Films featuring
Peter O'Toole

Lawrence of Arabia

Young men make wars, and the virtues of war are the virtues of young men. Courage and hope for the future. Then old men make the peace. And the vices of peace are the vices of old men. Mistrust and caution. It must be so.

Back in 2006, when Blu-ray players and discs first appeared in stores, Sony distributed a demo reel for stores to play showing how fan-damn-tacular movies looked in the new format. This included scenes from Lawrence of Arabia, a Sony property via Columbia Pictures, implying the film would be among the first released. For the next six years, film buffs waited with increasing impatience for Sony to make good on that promise.

I, for one, am tickled that they waited so long. The Blu-ray edition released in November, based on a meticulous 4K restoration, is simply amazing. The last time the movie looked this good to my eyes was back in 1989, and I was watching it projected in 70mm at the old Cinedome theaters in Orange, CA.

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The Last Emperor

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Perhaps the saddest line in Bernardo Bertolucci’s Oscar-sweeping epic, comes early when the 9-year-old Emperor Pu Yi (Tijger Tsou) naively tells his brother that an emperor can do anything he wants. The bitter irony is that this is only true so long as the emperor does not want to do anything that matters to the people of China. He spends his childhood as a prisoner of his court’s need to have an emperor, in order to justify their own position.

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Stardust

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This movie wants to be The Princess Bride so bad it almost makes me feel like a heel to break the news. Almost. Unfortunately, this desperately earnest fantasy overstays its welcome and drags on far too long.

Rob Reiner’s fantasy clocked in at a spry 97 minutes while this adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s graphic novel is weighed down by a 127-minute running length. It is not without its charming moments, but this movie lacks the light touch that it needs to be successful.

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Ratatouille

Ratatouille

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Okay, here’s the usual course of events that I follow with each new Pixar movie. 1) Hear concept. 2) Skeptically conclude that Pixar has finally blown it and there’s no way they can make this idea work. 3) See movie. 4) Offer up silent apologies for my lack of faith.

I’ll be damned if they haven’t done it to me again.

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My Favorite Year

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Great comedies, or even just good ones, always have a great deal of affection for their subject. Surely, Mel Brooks must have loved the old Universal horror films to make Young Frankenstein.

He also must have had fond memories of his days as a writer for Sid Ceasar on his Your Show of Shows, because My Favorite Year was clearly made with a great deal of love for the Golden Age of Television.

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