Tag Archives: Jack Warden

Being There: Chance at the White House

LIFE IS A STATE OF MIND. The character of Chance in this movie, the last great one from both Peter Sellers and Hal Ashby, has entered popular culture over the years. As reality-show celebrity and billionaire Donald Trump entered the 2016 presidential race in the U.S., some political commentators made comparisons with Chance. After all, … Continue reading Being There: Chance at the White House

12 Angry Men: Choosing Life or Death

LIFE IS IN THEIR HANDS – DEATH IS ON THEIR MINDS! The most famous episode of the CBS anthology series Studio One (1947-1958) is from 1954 and features a teleplay by Reginald Rose. Depicting a process where one juror convinces eleven other men to change their guilty verdict, the episode was a hit and a decision … Continue reading 12 Angry Men: Choosing Life or Death

The Great Muppet Caper

Newspaper reporters Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie head to London to look into a sensational jewel theft, but Miss Piggy complicates everything. The sequel to The Muppet Movie (1979) has less ambition and star cameos, but amps up the number of meta jokes; the opening credits are devoted to small talk about… opening credits. The jewel … Continue reading The Great Muppet Caper

From Here to Eternity: Before Armageddon

POURING OUT OF IMPASSIONED PAGES… BRAWLING THEIR WAY TO GREATNESS ON THE SCREEN! This is what Michael Bay was aiming for when he made Pearl Harbor (2001) – hopefully engaging romantic antics that are suddenly interrupted in the end by an armageddon of sorts, the Japanese attack on Hawaii that brought the United States into … Continue reading From Here to Eternity: Before Armageddon

Bulworth

BRACE YOURSELF. THIS POLITICIAN IS ABOUT TO TELL THE TRUTH! Running for re-election in 1996, liberal California Senator Jay Billington Bulworth (Warren Beatty) decides that this is the time to have a breakdown and start telling the truth. In this comedy, Beatty finds an opportunity to tell the world what’s wrong with U.S. politics, attacking … Continue reading Bulworth

… and justice for all.

THIS MAN NEEDS THE BEST LAWYER IN TOWN. BUT THE PROBLEM IS… HE IS THE BEST LAWYER IN TOWN.  Baltimore attorney Arthur Kirkland (Al Pacino) is offered to represent a judge (John Forsythe) who stands accused of rape; the problem is that Arthur has a personal grudge against the judge. After portraying the unions’ scene … Continue reading … and justice for all.

Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

TERROR BEYOND IMAGINATION. Two salvage parties, one led by Mike Turner (Michael Caine), the other by Stefan Svevo (Telly Savalas), arrive at the site of the now flipped-over luxury liner Poseidon. The sequel to The Poseidon Adventure (1972) is a dull afterthought that almost looks like a parody of Irwin Allen’s earlier disaster movies, with unconvincing sets and … Continue reading Beyond the Poseidon Adventure

Shampoo

YOUR HAIRDRESSER DOES IT BETTER… On the eve of Richard Nixon’s election to the U.S. presidency in 1968, Beverly Hills hairdresser George Roundy (Warren Beatty) is juggling several beautiful women. A commercially successful but ultimately rather empty film that was made the year after Nixon’s resignation and looks back on a breaking point between the … Continue reading Shampoo

The Verdict: Taking a Chance on Frank Galvin

FRANK GALVIN HAS ONE LAST CHANCE TO DO SOMETHING RIGHT.  Paul Newman had six Oscar nominations behind him when he was once again nominated in 1983, this time for his performance as an ambulance-chasing lawyer in The Verdict. He didn’t win the Oscar this time either, but it is one of his finest efforts. He … Continue reading The Verdict: Taking a Chance on Frank Galvin

Bullets Over Broadway

A KILLER COMEDY! In 1920s New York, David Shayne (John Cusack) gets a chance to produce one of his plays on Broadway, but has to accept the casting of a gangster’s moll (Jennifer Tilly) in a lead role. One of Woody Allen’s most successful comedies in the 1990s takes a look at a clash between showbiz … Continue reading Bullets Over Broadway

All the President’s Men: Exposing a CREEP

THE MOST DEVASTATING DETECTIVE STORY OF THE CENTURY! When I was in journalism school, I took a course in investigative journalism. That particular genre is still the finest you can do as a news writer; expose fraud, challenge authorities. It’s not what I do nowadays but I’m not sure it’s my thing after all. Still, … Continue reading All the President’s Men: Exposing a CREEP

Death on the Nile

While traveling on the Nile on board the riverboat Karnak, Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) passes time solving the murder of a young, female passenger. Meticulously staged in terms of costumes and production design, this murder mystery has its similarities with Murder on the Orient Express (1974). Everything looks just dandy and Poirot has an all-star … Continue reading Death on the Nile