Tag Archives: Steve McQueen

Bullitt Review

Peter Yates’ slick direction is the cornerstone for Bullitt and all the action it entails. While the eponymous police officer does not feel sluggish or sound disgruntled, he certainly looks out of his element. There is a flicker of worry behind the eyes of Lieutenant Frank Bullitt (Steve McQueen). All action heroes are flawed, and whether they show it or not makes no difference to the reality they find themselves in. Mobsters and senators butt heads, with Bullitt in the middle of it all. He is scared. More often than not he is terrified of playing into the hands of the losing side, and McQueen lets that guilty weakness show more than once throughout this feature. 

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The Blob Review

Sweet old 1950s America could be taken down by only two threats. A looming nervousness of the Cold War with Russia, or a lab experiment that absorbed and consumed anything in its path. Do we fear the invisible enemy or the one that is oozing underneath the doorway? Director Irvin S. Yeaworth Jr. simply states “both” and merges a fear of the Red Scare with an enemy that audiences can visualise and project their innermost hate upon. A blending of the two is smart for the time, and accessing the All-American styling of this is easily presented and at home with the characters on display.  

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Le Mans Review

When director Lee H. Katzin set forth to capture the energy of Le Mans, he knew the only way to capture such realism, such danger, would be to engage with the 24-hour race as intimately as he could. Le Mans is just that, and had we lived in a perfect world, it’d have been Steve McQueen rallying around that track in 1971 for an entire day in a black Porsche. That means nothing to those out there who are not car enthusiasts. Between you and me, I’ve not a clue what it means either. Le Mans does well to assume, that we are ignorant of the world of auto mechanics and engineering.  

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The Magnificent Seven Review

A famed rip on the brilliance of Seven Samurai, the pangs of the western genre found the allure of hired heroes helping villages fend off against a mighty threat too much to push back against. Thus, The Magnificent Seven was born. It is more than just a preference of samurai or western that will guide audiences to the former or latter. Sad it may be to see that there are different marks of quality and incompetency within either piece, the general, core concept is there and displayed with relative merit. Director John Sturges is no stranger to the western genre, but the isolationism and behind-the-times community found in Bad Day at Black Rock is very different to the heroes and villains found in the ensemble that put together The Magnificent Seven 

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Hunger Review

Documenting and understanding the many sides of The Troubles and the impact they had on Ireland’s culture and families is a difficult task indeed. An outsider to those days such as myself couldn’t possibly capture or understand the intricate horrors that tore friendships in half, destroyed relationships beyond repair, and took the lives of thousands. With Hunger, there is much faith to be had in both its cast and the man helming this piece. Steve McQueen is a tremendous director, one that has put social issues to film time and time again, but Hunger marks not only his feature debut, but his first attempt at capturing a pocket of relatively modern history.

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The Great Escape Review

A daring grasp at freedom sees a band of unlikely comrades put together a plan to escape a prisoner of war camp. The Great Escape offers up dastardly Germans, heroic heroes draped in red, white and blue, and a collection of characters who in any other circumstance would be butting heads with one another. A rather cliché look at the war, but forgivable in a time of such upheaval. Hollywood cash-ins on the tragedies of life are inevitable. The tidal wave of films set during the Second World War soon began drawing bigger names, and larger budgets. The Great Escape is likely one of the more consistent and narratively compelling of these war films, especially those released a mere twenty years after the end of such a harrowing war. 

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