This Month's Featured Equipment Reviews
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Sunday, 01 July 2007 |
Steve McQueen was pleased enough with director Sam Peckinpah during the
making of “Junior Bonner” that he hired Sam to direct “The Getaway.” It
resulted in one of the most satisfying movies of either man—and apart
from “Papillon,” was the last genuinely good movie that McQueen made.
His career and life off screen began to go offtrack during the making
of “The Getaway;” he had a torrid affair with co-star Ali MacGraw,
married to Robert Evans, then head of Paramount, and it ended his
long-time marriage to Neile Adams. Soon, McQueen was involved in drugs
and alcohol, though his early death was due to cancer. His marriage to
MacGraw burned out in five years, and he left a third wife, much
younger than him, a widow.
Peckinpah had a few more good years, but he, too, was notoriously
self-destructive, and he spiraled down to the likes of “Convoy” in much
the same manner ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
In the original movie, “Poseidon” is struck by a tsunami and
overturned. At the time, as pointed out in the History Channel episode
on the disc, no one thought that was possible. Since that time, the
world has learned how frightening that force of nature can be. In the
NBC remake, the destruction was caused by a terrorist bomb to exploit
the paranoia heightened by 9/11.
In Petersen’s version of the movie, the destructive force was changed
to a rogue wave, unlike tsunamis, which resemble extremely fast, very
high tides, and which cause destruction along shorelines; they’re not
necessarily very hazardous to ships at sea. Rogue waves have been
documented over a hundred feet in height and have totally destroyed
ships as big as the “Poseidon” in the movie.
The plot is simple. A huge luxury ocean liner is overturned at sea and
a handful of people that survived the initial destruction struggle ...
Friday, 01 June 2007 |
“Bullitt” was a medium-budget studio movie, basically a standard police
thriller—but what it was about is not as important as its style, and
that amazing car chase, still one of the best in movie history. It set
precedents that many producers and directors have tried to top—and
though many have succeeded (from “The French Connection” to “The Bourne
Supremacy”), this blistering, beautifully-edited sequence in “Bullitt”
is still the one everything else is compared to.
Furthermore, McQueen cut such a stylish figure as the San Francisco
police detective with the ludicrous name of Frank Bullitt that he
established a new style for cops and their behavior. There wouldn’t
have been a “Dirty Harry” or any Lethal Weapons without Frank
Bullitt—or without Steve McQueen. He sometimes isn’t given his due as
an actor, but he burned a hole in the screen—his sheer presence was
electrifying and memorable. But like most such figures in movie
Thursday, 01 February 2007 |
High school student Sean Boswell (Lucas Black) finds himself in trouble
with the law after participating in a road race that trashes both his
car and that of his competitor, an obnoxious jock on the football team.
Sean’s mother makes a deal to save him from severe punishment and sends
him to Japan to stay with his father (Brian Goodman), her ex-husband.
Initially a fish out of water in Japan, Sean quickly finds his way (via
fellow American student Twinkie) into the twilight world of
“Drifting”-- a type of garage and road-racing that involves sliding the
rear of the car as much as possible, especially around every corner.
Sean is befriended by cool “Drifter” Han (Sung Kung) and finds himself
falling for Australian Neela (Nathalie Kelley) which puts him at odds
with the “Drift King” (Brian Tee).
This third chapter in the “Fast and the Furious” series is a definite
step-up from ...
Monday, 01 January 2007 |
Brian O’Connor (Paul Walker), after betraying the police at the end of
“The Fast and the Furious,” is hiding out in Miami, Florida among the
road-racing crowd. When Brian is arrested by the police during a
road-racing bust, he is offered a chance to avoid jail, by going
undercover, as a member of the crew of local crime boss Carter Verone
(Cole Hauser) in an attempt to catch him transporting large sums of
money out of the country. Further complicating matters, Brian must work
with both Roman Pearce (Tyrese Gibson), an ex-friend who doesn’t trust
him, and Monica (Eva Mendes), an undercover agent, who is Verone’s
current girlfriend and who may have turned against the cops.
“The Fast and the Furious” was very entertaining popcorn junk. Fun,
fast paced and loud, with a filmmaker clearly inspired by the milieu
and the flashy cars that are the raison d’etre for the film. “2 ...