A FEW FUN FACTS ABOUT MICHAEL CAINE

Who doesn’t like Michael Caine? It’s hard to imagine that there are any film fanatics alive who don’t appreciate at least one or two of the 123 films that he’s appeared in. I happen to love the bespectacled British actor and today TCM will be airing a batch of films he appeared in as part of their ongoing “Summer Under the Stars” programming. One of … Continue reading A FEW FUN FACTS ABOUT MICHAEL CAINE

6 Months of Film Writing

I’m afraid I’ve been neglecting Cinebeats again but I’ve been busy with various personal projects and obligations. I’ve also recently started writing for Publishers Weekly but I thought I’d finally update with some highlights from TCM’s Movie Morlocks. Here’s some of the more interesting (in my estimation) film related writing & entertaining babble I’ve produced in the last 6 months. You might notice that the … Continue reading 6 Months of Film Writing

They said WHAT?!

Dirk Bograde & Monica Vittii in Modesty Blaise (1966) From my latest piece at the the Movie Morlocks: “In June actor Harrison Ford made news after publicly calling, Shia LaBeouf, his young costar from INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (Steven Spielberg; 2008) “…a f–king idiot.” Since then I’ve been thinking about insults that actors have hurled at other actors over the … Continue reading They said WHAT?!

What’s It All About, Alfie?

Michael Caine was one of the coolest actors working during the ’60s and ’70s but he was also incredibly sexy. He had unconventional good looks and I love the thick black glasses he used to wear that often hid his eyes and amazingly long lashes. Michael Caine may have played a British tough guy on numerous occasions but he had some of the loveliest eyes … Continue reading What’s It All About, Alfie?

Modern Mondays: The Quiet American (2001)

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A day late, a bit slime on content, but not forgotten…

Since the death of Robert McNamara last week I’ve been thinking a lot about the man who was often called the “Architect of the Vietnam War.” And I was reminded of one of my favorite films of the last decade that explored the American involvement that led to the war in Vietnam, Phillip Noyce’s excellent 2001 adaptation of Graham Greene classic novel The Quiet American.

Phillip Noyce isn’t a director who I’m particularly fond of. I’ve sat though five or six of his films, but the only two that left any kind of impression on me were his terrific thriller Dead Calm (1989) and The Quiet American. Joseph L. Mankiewicz was the first director to turn Graham Greene’s novel into a film, but Phillip Noyce’s 2001 remake of The Quiet American is not only a better movie than the original, but I also think it’s one of the best adaptations of Graham Greene’s work that I’ve seen.

The film stars Michael Caine in what is arguably one of his finest roles. In the film Caine plays a married British journalist named Thomas Fowler who is living in Vietnam and having an affair with a young Vietnamese woman called Phuong (Do Thi Hai Yen). After Thomas meets an idealistic American by the name of Alden Pyle (Brendan Fraser) and introduces him to Phoung, the stage is set for a complicated love triangle that plays out against the backdrop of the escalating political situation in Vietnam. The plot may sound a bit dry, but The Quiet American is actually a very suspenseful film that is filled with political intrigue and beautifully shot by the incredibly talented cinematographer Christopher Doyle.

Miramax shelved the film for more than a year because producers were concerned that it would be seen as anti-American after the terrorist attacks on September 11th. Thankfully Michael Caine was able to persuade the studio to screen the film at the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival where it received great reviews and afterward it was finally released into theaters. The film went on to win many awards and Michael Caine was even nominated for an Oscar for his performance. If you haven’t had an opportunity to see the film yet, now might be an appropriate time.

Continue reading “Modern Mondays: The Quiet American (2001)”

Terence Stamp Turns 68

One of my favorite actors is the handsome, talented and all-around extraordinary Terence Stamp who is celebrating his 68th birthday today. Stamp got interested in acting at the tender age of four after seeing Gary Cooper in Beau Geste (1939), but he didn’t decide to seriously pursue acting until he was seventeen years old. On New Years Eve in 1956 Stamp went to a screening … Continue reading Terence Stamp Turns 68

Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 – Part III.

This is the final part of my 30 Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 list that I’ve been slowly putting together. You can find Parts I. and II. HERE. Please keep in mind that these are all official NTSC Region 1 DVDs of films originally released between 1960 and 1979 and the numerical order means absolutely nothing except that I got these brief reviews written up … Continue reading Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 – Part III.

Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 – Part I.

Selecting my Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 was no easy task. As a matter of fact, I found it pretty impossible since there were so many great films released last year that I could easily compile a list of 50 impressive film titles. Instead of limiting myself to a mere 20 Favorite DVD Releases I’ve decided to share 30 Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 with … Continue reading Favorite DVD Releases of 2006 – Part I.