Saturday, January 10, 2009


Clint Eastwood, 1992 (8.4*)
Best Picture (AA)
AFI/Time Top 100

This is a violent and unforgiving western, and the best one in the long career of director-actor Clint Eastwood, and earned him a Best Director Oscar. This was his first best picture, followed by Million Dollar Baby. The story involves a cowboy cutting up a woman with a knife and being protected by a corrupt sheriff, brilliantly played by Gene Hackman in an Oscar-winning supporting role. Retired gunslinger Eastwood is hired to seek vengance and what follows is a relentless pursuit similar to John Ford’s The Searchers. Morgan Freeman, as a friend of Eastwood’s, is also terrific as usual, and look for Richard Harris as the “Duke of Death”. Good western, not sure if it’s the year’s best film (I preferred Robert Altman's The Player that year), it likely gets overrated due to Eastwood's popularity. If you like this, check out Kevin Costner’s brilliant Open Range. Four Oscars.

Note: NOT to be confused with John Huston’s 1960 western,The Unforgiven with Burt Lancaster and Audrey Hepburn. Either too bad or a good thing: you can’t copyright a title - hence the film Crash, by J.G. Ballard with James Spader and Holly Hunter as crash survivors involved in s-m, and the more recent Crash, the boring police drama with Matt Dillon in what resembled a tv police show yet somehow won best picture as well due to a lack of competition.


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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