Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

the-sting-by-bamdotorg11

The Sting (1973) is a top twenty film for me, as Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up to pull the con of all cons versus a criminal banker.

Robert Shaw and Charles Durning add to the gritty yet playful nature of the period piece set in 1930′s Chicago, where the slightest hand gesture can be the tipoff that you are about to get fleeced in a horse race.

Check it out.

Via Youtube:

Directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman Robert Redford Robert Shaw Charles Durning and Ray Walston Set in the 1930′s this intricate caper deals with an ambitious small-time crook and a veteran con man who seek revenge on a vicious crime lord who murdered one of their gang. Universal – 1973

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

vlcsnap-2010-08-31-01h43m07s108.png

One of Ben Stiller’s better non-comedy performances can be seen portraying a real-life drug addict in Permanent Midnight (1998), also starring the stunning Maria Bello and Owen Wilson.

Critics and audiences alike did not seem too fond of this film, but I believe it is underrated and worth a viewing.

via imdb.com

Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl’s flashback. Other women in Stahl’s life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series “Mr. Chompers” (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

Battle-at-Fort-McHenry

I present a double feature on this Fourth of July weekend matinee.

First, we have Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), starring the great James Cagney in a biography of the talented musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Next, a grittier and more controversial watch is Born on the Fourth of July (1989), directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as a paralyzed and disgruntled Vietnam Vet.

 

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street1

After reading Jordan Belfort’s entertaining autobiography of the same name back in 2007, my expectations for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) were fairly high. Then again, my expectations will always be high for any film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese. Overall, it was a pleasant viewing experience.

As I have posted before, my favorite film of all-time is Goodfellas (1990), also directed by Scorsese, and also based on a real-life story. The parallels between Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street are interesting, insofar as the cataloguing of an individual who chooses a path to criminal behavior as boys/young men and never looks back as the crimes pile up.

Whereas Goodfellas spent a bit more time fleshing out when things went awry for Henry Hill and his gang (and of course dealt with violent crimes, unlike the white collar crimes of Belfort and his crew), The Wolf of Wall Street chose to focus on the intricacies of Belfort’s cunning, extravagant and, ultimately, doomed stock-broker empire.

To be clear, I am not placing this one on the same level as Goodfellas. Much like Casino (1995), Scorsese seems to be drawing on his Goodfellas success a bit too much.

But on its own merits, The Wolf of Wall Street is a very entertaining film featuring an impressive cast, certainly worthy of a viewing even if it is over three hours long.

DiCaprio shows his acting range, once again, and asserts himself to be as estimable as any leading man in Hollywood over the past decade, despite the many snubs by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Oscars. Also impressive are Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, and Kyle Chandler.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

Forrest-Gump

It is hard to believe that it is has been twenty years since Forrest Gump (1994) was released, a bonafide classic in the heat of summer.

Tom Hanks stars in this unforgettable, sweeping drama/comedy/romance story about a challenged Alabama boy who grows up to partake in many historical events.

I would argue that the ten-minute Vietnam War sequence in the movie is as solid as several feature-length films devoted solely to Vietnam.

Also of note in the cast for great performances are: Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

RoadtoPerdition-Still3

On this Father’s Day, I am going to re-recommend the great father/son tale told in Road to Perdition (2002), one of those rare films this century which actually lives up to the inevitable hype created by its all-star cast. At the same time, it is interesting that this film is actually one of the more under-watched films, considering the mega stars it features.

The superb soundtrack, cinematography, and attention to historical detail all add to the greatness of the acting and writing.

Watch it, or re-watch it.

via Netflix:

Hit man Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), known in his 1930s Chicago world as The Angel of Death, is on the run after his wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and son (Liam Aiken) are murdered. With his surviving son (Tyler Hoechlin) in tow, Michael sets out to exact brutal vengeance. Complicating matters in this crime actioner are a reporter (Jude Law), Al Capone’s enforcer (Stanley Tucci) and other shady characters.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

the-sting-by-bamdotorg11

The Sting (1973) is a top twenty film for me, as Paul Newman and Robert Redford team up to pull the con of all cons versus a criminal banker.

Robert Shaw and Charles Durning add to the gritty yet playful nature of the period piece set in 1930′s Chicago, where the slightest hand gesture can be the tipoff that you are about to get fleeced in a horse race.

Check it out.

Via Youtube:

Directed by George Roy Hill and starring Paul Newman Robert Redford Robert Shaw Charles Durning and Ray Walston Set in the 1930′s this intricate caper deals with an ambitious small-time crook and a veteran con man who seek revenge on a vicious crime lord who murdered one of their gang. Universal – 1973

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

vlcsnap-2010-08-31-01h43m07s108.png

One of Ben Stiller’s better non-comedy performances can be seen portraying a real-life drug addict in Permanent Midnight (1998), also starring the stunning Maria Bello and Owen Wilson.

Critics and audiences alike did not seem too fond of this film, but I believe it is underrated and worth a viewing.

via imdb.com

Comedy writer Jerry Stahl, whose $6000-a-week heroin habit had him taking his infant daughter along on his drug runs and doing smack during TV script conferences. Departing detox, Stahl explores memories with survivor Kitty, who listens patiently to Stahl’s flashback. Other women in Stahl’s life are his British wife Sandra and his agent Vola. For the TV series “Mr. Chompers” (inspired by ALF), Stahl meets with sitcom exec Craig Ziffer and puppeteer Allen. For freaky freebasing, Stahl hangs with mumbler Nicky and druggie Gus.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

Battle-at-Fort-McHenry

I present a double feature on this Fourth of July weekend matinee.

First, we have Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942), starring the great James Cagney in a biography of the talented musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Next, a grittier and more controversial watch is Born on the Fourth of July (1989), directed by Oliver Stone and starring Tom Cruise as a paralyzed and disgruntled Vietnam Vet.

 

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

The-Wolf-of-Wall-Street1

After reading Jordan Belfort’s entertaining autobiography of the same name back in 2007, my expectations for The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) were fairly high. Then again, my expectations will always be high for any film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese. Overall, it was a pleasant viewing experience.

As I have posted before, my favorite film of all-time is Goodfellas (1990), also directed by Scorsese, and also based on a real-life story. The parallels between Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street are interesting, insofar as the cataloguing of an individual who chooses a path to criminal behavior as boys/young men and never looks back as the crimes pile up.

Whereas Goodfellas spent a bit more time fleshing out when things went awry for Henry Hill and his gang (and of course dealt with violent crimes, unlike the white collar crimes of Belfort and his crew), The Wolf of Wall Street chose to focus on the intricacies of Belfort’s cunning, extravagant and, ultimately, doomed stock-broker empire.

To be clear, I am not placing this one on the same level as Goodfellas. Much like Casino (1995), Scorsese seems to be drawing on his Goodfellas success a bit too much.

But on its own merits, The Wolf of Wall Street is a very entertaining film featuring an impressive cast, certainly worthy of a viewing even if it is over three hours long.

DiCaprio shows his acting range, once again, and asserts himself to be as estimable as any leading man in Hollywood over the past decade, despite the many snubs by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences at the Oscars. Also impressive are Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie, Rob Reiner, and Kyle Chandler.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

Forrest-Gump

It is hard to believe that it is has been twenty years since Forrest Gump (1994) was released, a bonafide classic in the heat of summer.

Tom Hanks stars in this unforgettable, sweeping drama/comedy/romance story about a challenged Alabama boy who grows up to partake in many historical events.

I would argue that the ten-minute Vietnam War sequence in the movie is as solid as several feature-length films devoted solely to Vietnam.

Also of note in the cast for great performances are: Robin Wright, Gary Sinise, and Mykelti Williamson.

Sunday Matinee at Chess Cinemas

RoadtoPerdition-Still3

On this Father’s Day, I am going to re-recommend the great father/son tale told in Road to Perdition (2002), one of those rare films this century which actually lives up to the inevitable hype created by its all-star cast. At the same time, it is interesting that this film is actually one of the more under-watched films, considering the mega stars it features.

The superb soundtrack, cinematography, and attention to historical detail all add to the greatness of the acting and writing.

Watch it, or re-watch it.

via Netflix:

Hit man Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks), known in his 1930s Chicago world as The Angel of Death, is on the run after his wife (Jennifer Jason Leigh) and son (Liam Aiken) are murdered. With his surviving son (Tyler Hoechlin) in tow, Michael sets out to exact brutal vengeance. Complicating matters in this crime actioner are a reporter (Jude Law), Al Capone’s enforcer (Stanley Tucci) and other shady characters.

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