FilmJerk Favorites

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

||| John Sturges |||
John Sturges

Helming the “Magnificent Seven” should be reason enough, demonstrating that Sturges had the happy talent of taking what was considered strictly “male” oriented stories and making them sexy enough and humorous enough to appeal to female movie-goer as well.

Sturges takes this star-studded gunslinger film based on the Japanese favorite "The Seven Samurai", and makes it a bone fide all-American classic featuring Yul Brynner. At the request of Mexican peasants, Brynner recruits a band of fellow mercenaries, half of whom Sturges introduces as the next generation of action film super-stars including Charles Bronson, James Coburn, and Steve McQueen. Widescreen!

Sturges is responsible for what is renowned as one of the greatest war films ever made, featuring Steve McQueen and his unforgettably daring motorcycle jumps in the face of the enemy. Allied prisoners escape from a German POW camp in this superior effort, noted for a brilliant international cast and Elmer Bernstein's triumphant score. Widescreen!

This day in the life of a stranger in an isolated town has since been done to death, and this is why. In the hands of a lesser director the talents of this exceedingly manly cast (Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan) would otherwise overwhelm this compelling drama with a prejudice theme, but Sturges is able to maintain a firm grasp of the reigns, keeping his actors this side of mellow drama. Widescreen!

Recommended by CarrieSpecht


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-