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Showing posts from February, 2014

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #388: The English Patient

I have only seen two of the late Anthony Minghella’s films, but based on what I have seen he seemed to have a taste for old-school Hollywood movies that were made on a grand scale and shot on location. Cold Mountain (2003) was a Civil War drama featuring epic battles, a love story, and Academy Award winning performances. Before that his signature film was The English Patient (1996), a World War II drama featuring slightly less epic battles, a love story, and multiple Academy Award winning performances. Although decried by a Seinfeld character for being too long, Minghella’s film deserved every award it received and emphasizes the loss cinema suffered when he died in 2008.
Since I had nothing to do last Valentine’s Day (not that I am complaining) I thought I might as well dig through Netflix and cross off another movie off my list. As The English Patient came out when I was around nine years old I of course missed it when it first came out and only heard about through pop culture over t…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #253: First Blood

Generally speaking, Sylvester Stallone seems to have two extremes on his acting spectrum. On the one end you have Rocky Balboa, the kind-hearted boxer who wants to woo the love of his life. Then at the other end of the spectrum you have John Rambo, the one-man army who will play chicken with an attack helicopter while driving a tank in the Afghan desert. Rambo’s movie franchise has been pretty uneven, with the character becoming more and more of a ruthless killer with no personality with each awkwardly titled entry: First Blood, First Blood Part II, Rambo III, and Rambo. The first entry however stands out by introducing the character as a remnant of the Vietnam War with nowhere to go now that the fighting is over.
The character has become so synonymous with being the ultimate badass that I more or less knew what Rambo stood for before seeing any of the movies. The image of Stallone all jacked up with that bandana on his head while holding a machine gun became emblematic in the 1980s. I…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #258: The Blues Brothers

“We’re getting the band back together.” Never have scarier words been spoken by men with darker sunglasses. When The Blues Brothers, the iconic duo played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, hit the road for a gig there isn’t going to be much road left. They are on a mission from God, and like most men believing they are doing the lord’s work they end up doing more damage than good. Still, if there were more religious men who were into music by James Brown, drove a police car while the Peter Gunn theme is playing in the background, and wore cool black and white suits, I just might be tempted to believe in a higher power.
I first became familiar with the Blues Brothers when the long belated sequel, Blues Brothers 2000, came out in 1998 while I was living in South America. I caught it on TV and had never seen anything like it. Fun fact, for some reason the Spanish translation was Los Hermanos Cara Dura 2000, which literally means the Tough Face Brothers. Also, I am pretty sure in Chile a p…