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Gone Girl is a cynical movie. No doubt. It features two sociopaths working out their deeply troubled marital issues in the public eye with just the right amount of bloodshed. Yet in more than a few ways, it could be an unofficial remake of The Awful Truth, Leo McCarey’s 1937 screwball comedy where two assholes realize that they want to stay married. The movie opens with Jerry Warriner (Cary Grant, naturally) lying to his wife about a trip to Florida (complete with sunlamp sessions at the gym and fake letters). When his wife Lucy (Irene Dunne) returns home later than expected, and with her debonair singing instructor in tow, Jerry can’t believe her story of a broken down vehicle. He’s furious. She finds out he was lying about visiting the Sunshine State, and mutual divorce proceedings commence. They both want to keep the dog. The rest of the film involves Lucy’s engagement to the »
- Scott Beggs
As with any genre, melodrama has its own artistry. Creating an emotional response in the viewer enough to cause tears, or at least for a strong connection to the main characters, is an art in itself. Done properly, melodrama can be as exhilarating as an action film, and as intense as a horror movie. Done poorly, it can make you feel at best cheated, and at worst manipulated and ashamed of wasting two hours on such a pedantic series of misadventures.
With that in mind, I must consider how to review the latest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel: The Best of Me. I must choose my words carefully, for you, the reader, shall make the heartfelt decision whether to spend your money on a tale of love and redemption in the Louisiana Bayou. So allow me to put this as gently as I know how: The Best of Me is bad. »
- Lauren Humphries-Brooks
Before he was the one-line-loving, crassly, campy class clown known as Freddy, Fred Krueger was the stuff of genuine nightmares. Scarred and grinning in his striped wool sweater, Fred prowls the dreamscape realm of the local high schoolers, the children upon whom he once preyed before their parents got smart and burned him alive. Years ago, Fred was a janitor at the elementary school; he lured children into the boiler room, where, it’s insinuated, he molested and maimed the kids. Now, years later, he returns to haunt the dreams of the children of Suburbia, America. Craven conjures the most surreal imagery of his wildly uneven career here, and Robert Englund instills Craven’s iconic creation with sharp, wry kind of terror, his playful delivery still ironic before the sequels declawed him. He wears his ratty old fedora like »
- Greg Cwik
Why bother going out to the multiplex when the movies you want to see are on Netflix? Whether it's a classic weepie like "An Affair to Remember," an Audrey Hepburn movie, a Jane Austen favorite or "Clueless" (again), here are some of the best chick flicks streaming on Netflix right now. (Availability subject to change.)
1. "13 Going on 30" (2004)
Who doesn't love a good time-traveling romantic comedy, especially one with a big "Thriller" dance showstopper?
2. "An Affair to Remember" (1957)
3. "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
4. "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason" (2004)
The sequel finds Bridget (Renee Zellweger) in Thailand, where she's tempted to stray with ex »
- Sharon Knolle
1999 will always be one of my favorite years for movies. This is partially because there were a lot of great movies released that year, but mainly because in 1999 I was in high school, and as we all know, the world was more important and less terrible when we were in high school. Last week, I took a look at which movies from 1999 had aged well, and asked which had aged poorly. The response was overwhelming, insofar as it's overwhelming that anyone likes American Beauty. However, one reader email in particular struck me as a launchpad for an important conversation. Here »
- Darren Franich
Director and star Mathieu Amalric in The Blue Room: "I thought a lot of the usual suspects. A man sitting and looking, and he is not listening."
Mathieu Amalric's The Blue Room (La Chambre Bleue) is based on Georges Simenon's novel. Amalric stars with Stéphanie Cléau, Léa Drucker with Serge Bozon, Mona Jaffart, Laurent Poitrenaux and Blutch in his whodunnit with a question mark for each molded part - the who, the done and especially the it.
David Lynch's Lost Highway - William Holden's death - Gene Hackman and Kevin Costner in Roger Donaldson's No Way Out form a thread. Katharine Hepburn on a ladder climbing up to Cary Grant in Howard Hawks' Bringing Up Baby, editing with François Gédigier and Bozon's voice are heard in part 2 of our conversation.
Anne-Katrin Titze: You mentioned how quickly Simenon wrote the book and you also said »
- Anne-Katrin Titze
Hope you like scares, because here comes a chilling fact: If "Gilmore Girls" began today, Lorelai Gilmore would've been born in 1982. Choke on that. Most of these streams are available beginning October 1. Check out our list of streaming musts from Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Crackle. Hulu "South Park" Did you know Hulu has exclusive rights to "South Park"? It does. And did you know that "The Book of Mormon," which I finally saw, plays like a long, mostly good episode of "South Park"? Except unlike "South Park," my mother loves it? And she's the kind of person who tried banning "Salute Your Shorts" in my house because they sometimes made jokes about jockstraps? It's all confusing, but let's just sit back and watch "South Park" again. Remember Scuzzlebutt, the creature who had Patrick Duffy for a leg? Yeah, that's 17 years old. Fun newsflash: You'll be dead soon. "Scandal" Olivia »
- Louis Virtel
While director Blake Edwards and star Peter Sellers are best known for their several Pink Panther efforts, they also collaborated on one additional wholly unrelated title, The Party (1968). It was their third time working together, with only two of the Panther films preceding it, and arriving the same year that Bud Yorkin attempted an unsuccessful Us version of the Clouseau character starring Alan Arkin with Inspector Clouseau. For the most part, this is a film that allows Sellers free reign with his fake persona, though by today’s standards this might play something like an SNL extended skit feature. Though Sellers was a top tier performer, many may likely find his appearance here in ‘brown face’ as a bumbling Indian actor to be off-putting, even if it isn’t pointedly demeaning.
The story is about as simple as the unassuming title. Hrundi V. Bakshi (Sellers) is an Indian actor in Hollywood, »
- Nicholas Bell
Sometimes it’s just a joke, sometimes it has hidden meaning, and sometimes it’s simply the director showing off their eclectic taste in all things celluloid (read: Quentin Tarantino). But one thing’s for sure: the annals of cinema history are littered with movie-in-movie moments.
The granddaddy of movie-in-movie moments comes from The Shawshank Redemption – released twenty years ago today. So in honour of its anniversary, we thought we’d go all “meta” by looking back at ten of the most memorable movie-in-movie moments to grace the multiplex.
Though it’s probably a little bit cruel to show prison inmates Rita Hayworth at her finest, this 40’s classic plays a prominent role in the film’s plot as Andy later uses a poster from the 1946 noir to cover the entrance to the tunnel that he’s painstakingly carved out of the prison walls.
- Daniel Bettridge
An uneven, intermittently charming indie romantic comedy, “Two Night Stand” means to embrace the jittery folkways of millennial dating and wrap them into a traditional love story. Given the hair-raising uncertainties of urban romance today, that may be a cake to have and eat only at the movies. (Analeigh Tipton and Miles Teller) who meet on a casual dating site, spend the designated night together — then find themselves snowbound, stuck with one another, and having a real conversation.
The movie is more or less a two-hander unfolding in two cramped rooms, so everything hangs on the banter, which alternates giddily between smart and smart-aleck; until a visual treat at the end, there isn’t much to look at. The result will likely go down easy with youngish singletons who dream of free-range hookups topped with love eternal. Moviegoing boomer parents who see it as a primer on the risks their »
- Ella Taylor
Polly Bergen dead at 84: ‘First woman president of the U.S.A.,’ former mistress of Tony Soprano’s father Emmy Award-winning actress Polly Bergen — whose roles ranged from the first U.S.A. woman president in Kisses for My President to the former mistress of both Tony Soprano’s father and John F. Kennedy in the television hit series The Sopranos — died from "natural causes" on September 20, 2014, at her home in Southbury, Connecticut. The 84-year-old Bergen, a heavy smoker for five decades, had been suffering from emphysema and other ailments since the 1990s. "Most people think I was born in a rich Long Island family," she told The Washington Post in 1988, but Polly Bergen was actually born Nellie Paulina Burgin on July 14, 1930, to an impoverished family in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father was an illiterate construction worker while her mother got only as far as the third grade. The family »
- Andre Soares
Honorary Award: Gloria Swanson, Rita Hayworth among dozens of women bypassed by the Academy (photo: Honorary Award non-winner Gloria Swanson in 'Sunset Blvd.') (See previous post: "Honorary Oscars: Doris Day, Danielle Darrieux Snubbed.") Part three of this four-part article about the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Honorary Award bypassing women basically consists of a long, long — and for the most part quite prestigious — list of deceased women who, some way or other, left their mark on the film world. Some of the names found below are still well known; others were huge in their day, but are now all but forgotten. Yet, just because most people (and the media) suffer from long-term — and even medium-term — memory loss, that doesn't mean these women were any less deserving of an Honorary Oscar. So, among the distinguished female film professionals in Hollywood and elsewhere who have passed away without »
- Andre Soares
Andrew V. McLaglen has passed away at his home in the San Juan Islands. He was 94. Wheeler Winston Dixon in Senses of Cinema: "Coming of age when his father, the gifted actor Victor McLaglen, won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in John Ford’s The Informer (1935), young Andrew worked and lived with the cream of Hollywood’s most original and idiosyncratic artists. In addition to John Ford, he knew and/or worked with John Wayne, William Wellman, Budd Boetticher and Cary Grant, and later carved out a career for himself as a director in the Western genre that few can equal." » - David Hudson »
“Before I Go To Sleep” is a risky title for a genre exercise intended to keep viewers bolt upright in their seats, handing mirthful critics a ready-made punchline at the first sign of lethargy. The good news is that Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of S.J. Watson’s 2011 publishing phenom is far from a snooze; the bad news is that it’s the film’s escalating, po-faced ludicrousness that holds our attention. Starring a typically hard-working Nicole Kidman as a short-term amnesiac unsure whether she’s being played by her husband, her shrink or both, With David Fincher’s similarly targeted “Gone Girl” already siphoning its buzz, this dopey diversion will need the novel’s fans to turn out en masse to avoid being forgotten by morning.
A planned Halloween release Stateside — weeks after the film’s Sept. 5 release in Blighty and elsewhere — might lead auds to expect an out-and-out frightfest, »
- Guy Lodge
Have a look at the new one-sheet for Nacho Vigalondo's thriller Open Windows. His film will be in select theaters on November 7. If you would like to see it earlier, there will be an early VOD release on October 2.Our Managing Editor, Peter Martin, caught the film at SXSW and concluded his rave review with these thoughts..."Somewhat similar to Cary Grant in North by Northwest, forcibly inebriated and careening down a mountain road toward certain death, Open Windows zooms along as though it's out of control, dashing from here to there in a heedless race to the closing credits. But Nacho Vigalondo is not drunk at the helm, and his film only appears to be out of control. Open Windows thrills and chills, and...
[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
Newly available on Blu-ray, Operation Petticoat stars two of Hollywood’s ultimate leading men, Cary Grant and Tony Curtis, in a madcap, candy-colored comedy about two very different officers on a battered submarine in the Pacific during World War II, and what happens when five female Army nurses come aboard. Directed by Blake Edwards (The Pink Panther, among many others), it was released in 1959 and showcases two of the biggest stars in the history of cinema at their brightest and most boisterous--even if the story itself leaves something to be desired.
- Lee Jutton
Lauren Bacall Dies
Bacall reportedly suffered a massive stroke at her New York City apartment, which led to her death, reported CNN.
Bacall’s break came in 1944’s To Have and Have Not in which she played Marie “Slim” Browning opposite Humphrey Bogart’s Harry Morgan. After striking up a romance with Bogart and marrying him the following year, Bacall reunited with him on the big screen in The Big Sleep (1946), Dark Passage (1947) and Key Largo (1948). Bacall and Bogart remained married until his death in 1957.
After her string of performances with her husband, Bacall teamed up with Kirk Douglas in a pair of films – Young Man With a Horn (1950) and How to Marry a Millionaire (1953). She went on to costar with Rock Hudson in 1956’s Written on the Wind and with Cary Grant in 1957’s Designing Women. She also »
Lauren Bacall, the sultry blonde siren who became an overnight star via a memorable film debut at age 19 opposite Humphrey Bogart in Howard Hawks’ “To Have and Have Not,” died Tuesday of a suspected stroke at her home in the Dakota in Manhattan. She was 89.
The Bogart estate confirmed the news on Twitter.
Variety’s review of the 1944 film described her as “a young lady of presence,” and audiences immediately embraced her gravel-voiced and sultry persona. The voice was said to have come from a year shouting into a canyon. Regardless, “the Look,” her slinky, pouty-lipped head-lowered stare, influenced a generation of actresses.
After a 50-year career, she received her first Oscar nomination for supporting actress for her role as Barbra Streisand’s mother in 1997’s “The Mirror Has Two Faces.” Though considered a shoo-in, she didn’t win. However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences gave her a 2009 Governors Award for life achievement. »
- Richard Natale
Grace Kelly Collection
Due Out: July 28, 2014
The Grace Kelly biopic starring Nicole Kidman awaits release after its presentation at the past Cannes Film Festival, but now a DVD boxset has been released to allow movie lovers to remember the actress for her past work, including the directors she worked for (John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock), and the stars she worked with.
Warner Bros. Home Entertainment remembers one of Hollywood’s most glamorous film stars with the debut of the “Grace Kelly Collection.” Included in the set are six films which have never all been in the same box set before. The set also includes one particularly special feature, a rarely seen TV »
- Nick Allen
This, perhaps the greatest romcom ever conceived with the male viewer in mind, sees puppy-eyed Cusack reinvented as a hard-edged hitman healed by his love for Minnie Driver exactly the kind of guy my adolescent self couldnt help but aspire to
- Mike McCahill
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