1-20 of 107 items from 2015 « Prev | Next »
December is such a critical streaming month. You will probably have a couple days of holiday-related doldrums to suffer through, and you'll need something addictive to view during that serotonin holocaust. Here's the best and most curious stuff you can watch this coming month on Netflix and Hulu. "Ray" (Netflix) Musical biopics always seem like stunts. They gun for Oscar cred and often get it, they give serious actors the chance to endear everybody using preexisting iconography, and if all else fails there's usually a stirring soundtrack. "Ray" fits this mold, but it's somehow much more charismatic than other boilerplate works like "Walk the Line" and "Great Balls of Fire." Jamie Foxx's appreciation for Ray Charles goes way beyond the opportunity to dramatize his gruffer moments, and I can't say the same for Joaquin Phoenix's take on Johnny Cash. I'd say Ray is a runner-up for best musical biopic of the 2000s. »
- Louis Virtel
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone and welcome to Daily Dead’s third annual Holiday Gift Guide! Once again, we want to help you guys navigate your way through the shopping season with our tips on unique gift ideas and hopefully help you save a few bucks along the way too.
This year’s Holiday Gift Guide is being sponsored by Rlj Entertainment and their recent terrifying yuletide release, A Christmas Horror Story. To help you guys get into the spirit of the season, we’ve put together 10 amazing prize packs filled with goodies, a t-shirt and your very own copy of A Christmas Horror Story to get you ready for the holiday season.
For a chance to win one of our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide prize packs, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Holiday Gift Guide” in the subject line and be sure to include your full name and mailing address as well. »
- Heather Wixson
Depraved convicts ! Crazy Manhattan gin parties! Society dames poaching other women's husbands! A flimflam artist scamming the uptown sophisticates! All these forbidden attractions are here and more -- including Bette Davis's epochal seduction line about impulsive kissing versus good hair care. It's a 9th collection of racy pre-Code wonders. Forbidden Hollywood Volume 9 Big City Blues, Hell's Highway, The Cabin in the Cotton, When Ladies Meet, I Sell Anything DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1932-1934 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 63, 62, 78, 85, 70 min. / Street Date October 27, 2015 / available through the WBshop / 40.99 Starring Joan Blondell, Eric Linden, Humphrey Bogart; Richard Dix, Tom Brown; Richard Barthelmess, Bette Davis, Dorothy Jordan, Berton Churchill; Ann Harding, Robert Montgomery, Myrna Loy, Alice Brady, Frank Morgan; Pat O' Brien, Ann Dvorak, Claire Dodd, Roscoe Karns. Cinematography James Van Trees; Edward Cronjager; Barney McGill; Ray June Written by Lillie Hayward, Ward Morehouse, from his play; Samuel Ornitz, Robert Tasker, Rowland Brown »
- Glenn Erickson
Some of my favorite classic movies star Sweden's Ingrid Bergman, who acted opposite Humphrey Bogart in "Casablanca," Gary Cooper in Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls" and Cary Grant in Alfred Hitchcock's "Notorious," which featured the longest screen kiss ever. Even when she was young—she hit Hollywood at age 23, in David O' Selznick's "Intermezzo"—there was something worldly about her, a natural sensuality. Movie directors loved her, in Sweden and America, because she gleamed with health and beauty even without makeup and could also play sophisticated and glamorous. In a year rife with strong archive docs, "In Her Own Words" stands out because Bergman was a pack rat who hung on to everything, from her diaries (well-read by fellow Swede Alicia Vikander) to her home movies. She was an early woman with a movie camera, and her husbands enjoyed shooting her as well. The movie tracks her tragic family life—she was orphaned. »
- Anne Thompson
Betsy Drake, the former wife of Cary Grant who starred in films including “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?” (1957), “Room for One More” (1952) with Grant and the 1950 film noir “The Second Woman” with Robert Young, died in London on October 27. She was 92.
Grant married Drake in 1949 (his best man was Howard Hughes) after seeing her onstage in London, and they separated in 1958 and divorced in 1962. She made out extraordinarily well in the divorce settlement, receiving more than $1 million in cash in addition to a percentage of the earnings from the 13 films he made during their marriage.
Drake and Grant met while traveling on the Queen Mary, but Drake was also aboard the Andrea Doria when that ship famously sank in 1956; the actress lost jewelry valued at more than $200,000 as well as a book manuscript on which she was working.
In “Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?,” adapted from the comic stage play, »
- Carmel Dagan
Betsy Drake, the vivacious actress who starred opposite her husband Cary Grant in the comedies Every Girl Should Be Married and Room for One More, has died. She was 92. Drake, who was the third of Grant’s four wives, died Oct. 27 in her London home, her friend said. She had lived in the city for many years after retiring from films shortly after her 1962 divorce from the actor. Drake met Grant in August 1949 when both were aboard the Queen Mary on a trip back to the U.S. from England. Grant, 20 years her senior, had seen
- Mike Barnes
Constance Cummings in 'Night After Night.' Constance Cummings: Working with Frank Capra and Mae West (See previous post: “Constance Cummings: Actress Went from Harold Lloyd to Eugene O'Neill.”) Back at Columbia, Harry Cohn didn't do a very good job at making Constance Cummings feel important. By the end of 1932, Columbia and its sweet ingenue found themselves in court, fighting bitterly over stipulations in her contract. According to the actress and lawyer's daughter, Columbia had failed to notify her that they were picking up her option. Therefore, she was a free agent, able to offer her services wherever she pleased. Harry Cohn felt otherwise, claiming that his contract player had waived such a notice. The battle would spill over into 1933. On the positive side, in addition to Movie Crazy 1932 provided Cummings with three other notable Hollywood movies: Washington Merry-Go-Round, American Madness, and Night After Night. 'Washington Merry-Go-Round »
- Andre Soares
The Bond franchise which has been with us so long, has become so deeply entrenched in popular culture, that we often forget what it was that first distinguished the Bonds a half-century ago. Skyfall might be one of the best of the Bonds, and even, arguably, one of the best big-budget big-action flicks to come along in quite a while, but it’s not alone. The annual box office is – and has been, for quite some time – dominated by big, action-packed blockbusters of one sort of another. The Bonds aren’t even the only action-driven spy flicks (Mr. James Bond, I’d like you to meet Mr. Jason Bourne and Mr. Ethan Hunt).
That’s not to take anything away from the superb entertainment Skyfall is, or the sentimentally treasured place the Bonds hold. It’s only to say that where there was once just the one, there are now many. »
- Bill Mesce
The miniseries saga of Don, Betty, Roger, Joan, Peggy and Bert deserved a terrific finish, and at the end of seven plus one seasons, creator Matthew Weiner delivers in fine style. The agency undergoes a major transformation, but each of our favorites moves on to a thoughtful, better-than-acceptable resolution -- all except for Don. He is given one of the more interesting character finales in TV history, even better than Robert Morse's topper at the end of Season Seven Part 1. Mad Men: The Final Season Part 2 Blu-ray Lionsgate 2015 / Color / 1:78 widescreen / 352 min. / Street Date October 13, 2015 / 39.98 Starring Jon Hamm, Elisabeth Moss, Vincent Kartheiser, January Jones, John Slattery, Christina Hendricks, Kiernan Shipka, Jessica Paré, Jay R. Ferguson, Julia Ormond, Aaron Staton, Rich Sommer, Kevin Rahm, Christopher Stanley, Maggie Siff, Diana Bauer, Alison Brie, Caity Lotz.. Written by Matthew Weiner, Tom Smuts, Jonathan Igla, Erin Levy, Semi Chellas, Carly Wray. Creator »
- Glenn Erickson
On Oct. 14, the Academy organized a tony soiree for its members across the pond during the BFI London Film Festival, where foreign-language Oscar winner Pawel Pawlikowski is currently serving as president of the jury.
Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs toasted London-area members at the historic Winfield House, a villa once owned by Barbara Hutton and husband Cary Grant, which now houses the American ambassador to the U.K., Matthew Barzun — a film fan clearly delighted to host a roster of Oscar nominees ranging from Rooney Mara (accompanied by “Carol” co-star Cate Blanchett and director Todd Haynes) to Ridley Scott, whose latest, “The Martian,” holds the top spot at the box office.
Following a similar event a year earlier at 10 Downing St., the party brought together newly inducted European members, such as Gugu Mbatha-Raw and honorary Oscar winner Kevin Brownlow, with high-caliber veterans, including Joan Collins and Patrick Stewart, rubbing elbows »
- Peter Debruge
Television commercials are strange beasts, and often seem to have been designed by people on day release… and that’s just the ones from our own cultures. If you’ve ever been abroad and seen TV advertisements in other countries, there’s always a little disconnect between what you’re used to and what you’re watching, quite apart from any issues with a language barrier: the composition, music and editing feel wrong, slightly off kilter.
And then there’s Japanese television. The Japanese have a cheerfully inventive and hyperactive approach to television commercials that mirrors their unique approach to pop culture in general, all crash-edits, reaction shots and mugging to camera. What people don’t realise is that this isn’t just because Japan is a kerrrrazzzzy place and the Japanese, all a bunch of bizarreniks. No, in Japan ‘weird’ is a selling point, a marketing tool, and »
- Ben Cooke
Unless you're Meryl Streep or Jennifer Lawrence, there aren't a lot of great roles for women in Hollywood. This isn't brand new information, and lately a number of actresses have spoken out about the problem.
As if that wasn't enough, many of cinema's most iconic heroines - the roles that we hold up as evidence to the contrary - were actually written with men in mind, before an enterprising actress or director stepped in to flip the script. And so, in honour of our favourite leading lady Sigourney Weaver turning 66, here are six times that approach paid off...
Catchily titled The Far-Reaching Philosophy of Edwin A Salt, Kurt Wimmer's initial draft of the spy thriller featured a male lead whom Tom Cruise almost played, until he passed because it felt too close to his Mission: Impossible role. The script was then rewritten after studio exec Amy Pascal »
Had Yves Saint Laurent met Jean Paul Gaultier during the Joseon dynasty, the ensuing costume drama might have looked something like “The Royal Tailor.” Dramatizing the rivalry between two sartorial masters — one a doyen of traditional elegance, the other an enfant terrible of design — director Lee Won-suk’s gorgeously styled and intricately woven yarn recalls the psychological twists of Mozart and Salieri in “Amadeus” in its engrossing tussles between craft and creativity, hard work and genius. Arraying the actors in apparel that its protags would literally kill or die for, the pic merits repeat viewings with its sensational visual aesthetic alone, preferably on the big screen.
This isn’t the first Korean period drama to depict a commoner with a particular set of skills gaining intimate access to the royal circle, only to become a pawn in a web of murderous court intrigue. The genre was first popularized on TV »
- Maggie Lee
A performative exploration of Australia’s own Orry-Kelly, perhaps most infamously known as Cary Grant’s lover, Women He’s Undressed is a playful look at the man behind the costumes worn by Marilyn Monroe, Betty Davis, Humphrey Bogart, Rosalind Russell, and Errol Flynn, amongst other legends of Hollywood’s Golden Age. The film’s story is told via an electrifying mix of first-person interviews, performances of Orry-Kelly’s letters, and archival materials, including clips from his films Some Like It Hot, The Maltese Falcon, Les Girls, and Arsenic and Old Lace.
The film’s charms exist in the performative elements contextualized amongst the film’s interviewees. Director Gillian Armstrong (known for her narrative films Little Women and Oscar and Lucinda) paints a picture partially routed in national pride, about a small town boy from rural New South Wales who makes good in Hollywood. The fragmented nature of the narrative »
- John Fink
Face-off: Kent Jones Unpacks The Bible Of Auteur Interviews
It’s kind of odd to think that the Cohen Media Group picked up Kent Jones’ slickly produced bonus featuresque cinematic rumination on the monumental bible of film interviews, Hitchcock/Truffaut, being that nearly everyone interviewed in the film has had a film or more released by Janus Films’ homevid branch The Criterion Collection (with the only two exceptions being James Gray and Kiyoshi Kurosawa). Even Jones has appeared in Criterion in various capacities, either on screen as interviewee, in print as a critic or behind the scenes on the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project release. But, regardless who’s releasing this hot little commodity, it’s a guaranteed cinephilic sugar rush.
Martin Scorsese, Wes Anderson, David Fincher, Olivier Assayas, Paul Schrader, Peter Bogdanovich, Paul Schrader, Arnaud Desplechin and Richard Linklater round out the all-star lineup of interviewees who openly »
- Jordan M. Smith
Nothing against production designer Ross Wallace, but if a documentary film needs a production designer at all, it’s a sure sign something’s afoot. Such is the case with “Women He’s Undressed,” the first film in five years from Gillian Armstrong, whose 1979 feature debut, “My Brilliant Career” was a defining moment in the Australian New Wave. An illuminating and involving portrait of the prolific, Down Under-born and Oscar-winning costume designer Orry-Kelly, whose crowning achievement was that gravity-defying gown Marilyn Monroe fills out admirably in Billy Wilder’s “Some Like it Hot,” the film overstays its welcome by punctuating his story with ill-advised dramatic fantasy sequences that are meant to illustrate the anguish of a gay man in mid-century America, but come across as heavy-handed and mean-spirited. Armchair Hollywood historians and fans of the artist’s films will be drawn to the subject, but in the end it feels »
- Eddie Cockrell
Billy Wilder directed Sunset Blvd. with Gloria Swanson and William Holden. Billy Wilder and Charles Brackett movies 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). More detailed information further below. Post-split years Billy Wilder would later join forces with screenwriter I.A.L. Diamond in movies such as the classic comedy Some Like It Hot (1959), the Best Picture Oscar winner The Apartment (1960), and One Two Three (1961), notable as James Cagney's last film (until a brief comeback in Milos Forman's Ragtime two decades later). Although some of these movies were quite well received, Wilder's later efforts – which also included The Seven Year Itch »
- Andre Soares
You’re the Worst, Season 2
Created by Stephen Falk
Premieres Wednesday, September 9th at 10:30pm (Et) on Fxx
2 episodes watched for review
It’s been a long year without You’re the Worst. With its debut way back in the summer of 2014, it was the dynamic new face of FX programming, along with Married, a marked departure from the network’s gritty, dark dramas. You’re the Worst’s simple premise (man and woman meet at mutual acquaintance’s wedding, proceed to fall for each other, mess a lot of things up in the process) was a platform for the show to critique society and relationships as a whole. Gretchen (Aya Cash) and Jimmy (Chris Geere), over the course of the season, stumbled into a meaningful relationship together, as they, with friends Lindsay (Kether Donohue) and Edgar (Desmin Borges) navigated life in Los Angeles. Since You’re the Worst‘s premiere, »
- Elena Rivera
The 1962 cult item Burn, Witch, Burn finally gets a Blu-ray transfer courtesy of Kino Lorber. Perhaps relegated to obscurity due to its unavailability for many years, and also widely known by the alternate title Night of the Eagle, this is one of two notable genre films from Sidney Hayers (the other being 1960’s Circus of Horrors), a director who mainly dabbled in television after the end of this decade.
Based on the novel Conjure Woman by Fritz Leiber, Jr. (an author whose works could be primed for future adaptations), which was also adapted into a 1944 Lon Chaney, Jr. vehicle, Weird Woman, as well as later comedic adaptation with the 1980 film Witches’ Brew, this is the most noteworthy version, a flavorful exercise in logic vs. belief. Cult author and screenwriter Richard Matheson (who wrote the original I Am Legend text, of which three film versions also exist, headlined by the likes of Vincent Price, »
- Nicholas Bell
Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly Ioncinephile profile, we ask the filmmaker (in this case, Norwegian filmmaker Eskil Vogt) to identify their all time top ten favorite films. Worth noting: this was a last minute request on my part, meaning the Scandi helmer did not have much time to reflect on film history in it’s totality — but Eskil was a great sport and kindly obliged. Vogt’s Blind receives its NYC release on September 4th via the Kim Stim folks and receives its VOD release via Fandor. Here is his top ten as of September 2nd, 2015.
Annie Hall – Woody Allen (1977)
“I almost put Desplechin’s “Ma vie sexuelle” here, but I guess even Desplechin would forgive me for replacing him with this. We are so many filmmakers to admire how Allen seemingly effortlessly gave »
- Eric Lavallee
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