1-20 of 22 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
Focus is here! In the new flick, a con artist (Will Smith) meets his match in a gorgeous fellow con artist played by Margot Robbie. As Smith takes Robbie's character under his wing, they begin to fall for each other romantically. Years after their first meeting, the duo reconnect as Smith tries to pull off one of his biggest heists ever. So what do critics think about the new film? Read on for our Focus review roundup... • The A.V. Club gave the film a C+ rating. "On the most basic level, the con-artist romance Focus is a Cary Grant movie in the North By Northwest or Charade mold. There's a charismatic 6-foot-2 star who's funny when he plays drunk (Will Smith), a love interest »
This article contains a spoiler for the ending of Interstellar.
In case you missed it, the Oscars were this past weekend and Birdman was the big winner. The Academy’s choice to award Alejandro González Iñárritu's fever dream was a genuine shock, with Boyhood the running favourite for many months. Nonetheless, some things never change, and in that vein it's certainly a non-surprise the Academy also hardly noticed the most ambitious blockbuster of 2014: the Christopher Nolan space epic, Interstellar. Indeed, I use the phrase "non-surprise", because how could it be a winner when it was only nominated for the bare minimum of five Oscars in technical categories that are reserved as consolation prizes?
This is by all means par for the course with a film that has »
By Lee Pfeiffer
Well, it's that time of year again when pundits everywhere weigh in on the merits (or lack thereof) of the previous evening's Oscar telecast.
Here are my random observations:
Host Neil Patrick Harris was affable and likable and worked like hell to put on a good show. But there lies the rub. Traditionally, Oscar hosts never had to be chosen for their ability to carry Busby Berkeley-like song and dance extravaganzas. Dear old Jerry Lewis, Bob Hope and Johnny Carson were simply there to keep the traffic flowing to the podium in between rattling off some memorable one-liners. Billy Crystal quashed that tradition with his ever-outrageous opening production numbers that razzed the Academy and some of the nominees. The idea should have been retired with him when he announced he would no longer host the event. Last evening's opening act was certainly opulent and contained some »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
I wanted to write about word balloons, which I’m pretty sure hasn’t been talked about here at ComicMix before, at least since I arrived here, is it coming on three years already? And now I’m incredibly frustrated and possibly going crazy.
I got the idea from seeing a piece in Entertainment Weekly featuring an interview with Scott McCloud in which he talked about the use of word balloons in comics. I thought I set the magazine aside to use as a reference – and I’ve been tearing about the house for over an hour looking for it. Can’t find it anywhere…and I even went through my recycle bin. And I went to EW’s website, but have you been there recently? It’s H-o-r-r-i-b-l-e! Supposedly it was “redesigned,” but it looks more like it was hacked into by The Onion’s staff, or maybe the »
- Mindy Newell
In one hundred years of film, the basic formula has never wavered: if you want to leave them smiling, end with a kiss. But while all screen kisses may be heart-warming, they've looked very different since the dawn of cinema. Here's a look at the history of screen romance, by the decades: Decade: 1920’s Romantic Ideals: Rudolph Valentino and Greta Garbo Their Day Jobs: Sheik and coat-check girl How They Meet: Trapped in a desert oasis while traveling under a secret identity Obstacle in their Path: Her drunken husband, his nattering wives, Hammurabi’s code condemning to death all who gaze upon a member of the tribe. Big Cool Friend’s Advice: “Sail to the ends of the earth, where a man may forget.” Final Kiss Location: Under a full moon atop Mount Kilimanjaro. Watch Party Streaming Pick: “The Sheik” Decade: 1930’s Romantic Ideals: Jean Arthur and Cary Grant Their Day Jobs: Con-woman and paleontologist. »
- Richard Rushfield, Adam Leff
However stagily preposterous, George Cukor’s 1940 movie The Philadelphia Story, now rereleased, is also utterly beguiling, funny and romantic; it is based on the same stage play, by Philip Barry, as the 1956 musical High Society. This is the most famous example of the intriguing and now defunct prewar genre of “comedy of remarriage”, the subject of an equally interesting study by film theorist Stanley Cavell called Pursuits Of Happiness. It features three stars from the studio era who are the aristocrats, or deities, of the Hollywood golden age: Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn and James Stewart. Part of the fascination in watching this movie again is savouring those three extraordinary voices, highly imitable but entirely unique. Hepburn is the statuesque heiress Tracy Lord, »
- Peter Bradshaw
Editor's Note: RogerEbert.com is proud to reprint Roger Ebert's 1978 entry from the Encyclopedia Britannica publication "The Great Ideas Today," part of "The Great Books of the Western World." Reprinted with permission from The Great Ideas Today ©1978 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.
It's a measure of how completely the Internet has transformed communication that I need to explain, for the benefit of some younger readers, what encyclopedias were: bound editions summing up all available knowledge, delivered to one's home in handsome bound editions. The "Great Books" series zeroed in on books about history, poetry, natural science, math and other fields of study; the "Great Ideas" series was meant to tie all the ideas together, and that was the mission given to Roger when he undertook this piece about film.
Given the venue he was writing for, it's probably wisest to look at Roger's long, wide-ranging piece as a snapshot of the »
- Roger Ebert
The Philadelphia Story, 1940.
Directed by George Cukor.
Set to remarry, Tracy Lord (Hepburn) has to contend with her ex-husband (Cary Grant) and a reporter on the snoop (James Stewart) as she tries to go through with her upper-class wedding – with their intention to spoil it.
Romance is in the air. The arrow of cupid has struck and, as Robson and Jerome covered, this Saturday night is at the movies. You may believe a Subway and Titanic is a romantic night in. I would argue it’s not*. In fact, an alternative is to head down to the BFI and watch a re-mastered copy of The Philadelphia Story. Not only will this extraordinary comedy give you a superior sense of cinematic taste, but it also features the genius pairing of Cary Grant and Jimmy Stewart – and that’s in addition to the feisty Katharine Hepburn, »
- Simon Columb
Catherine Shoard recommends The Philadelphia Story, George Cukor's 1940 screwball romantic comedy starring Katharine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant. Tracy Lord (Hepburn) finds herself torn between her ex-husband and a newspaper reporter on the eve of her wedding to a businessman
• The Philadelphia Story is rereleased in the UK this Friday, just in time for Valentine's Day
- Catherine Shoard and Paul Frankl
Why go out on Valentine's Day?
Instead of dealing with crowded, overpriced restaurants, you and your honey can just stay in and stream your favorite romantic movies like "Moonstruck," "An Affair to Remember," "Pretty in Pink," or "Dirty Dancing" on Netflix. Or, if you're flying solo, your date can be Harrison Ford, Cary Grant, Nicolas Cage, Sandra Bullock, Claire Danes or Gwyneth Paltrow. Grab that box of chocolates, add these movies to your streaming list and enjoy romance at its most cinematic.
- Sharon Knolle
Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies (See previous post: "The Charles Brackett Diaries: Billy Wilder and Hollywood in the '30s and '40s.") Below is a list of movies on which Charles Brackett and Billy Wilder worked together as screenwriters, including efforts for which they did not receive screen credit. The Wilder-Brackett screenwriting partnership lasted from 1938 to 1949. During that time, they shared two Academy Awards for their work on The Lost Weekend (1945) and, with D.M. Marshman Jr., Sunset Blvd. (1950). Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, and One, Two, Three. However well-received, Wilder's later films generally lacked the sophistication and subtlety found in his earlier work with Brackett. Charles Brackett, for his part, became associated with 20th Century-Fox, working as a producer-screenwriter. His Fox films, though frequently popular and at times applauded by critics, were decidedly made-to-order, »
- Andre Soares
Valentine.s Day is just around the corner, and to celebrate this most sacred of romantic holidays we have a supercut that has been created to feature an array of kisses from over 100 movies. You can watch the clip to get in the mood for Valentines below. Can you feel the love? Movieclips. montage is a rather delightful homage to some of the most romantic moments in cinematic history. My personal favorites include little tip of the hats to Gone With The Wind, American Beauty and Arsenic And Old Lace. I mean, who doesn.t love seeing Cary Grant having a kiss? However, they all actually pale in comparison to Cinema Paradiso.s mesmeric kissing montage - which is poignant enough to make even the most heart-broken soul believe in love again. Check it out here. Warning, you.ll almost certainly start to weep while watching it though. Movieclips didn »
The 2015 Grammy Award winners have been coming fast and furious for nearly three hours. That's the strange thing about Grammy night. Almost all of the awards are given out beforehand, so the actual telecast features only a dozen awards (give or take) and a wide assortment of performance. Follow along and join the conversation as I live-blog all of those performances, plus all of the awards, even though I have no real opinions on the inevitable winners and losers. It should be fun! 8:00 p.m. Et. "Madam Secretary" and "The Good Wife" will be back next week! 8:00 p.m. Thank you, LL, for reminding me of the things we were talking about after last year's Grammys. I remember none of those things. 8:01 p.m. "For those about to rap, for those about to sing, for those about to play, we salute you!" LL Cool J says, introducing »
- Daniel Fienberg
Sometimes (Ok, frequently) the Academy drops the ball. Cary Grant gave his fair share of pantheon performances ("His Girl Friday," "Bringing Up Baby," "The Awful Truth"), none of which garnered him a nomination for Best Actor (he was instead honored for "Penny Serenade" and "None But the Lonely Heart"). Ingrid Bergman's work in "Casablanca," "Notorious" and "Stromboli" was similarly ignored. This year's Oscar candidates are no different, and with that in mind, here are the 15 best performances from the current acting nominees that weren't nominated for an Oscar. Patricia Arquette, "Lost Highway" (1997)"Lost Highway" is sometimes overshadowed by David Lynch's later masterpiece "Mulholland Drive," but it's a rewarding film in its own right, a nightmarish look at repressed guilt, barely-hidden jealousy and self-deception. Arquette (giving a canny double-performance as »
- Max O'Connell
Both roles initially seem secondary to the male hero in their respective films (Ben Affleck's Nick in the former, Eddie Redmayne's Stephen Hawking in the latter), but gradually come to take over the story in their own right. Here's our pick of nine further films where a heroine usurps her male counterpart.
Women usually get a raw deal in Bond films, so much so that the leads are dismissively referred to as 'Bond girls'. But the casting of Judi Dench as M from 1995's GoldenEye onwards went some way to redressing the gender balance - and by her final outing in Skyfall, she had almost become the protagonist in her own right.
M had always been in a »
L.A.-based Mexican producer-financier Alex Garcia, French producer Claudie Ossard and Amanda Neville, British Film Institute CEO, form the three-member jury panel at this year’s 8th Kustendorf Intl. Film and Music Festival, which opened Jan. 21 with a gala screening of Venice competition player “The Postman’s White Nights.”
Beforehand, director Andrei Konchalovsky took an audience through some of the challenges of filmmaking, such as the stolidity of the camera, which, per a festival report, he explained, citing Robert Bresson’s diktat: “The camera is like the eye of a cow.”
Also in attendance: Cannes director Thierry Fremaux, to present a restored copy of 1929’s “In the Night,” the only film helmed by resilient French actor Charles-Marie Vanel, whise 77-year career took included being seen with Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock’s “To Catch a Thief.” Vanel received a tribute-retrospective at Lyon’s 2013 Lumière Festival, which Fremaux runs with Institut Lumière president Bertrand Tavernier, »
- John Hopewell
Jude Law, once so shiny-penny-clean and pretty — and with the kind of chin dimple that might have inspired Audrey Hepburn to ask, as she did of Cary Grant in Charade, “How do you shave in there?” — is only now reaching the age where we can call his face interesting. In Kevin Macdonald’s Black Sea, he plays Robinson, a submarine captain who knows his job inside-out and up and down, devoting so much to it that he’s lost his wife and son. He’s been toiling for the same salvage company for eleven years, though as the movie opens, he’s been abruptly laid off. At first Robinson is stunned that his employer could cut him loose so coldly. But before our eyes his incredulity morphs into anger and disdain. Law’s Robinson looks wrung out »
Director Barry Levinson offers his thoughts on what’s behind the growing outcry for more diversity in Hollywood films.
Are we a racist country? Yes. But we are getting better. For certain. And while that battle for absolute equality is being played out, an odd controversy about the racial injustice in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has emerged. The Oscar nominations of 2015 are being questioned as racially prejudicial. There are those who say a black woman, who directed “Selma,” was overlooked because of racial bias, and the actor who played Martin Luther King Jr. was also overlooked because he was black. The film was nominated by the Academy, but these individuals were not. I would tend to agree with these accusations if I thought the Academy had a great record of selecting the best nominees each year, but they don’t. It is impossible to pass through a single awards season without hearing, »
- Barry Levinson
Written by Kim Ki-young
Directed by Kim Ki-young
South Korea, 1960
In 2013, the Criterion Collection released a Blu-Ray/DVD box set called ‘Martin Scorsese’s World Cinema Project’, featuring six films from other countries, either dating from the 1960s to the 1980s, which have been digitally restored by the efforts of Martin Scorsese and The Film Foundation. It should come as no surprise that Scorsese is a cineaste at heart and his love for foreign films, particularly those that have dropped in obscurity, shines thru these presentations. However, like with films that are re-discovered and/or re-evaluated, occasionally you’ll find some that live up to their reputation or not. For my money, the best film in the set is the 1964 Turkish melodrama Dry Summer (1964; Turkish title: Susuz Yaz), which I have already reviewed and sang praises for. The other films in the set include The Journey of the »
- Christopher Koenig
Robert Redford movies: TCM shows 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,' 'The Sting' They don't make movie stars like they used to, back in the days of Louis B. Mayer, Jack Warner, and Harry Cohn. That's what nostalgists have been bitching about for the last four or five decades; never mind the fact that movie stars have remained as big as ever despite the demise of the old studio system and the spectacular rise of television more than sixty years ago. This month of January 2015, Turner Classic Movies will be honoring one such post-studio era superstar: Robert Redford. Beginning this Monday evening, January 6, TCM will be presenting 15 Robert Redford movies. Tonight's entries include Redford's two biggest blockbusters, both directed by George Roy Hill and co-starring Paul Newman: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which turned Redford, already in his early 30s, into a major film star to rival Rudolph Valentino, »
- Andre Soares
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