Jun 17, 2012

OO7 Hits the Brosnan and Craig Years - Screening at the American Cinematheque - June 18 - 24, 2012

Sadly the final week of the OO7 at 50 Retrospective has come - wow that went by fast.  This week has the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig entries.  The retrospective maybe over, but more Bond movies are on the way with SKYFALL coming in November.

Also another great advanced member's screening of a new summer movie, and some other great gems.

THE EGYPTIAN - 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, California 90028

Wednesday, June 20th, 7:30pm

WAIT UNTIL DARK (1967, Warner Bros.; Directed by: Terence Young)

This screening is in conjunction with a series of films that made their debut at the Egyptian theater over it's illustrious 90 year history.

One of my all-time favorite thrillers has a blind Audrey Hepburn terrorized by some thugs looking for a doll filled with heroin recently smuggled to New York from Montreal.  Hepburn's husband (Efram Zimbalist, Jr.) has left her alone, and the leader of this group played by Alan Arkin is a true psychopath playing some pretty heavy head games with this defenseless blind Hepburn.

Extremely suspenseful and entertaining.  The movie is a true edge-of-your-seat experience.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Thursday, June 21st - 7:30pm

SAVAGES (2012, Universal; Directed by: Oliver Stone)

The Cinematheque presents another Members Only screening of a movie about to hit theaters in the next few weeks (July 6th I believe).  This time it's Oliver Stone's latest film SAVAGES based on the book by Don Winslow.

Oliver Stone heads back into U-TURN territory with this thriller about a couple small-time drug dealers (Taylor Kisch and Aaron Johnson) that get in over their head when a larger drug cartel tries to muscle them into a partnership.  The cartel kidnaps their shared girlfriend (Blake Lively) demanding money, and the two go up against the cartel in a very clever yet dangerous way.

Oliver Stone is one of my favorite modern directors (look for my soon-to-be-posted top 10 Stone films coming soon) and I also enjoyed the book, so this is one of my highly anticipated movies this year.

Another great reason to become an American Cinematheque member.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Friday, June 22nd - 7:30pm

FREAKS (1932, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer; Directed by: Tod Browning)

This movie will keep you up at night - actually no, make that several nights.  Tod Browning's tale of unique circus performers is as bizarre as they get, made even more so by the fact that all the people on screen have not been altered by makeup or effects.

This movie was banned for decades in the UK, but is a movie that must be seen just for the pure shock value of the characters alone.  It defies description, so you must see it to believe it.

Followed by...

CARNIVAL OF SOULS (1962, Harcourt; Directed by: Herk Harvey)

A woman gets in a car accident that kills her friends, and becomes an organist in a church.  There she is haunted by a mysterious figure that seems to want to lead her to an abandoned carnival that will reveal some very dark secrets.

A haunting and surreal movie, this is one crazy and amazing double feature.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, June 23rd - 7:30pm

THE WORLD IS NOT ENOUGH (1999, United Artists; Directed by: Michael Apted)

Pierce Brosnan's third outing as OO7 (see the Aero's schedule for the first 2) has him racing against the clock to save M (Judi Dench) who has been kidnapped.  The villain played by Robert Carlyle can feel no pain making him a very formidable adversary for OO7.

Notable for the final appearance by Desmond Llewelyn as Q (he is replaced here by comedian John Cleese).  Also has a great cheese factor given that Denise Richards plays a nuclear physicist (yeah it's a stretch) named Christmas Jones (and the double entendre connected with the name will make you groan as I remember it doing the entire theater back in 1999 when I first saw it).

Followed by...

DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002, United Artists; Directed by: Lee Tamahori)

The fourth and final Pierce Brosnan Bond film has him teamed up with CIA agent Jinx (Halle Berry - who almost was spun off into her own series of movies) battling a North Korean plot involving conflict diamonds.

Great opening to this movie has Bond captured and tortured mercilessly by the North Koreans.  But don't let that fool you, the movie doesn't stay on the dark side long and gets back to being a true OO7 romp fairly quickly.  Title song is by Madonna, and there are some nice easter eggs referencing past OO7 adventures - especially keep an eye open during the sequence with Q (again John Cleese).



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

THE AERO - 1328 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, California  90403

Wednesday, June 20th - 7:30pm

Grit and Whimsy III: The Best of Recent Belgian Cinema

ALTIPLANO (2009, First Run Features; Directed by: Peter Brosens, Jessica Hope Woodworth)

Not only do you get a great movie, but there will also be a Belgian Beer reception in the lobby and Belgian waffles with a variety of toppings will be on sale outside.  With that information, I am having trouble focusing on the fact there is a movie to be seen here.

I have not seen this film, and know very little about it.  So I am going to borrow the blurb from the American Cinematheque website.

Set in the Andes of Peru, optometrist Max (Dardenne brothers regular Olivier Gourmet) and his adrift photojournalist wife Grace (Jasmin Tabatabai) are installing a rural clinic offering free eye surgery to the indigenous population. When a soon-to-be-married villager dies from an illness related to the nearby mining activity, Max and Grace find themselves caught up in battle that has the locals vehemently uprising against the mining company. Official selection of the Cannes International Critics' Week. In Spanish, French, Quecha and Persian with English subtitles.


Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Thursday, June 21 - 8:00pm


One of the great American novelists will be talking about his long and successful career.  I have read every one of Mr. Irving's books, and love them all (ok so I haven't read his latest yet, IN ONE PERSON, but I will).  My favorites of course are THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP, A PRAYER FOR OWEN MEANY and THE CIDER HOUSE RULES.

Mr. Irving also won an Oscar for THE CIDER HOUSE RULES screenplay in 1999.  This should be a very entertaining evening.

Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Friday, June 22nd - 7:30pm

GOLDENEYE (1995, United Artists; Directed by: Martin Campbell)

There was a very long gap between Bond films for the first time, and OO7 didn't get into the 90s until 1995 (the previous entry was Timothy Dalton's LICENCE TO KILL in 1989).  Pierce Brosnan, forever linked to having almost taken the role many times finally takes up the Licence to Kill and GOLDENEYE is the first (and best) of the Brosnan Bonds.

One of the best aspects is Famke Janssen who is a Russian killer that literally orgasms as she murders.  Sean Bean - with his head very much intact - is the big bad.  Judi Dench takes over as the first female M and has a great speech slamming Bond's ways with women.

After the darker approach of LICENCE TO KILL Bond goes back to his roots with a bang.

Followed by...

TOMORROW NEVER DIES (1997, United Artists; Directed by: Roger Spottiswoode)

Brosnan Bond #2 has him facing a media mogul (Jonathan Pryce) planning to ignite World War III so his cable news network and newspapers will get the scoop first hand.  With a biting commentary on modern news (ok so maybe a little far fetched but still), the movie has all the action you'd expect especially since Bond teams up with Michelle Yeoh and there is plenty of kung fu fighting to go around.  I wonder if Pryce's character was also hacking phones.  Hmmmmm.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Saturday, June 23rd - 7:30pm

FORBIDDEN ZONE (1982, FZ; Directed by: Richard Elfman)

Director Richard Elfman will be on hand to discuss his cult classic that almost defies description - so let me just focus on one thing...Oingo Boingo.  That's right, now film composer Danny Elfman's band is a key element in this crazy and fun musical.

Followed by...

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT (2001, Artistic License; Directed by: Corey McAbee)

Imagine the old west where space travel has already been achieved.  No, this is not COWBOYS & ALIENS, but a fascinating blend of Sci-Fi and Western gorgeously shot in Black-and-White.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

Sunday, June 24th - 7:30pm

50 Years of OO7 comes to a close as Daniel Craig takes over as the newest (and current) James Bond.

CASINO ROYALE (2006, Sony Pictures; Directed by: Martin Campbell)

Pierce Brosnan hands over his licence to kill to Daniel Craig, and OO7 continues on into the 21st century.  Rebooting the series as a sort of Prequel sees Craig's OO7 just getting his OO status and man does this guy know how to fight.  More brutal and cold than past OO7s, M says it best when she refers to him as a blunt instrument.  A few of the typical Bond elements are present, but the iconic gun barrel sequence is a little different and this movie is much rougher around the edges than OO7 has been for some time.

Going back to the first Ian Fleming novel, the core of the story stays pretty faithful as Bond goes up against a terrorist to beat him at high stakes gambling as the terrorist is playing with his organization's money.  Granted terrorists are not nice fellows, so there are higher stakes than just money involved.

(SPOILER ALERT) The original novel contains a pretty nasty torture scene that sees OO7 have his genitals beaten with a carpet beater - and that scene shows up here.  Makes me cringe just thinking about it.

Followed by...

QUANTUM OF SOLACE (2008, Sony Pictures; Directed by: Marc Forster)

All great things must come to an end, and here is the final movie in the OO7 at 50 series (but not the last of Bond thankfully...see below) at the Cinematheque.

The most recent Bond film contains a new slant for the series - a movie that picks up immediately following CASINO ROYALE, so it's a full on sequel.  Bond continues to track down the organization that caused him grief in the first movie, and does so without finesse beating and killing pretty much everything in his way.

Daniel Craig has a lot of the elements that made Sean Connery so popular in the role - he's tough (that's an understatement) with rugged good looks and of course he drives a kick-ass car.



Link to Information and Tickets HERE.

The OO7 at 50 series may be over, but Bond lives on.  This November (9th I believe) Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in SKYFALL.  And here's the first teaser to get you ready.