Maitland McDonagh


DVD Tuesday: Bonnie and Clyde, celebrity outlaws extraordinaire!

DVD Tuesday Bonnie and Clyde The wild the beautiful and the damned come to DVD in a new deluxe editionIts hard to look at Bonnie and Clyde 1967 today and understand what a visceral shock it was in 1967 Weve had 40 years to get used to sympathetic killers abrupt shifts in tone and serious violence The road to Natural Born Killers 1994 started with Bonnie and Clyde And frankly Bonnie and Clyde is a great movie that holds up four decades laterDirected by Arthur Penn and written by Robert Benton and David Newman the films inspiration was the exploits of Depression-era outlaws Bonnie Parker Faye Dunaway Clyde Barrow Warren Beatty and their gang makeshift gang which consisted of Clydes Brother and sister-in-law Gene Hackman Estelle Parsons and teenager W D Jones The films CW Moss Michael J Pollard stands in for Jones who was unlike the rest of the gang still alive when Bonnie and Clyde was made he still sued Warner Bros for invasion of pr read more

DVD Tuesday: Sex, Lies and Atonement

DVD Tuesday Sex lies and betrayal the ravishing heartbreaking Atonement comes to DVDI cant figure out why Atonement didnt get a little more love from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences but Im doing my bit to make up for it Its beautifully adapted by Christopher Hampton Dangerous Liaisons from Ian McEwans devastating novel -- which I highly recommend reading its just as gripping after youve seen the movie because its about so much more than what happens next and features top-notch performances Just dont expect the new Titanic which is the way its been marketed Its not a glossy period romance its a gorgeously photographed examination of the ugly things people do out of ignorance spite and ambition England 1935 The wealthy Tallis family is gathered at its vast country estate on a swelteringly hot summer day Eldest daughter Cecilia Keira Knightley and Robbie James McAvoy the housekeepers son Mr Tallis is beneficently putting thr read more

Sex Scandals and Politicians at the Movies

Lolita Davidovich, Paul Newman courtesy Buena Vista Pictures/Courtesy Everett Collection

Ask FlickChick What was that movie about a governor who resigned because of a scandal involving prostitutesQuestion I know this is shallow but when I heard about Eliot Spitzer hiring hookers the first thing I thought of was this movie I saw about a governor who had to resign because of his relationship with a prostitute But for the life of me I cant remember who was in it or any of the details Can you help RachelFlickChick I can You must be thinking of Blaze 1989 a fictionalized version of the real-life relationship between stripper Blaze Starr played by Lolita Davidovich and Louisiana governor Earl Long Paul Newman younger brother of the notorious Huey The Kingfish Long The 62-year-old Earl Long in the third year of his third term as governor he served first from 1939-1940 then as lieutenant governor he stepped in for disgraced governor Richard Leche from 1948-1952 and his third term was 1956-1960 in 1958 or 59 met Starr then in her twenties w read more

DVD Tuesday: Monsters and Hotties in Animal Skins!

DVD Tuesday Monsters and hotties in animal skins thank you 10000 BC for the cheesy but cherished memoriesArchaeologists are scoffing at 10000 BC and I hope no one takes it for a historically accurate picture of Ice Age life But it did a great first weekend because lets face it Many of us have a place in our hearts for ridiculous epics about good-looking people in skimpy animal-skin outfits and monsters dragons saber-tooth tigers more correctly called smilodons as though anyones going to switch to a dorky name like that whats the diff Call me old-fashioned but I prefer my ridiculous pseudo-history made in the years BC before CGI Give me a stop-motion dinosaur or even an iguana in dinosaur drag over a weightless computer rendering Since I dont have to tell anyone that One Million Years BC 1966 starring Raquel Welch is the gold standard for this kind of nonsense Im going to suggest taking a look at When Dinosaurs Ruled the Ea read more

Were Nashville's actors really singing, and more...

Ask FlickChick Did the actors in Nashville really do their own singing Plus What movie is this and more questions answeredQuestion I recently saw Nashville for the first time and have two questions First the end credits for the songs seem to indicate that most of them were actually sung by the actors and actresses rather than dubbed Were they really singing the songs If so they sounded pretty good to me Second maybe I missed something but why was the singer shot at the big rally -- what did the shooter have against her Thanks -- Marty FlickChick Not did the cast of Robert Altmans Nashville 1975 -- who with the exception of Ronee Blakely had little or no professional music training or experience -- perform their songs but many wrote them as well And almost without exception theyre terrific For me the only truly unconvincing performer is Lily Tomlin who plays white gospel singer Linnea Reese She just plain cant sing and putting a genuine gospel choir b read more

DVD Tuesday: Best Heist Movie Ever? Rififi!

Rififi courtesy Criterion

DVD Tuesday Steal this movie -- Rififi is the cr232me de la cr232me of heist pictures Australian director Roger Donaldsons 70s-era heist picture The Bank Job opens this Friday and not only is it a taut engrossing thriller but it proves that Jason Statham actually can act Hes not Laurence Olivier or anything but his performance justifies my longtime and much derided feeling that given the chance he could do more than crack wise and flex his formidable musculature Naturally I got to thinking about great heist movies which inevitably led me to Jules Dassins unforgettable Rififi 1954 Rififi wasnt the first true heist picture which Id define as a film that is focused on the planning execution and aftermath of a complicated and difficult robbery as well as on the complex relationships between the robbers The first was probably John Hustons The Asphalt Jungle 1950 But Rififi was revelation when I saw it for the first time a few years back at New Yorks F read more

Your Oscar Questions Answered!

Johnny Depp in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street by Peter Mountain/ DreamWorks Pictures

Ask FlickChick Oscar rules Oscar history Oscar procedures your questions answeredQuestion Debate about the Oscars why werent any of the songs of Sweeney Todd nominated Its Sondheim after all Could there be a reason like a regulation or something Dreamgirls was on Broadway first and had songs nominated didnt it We dont understand Love you all at TV Guide though Thanks LilaFlickChick None of Stephen Sondheims songs could be nominated because of rules In order for a song from Tim Burtons film version of Sweeney Todd to have been eligible for an Academy Award it would have to have been written specifically for the film Youre absolutely right Dreamgirls 2006 was a Broadway musical before it was filmed but the three count em three nominated songs Listen Love You I Do and Patience were all new And they all lost Thats also how Chicago 2002 picked up its best-song nomination John Kander and Fred Ebb who wrote a read more

Marion Cotillard Sings Piaf

Can I give a little shout out to Marion Cotillard for her incredibly classy impromptu backstage performance after her best actress winFirst off I have to say that while I was rooting for Julie Christie Away from Her I wasnt the least bit sorry to see Cotillard win for La Vie en Rose Her performance as French singer Edith Piaf was flat-out amazing and I hope her win will encourage some people who might not otherwise have bothered with the film to rent it I have a feeling her win was the result of academy voters catching up with the movie late in the day and being blown away by it Piafs life was the stuff of old Hollywood melodrama -- childhood abandonment life-threatening illness bad men drugs alcohol despair -- and Cotillard gets it all on screen without descending into cliche And then to cap it all off as she was doing her backstage interviews she sang the chorus of Padam Padam -- classic Piaf about a song so haunting that that it very nearly drives the read more

It's like Groundhog Day, but different. What is it?

Ask FlickChick Its like Groundhog Day but it isnt Groundhog Day What is it And more movie answersSend your movie questions to FlickChickQuestion I have spent hours using IMDB and keywords but I cannot find this movie It involved a time loop -- living the same day over -- and I think it preceded Groundhog Day 1993 It seemed to be made-for-TV A young guy wakes up goes to work at an office gets in trouble with the boss spills something on himself sees something bad happen to a young lady he likes He wakes up and thinks hes experiencing deja vu but its the same day again and he changes stuff The time loop is caused by a machine that the heroes must stop -- MLaneFlickChick Its 1201 which was directed by Jack Sholder and based on a 1973 short story 1201 P by veteran sci-fi writer Richard A Lupoff In one of those weird something was in the air coincidences it first aired on TV the same year Groundhog Day debuted in theaters 1993Ordinary office drone read more

DVD Tuesday: Multiple Oscar-nominee Michael Clayton on DVD

George Clooney in Michael Clayton courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures

DVD Tuesday Michael Clayton cynicism disillusionment and all those Oscar nominationsMichael Clayton has been nominated for seven Academy Awards including best picture so nows the time catch up with it on DVD Michael Clayton George Clooney is a lawyer but Michael Clayton isnt a courtroom drama Its dedicated to the proposition that the real drama of legal proceedings takes place everywhere but in court And Clayton is the guy who in most films about the law would be the bad guy An in-house fixer for the white-shoe Manhattan firm of Kenner Bach Ledeen He brokers private deals talks reason into arrogant clients convinced they can get away with murder and babysits for staffers with problems like senior partner Arthur Edens Tom Wilkinson a great guy as long as he takes his psychotropic meds The firm needs Clayton enough that theyve bailed him out of his own messes notably a recurring gambling problem But hes not quite their sort a blue-collar scr read more

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