Wednesday, April 13, 2011

In honor of the late Sidney Lumet: Free movies!

Before we get into any of that, and afterwards some other video treasures, you really can't do much better for extremely funny news than those wacky Chinese.

It seems that, upset with how the country has been portrayed in recent movies, whoever controls such things in China has come up with a novel solution: Ban time travel in movies and TV. Take a second to let that sink in.

Here's what film critic Raymond Zhou Liming had to say, apparently in support of this madness:

“The rationale [for the time travel ban] is that whatever isn’t possible in the real world belongs to superstition."

Well, with logic that solid, it's really hard to argue. Here's a bit more from Zhou, via the Hollywood Reporter:

“Most time travel content that I’ve seen (in literature and theater, that is) is actually not heavy on science, but an excuse to comment on current affairs."

Fair enough, I guess. If I had the power, though, I'd ban something really harmful, like movies with too many endings. Now that would be movie justice.

OK, now on the videos, first two from Sidney Lumet, then two more that I guarantee it's well worth sticking around for. When Sidney Lumet died recently, we lost one of our truly great directors, and if they were all online in their entirety (and I could find them), I could easily post 10-20 of his movies. Heck, I even really, really like "The Wiz."

For the sake of efficiency, however, let's just stick to two, one of his first and his very last. First up comes "12 Angry Men," a movie we all surely had to watch in grade school, and still one of the finest legal dramas ever made. The flick starred Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E. G. Marshall, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, John Fiedler, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Voskovec and Robert Webber, and here (if I'm not mistaken - I didn't have time to watch the whole thing) is the movie in its entirety. Enjoy.

Next up comes Lumet's last movie, "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," a little crime drama that proves he was on top of his game until the very end. The 2007 movie starred Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Marisa Tomei, Albert Finney and even Amy Ryan. It's a pretty superb flick all around, but if you're going to watch any of this at work, please be warned: Marisa Tomei, as she has fairly often recently, gets naked early and often in "Before the Devil Knows You're Dead," so don't say I didn't warn you. Enjoy the movie.

After that today, I just have two more clips that caught my eye this morning, starting (where else) with Larry David and "Curb Your Enthusiasm." As you'll see from this behind-the-scenes teaser for season eight, Ricky Gervais, Michael J. Fox and even Bill Buckner are all set to appear, and the Fox stuff looks particularly funny in the true Larry way. We have to wait, unfortunately, until July 10 to see the show move to New York, but enjoy this clip now.

And to wrap things up today, courtesy of Screen Rant and to get you in the mood for summer, here is the ultimate summer movie trailer. An example of film editing at its finest, it manages to pull together clips from "Thor," "Cowboys and Aliens," "X-Men: First Class," "The Hangover Part II," "Cars 2" and others for one simply awesome trailer. In fact, it's nearly guaranteed that these three minutes or so are probably better than many of the movies they feature. Enjoy, and have a perfectly endurable Wednesday. Peace out.


Bob said...

Sidney will definitely be missed. "Network" is easily in my top 5 movies of all-time and if you read his book "Making Movies" you just come to love the man. He talks about filmmaking in such an unpretentious way. No snobbery, no hard and fast nonsense about the only right way to do anything. Just a veteran filmmaker who did a lot more great work than probably any other clown who wrote a book about movie directing. And his final movie was dang good. You can't say that about every director, even some of the very best.

Reel Fanatic said...

I had never heard of that book, Bob, but if I can find it, it's going right to the top of my list .. thanks for the head's up