FilmJerk Favorites

A group of unique directors and the essential works that you've got to see.

||| Sergio Leone |||
Sergio Leone

Leone’s career is remarkable in its unrelenting attention to both American culture and the American genre film, exploring the mythic America he created with each successive film examining the established characters in greater depth.

Only his second feature (a remake of Kurosawa’s Yojimbo), Leone's landmark "spaghetti western" caused a revolution and features Clint Eastwood in his breakthrough role as "The Man With No Name". This classic brutal drama of feuding families wasn’t the first spaghetti Western, but it was far and away the most successful up to that time.

Plot is of minimal interest, but character is everything to Leone, who places immense meaning in the slightest flick of an eyelid, extensively using the extreme close-up on the eyes to reveal any feeling, as demonstrated by Clint, who squints his way through this slam-bang sequel to A Fistful of Dollars as a wandering gunslinger that must combine forces with his nemesis to track down a wanted killer.

The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy follows Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach as they form an uneasy alliance to find a stash of hidden gold. Leone focuses on his central theme as they find themselves facing greed, treachery, and murder, showing that the desire for wealth and power turns men into ruthless creatures who violate land and family and believe that a man’s death is less important than how he faces it.

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Transformers: The IMAX Experience

By BrianOrndorf

September 21st, 2007

Because there's never enough money to sate Hollywood honchos, "Transformers" gets a second-wind release this week in IMAX theaters across the country.

Transformers: The IMAX Experience

With appropriately supersized image, sound, and the addition of several minutes of new footage, Michael Bay’s summer blockbuster finally meets a format capable of handling the tsunami of bedlam the picture so effortlessly provides.

The primary curiosity of this release has to be the hastily-added minutes, but I’m sad to report that the additions found in the new cut are superfluous scene extensions that add nothing to the dimension, or even basic chaos, of the film. There’s a little more of LeBeouf getting used to Bumblebee, Turturro presented with a few extra moments to glaze his hammy acting, and a pawn shop scene where Duhamel has to sweet talk an armed business owner, played by Sherri Shepherd. Paramount desperately needed a hook to market this IMAX release, but the fresh footage is worthless.

But who needs new scenes when the old ones reach ridiculous new heights of clarity and detail. The IMAX presentation is a gem, opening up Bay’s picture for closer inspection, giving the viewer an intimate look at the insane amount of minutiae that informs nearly every rousing special effect sequence. With a roided-up sound mix and visuals that have found a loving home in the bosom of IMAX’s projection capabilities, this rare “perfect exhibition” opportunity can’t be beat. Even if you’ve gorged on Bay’s cinematic cake last summer, this reissue of “Transformers” is worth the return trip just to see something gloriously overindulgent in a movie theater that caters to overindulgence gloriously.

My rating: A-