Showing posts with label al pacino. Show all posts
Showing posts with label al pacino. Show all posts

24 February 2014

Masters Of Cinema Blu-ray Review - Serpico (1973)

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Genre:
Crime, Drama, Biography
Distributor:
Eureka! Entertainment
Rating: 18
BD Release Date:
24th February 2014 (UK)
Director:
Sidney Lumet
Cast:
Al Pacion, Jack Keghoe, John Randolph, Barbara Eda-Young
Buy: SERPICO (Masters of Cinema) (Blu-ray)


Serpico is one of the crowning achievements in two careers, which had plenty the director Sidney Lumet, and the film’s star Al Pacino. It came off the heels of Sidney Lumet’s little seen but brilliant Sean Connery cop film The Offence and Pacino’s star making role in The Godfather and his equally great performance in Scarecrow.

Al Pacino shines as the title character of Frank Serpico, who starts life out as a uniformed police officer. He gradually discovers a world of police corruption and plans to blow it open. Serpico becomes increasingly idiosyncratic such as read literature not associated with a police officer and basically becomes a hippie. His behaviour makes his partners, superiors to be suspicious of him cause he refuses to take any payoffs. They eventually start to threaten his life.

Sidney Lumet was the undisputedly the king of gritty New York realism and Serpico was the beginning of what would make his name despite working since the 1950s and making many great films by this time. It’s both a pioneering cop film and a brilliant examination of a man who is a flawed moral crusader. Serpico along with The French Connection became the blueprint for the gritty realistic cop film we now know and love today.

The film is also very much a product of the time. It’s a film made at the climax of the Vietnam War, Watergate and the death of the Hippie dream. Lumet was always a political director even though his politics never made his films inaccessible to people of the left or the right is evident in the right leaning Tea Party appropriation of the “I’m not gonna take it anymore” line from his later 70s masterpiece Network despite his liberal politics. It could also just be there were fewer films then and people of all political persuasions would see what was new.

Lumet would return to the topic of police corrupt in the New York police force in later films such as Prince of the City and Q & A but he never bettered Serpico on the subject. Pacino and Lumet really were at the top of the game; both star and actor rarely put a put a foot wrong in the 70s. The most amazing thing about the film is that Pacino and Lumet topped it with their next collaboration Dog Day Afternoon but that’s a different story altogether.

★★★★½

Ian Schultz


25 November 2013

Eureka Video Announce Their Masters Of Cinema 2014 Early Releases

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Eureka Entertainment have announced via their twitter feeds (@eurekavideo and @mastersofcinema) their forthcoming releases in The Masters of Cinema series for the months of January, February and March 2014.

With a slate of titles that ranges from the most recent and 1980s American cinema (and, separately, the emergent Australian independent cinema), through to masterworks of the Italian cinema, and on to silent, and 1970s Hollywood, The Masters of Cinema Series runs the cinephile gamut once again with a seven-film January-March line-up that includes works by Federico Fellini, Samuel Fuller, Sidney Lumet, Francesco Rosi, William A. Wellman, Ted Kotcheff, and Andrew Bujalski. As if that weren't enough, Eureka Entertainment are also proud to announce an early summer release for one of Robert Altman's most revered films.

Producer of the Masters of Cinema Series, Craig Keller stated “In January, we welcome Andrew Bujalski into the Series for the first time with his smash indie-success Computer Chess (read review) that is currently enjoying a theatrical run across the UK following its British première at the London Film Festival. Alongside Computer Chess, William A. Wellman's Wings – the winner of the first ever Academy Award for Best Picture (1927-1928) will see its UK home-release premiere. Both titles will be released as Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) editions.


In February, we'll be releasing for the first time in the UK, a special edition Blu-ray and Ltd Edition Blu-ray SteelBook of Sidney Lumet's classic police drama starring Al PacinoSerpico (Original Theatrical Trailer http://bit.ly/17Tt2mE ) Secondly, we'll be releasing a Blu-ray edition of Federico Fellini's 1972 epic colour spectacle, a love-letter to the past and present of the city he loved best: Roma .

Another Italian classic arrives in March in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) release: Francesco Rosi's gripping political procedural, Le mani sulla città [Hands Over the City]. March also finds us two of the most brutally unsparing and controversial independent works of the last forty years. The first is the long-awaited (and uncut) release of Ted Kotcheff's disturbing and subversive Wake in Fright, hailed by Nick Cave as "the best and most terrifying film about Australia in existence," and which Martin Scorsese has stated to have rendered him "speechless" — released in its brilliant 2009 restoration. Prior to its home-video release, Wake in Fright will be released theatrically in selected cinemas in the UK & Eire on 7 March 2014. Here is the brand new 2014 UK theatrical trailer . The second controversial release in March is Samuel Fuller's feverish White Dog, unavailable in the UK for decades, whose premise — a stray white dog turns out to have been conditioned to attack any black person on sight — was woefully misconstrued at the time of its 1982 release; it remains one of Fuller's most passionate anti-racist statements. Both of these works will also be released in Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) editions.”

Managing Director of Eureka Entertainment, Ron Benson added “The finest in world cinema abounds across these seven releases, supplemented as always with a spate of special features and extras, all presented with a meticulous attention to detail and design. The same ethos applies to a film we'll be releasing in May, and for which we're thrilled to be able to provide an early sneak-announcement: Robert Altman's epic 1970s ensemble classic, Nashville, released for the first time on UK home video, in a Dual Format (Blu-ray + DVD) edition.”

28 January 2013

Park Circus To Re-Release Jerry Schatzberg's Digitally Restored Scarecrow

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Park Circus have announced 26th April 2013 sees the UK re-release of Jerry Schatzberg's Scarecrow,starring Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. Scarecrow has been digitally remastered to celebrate the Palme d'Or winning film's 40th Anniversary.

From professional photographer Jerry Schatzberg won the Palme d’Or in 1973 for this rarely screened eccentric on-the-road American classic, starring the acclaimed duo Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. A tale of intense and newfound friendship between lowly Max (Hackman – stated as his favourite ever role) and Lion (Pacino), Scarecrow is digitally restored and ripe for rediscovery on the big screen.
Opening amidst an isolated backdrop of dusty American landscape, Max, just released from prison, happens upon Lion. A muted meeting at first soon blossoms into the beginning of a new friendship that takes them hitchhiking across America to realise Max’s dream of opening his own car wash in Pittsburgh. Encountering a series of oddball characters along the way, often delving deep into the protagonists’ peculiarities and personal problems, Scarecrow is an intriguing, gritty gem from a significant period of great American cinema.

Scarecrow has been newly restored by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film will open in the UK on 26th April at BFI Southbank and selected cinemas nationwide.