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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | March 31, 1995
Twenty-six years ago, Sam Peckinpah altered the landscape of American film forever with his dense, apocalyptic western "The Wild Bunch," a movie so saturated in violence that people fled the original screening to puke in the gutters outside the theater.It's one of the great, arrogant take-it-or-leave-it jobs in history, and by this point it is so beyond either defense or attack that I come neither to praise nor to bury it but merely to describe it. See it at your own risk; barf bags optional.
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By chris kaltenbach and chris kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | December 6, 2008
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (2 p.m., AMC), the story of a band of outlaws looking to make one last grand stand, brought to the screen a Western like no one had seen before. Violent and dirty, with heroes whose distinctions between good and evil seem based on a sliding scale, it brought renewed energy to a genre that had been pretty much tapped out by the time of its 1969 release. If John Ford's Westerns were all about heroes and mythology and the steady pace of civilization, Peckinpah's centered on what happens when ruthless men find themselves in ruthless times.
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By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Sun Film Critic | April 2, 1995
One of the more amusing follies of the last several weeks has been America's film critics trying to come to some kind of terms with Sam Peckinpah's "The Wild Bunch," the newly restored "director's cut" of which has just been released 26 years after its original, shocking arrival in 1969.Most agree: It's a great movie. One even called it the greatest American movie ever made. But no one seems quite to understand why. There's a lot of blather about how it's really "anti-violence" and it shows the logical consequences of violence etc. etc. etc., blah blah and blah, none of it convincing.
NEWS
By LAURA VOZZELLA | April 15, 2007
Nothing bursts the New Urbanite bubble like a little burrito smell. Lots of yuppies who grew up on quiet cul-de-sacs have moved to lively cities, where they can walk to restaurants and cafes. Sometimes, they discover, they don't even have to leave their apartments to get a whiff of what's cooking. That was the case at Village Lofts, a 68-condo development near the Johns Hopkins University featuring granite countertops, designer lighting and the unmistakable aroma of Chipotle, the restaurant on the ground floor.
NEWS
January 7, 1996
The Baltimore Film Forum will close out its 27-year history Friday with a screening of a restored print of Sam Peckinpah's classic 1969 western "The Wild Bunch." The screening is at 7:30 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art."The Wild Bunch," starring William Holden and Ernest Borgnine, follows a group of aging American gunmen into the violent Mexico of 1913, where they become involved with a corrupt general. It climaxes in a shoot-out photographed in slow-motion that remains one of the most controversial movie sequences of all time.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Stephen Hunter and Stephen Hunter,Film Critic | April 2, 1993
In my highly personal view, Alfonso Arau's wonderful "Like Water for Chocolate," which opens today for a two-week run at the Charles, is a strange and magical subtext to Sam Peckinpah's equally wonderful but completely different "The Wild Bunch,"of 1969, which, as fate would have it, I've justseen on tape in a majestically restored version.But consider: the two movies are essentially set in the same place and time, the Texas-Mexico border right before World War I, when the Villistas and the Federales as well as assorted American riffraff roamed the dusty land, destroying each other and all that came between them.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 14, 2003
What Citizen Kane was to movie lovers in 1941, The Wild Bunch was to cineastes in 1969. Its adrenaline rush of revelations seemed to explode the parameters of the screen. The director and the co-writer, Sam Peckinpah, turned the last stand of the Hole-in the-Wall Gang into a wrenching piece of early 20th-century mythology. His filmmaking both evinced and catalyzed complex feelings about the outlaws' freedom, brotherhood and professionalism, their manliness and childishness, and the way they experienced the closing of the West as Purgatory and used Latin America as an escape hatch.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Sun Film Critic | April 22, 1994
I hate to go out on a limb like this but I think Jonathan Kaplan, the director of "Bad Girls," just may have seen "The Wild Bunch."For anyone familiar with the great 1969 Peckinpah picture, "Bad Girls" will seem like the revisionist Bennington version. Visually, it's Sam Peckinpah's trashy, sad, run-down West; and you keep seeing dimmer versions of "Wild Bunch" themes and imagery: a train robbery, a wagon loaded with stolen guns, a machinegun, a tortured hostage, a quartet of determined gringo gunfighters heading through a ruined Mexican fortress for a last big gunfight.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 3, 2001
This weekend, satire does not close on Saturday night: It stays open through Sunday at the Maryland Film Festival. On Sunday, at 1 p.m., National Public Radio's Scott Simon is guest host at a screening of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." It should be a jolly freak-out to hear Simon introduce the film in his resonant NPR tones right before Kubrick's NPR-style narrator announces, "For more than a year, ominous rumors had been privately circulating among high-level Western leaders that the Soviet Union had been at work on what was darkly hinted to be the ultimate weapon: a doomsday device."
NEWS
By chris kaltenbach and chris kaltenbach,chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com | December 6, 2008
Sam Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch (2 p.m., AMC), the story of a band of outlaws looking to make one last grand stand, brought to the screen a Western like no one had seen before. Violent and dirty, with heroes whose distinctions between good and evil seem based on a sliding scale, it brought renewed energy to a genre that had been pretty much tapped out by the time of its 1969 release. If John Ford's Westerns were all about heroes and mythology and the steady pace of civilization, Peckinpah's centered on what happens when ruthless men find themselves in ruthless times.
FEATURES
By MICHAEL SRAGOW and MICHAEL SRAGOW,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 20, 2006
During the first wave of the "director's cut" craze, Academy Award-winning director Tony Richardson had a novel idea for the 1989 reissue of Tom Jones. With typical insouciance, he trimmed it by seven minutes. Over the years, other directors have made similar decisions when their movies were still in their first run. In 1968, Stanley Kubrick took 17 minutes out of 2001: A Space Odyssey. And Terrence Malick has shorn 16 minutes from The New World following its initial engagements in New York and Los Angeles.
SPORTS
By Joe Christensen and Joe Christensen,SUN STAFF | October 26, 2004
ST. LOUIS - Imagine you're the 30-year-old general manager of the Boston Red Sox, and on the first day of spring training, your center fielder saunters through the door looking like a cross between Charles Manson and Yanni. Johnny Damon's deep brown locks are drooping near his shoulders, and he's looking at you from behind a full-length beard, knowing this is your test. Would you smile and compliment Damon for expressing his individuality? Or would you quickly grab for the scissors? Theo Epstein walked a fine line with that decision this spring, and it became a defining moment for the Red Sox, who hold a 2-0 World Series lead over the St. Louis Cardinals heading into Game 3 tonight at Busch Stadium.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | February 14, 2003
What Citizen Kane was to movie lovers in 1941, The Wild Bunch was to cineastes in 1969. Its adrenaline rush of revelations seemed to explode the parameters of the screen. The director and the co-writer, Sam Peckinpah, turned the last stand of the Hole-in the-Wall Gang into a wrenching piece of early 20th-century mythology. His filmmaking both evinced and catalyzed complex feelings about the outlaws' freedom, brotherhood and professionalism, their manliness and childishness, and the way they experienced the closing of the West as Purgatory and used Latin America as an escape hatch.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | January 1, 2003
NEW YORK - The most exciting aspect of Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York is its vision of mid-19th century New York as a crucible, not a melting pot, for recent Irish immigrants and Manhattan "natives." It sets a fierce tone from the start, when Irish clad in red-striped pants and Nativists in blue sashes and stovepipe hats face off, then battle for control of the neighborhood known as Five Points. Broad and original as this vision is, it's also a double-barreled throwback. First, to the history recalled in Herbert Asbury's 1928 book of the same name.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | December 7, 2001
In the performance that won him the Best Actor Award from the National Society of Film Critics, Peter O'Toole, the director-hero in the backstage-moviemaking epic The Stunt Man (1980), describes paranoia as a "social disease" in the sense of syphilis -- it, too, spreads through intimate social contact. This perception also belongs to Richard Rush, the real-life producer, director and co-writer of The Stunt Man, who spent most of a decade finding the money and developing the techniques he needed to turn Paul Brodeur's novel into unique entertainment -- a magnificent, super-charged, philosophic adventure-comedy.
NEWS
By Susan Reimer and Susan Reimer,SUN COLUMNIST | November 11, 2001
Sharon Dick's backyard isn't much bigger than a playground sandbox, but every inch of it is dedicated to feeding her tenants: a couple of thousand frogs, maybe a million bees, plus enough drop-in birds, butterflies and bats to challenge the best census taker. "I don't think of it as a garden," said the Lutherville naturalist. "I think of it more as a pantry." There are bird feeders in evidence, certainly. But less obvious is the food masquerading as flowers, shrubs and trees. There is milkweed for the migrating monarch butterflies.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Staff | May 3, 2001
OK, we know you all stayed up until the wee hours of the morning at yesterday's opening-night party at the Evergreen House. Hey, that's no excuse for not starting this first full day of Maryland Film Festival 2001 bright and early. So drag yourself out of bed, grab an Egg McMuffin up at the North Avenue McDonald's and make it to the Charles by noon to kick off your day with "I Remember Me," Kim Snyder's documentary about chronic-fatigue syndrome, a mysterious affliction from which the filmmaker herself suffers.
FEATURES
By Syd Kearney and Syd Kearney,Houston Chronicle | July 31, 1994
The gunfight at the O.K. Corral took less than half a minute, but its legend has sustained this dusty town for more than a century.Founded in 1877 when a prospector named Ed Schieffelin staked a silver claim there, Tombstone -- billed as "the town too tough to die" -- is more like the cliche "too tough to kill."Every dozen or so years, a Hollywood director offers his take on lawman Wyatt Earp, his brothers and his buddy Doc Holliday. "Wyatt Earp," featuring Kevin Costner in the title role, opened in theaters this summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Staff | May 3, 2001
OK, we know you all stayed up until the wee hours of the morning at yesterday's opening-night party at the Evergreen House. Hey, that's no excuse for not starting this first full day of Maryland Film Festival 2001 bright and early. So drag yourself out of bed, grab an Egg McMuffin up at the North Avenue McDonald's and make it to the Charles by noon to kick off your day with "I Remember Me," Kim Snyder's documentary about chronic-fatigue syndrome, a mysterious affliction from which the filmmaker herself suffers.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,Sun Movie Critic | May 3, 2001
This weekend, satire does not close on Saturday night: It stays open through Sunday at the Maryland Film Festival. On Sunday, at 1 p.m., National Public Radio's Scott Simon is guest host at a screening of Stanley Kubrick's "Dr. Strangelove Or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." It should be a jolly freak-out to hear Simon introduce the film in his resonant NPR tones right before Kubrick's NPR-style narrator announces, "For more than a year, ominous rumors had been privately circulating among high-level Western leaders that the Soviet Union had been at work on what was darkly hinted to be the ultimate weapon: a doomsday device."
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