Tag: David Mamet
This past Thursday, I did something bizarre – I saw a “play.” For those unfamiliar, plays are like movies that take place not on a giant screen. Still with me? The play is Race, by Pulitzer prize winning playwright David Mamet, put on in CAST (Carolina Actors Studio Theatre) Charlotte, North Carolina. You know it’s art, because they spell “theater” as “theatre“!
But what to say about the play? This being a Mamet play, you know there are lots of pithy dialogue and plenty of swear words. For those unaware, David Mamet is the terrific writer behind Glengarry Glen Ross and some great movies like the Untouchables, Ronin, Spartan, Redbelt, and the Edge. (continue reading…)
“Coffee is for closers only!” . . .
It’s installment # 3 of my Top 20 Favorite Film Countdown, back as promised inspite of angry protests outside SnarkCriticPop’s HQ. No one is angry about the list, they just mistook the building as relating to the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada. We’re in Charlotte, NC, so it’s a pretty common mistake. Go see 20-16 here, and 15-11 here. Here we go:
I grew up a Trekkie, watching the original series, the Next Generation TV show, the first batch of movies, but late 90s the franchise became pretty pathetic (see: Star Trek: Voyager & Enterprise). The 2009 reboot, Star Trek, reignited my fondness for the characters and the universe. It’s a superb movie that stretches the fine line between reverence for what came before coupled with the desire to do something new and exciting. The device to take familiar characters Kirk, Spock, McCoy, etc. and introduce them in a fresh way was well done. And the film clicks on every level; the cast is pitch perfect both in terms of homage to their predecessors and for the new ensemble. Star Trek is fast-paced, exciting, funny, and you don’t know what’s coming next. (continue reading…)
Last week I began to unveil my Top 20 favorite films — I stress personal favorites and not “best ever” or some such nonsense. See 20-16 here. Continuing the countdown started last week, let’s roll on starting with # 15:
15. 12 Angry Men (1957)
Starring: Henry Ford, Martin Balsam, Jack Warden, E.G. Marshall
Director: Sidney Lumet
12 Angry Men is not just a classic American film, it is a utterly absorbing, absolutely phenomenal film that holds up today remarkably well. 12 Angry Men is a courtroom drama where a ethnic (Hispanic?) youth is on trial for murdering his father. The “courtroom” part is only for the opening scene, as the remainder unfolds in the jury room as the 12 titular men debate what appears to be an open and shut conviction. The title is a wee bit misleading, as one of the men (Henry Fonda) is not at all angry, but a reasoned, rational man who defies his comrades and votes not guilty if only to force his colleagues to closely examine and debate the evidence at hand. What follows is an extraordinary human drama, with nothing but a dozen quality actors, one set, a few props, and an unbelievable script.
I remember when my old roommate Tom suggested we watch 12 Angry Men, I resisted, not in the mood for a boring old “classic.” Man, was I glad he talked me into it.
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