Ennio Morricone

Interview: John Michael McDonagh Takes Chances With ‘The Guard’

CHICAGO – From a classic tradition of abrasive-but-lovable anti-heroes, the lead of writer/director John Michael McDonagh’s “The Guard,” Officer Boyle (Brendan Gleeson), is one of the most memorable leads of the year. Played with trademark wit by Gleeson, Boyle does drugs, sleeps with hookers, and simply doesn’t care what you think about him.

Blu-Ray Review: Sergio Leone’s Timeless ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’

Once Upon a Time in the West

CHICAGO – Any conversation of the best Westerns in movie history that doesn’t include Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West” is incomplete. It’s one of those rare films that has truly gotten better with age. I’m not sure if it’s just that I appreciate it more the older I get, but I’m not alone. The film now ranks high on nearly every important list of the best movies ever made. Yes, it’s that good, and the Blu-ray restoration, which hit stores this week, is a beauty.

Blu-Ray Review: John Cassavetes Dazzles in ‘Machine Gun McCain’

Machine Gun McCain Blu-Ray

CHICAGO – It’s pretty hard for contemporary audiences to look at a title like “Machine Gun McCain,” and not immediately make a political joke out of it. The most obvious one would be, “What’s the sequel called, “‘Pistol-Packing Palin’?” Of course, this minor cult classic came out long before the 2008 election, and was playing in theaters at the same time John McCain was being held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

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