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Old 11-06-2005, 09:16   #41
John Hodson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
As promised, review of "Bullitt" here
As ever, another excellent and perceptive review Mike.

I agree about Bisset, and her dialogue. For a scipt which otherwise relies very much on 'show' rather than 'tell' (and it's the deliberate 'vagueness' - from the opening 'phone call to Frank's sideways look at his badge and gun at the end - which I think sets it apart) it's very much out of place (as is, IMHO, the explosive end to a car chase in a film that otherwise strives for realism). I've also no gripes about the pacing; it's a film that, for me, whizzes past and I'm gripped from start, and those beautiful titles, to a finish that 'Heat' appropriates, but, then again, that script does make demands on concentration. Huzzah.

Dated? I'm with you here. It's another of those films that screams '60s - I want me one of them thar porkpie hats! - but in a good way, a piece that captures time and place perfectly. Having said all that, it's probably another of those films that's aging so much better than it otherwise would do were the 21st century equivalents not over-blown, badly acted, jump cut edited, ludicrous cartoons written for people with the attention span of a...hey, are you lot still reading?

McQueen is just perfect; confident, assured, subtle. Love him. Love his bits of business with the hospital tray, the restaurant menu, love the way his casually 'combs' his hair perfectly in place in the morning with two sweeps of his hands. Mens grooming? Pshaw...

Above all, I can see him pencilling out pages of dialogue and replacing them with a look here and there. As Ford (John, not that graverobber Henry) said, it's all in the eyes.

BTW, I used to dismiss Schifrin as trite; I love his early scores today, again splendedly set in time and place, and his music - jazz club et al - is one of the film's stars.

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Old 12-06-2005, 17:27   #42
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Watched The Getaway last night; just to confirm what Mike said about the transfer - I think it looked lovely (and look forward to Mike's review).

A couple of minor points; my disappointment in not having Jerry Fielding's score reinstated as planned lead to my criticising Quincy Jones' score at almost every cue. I'll get over it...

I never noticed before - probably because when it comes to these things I'm a bit thick - the similarities between The Getaway and Raoul Walsh's High Sierra. Not just the fact that both Roy Earle and 'Doc' McCoy both spring from the same 'anti-hero' mould, that they both open with our heroes in prison, that the first they both do when sprung from the slammer is check to make sure 'grass is green and trees are still growin'', and that the purpose in letting them out is to do a job.

It's not mere coincidence that both 'Doc' and 'Mad Dog' chose the same tailor either...a nice homage. So nice that I made it a double bill and watched High Sierra right after. Very nice.
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Old 13-06-2005, 08:17   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson
BTW, I used to dismiss Schifrin as trite; I love his early scores today, again splendedly set in time and place, and his music - jazz club et al - is one of the film's stars.

I love Schifrin - aside from the guitar-fuelled glory of his Dirty Harry score, Magnum Force is a masterpiece of overblown '70s screamadelica. Impossible for me to hear it without warbling along...

And his music for THX 1138 is marvellously atypical and memorable. Terrifically gloomy. Love it.
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Old 13-06-2005, 16:21   #44
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I've reviewed "Papillon" from the boxset for DVD Times here. Even taking into account my dislike of the film, I think Warners can do a lot better than this.
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Old 19-06-2005, 11:41   #45
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DVD Times review of "The Getaway" here
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Old 19-06-2005, 16:25   #46
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Wonderful review Mike; I agree wholeheartedly, it's a film that stands up remarkably well today, even Ali mcGraw fails to set my teeth on edge (which is some kind of testament to Peckinpah and McQueen). I think the ending is...charming.

That moment when Doc stands over the prone body of Rudy, aims for his head and uses his other hand to shield him from the spatter - pure McQueen.
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Old 20-06-2005, 09:41   #47
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I've reviewed "The Cincinnati Kid" for DVD Times here
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Old 20-06-2005, 12:22   #48
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Screen caps at DVD Beaver for an old v new comparison of Bullitt here. BTW, I was chatting with a classic Mustang owner at the weekend who informed me that, when pushed, his car acheives four miles to the gallon. No wonder 'that' chase ends at a gas station...
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Old 20-06-2005, 13:16   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Hodson

That moment when Doc stands over the prone body of Rudy, aims for his head and uses his other hand to shield him from the spatter - pure McQueen.
And responsible for a million Tarantino homages (spelt R-I-P-O-F-F-S).
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Old 20-06-2005, 13:42   #50
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I think Al Lettieri steals The Getaway (ditto Mr Majestyk). I love the scene where he enters the toilet to see the guy hanging there, and without batting an eye lid he just sits down and takes a dump.
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Old 20-06-2005, 17:24   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
I've reviewed "Papillon" from the boxset for DVD Times here. Even taking into account my dislike of the film, I think Warners can do a lot better than this.
Calling Planet of the Apes an intelligent movie is may be going a bit far. One day someone will have to explain why the Apes in this movie do speak American English of the 60's

Papillon is a great action flick and McQueen was a great actor/star with probably no equivalent today.
Even if he is over-acting the solitary confinement in this one.
A pity that he wasted the end of his carrier.
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Old 20-06-2005, 17:48   #52
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It's intelligent because it's well scripted and well acted, two things which are less common in the genre than they should be. It also handles some socially relevant issues about class and race with a light and witty touch.

I think calling "Papillon" a great anything is a stretch but action flick? It's got barely any action in it and it's paced like a particularly slow tortoise.
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Old 01-07-2005, 09:18   #53
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Mike's concluded his reviews of the Warners box with a look at Tom Horn here; another engrossing read that will surely leave you wanting to see this sometimes beautiful, sometimes frustrating film again.
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Old 01-07-2005, 19:10   #54
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I'm not sure that Bullitt really cuts the mustard these days and perhaps it's only those iconic shots of McQ that convince many people that it's a great movie. Mike's comments about its prescient political cynicism are on the ball, though I wish he'd give Bissett a break (and spell Katharine Hepburn properly). On the subject of the car chase, and speaking as someone who once had a ride in Peter Yates's Silver Shadow, the whole sequence is wrecked by that awful bright green VW Beetle which they overtake at least four times! The sequence is a fake and looks like a fake. Far better is Frankenheimer and Friedkin's work in this area.
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Old 01-07-2005, 19:18   #55
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Ah, Wendell; I've missed you. We violently disagree as usual, but it's good to see you here, name dropping and getting up people's noses. Excellent.

Peter told me, BTW, that you marked his doeskin hide with your Cuban heels (you owe him for half the petrol from Cannes to Muswell Hill BTW) and he added that the reason it looks like a fake (which I don't think it does) may be because it's a film, not a documentary. Mr Friedkin and Mr Frankenheimer, thanks to the good auspices of Shirley Ghostman, concur.

Welcome back WA.

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Old 01-07-2005, 22:01   #56
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I'd love to give the charming Ms. Bissett a break, but she keeps giving appalling performances. I'm undecided as to whether she's a worse actress than Ali McGraw though.

WA always reminds me of that "Not the Nine-o-clock News" sketch - "I remember something John Wayne (applause) said to me when I was on the set with Bill Holden (applause)... and Natalie Wood (applause)... Bing Crosby was there also (ecstatic applause)..."

This does however seem to be the appropriate place to mention, for the thousandth time, that John Milius once fired a rifle at me.
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Old 01-07-2005, 22:02   #57
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I asked Felicity Kendal out once. She turned me down.
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Old 01-07-2005, 22:03   #58
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Old 02-07-2005, 08:07   #59
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Glad y'all missed me. I have of course met Bissett and found her, well, profoundly, mesmerisingly gorgeous and almost as jittery in real life as she is on the screen. My candidate for her worst ever line is the "day for night" line to the stuntman in La nuit americaine. But I blame Truffles for that, not her. To put all your minds at rest, I am not, nor even have been, a friend of Steve McQ. Never met him. But like Mike (hey that rhymes) I did once fondle all of Big John's weaponry.
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Old 21-07-2005, 08:40   #60
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R2 set on again...

That on/off R2 set is definitely on again; from www.zetaminor.com:

The release of The Essential Steve McQueen DVD box set, which was originally due on sale this week, will now take place on September the 19th.

The six-disc set will include the recently-released two-disc edition of Bullitt and the recently-released two-disc edition of The Getaway.

The new Bullitt disc features three documentaries, including one that's new to DVD: The Cutting Edge - The Magic of Movie Editing, a look at the film editing process featuring input from Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino and Ridley Scott. It will also include a new documentary about the actor, Steve McQueen: The Essence of Cool, which includes contributions from McQueen's first wife, Neile Adams, Sir Richard Attenborough, Norman Jewison, son Chad McQueen, Peter Yates and Barbara Minty (McQueen's widow). Disc one will have a commentary track, by director Peter Yates, and will also feature the film's theatrical trailer. The third documentary is carried over from the existing disc: the 1968 promotional featurette Bullitt: Steve McQueen's Commitment to Reality. The film will be presented in 1.85:1 format, with Dolby Digital 2.0 audio.

The other four films in the Collection are The Getaway, and three titles making their UK DVD debut: The Cincinnati Kid, Never So Few and Tom Horn.

McQueen plays a poker player in 1965's The Cincinnati Kid, another film directed by Norman Jewison. The disc will feature a commentary by the director; scene-specific commentary by the David Foley and Phil Gordon, the hosts of Bravo's Celebrity Poker Showdown; an archival featurette, The Cincinnati Kid Plays According to Hoyle; and a theatrical trailer. The film is in mono, and presented in 1.85: widescreen format.

The Getaway set includes a commentary by DVD producer Nick Redman, authors Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons and David Weddle; a "virtual" audio commentary with stills, featuring McQueen, co-star Ali MacGraw and director Sam Peckinpah. The disc, which will feature the film in 2.4:1 widescreen format, with mono audio, will also include a theatrical trailer.

Frank Sinatra stars in the 1959 McQueen film Never So Few, as the leader of a band of OSS operatives in WWII Burma. The film also features Charles Bronson and Peter Lawford. The film will be presented in 2.4:1 widescreen format, with Dolby Digital 5.1 audio.

McQueen plays a man hired to prevent violence on a Wyoming cattle ranch in the 1980 film Tom Horn, one of the actor's last films. The film also stars Linda Evans and The Straight Story's Richard Farnsworth. The film film will be presented in 2.4:1 widescreen format, with mono audio.

RRP for the five-title The Essential Steve McQueen Collection set is £49.99.

The US version of the set came out last month. It includes an additional film: Papillon, a title owned by Warner in the US, but by Columbia Tristar in the UK. Their Papillon disc is bare-bones, in contrast to the UK disc, which has a featurette, and an isolated score track (featuring a perennial favourite by Jerry Goldsmith). The UK Papillon disc is usually available for about £7. SRP for the US set is $68.92.
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