Posted in Based on a true story, Great movie, U.S. Film

12 YEARS A SLAVE (2013)

12 Years a Slave (2013)

A film by Steve McQueen

Cast: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Kenneth Williams, Michael Fassbender

In 1841, Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) lives a free black man in Saratoga, New York along with his wife Anne (Kelsey Scott), daughter Margaret (Quvenzhane Wallis), and son Alonzo (Cameron Zeigler). Solomon is very well educated and plays the violin. He takes off for several week to play the violin in a circus. He is recruited by Brown (Scoot McNairy) and Hamilton (Taran Killam). The two man drug solomon and when he wakes up he is chained up to the floor and thrown in the world of slavery which he can not escape and contact his love ones.

Horrible true story of a black man named solomon which he wrote the book. It took 2013 to tell his story to the screen and McQueen has done a terrific job here. I do not know how the man has survived 12 years of abusing masters, small portion meals, tight living quarters on the top of that found time to write it all as his memoirs. In the film when solomon drifts away you will get a flashback to how was his life back then from time to time so you get a sense to whom he was before he was a slave. The cast is fantastic and all star cast at that. Benedict Cumberbatch as a Baptist preacher and slave owner, Paul Giamatti as a man in charge of selling slaves and getting the best price for them, and Brad Pitt as a Canadian carpenter with an Amish beard. Most masters treats their slave like property they are not human to them they are things and can be replaced. Solomon has a different set of mind than most slave, he is more educated and can read and write but does not tell his masters that. Ejiofor is the star in this picture he turn a beautiful performance, he is the great British actor. Mcqueen makes sure that he gets some long shot of him thinking or looking somewhere thinking and you are pretty much know what is he thinking at a time like that. McQueen has this close up of him and you can see his facial expression changing. There are beating, death, desperation. Solomon knew how to survive he was smarter than most, and it was not easy. I doubt that you will see this film twice. It is a great piece of film making.

TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE

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Posted in U.S. Film

SHAME (2011)

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A film by Steve McQueen

Cast: Michael Fassbender, Carey Mulligan, James Badge Dale

Brandon (Michael Fassbender ) a 30 something dude in shape who lives in Manhattan New York In a Sterile condo. He work in an office and has a computer on his desk do we know what his job is ? no so never mind that. at times you see Brandon and his boss David (James Badge Dale) at singles bars and yes David is not a pro at picking up woman, his pick up line are unnatural. Brandon does not say anything he just stand there to him it is not luck it is going to be about sex. Sexual addiction is a bitch for some people here Brandon is the only one being used 2 or 3 women are attracted to him the rest are hookers  and hookers are getting paid for the act. He can not connect with woman emotionally but sexually not a problem. He is cold to everybody his co-workers the hookers even in the subway were a woman makes eye contact and smile, he makes eye contact but does not smile. You see the title is right for this movie every sex addict feel ashamed for what the did to get their fix shame come up a lot. One day Brandon comes home to find his sister in his apartment and she is invading his privacy his shame. Sissy (Carey Mulligan) is completely the opposite of him. She is passionates, loves people, and uninhibited.  It is not easy to get into the role like that Great acting for Fassbender it took a lot of courage to go there. Carey Mulligan has done a great job here too as well as the director.

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Posted in U.S. Film

THE SAND PEBBLES (1966)

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A film by Robert wise.

Cast: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Candice Bergen . 

Holman (Steve Mc Queen), a sailor assigned to the U.S. Gunboat, `San Pablo,’ stationed on the Yangtze River in China in 1926. It’s primary function is to patrol the river and thereby establish an American presence in China. It’s a new assignment for Holman, and it suits him just fine; his job is to keep the ship’s engines up and running, and because of the size of the ship, he’s the only engineer. and he likes it that way you see jake is a loner.  American lives are threatened throughout China, and Holman and a landing party are sent ashore to protect and escort some missionaries back to the safety of the San Pablo. There some romance with Shirley (Candice Bergen) and Holman who develops though out the movie. Mc Queen could identify with his character a loner, who wants his privacy and who is reserve and doesn’t say much. his blue yes are not easy too read either. Steve McQueen got his only nomination for an Academy Award (Best Actor) for this film, and din’t win.  The San Pablo was build from scratch with diesel engine , it cost the studio $200,000 to build it in today’s money it is 20 million dollars. A great film who runs about 3 hours long. I remember seeing this movie I saw it 30 years ago all I remember is the end so it is like discovering a new movie again. I do not have this one in my collection yet but I will soon.

SandPebbles (24)

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Posted in U.S. Film

HELL IS FOR HEROES (1962)

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A film by Don Siegel.

Cast:  Steve McQueen, Bobby Darin, Fess Parker. 

Reese ( Steve McQueen) joins a group of weary GIs unexpectedly ordered back into the line when on their way to a rest area. A bunch of them went to get more men , in the mean time the rest which stay behind to hold the german and those were the strict orders . By various of smart ruses, they manage to convince the Germans that a large force is still holding the position. The Sergeant dies as the germans attack. So Reese leads two of the men in an unauthorized and unsuccessful attack on the pillbox, in which the other two are killed .When the main platoon returns, he is threatened with court-martial. Thy attack the german with one thing in mind bomb and torch the pillbox. This is a black an white film captures the fatal brutality of war, in terms perhaps not as graphic as the one now days. Reese Transfer 3 days late into this company that they assign him into. He lives by his own set of rules and does not take shit from anybody. The soldier was suppose to go home.  But they have to go back to the front. That does not fly with the soldier but they go any way. They get there and they have to wait and hold position until more troops are arrived. This is a class fox hole wait to hold the enemy movie, that’s what I call it. Of course Bob Newman was in this one and was he young He plays a clerk who gets lost and ends up with the platoon getting “on the job training” as a rifleman. His telephone scenes is priceless. Overall a nice war film from back in the day. Also you have Bobby Darin, and James Coburn in the mix , a nice ensemble cast.

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Posted in U.S. Film

THE GETAWAY (1972)

 

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A film by : Sam Peckinpah. 

Cast:  Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson. 

Here you have a Steve McQueen cool dude and a beautiful woman Ali McGraw some bad guys guns , a bank to rob with some explosion so far so good right car chase some fighting and gun fight. Now you have this hell of a movie by Peckinpah. This is the third time that I am seeing this one And I can’t get enough. My best friend and I saw that one 30 years ago and I loved it. Here it is Steve McQueen ( Doc McCoy ) is in jail and they dinned him parole. Doc tells his wife Carol McCoy ( Ali McGraw ) to see this guy Jack so he get get him out of jail. So far so good . He gets out of jail but he has to rob a bank Jack Beynon (Ben Johnson ) . So he does he gets the crew some people that Jack appointed to Doc . Th bank robbery goes wrong some what but they get out of it.  They go to the render vous place and things gets sour from there.

There is some great scene in this film like the couple in the garage truck. The one where McCoy retrieve the stolen suitcase. The shoot out in the hotel. The car chase . Look it is like this you can tell that Quentin Tarantino was influence by the is film look at true romance.  There you have 2 young people one a hooker the other just a regular kid working an tired of not making money the rob a drug dealer , in the getaway McQueen is in jail has to make parole can’t tells his wife to see this guy gets out but has to rob a bank for him Quentin rewrote the story and made it his own.  Like I said there is some great scene in this film I watched it 3 times and I can’t get enough of it. The music is from Quincy Jones ir does not get better than this Plus the adaptation of the book to the screenplay is from Water Hill .  It is almost like Bonnie and Clyde but a fictional story this time.

 

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Posted in U.S. Film

THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974)

A film by John Guillermin
cast:Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden.
Yes it is a great disaster film by John Guillermin. The story involves a mythical 135-floor San Francisco skyscraper, which is a model build for the movie and convincing specials effect photography you will know that but you won’t care and it looks realistic. The building has been designed by architect Paul Newman, constructed by builder William Holden and sabotaged by the cost-cutting of his son-in-law, Richard Chamberlain. It is cursed from the beginning. All the principals arrive at the building for a big dedication party in the top floor restaurant, but meanwhile a generator shorts out and a small fire begins in an equipment room. What I am not surprised. The building has a state-of-the-art central communications and security system, but half the equipment doesn’t work. As one of the big shots tells Holden: “I told you we shouldn’t have held the party until the safeguards were installed.” More electrical equipment malfunctions, gas leaks explode and in no time the tower is a mass of flames. Steve McQueen is the fire chief, calm, cool and courageous, even when he and a lot of his men are trapped above the blaze. Although he help an elevator being air lifted and almost lost it with an other fireman holding on to dear life to the ground. meanwhile Paul Newman his helping with O.J. Simpson helps a death lady with children and gets them to safety on the 135 floor above the fire. What often happens in these complicated action pictures is that we lose track of the various characters and their various hazards. Not this time. There are five main action threads. Which I won’t mention just in case you did’t see the film. Just an other great film from back in the 70’s.

Posted in U.S. Film

THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR (1968)

A film by Norman Jewison.
Cast: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke

This film is a cool 60’s caper movie. Nice stars cast. Four men pull off a daring daytime robbery at a bank, dump the money in a trash can and go their separate ways. Thomas Crown, a successful, wealthy businessman pulls up in his Rolls and collects it. Vickie Anderson, an independent insurance investigator is called in to recover the huge haul. She begins to examine the people who knew enough about the bank to have pulled the robbery and discovers Crown. She begins a tight watch on his every move and begins seeing him socially. How does the planner of the perfect crime react to pressure?
It is done with multiple image A nice cool little trick. During the robbery, the viewer can witness several aspects of the caper as it unfolds. It has been done in some movies now and then but I think the audience does not like it much. There is a love affair between McQueen and Faye Dunaway, who plays the insurance investigator It comes to no surprise there. But the film is still cool.