Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eine kleine amount of webly commotion

Greetings all!

Firstly today, the Region 1 release of Pride and Glory this Tuesday has awakened many Glory-following critics from slumber, prompting a fresh batch of cyber opinions.

The film

Thoughts have been varied as usual, with several people applauding the actors whilst condemning the script:

Movie Mom judged 'most of the cast, including Ms Ehle' to be 'excellent' yet found the script predictable; the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette agreed, balancing out their general nay with mention of an 'excellent cast, including Jennifer Ehle', while the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review credits the 'stellar' cast with 'keeping the film interesting'. Sympathising with the actors is blogger William, who claims that they '[do their] best to elevate the clich├ęd material they were forced to work with', while it was completely beyond Cynical Cinema's comprehension how such great actors were convinced to appear in 'a movie like this' in the first place.

Mentioning a specific achievement of the cast are Screaming Blue Reviews who depart briefly from their grim nay to mention the 'sweet scene' in which Francis presents his wife with a band promising love eternal, 'played expertly and without bathos by Emmerich and actress Jennifer Ehle'.

Also making an appearance today are many outright yays, from viewers either forgiving faults or failing to see any. Says People-Buzz:

[...] Though some unfavorably compared it with We Own the Night, I much preferred Gavin O’Connor’s striking, stirring...drama. Sure, it’s familiar territory, but it struck me as piercing and emotionally authentic. [...]
The Detroit News expected problems but was pleasantly surprised, admitting 'the movie actually works' and listing a 'fine' supporting cast and Farrell's 'explosive screen presence' as reasons. Big Picture Big Sound were equally astonished, stating that 'still, for some reason, it all works', while Killer Film thought the acting was 'top-notch' and 'really enjoyed the intensity, the characters, the grittiness' of the piece overall.

The featurette

Another significant talking point has been the DVD's documentary extra, Source of Glory, which appears to be very popular.

After claiming (interestingly!) that 'many of the [film's] extras are actual gang members' the folks at Pop Journalism start off the praise:

[...] [The] bonus feature [is] described on the back cover as a 'comprehensive documentary.' And that it is. 'Source of Pride: the Making of Pride and Glory' runs just over an hour. It goes behind-the-scenes seven weeks before shooting, showing location scouts and colourful auditions, and follows the production to the wrap. [...]
DVD Talk continue the love:
[...] O'Connor periodically does video diary entries for the piece which are fascinating. ... Hair and makeup test footage is shown, script read-throughs are filmed, and some of the cast (save for Farrell) discuss their time on the film. ... Casting sessions are filmed ... It's an excellent look at the production and helps make you see what O'Connor and many others had to deal with. [...]
Showing perhaps a little too much enthusiasm is Hollywood Chicago which goes so far as to say that 'in many ways, the documentary is more interesting than the film'.

Providing a pleasant alternative to the reviews is The Daily News Online's quick exchange with Edward Norton and Colin Farrell - actors who are apparently alike in that they can 'both chew scenery'. Norton describes how he, Farrell and Emmerich are on a different acting planet than Voight and 'other guys from that era', whilst Farrell refutes claims that the film's violence is gratuitous.

If you are in Region 1 and have any roubles left from buying that Darcy portrait, visit the 'About the DVD' section of the official website for a breakdown of the three Pride and Glory purchasing options. Region 2-ers can either wrestle with a Region 1 disc or pre-order for a March 2nd Region 2 release.

Sundry items
  • Apart from the brief listings mentioned in the last post, no further intelligence regarding The Greatest has yet wandered into our radar net. The large barrel of invisible roubles is thus still up for grabs.
  • If you are in the New York City vicinity and have not yet made your way to Florence Gould Hall, then make haste! There are just four performances of Oscar and the Pink Lady's New York run remaining. If you are still in need of convincing, take a netly promenade to our Chat Extension to peruse Jodes' thoughts on the play and its chameleon-esque performer.
  • Potentially also of interest is the Guardian's piece on the play-plus-orchestra concept currently taking over the National Theatre in the form of Sir Tom's Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
  • Elsewhere, the Post-Gazette informs us that Richard Easton has been inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame by none other than Jack O'Brien, an inductee from last year. There is a modicum of quotage from both legends. See Playbill for more.
  • Lastly, did you see the Lincoln Center's 1973 revival of A Streetcar Named Desire? Well, if you were elsewhere, unable to get tickets, or as yet unborn, fear not. The News Observer has let us know that Caedmon has released an archival full-cast recording for the first time:

[...] Caedmon's audio recording of the full play is most welcome - a good performance for enjoyment and study, [and] preserving the cast of the highly lauded 1973 Lincoln Center revival. Although there are fine actors portraying Stanley (James Farentino) and Mitch (Philip Bosco), the piece stands or falls on Blanche.

Here, Tony and Emmy award winner Rosemary Harris...makes the character more calculating than some but drifts frighteningly into ever-enlarging flights of fancy as Blanche unravels into madness. Harris is especially moving in the monologue about Blanche's young husband's suicide. [...]
Visit Caedmon for a delicious audio excerpt.

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