Monday, August 31, 2015

F. Entertainment: "Guy Ritchie's back with a spy thriller that's stylish, fun and good-looking"

by Mihir Fadnavis  Aug 29, 2015 10:08 IST

Suave young(ish) actors, sneering eyebrows, snazzy one liners, crackling camerawork, peppy music, split screen action montages – all the elements of Guy Ritchie’s signature style are present in his latest film, The Man from U.N.C.L.E. This is the kind of film that Ritchie’s fans expect and want more of, and on that front, it delivers. If you’re expecting anything more, you’ll have to look elsewhere. Ritchie apologists, read on.

The Man from U.N.C.L.E is based on the 1964 gonzo-style, spy-comedy series of the same name. The film project has been in development for years - Steven Soderbergh was originally attached to it, but it changed hands so often that fans of the TV show gave up on the movie. When Guy Ritchie finally found himself at the helm, it was clear that he was the perfect choice for the stylistic verve of the story.

It’s the 1960s, and after World War II, America has decided to have some fun spy missions in Europe, for our entertainment, of course. Thief-turned-CIA agent Napoleon Solo (Henry Cavill) is sent on a mission to find a certain Gaby (Alicia Vikander), who may or may not be the daughter of a Nazi nuclear scientist on the verge of inventing an atomic bomb. Coincidentally, the Russians send a KGB spy, Ilya Kuryakin (Armie Hammer) to get in Napoleon’s way. In a twist of fate, the two men are forced to team up and track down the aforementioned Nazi nuclear scientist, as well as steal the atomic bomb plans for their own nations.

To read the complete story, click here.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Episode 75: the Nancy Sinatra affair




The Man From UNCLE

Episode 75

The Take Me To Your Leader Affair

Writer: Bernie Giler

Director: George Waggner

Guests: Nancy Sinatra (Coco), Whitney Blake (Corrine Ackers), Paul Lambert (Simon Sparrow), Woodrow Parfrey (Adrian Cool)

Filmed: 12-19 October 1966

Premiere: 30 December 1966

Places: Cool Island (Caribbean) and Louisiania (USA)

Acts Titles:

1 - “Don't Always Believe What You Read on Radar Screens”

2 - “My Son the Thermodynamics Engineer”

3 - “Sojourn in a Wind Tunnel”

4 - “It's a Bird! It's a Bird! It's an Asteroid!”

The affair: Napoleon Solo and Illya Kuryakin arrive in the Cool Island and are greeted by Coco, the daughter of Dr Adrian Cool. Dr Cool says he is monitoring an asteroid that seems guided by aliens and will collide with Earth. Cool asks Alexander Waverly if UNCLE should create a network of observatories in a discreet way not to cause panic in the population. Coco Cool is kidnapped in a speedboat. (...)

FYI - Another meaningless episode of the third season, with some sex appeal. David McCallum and Nancy Sinatra shows a good chemistry. Nancy, daughter of Frank Sinatra, was at the height of his career as a pop singer (with hits like “This Boots are Made for Walking”) and reveals in this episode to be a very sexy actress. At a point, Nancy and David McCallum sing together.



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Thursday, August 27, 2015

DVD Talk Review: "The Man from U.N.C.L.E: The Complete Season 1"



Warner Home Video released The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - The Complete Series to DVD back in 2008 but it was mighty pricey then and now. I'd only seen bits and pieces of the series through the years - for some reason it and other MGM-owned shows like The Outer Limits rarely if ever got syndicated in the Detroit market where I grew up - and I didn't dare chance it on a series I wasn't certain I'd like.

Further, the general consensus was that this 1964-68 spy series went downhill in a big way during its third season, having been influenced by the camp and self-parody of the phenomenally if briefly-popular Batman TV show, as well as the ballooning if increasingly silly ‘60s spy craze. (U.N.C.L.E. recovered somewhat for its more serious final fourth season.) Others, like the great pop culture essayist Mark Evanier, loved the show as a child of the ‘60s only to be terribly disappointed upon revisiting it as an adult.


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Move: "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' fails to break new ground"


The Man from U.N.C.L.E.' fails to break new ground

BY BOBBY CERESIA | AUG. 26, 2015


“The Man from U.N.C.L.E” is a Cold War-era spy movie adapted from the 1960s television series of the same name. It stars Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer as rival spies forced to work together on a mission to prevent some generic evil people from starting a nuclear war. Cavill plays a deep-voiced, smooth-talking American spy hilariously named Napoleon Solo, who, as he puts it, “specializes in the art of complicated acquisitions” (i.e., he steals really well).
Hammer, in many ways, plays the yin to Cavill’s yang, portraying a ruthless but skilled KGB agent named Illya Kuryakin, a man whose troubled past often leads to violent outbursts. The two are sent on a mission to transport a criminally connected woman, played by Alicia Vikander from “Ex Machina,” across the Berlin Wall and around Europe to find her father, who is being forced to work on a nuclear bomb. Along the way are car chases, shootouts, bathroom brawls, double-crosses, island invasions and all the traditional spy tropes we’ve come to know and love.

To start with the positives, the score to this film was stellar. The opening is set to a period-appropriate jazz song, which helps to set the mood for the rest of the film. Snazzy flutes play absurdly quickly during chase scenes, imitating the sounds of frantic panting from the running spies. When Kuryakin’s finger starts tapping before his fits of rage, the percussion beats play to the same time and enhance the buildup. If nothing else, the soundtrack is worth a listen, even if the rest of the film doesn’t fit your style.
To read the complete review, click here.

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Episode # 23: Del Floria's big secret

Somewhere in Manhattan. Napoleon Solo enter the Del Floria's Tailor Shop - Cleaning & Pressing. Recognizing agent Solo, Mist...