Ernest Borgnine

Over Under - Large

Since its original release in 1972, Ronald Neame’s The Poseidon Adventure has gained the reputation of being a modern classic. And, certainly, it’s widely considered as being one of the preeminent disaster movies of all time. Set on a retiring ocean liner making its last voyage, The Poseidon Adventure tells the story of a New Year’s Eve celebration that gets interrupted by the sinking of a ship. It’s got a pretty impressive upside down ballroom set, it prominently features the legendary Gene Hackman, and it tells a high stakes story of survival. So it’s not hard to see why people like it. But it’s also largely just a movie where a group of confused people stumble around in dirty access panels and anonymous hallways for much of its run time. Is it really so great that watching it should be a New Year’s Eve tradition like many have made it out to be? Especially when there are indisputable classics like The Apartment out there that also feature New Year’s Eve party scenes? James Cameron’s Titanic is a sappy, on-the-nose romance set against the maiden voyage (and sinking) of the infamous RMS Titanic. Upon its release in 1997, Titanic won basically every award that was given out, brought in every bit of spare cash that was sitting in anyone’s pocketbooks, and captured the attention of the media machine to the point that, by the time 1998 rolled around, the backlash for the film had almost reached the same levels of fervor […]

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Boiling Point

This isn’t going to be some touchy-feely deal on how to come to grips with death, because, as you may recall, I think most people overreact to celebrity deaths and for the most part you should just man the hell up and deal with it. Not that you actually have anything to deal with, since you were about as close to any celebrity as you are to the mailman. Less so, even. But if you want touched and felt up, come see me in San Diego later this week. I’ll do you right. But that would be a rehash of my feelings if I just harped on you about growing a decent sack of testicles and not getting all sad faced that someone you never met and someone you never knew (they’re actors, after all, portraying fake characters) has passed on. I mentioned it briefly in this boiling point about things I hate and fellow Reject Kevin Carr dubbed the overflow of emotion the “Heathgasm.” So just what the hell is this about?

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Ernest Borgnine Oscar

Oscar winner Ernest Borgnine died Sunday in Los Angeles, according to Variety. He was 95. The consummate character actor was the oldest living Best Actor recipient (having won for his brilliant turn as a love-seeking butcher in 1955’s Best Picture winner Marty). Throughout his career, he played a wide spectrum of characters – getting to strangle Lee Marvin, calling upon his own military experience for several roles, and escaping from New York with Kurt Russell. He played towering figures and bit parts with equal gusto and shared a grand sense of passion and dedication to his art. There are more than a few of his films available to watch instantly, and Quint over at AICN (who had the privilege of speaking with the man) has a fantastic feature honoring Borgnine, There are few actors so skilled, humble and beloved. It’s funny, then, that is last role should be in The Man Who Shook the Hand of Vicente Fernandez as a bitter old man looking back on a life lived without meaning. From the way fans, friends and family speak of him, it’s easy to see that that final role might be the furthest from his true personality. He will be greatly missed.  

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Your weekly fix of great movies made before you were born that you should check out before you die. This week’s Old Ass Movie goes line for gritty line down the Western Genre Rules and twists them all up with a one-armed stranger, a Japanese farmer, a conspiracy, and a handful of deadly secrets. It’s Noir in the desert. Director John Sturges takes all of it and works it into a sweat out in the southwest at the tail end of WWII. As a silent, enigmatic man gets off a train that never runs, everyone is in for a Bad Day at Black Rock.

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It’s been a long time since a single film has featured the acting talent assembled in RED. But if there’s one thing this halfhearted action-comedy proves, it’s this: even Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren and John Malkovich (not to mention Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox and Ernest Borgnine) can’t enliven a story as deadly as that crafted by screenwriters Jon and Erich Hoeber, based on the Warren Ellis/Cully Hamner graphic novel. Co-opting the age old, out of retirement for one last fling blueprint, the film follows retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Willis) as he and his former colleagues are forced back into the game when government spooks try to rub them out. Heavily armed and dangerous geriatrics Joe Matheson (Freeman), the wiry and paranoid Marvin Boggs (Malkovich) and the distinguished Victoria (Mirren) assist Frank in some serious butt kicking, supplemented by quirky quips and knowing, wizened back and forth banter.

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