needs to go back to singing with a seal.

  • May 24, 2011, 2:39 p.m. CST

    The thing about Platoon is that it was the first commercial

    by openthepodbaydoorshal

    feature to be written and directed by a former "grunt". A lot, I mean a LOT of press was written about Stone's past...quitting his upper class lifestyle to join up to fight in Vietnam. So despite all the films that came before, some undeniable classics included, it became the most "authentic" because of Stone's tour of duty.

  • May 24, 2011, 2:50 p.m. CST

    "Grand Prix" / "Le Mans" question:

    by WriteForTheEdit

    I love both these films, but haven't seen them since I was much, much younger. One of them has an accident scene, with one of the cars dead on the track, on fire. It's going to explode and the driver knows it. He gets out and starts to run. It's shown in super-slow motion, interrupted with little bursts of real-time, the driver's heartbeat (?) on the audio. Total agony to watch. Brilliant. Does anyone remember which film that's from?

  • May 24, 2011, 3:24 p.m. CST

    Howard & Eastwood...

    by Grinning White Skull

    Wow. What a cool cinematic pairing to have Eastwood and Howard play in a film directed by one or both of them together.

  • May 24, 2011, 3:57 p.m. CST


    by Stabby

    Neither. You're thinking of Ricky Bobby: Talladega Nights.

  • May 24, 2011, 4:01 p.m. CST


    by The Shropshire Slasher

    Just my opinion of course, but I have to respectfully disagree with you about Sheen. While I don't think he sucked in Platoon or Wall Street, I do think he was VERY fortunate to be cast in them both. To say that he was "one of the most talented and great actors working at the time" is a bit of a stretch. Again, just my opinion.

  • May 24, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Gods & Generals & Blah, Blah, Blah

    by unblinkingeye

    I remember catching it at the movies with my best buddy who loved Gettysburg. All the endless speeches, with the worse being Stonewall Jackson (Stephen Lang), dulled the film down to a stop. I remember ribbing my friend as we were leaving it showed the real reason Jackson was "accidently" shot by his troops: he wouldn't shut up! Guess the Incredibles were right about monologuing.

  • May 24, 2011, 4:13 p.m. CST

    stabby: *slapping forehead*

    by WriteForTheEdit

    Of course... So, who puts the panther in McQueen's car in "Le Mans?"

  • May 24, 2011, 4:17 p.m. CST

    The best Civil War movie is Ken Burns' documentary

    by ReportAbuse

    That is a classic. Otherwise arguing for G&G vs. Gettysburg is like arguing The Prestige vs. The Illusionist ... each has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • May 24, 2011, 4:50 p.m. CST

    Papillon has one of my favourite lines of any film

    by alan_poon

    "I accuse YOU... of a WASTED LIFE!" "Guilty."

  • May 24, 2011, 5:31 p.m. CST

    "Eat My Dust" was my parents 1st date movie

    by professorjack

    true story

  • May 24, 2011, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Fighting Mad

    by Coma Baby

    After seeing Something Wild a few years ago, I think I'm becoming a late-blooming Jonathan Demme fan. I'll have to track down fighting mad. There are some other early movies by him that I really dug - Last Embrace, and especially Citizen's Band which I found on VHS at the local video store. That one should really make it to DVD.

  • May 24, 2011, 10:22 p.m. CST

    GrandPrix/LeMans Question

    by tigana99

    The answer is LeMans.

  • May 24, 2011, 11:18 p.m. CST

    Word on Stalker!

    by T 1000 xp professional

    that's probably one of my top ten favorite films.. why does it feel that even thought they're so many talented and special film makers out there, Tarkovsky seemed like he operated on a different wavelength

  • May 24, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Honestly, I agree with ALMOST everything Ray Kurzweil says

    by Sardonic

    I just don't think it's going to happen in twenty-five years. More like the end of this century, minimum.

  • May 25, 2011, 12:02 a.m. CST

    My uncle was in 'nam...

    by Stegman84

    He doesn't talk about it. At least not with those that haven't been to war themselves anyhow. He came back after two tours and adjusted into 'normal' life relatively well, as far as we all know, and certainly a lot better than a lot of his friends did. He's also a huge movie fan, just as I am. And while he won't talk directly about the war or his part in it, I have had many conversations with him about war movies. He loves Apocalypse Now and First Blood and Deer Hunter as films. He's so-so on Full Metal Jacket and Hamburger Hill, and thought that Charlie 84 MoPic was truly under-rated. Just as a few examples. He's never seemingly had a problem watching Hollywood war or vietnam themed films. But the only one I have ever heard him say 'got it right' was Platoon. That was the only one, to my knowledge, that actually had an affect on him beyond just the filmic. To me it's just a truly great film. But to him, I don't know, it's like a falling back into an old, all too familiar psyche or something. There's a power to it that resonated with my uncle in a way that I can't quite explain or understand, but he once said something along the lines of "it's not my story, but it is my experience" in reference to Platoon. I guess that sums it up as well as anything. To film lovers, Platoon is a truly great film. But to many of those that were there, I think it's one of those rare films that is something more.

  • May 25, 2011, 12:38 a.m. CST

    Asi.....thanks for the interesting info re Porteugals

    by southafricanguy

    involvement in an African I know full well how those wars affected our neighbours. But the sequal as it were to your story is that after you guys left (similar to how after the french left vietnam) the south African army went into Angola afterwards (as America went into Vietnam afterwards) and proceeded to fuck it up even more. All in the name of fighting the commies there.... The SA army pretty much sacked their capital city, and we ensured that a civil war (we pretty much armed and trained Savimbi..) would continue for years after we left.... It was the old divide and conquer tactic...if they were too busy fighting amongst themselves, they would never be able to fight us... Man Asi...the old SA government was fucked up...

  • May 25, 2011, 12:40 a.m. CST sister in laws brother, and her sis

    by southafricanguy

    ters brother both fought in Angola against the communists there in the 80's, and they are exactly the same...never talk about it. In fact my sister in laws brother to this day has trouble sleeping at night because of nightmares he has about the things he saw and did....

  • May 25, 2011, 12:41 a.m. CST

    Asi.....and like you guys, we have never been

    by southafricanguy

    able to make a movie that reflected that war as American film makers were able to do so well....

  • May 25, 2011, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Imho, you need to watch Apocylypse now, Plato

    by southafricanguy

    on, and Full metal Jacket as a sort of trilogy tp get a good overall impression of what Vietnam must have been like....

  • May 25, 2011, 12:59 a.m. CST

    by Alexander

    You have to think exponentially.

  • May 25, 2011, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Transcendent Man just blew my fucking mind

    by Alexander

    Everyone MUST see this film! genius thanks Harry...

  • May 25, 2011, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Gettysburg/God And Generals box set... July 1st

    by JohnIan

    I was bummed that the director's cut of both films were only on Blu. Not true, come July 1st there will be a box set with both films; the longer cuts. $69.92 DVD. $84.99 Blu-Ray. Both boxes come with commemorative coin, 32 page excerpt from Time-The Civil War: An Illustrated History, photo booklet of CW artifacts and correspondence. And a double sided battlefield map by National Geographic. Neat. I still have my big laser disc box set, came with a civil war bullet and stuff.

  • May 25, 2011, 5:14 a.m. CST


    by gerhard_futkanister

    I have called quite a few soldiers murderers for hire to their faces and will continue to do so, as it is not only my staunch belief to be true, but honestly, i think it is evident. you have been brainwashed enough apparently that you LIKE being a hired murderer. so much that you prefer it to being anything else (especially "a shrivled, useless, little cunt" as you so eloquently put it. what is it with you soldier types and your love for sexist insults?) i'd rather be a shrivEled, useless little cunt any day, than a guy who does not know any better and gets used by people who are smarter and more powerful than him to do their dirty work - murder for money. but hey, that's just me. keep killing them brown people! Oooh-rah!

  • May 25, 2011, 7:43 a.m. CST

    The Choppah is my favorite talkbacker

    by hst666

  • May 25, 2011, 7:54 a.m. CST


    by atm216

    Your Ignorance is humorous in a benign mountain dew code red swilling, fifteen year old whos on the high school debate team, has never seen what someone who has been murdered or truly grasps the concept of what murder "is" kinda way. I dont need to defend my service or my time spent at war for my country. However, I will defend the honor of the men spent time with in a war. We didnt technically agree with but, went out of our way to fight it the RIGHT way. I think Platoon was a good movie because it shows the worst of war and People in General need to know exactly how shitty War can be. I dont Doubt Mr. Gerhard that you truly believe that a man who serves his country is a paid murderer. BUt on the flip side Sometimes we get to be the paid rescuer or the paid guy who builds sandbags in some enpoverished country to save a farm from being swalloed by flood waters. I didnt like war. I didnt get my rocks off wearing a flaming born to kill tattoo. I spent my war making sure in the whole goddamn, shi,t chaos, and bordem that War really is, 7 guys who could die at a seconds notice knew that I would rather take their place so that weight of guilt about what we were fighting for would be layed on MY shoulders. NOT theirs That they would remain clean. Also Mr Gerhard, I get the deep impression that there has been a point in your life when you have seen a service member ( whereever you live probably france) and failed to act on voicing your opinion that he is a murderer) Because you are beneath that. Both you and I Know that would be a very honorable thing. Something a Soldier(heck from anywhere) ( or in my case a United STATES marine). Now my ambien has kicked in and i am quite afraid i i wont bash you better when im zonked out. Gerhard I End this with a simple question? What do you FIght For? What is worth someone life to you ? Just curious

  • May 25, 2011, 8:24 a.m. CST

    tired clichees

    by gerhard_futkanister

    blablabla it's not about the murdering, it's about taking care of my buddies in the field blablabla you are probably from france, communist pacifist faggot blabla i fight for freedom and democracy bla at least you didn't "technically agree" with being a murderer for cash... jeez

  • May 25, 2011, 8:33 a.m. CST

    If you can't get the job done in the bedroom...

    by Arafel

    ...then you can't get the job done on the movie screen!

  • May 25, 2011, 9:48 a.m. CST

    the use of phillip glass Truman Show music

    by Batmanster

    seemed especially fitting to me watching Kurzweil wax eloquent about his understanding of the world in which he is living and its future in "Transcendant Man". I wonder if he will ever have that moment where his boat runs into the wall and Ed Harris starts talking over the loudspeaker. Maybe when he attempts to reanimate his dead father and it stairs back at him with Polar Express eyes.

  • May 25, 2011, 9:50 a.m. CST


    by Batmanster

  • May 25, 2011, 9:51 a.m. CST

    Good use of Mary Steenburgen...

    by Somerichs

    Choppah, i'ma leave the obvious retort to that unspoken, and instead thank you for bringing up Parenthood. Serious, serious props to Ron Howard for crafting a film that works on so many levels. I loved it when I first saw it in the theaters as a high school kid, and I love it even more now as a parent. So much of it is true and relatable in ways that I was incapable of seeing back then.<p>What's more, I am keenly interested in revisiting all of those characters 22 years later. Except for Jason Robards, and probably the grandma, I'm pretty sure all of those actors are still around; they could pretty much reassemble the entire cast. Imagine how great that sequel would (or could) be. Maybe I need to start a campaign to get Ron on that stat. and yes, I know they have the tv show and all, but still...

  • May 25, 2011, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Good use of Mary Steenburgen...

    by Somerichs

    I can think of a few... :) But seriously, folks, I think it's high time Ron made a sequel to Parenthood, with all the same characters 22 years on down the road. With the exception of Jason Robards and maybe the Grandma, I'm pretty sure they could get back every single cast member from the original. I would be keenly interested in (a) seeing where all these characters are at now and (b) getting Ron's and/or the original writers' take on parenthood 22 years after crafting the original movie. <p> And it IS a great movie; I loved it when I saw it in the theaters as a high school kid ("No business! No business being out there!"), and I love it on a whole 'nother level watching it now as a parent; so much of it rings true... "you know Ms. Buckman, you need a license to buy a dog, or drive a car, hell, you need a license to catch a fish, but they'll let ant butt-ream and asshole be a father."

  • May 25, 2011, 11:44 a.m. CST

    The future is futurama EyePhones jammed into your eye socket.

    by UltraTron

    Can't wait for the superman and 2 blus with uncompressed audio. I was trying to figure out what superman being Zod's slave would be like. Forever. I mean after a while they'd grow tired of fucking with him. Not enough shit lying around to kick over and make him clean up. He'd clean it up at light speed and they'd get bored quick. In fact they have no motivation at all without superman. He could have just gone away and they would have grown tired of smashing stuff and just killed themselves off

  • I know that shit happens in real life but it still pisses me off. I'm sorry but if that were my son not only would he not be getting a dime from me, but Barack Obama would be getting sent straight to a foster home.

  • May 25, 2011, 12:18 p.m. CST

    woops on the double-post...

    by Somerichs

    thought I submitted that first one, then it was gone, now it's back...

  • May 25, 2011, 12:47 p.m. CST

    tigana99: Thanks, amigo!

    by WriteForTheEdit

  • May 25, 2011, 1:22 p.m. CST


    by Chris

    While I tend to doubt that you called a service man a "murderer for hire" to his face, I think you probably were part of a crowd that outnumbered him or her 10 or 20 to 1, or in a place like Cambridge MA. Just remember the next time you do that's it's not the newspaper that ensures freedom of speech, it's the soldier. "The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself." John Stuart Mill

  • May 25, 2011, 1:33 p.m. CST

    could you brainwashed fools please stop

    by gerhard_futkanister

    rehashing the propaganda they fed you in boot camp? you seriously think your valiant effort to secure foreign oil markets for the top 1% of your country's society ensures anyone's freedom? I understand the brainwashing is pervasive, but jesus dudes, _try_ to wake up at least. Is there a single war you people fought "for the american way" in the last 50 years that has made your country safer or has "freed" anyone of you people? it is a shame what they are doing to you poor, doomed fools. i fight for a future where the lowest educated and worst aggression managed part of society will not be used by the elite to do their murderous bidding.

  • May 25, 2011, 4:27 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    On the other hand, you guys made a total badass SF movie, DSITRICT 9. So you have that. And Charlize Theron.

  • May 25, 2011, 4:28 p.m. CST


    by AsimovLives

    Once Upon A Time In The West is also my favorite western as well.

  • May 25, 2011, 5:33 p.m. CST


    by sanford and gun

    I understand what you're trying to say, but you're not saying it well. <p> I was in the army during desert storm and I knew it was unjust then as it is now, but neither myself or my fellow soilders (yes, there are some exceptions) were murdering for pay. That type of shit doesn't add up no matter how you slice it.<p> Patriotic soilders aren't mercenaries. Now if you want to talk about our bastard leaders, fine. We can do that all day, but don't shit on the soilders for doing what's right for their family while hopefully helping all Americans and citizens of the world as well.<p> Some of you may know me as Oprah_Duke, but for some reason I couldn't sign in under that moniker, so I fell back on my old shit!!<p> Peace!!

  • May 25, 2011, 7:50 p.m. CST

    Mary Steenburgen is hotter than ever.


    I take care of her whenever Ted's outta town. Those legs!

  • May 27, 2011, 6:45 p.m. CST

    Caruso IS NOT a talented director

    by Foucault

    I mean.... Eagle Eye? I am number 4? Those aren't good flicks. He sucks big.

  • May 27, 2011, 8:16 p.m. CST

    Can't expect Harry to like GETTYSBURG 'cause...

    by Taillefer

    ....there's no boobies in it. Or giant robots. And it depicts real violence, not cartoon violence. Yeah, clearly not for Harry. GETTYSBURG is an awesome film. GODS & GENERALS not so much. T.

  • May 29, 2011, 7:10 p.m. CST

    OMG I remember "Eat My Dust!"

    by Triple_J_72

    And yes, my folks did take me to a drive-in to see it. I must have been like 4 years old. There's only about 2 shots from the movie that I can recall... it wasn't quite dusk yet when the movie started and there was a trumpet fanfare or something, I was like "The movie can't be starting yet, maybe this is a short or a preview..." then I see the red racing car coming at me and the words "EAT MY DUST!" And the other scene I remember was about midway through, Ron Howard is standing outside his girlfriend's house, and he was sad, I didn't know why, maybe I was half asleep at the time. And I also remember seeing a commercial for "Grand Theft Auto." I was at an Asian woman's house. My dad was a mechanic and he was fixing her washing machine, and he couldn't get a babysitter, so he had to take me with him. Anyway the commercial came on, and the woman and I kept saying "Grand Theft Auto" to each other... She had that stereotypical Asian accent. Sometimes it sure is weird how certain things stick in your memory.

  • May 31, 2011, 1:47 p.m. CST

    Where's the new list for this week?

    by UltraTron

    Oh yeah there's nothing worth a shit: Back to school Casino royale '66 The firm Get shorty maverick Hey midnight cowboy. Sorry not workin for me Wild wild west- holy fucking shit could this list get any worse? Phew- clockwork orange 40th anniversary- can always put that in- supurb at any time I suppose Anyone see Biutiful?