Lions for Lambs

Criterion Files

First is a precarious position to be in, for in retrospect you stand in for the entire legacy (or, at least, for inaugurating the legacy) of the thing itself. It’s tough being the first, and can be burdensome. And of the first ten movies that were admitted into the Criterion Collection, there are some confounding choices. The Lady Vanishes (Spine #3), for instance, is a great film, but hardly amongst Hitchcock’s best (or even his best British work). It’s an…interesting choice for the first Hitchcock film in the DVD collection that would come to define 21st century cinephilia. But then again, way back in 1998, whose to say that the Criterion Collection had any idea the reputation it would cultivate? Criterion’s choices for its first two releases, however, are pitch-perfect. Akira Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai, the film that defined his legacy and had a greater influence on world cinema than even his Rashomon, sits prominently at Spine #2. And Jean Renoir’s anti-war, prewar masterpiece, Grand Illusion, sits deservedly in Criterion’s #1 spot, with the weight of important classic and contemporary cinema resting comfortably on its shoulders. Grand Illusion may admittedly not have the empirical evidence of definitive influence of Seven Samurai (in other words, it has yet to be remade into a Western). But that is perhaps to its benefit. While Kurosawa made tens of samurai films, Renoir never made another movie quite like Grand Illusion, and the film still occupies a singular place in the history of war cinema – […]

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Instead of doing a cheesy list for Veteran’s Day, we here at FSR decided just to give a run down of all the war-type movies that we’ve covered over the years (the good, the bad, and the boots on the ground).

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You can all calm down. They finally figured out who shot President Lincoln. Now to get to work on who shot J.R.

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After the box office success of 300, Warner Bros. has realized how much money they can save on their big-budget tentpoles by not paying A-listers (or anyone close to an A-lister), and they’ve consequently chosen to exercise that option with Watchmen.

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Welcome to FSR’s newest weekly feature in which I break down the good, the bad, and the ugly of what Hollywood has to offer.

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Brian Gibson loves to buy DVDs. Come with him on his weekly journey into the depths of credit card debt as he tells you what to buy, rent and avoid.

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2007 has been filled with movies that the studios whore out to critics in order to get awards. The worst ones are the films that take themselves too seriously or cover the “meaningful” issues. Occasionally, these films actually win awards, so each year we are guaranteed a steady stream of this crap in the late-fall and winter.

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Well, Christmas didn’t come early after all at the Reject Report. Guess what Santa left under the tree this weekend for Tom Cruise and for Fred Claus? That’s right– nothing.

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One way to make things more tolerable is to knock back a few while watching the movie. Who knows… maybe after a few beers, Robert Redford’s sermons might make more sense.

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Like its predecessors, this film fails more out of boredom than message. Actually, a more appropriate title for Lions for Lambs could be Lamenting for Liberals.

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This is Robert Redford’s seventh film as a director. Lions For Lambs is not his worst, but it is certainly not his best.

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A very special welcome to all of you members of the Writers Guild of America, East and West, who are looking in on this web site in between the picketing.

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It is coming. Oscar bait season is almost upon us. This year’s hot topics seem to be gang violence and the war on terror. The latest in the latter category is LIONS FOR LAMBS, which stars Tom Cruise, Meryl Streep and Robert Redford. The film is one of those parallel storyline flicks, similar to 2005’s CRASH, whereas it tells three separate stories that ultimately intertwine.

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