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New Line Cinema (Warner Bros. Pictures) released their new action/fantasy film, "The Hobbit 3: The Battle Of The Five Armies" into theaters this past Wednesday, December 17th and all the top, major critics have turned in their reviews. It appears that they were pretty mixed, giving it an overall 59 score out of a possible 100 across 45 reviews at the Metacritic.com site. The film stars: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, Orlando Bloom, John Bell, Manu Bennett, Jed Brophy, Adam Brown, John Callen, Billy Connolly, Ryan Gage, Mark Hadlow, Peter Hambleton, Stephen Hunter, William Kircher, Lawrence Makoare, Sylvester McCoy, Graham McTavish, Dean O'Gorman, Mikael Persbrandt, and Aidan Turner. We've added blurbs from a couple of the critics, below. Brice Ingram at the Chicago Sun-Times, gave it a very good 88 score, »
With Christmas around the bend, there's not nearly as much specialty programming from now until the end of the year, but there's still some great screenings worth mentioning. The Austin Film Society will be closing out 2014 with Cracking Up, a 1983 comedy from Jerry Lewis in 35mm. Bryan Connolly will be on hand for a post-film discussion for the showings tonight and again on Sunday evening.
In terms of the rest of the week in specialty screenings, they are pretty exclusively Christmas-themed. The Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter has free daily screenings of Arthur Christmas for Alamo Kids Club and Home Alone pizza parties on Sunday and Tuesday (which also will happen at the Alamo Lakeline). The Alamo Ritz has a digital restoration of Meet Me In St. Louis on Saturday and Sunday for Broadway Brunch, Gremlins on Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, Die Hard in 35mm from Sunday through Wednesday for daily shows, »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Each year, the Library of Congress selects 25 films to be named to the National Film Registry, a proclamation of commitment to preserving the chosen pictures for all time. They can be big studio pictures or experimental short films, goofball comedies or poetic meditations on life. The National Film Registery "showcases the extraordinary diversity of America’s film heritage and the disparate strands making it so vibrant" and by preserving the films, the Library of Congress hopes to "a crucial element of American creativity, culture and history.” This year’s selections span the period 1913 to 2004 and include a number of films you’re familiar with. Unless you’ve never heard of "Saving Private Ryan," "The Big Lebowski," “Rosemary’s Baby” or "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." Highlights from the list include the aforementioned film, Arthur Penn’s Western "Little Big Man," John Lasseter’s 1986 animated film, “Luxo Jr.," 1953’s “House of Wax, »
- Matt Patches
Spanning the years 1913-2004, the 25 films to be added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for 2014 include Steven Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan, Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby, Arthur Penn’s Little Big Man, John Hughes’ Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski. The annual selection helps to ensure that the movies will be preserved for all time. This year’s list brings the number of films in the registry to 650.
Also on the list are John Lasseter’s 1986 animated film, Luxo Jr; the original Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder; and Howard Hawks’ classic 1959 Western Rio Bravo. Documentaries and silent films also make up part of the selection which represents titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant; they must also each be at least 10 years old. Check out the rundown of all 25 movies below:
2014 National Film Registry »
- Nancy Tartaglione
Time to put up your Dukes! (DVDs, that is!)
John Wayne: The Epic Collection Debuts -Now Shipping!
DVD Collection Of 40 Warner And Parmount Films Is Largest John Wayne Box Set Ever
Includes Hours Of Special Features And Remarkable Memorabilia
Amazon Buyers Get Exclusive Wayne Belt Buckle
Here is the original press release from earlier this year:
Burbank, Calif., February 24, 2014 -- To commemorate one of America’s most iconic film heroes, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will introduce a comprehensive new DVD set -- John Wayne: The Epic Collection -- on May 20. The spring release, just in time for Father’s Day gift-giving ($149.98 Srp), will contain 38 discs with 40 Wayne films (full list below), including The Searchers, once called one of the most influential movies in American history and the film for which Wayne won his Best Actor Academy Award®, True Grit (1969). The collection comes packaged in a handsome book with »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Cinema Retro)
Where to begin? This past few days saw an influx of "Best of" lists, which will probably continue until and beyond year's end. Let's kick it off with Cahiers du Cinéma's Top Ten:
1. Li'l Quinquin (Bruno Dumont)
5. The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki)
6. Nymphomaniac (Lars Von Trier)
10. Our Sunhi (Hong Sangsoo)
6. The Grand Budapest Hotel (Wes Anderson)
7. Winter Sleep (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
8. The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy)
See the rest here. »
A quick roundup of goings on in the States and Europe: David Denby on Robert Altman's The Player; highlights from Making Waves: New Romanian Cinema 2014 (featuring work by Corneliu Porumboiu, Andrei Gruzsnicki, Stere Gulea, Valentin Hotea, Maya Vitkova, Cristian Jurgiu and more); Louis C.K., Paul Thomas Anderson and Robert Downey Jr. presenting a Robert Downey Sr. retrospective; sci-fi in Austin; Maggie Smith and Audrey Hepburn in London; John Ford in Paris; Eric Baudelaire in Brussels; and more. » - David Hudson »
Peter Jackson’s J.R.R. Tolkein saga will soon come to an end with The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies and critics have begin discussing the merits of the film in their reviews and on Twitter. Our official review will be up soon, but in the meantime we can sample some of the initial reactions, which are fairly mixed-to-positive. In short, people so far seem to be enjoying this a bit more than the first two installments, but still not as much as The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Check out the initial reactions to The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies after the jump. The film stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Luke Evans, Benedict Cumberbatch, Stephen Fry, Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, Ken Stott, James Nesbitt, and Orlando Bloom. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies »
- Evan Dickson
This is the way “The Hobbit” ends: not with a whimper, but with an epic battle royale. True to its subtitle, “The Battle of the Five Armies” (revised from the initially more pacific “There and Back Again”), the final installment of Peter Jackson’s distended “Lord of the Rings” prequel offers more barbarians at the gate than you can shake an Elven sword at, each vying for control of mountainous Erebor. The result is at once the trilogy’s most engrossing episode, its most expeditious (at a comparatively lean 144 minutes) and also its darkest — both visually and in terms of the forces that stir in the hearts of men, dwarves and orcs alike. Only fans need apply, but judging from past precedent, there are more than enough of them to ensure that “Battle” walks off with the dragon’s share of the upcoming holiday-season box office.
“Third time pays for all, »
- Scott Foundas
The new issue of the bilingual film quarterly desistfilm features interviews with Peter von Bagh and Jeanne Liotta and articles on Vertical Cinema, Patrick Keiller, Paul Morrissey's Mixed Blood (1985) and George Miller's Mad Max (1979). Also in today's roundup of news and views: James Sibley Watson's Tomatos Another Day (1930), a sober Lars von Trier, David Thomson on Alain Resnais's Hiroshima mon amour (1959), Christoph Huber on John Ford's The Searchers (1956), early rounds of best-of-2014 films and books lists and more. » - David Hudson »
A photograph of Samuel Fuller in "the shack."
It is always well to remember that documentaries are first of all films like other films, meaning that no less than fictional narrative movies, they too have a narrative shaped by the vision of their maker and are not only about their subjects but also are that vision and the individual elements that make it up. So, in A Fuller Life there are a number of choices that Samantha Fuller as director has made, for example to film in “the shack”—the bungalow her father kept as office and filled with his memorabilia from his days as a crime reporter, an infantryman in WWII, a writer and filmmaker; or to use her “readers” (including both actors—mostly from Fuller’s movies—and some well-chosen directors) dramatically, effectively acting their readings from Fuller’s posthumous autobiography A Third Face; or, very simply, to »
- Blake Lucas
Above: a sultry new poster for Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice. Dumb and Dumber To has opened to unsurprisingly mixed reviews, but Farrelly brothers champion R. Emmet Sweeney makes a case for the long awaited sequel for Film Comment:
"Dumb and Dumber To is about a deep, abiding friendship that can survive any indignities. After Harry and Lloyd’s journey is over, they’ve tossed away fortunes and frittered away kidneys, but they need each other to survive. As each momentary acquaintance slinks, or runs, away, it’s up to Harry and Lloyd to forget and move on. Or as is the case for Lloyd, to think about ninjas and wake up licking the grill of a big rig. Either way they can’t live without each other. And though they could never admit it, or even form the words in their desiccated cortexes, what they have is something like love. »
Paul W.S. Anderson has continued his explorations in 3D cinema with his latest film, Pompeii. It’s a simplistic love story in the vein of Titanic, two mismatched, class-divided lovers contrasted against one of history’s worst natural disasters. The story concerns a Celtic gladiator named Milo (Kit Harrington), who witnessed the slaughter of his family by the Roman Empire, under the command of Corvus (Kiefer Sutherland). Soon, after being spotted as a promising business prospect for Pompeii’s gladiator games, Milo is sent to the titular city. While on the way, he first meets Cassia (Emily Browning), the melancholic (by way of Kate Winslet in Titanic) daughter of the wealthy class. After arriving in Pompeii, Milo meets fellow slave and gladiator Atticus (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje), and they soon become friends, bonded by their captivity. Corvus, now a senator, arrives in Pompeii to broker a land deal, and with all the players now arrived, »
- John Lehtonen
Los Cabos – Marcelo Tobar’s “Man by Man,” Max Zunino’s “Jumble” and Alejandra Márquez Abella’s “Easter” are among the first winners at Los Cabos, scooping three of its nine Gabriel Figueroa Film Fund grants, worth $139,000 in total.
Prizes were announced Wednesday night at the opening gala of the 3rd Los Cabos Festival, unspooling in Cabo San Lucas through Sunday, and graced by Reese Witherspoon, who presented opening night pic “Wild.”
As Hollywood’s eyes turn ever more to Mexico, with a Mexican debut, Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included,” and Mexican Sebastian del Amo’s second feature, “Cantinflas,” rating as the highest-grossing foreign-language films in the U.S. in 2013 and 2014 – Los Cabos’ Gabriel Figueroa fund awards form one of four new talent platforms launched by Los Cabos.
- John Hopewell
Copyright: George Eastman House, Rochester, © 2014 Warner Bros Ent. All Rights Reserved.
The Retrospective of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival will celebrate the centenary of Technicolor. The Retrospective will present around 30 magnificent Technicolor films, some of which have been elaborately restored. They were made in the early years between the dawn of Technicolor and 1953 – and include six British films.
“The blazing red of Southern skies in Gone with the Wind or the ecstatic yellow of the raincoats in Singin’ in the Rain – in those days, the play of dramatically intensified colours was a sensation. The Technicolor process combined with cultural and economic trends to produce great cinematic works of art that still thrill audiences today,” says Berlinale Director Dieter Kosslick.
As of 1915, inventors Herbert T. Kalmus, Daniel Comstock and W. Burton Wescott developed the two-colour process Technicolor No. »
This year's poster for the Vienna International Film Festival is of a flame, and while around the world in other cinema-loving cities and at other cinema-loving festivals one might that that as a cue for a celluloid immolation and a move forever to digital, here in Austria cinema and film as film aren't burning up but rather are burning brightly.
The tributes and special programs in artistic director Hans Hurch's 2014 edition make this position clear: John Ford, Harun Farocki and 16mm, with new films by Tariq Teguia, Jean-Luc Godard, and Jean-Marie Straub accompanying older ones by the same directors. These aren't just retrospectives, they are revitalizing redoubts, inexhaustible fountains of flame, of sensitivity, of consciousness, and of intervention. With such a profound retrospective program, I hope you'll forgive me telling you very little of anything new at the festival; unless, that is, you like me count cinema revived as something always new. »
- Daniel Kasman
Retrospective strand to celebrate 100th anniversary of Technicolor.
The Retrospective of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival (Feb 5-15) is to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Color by Technicolor.
The strand will include around 30 Technicolor films, some of which have been restored, which were madebetween the dawn of Technicolor and 1953 – and include six British films.
Berlinale director Dieter Kosslick said: “The blazing red of Southern skies in Gone with the Wind or the ecstatic yellow of the raincoats in Singin’ in the Rain – in those days, the play of dramatically intensified colours was a sensation. The Technicolor process combined with cultural and economic trends to produce great cinematic works of art that still thrill audiences today.”
As well as those mentioned by Kosslick, titles to be screened include Richard Boleslawski’s drama The Garden of Allah (1936), George Sidney’s adventure film The Three Musketeers (1948) and Victor Fleming’s hit musical The Wizard of Oz (1939).
Other features will include »
- email@example.com (Michael Rosser)
Veterans Day movies on TCM: From 'The Sullivans' to 'Patton' (photo: George C. Scott in 'Patton') This evening, Turner Classic Movies is presenting five war or war-related films in celebration of Veterans Day. For those outside the United States, Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which takes place in late May. (Scroll down to check out TCM's Veterans Day movie schedule.) It's good to be aware that in the last century alone, the U.S. has been involved in more than a dozen armed conflicts, from World War I to the invasion of Iraq, not including direct or indirect military interventions in countries as disparate as Iran, Guatemala, and Chile. As to be expected in a society that reveres people in uniform, American war movies have almost invariably glorified American soldiers even in those rare instances when they have dared to criticize the military establishment. »
- Andre Soares
Art by Esteve Polls
Colors by Brennan Wagner
Published by Dynamite Comics
Even though historically speaking, Zorro and Django were contemporaries, they couldn’t be more different. First, there is their ages. Zorro is 95 years old whereas Django hasn’t even celebrated his second birthday as a fictional character. They come in different social classes and cultures (Mexican aristocrat and former African American slave) and are children of different genres with Zorro taking his cues from the pulp and superhero genres while Django is a product of blaxploitation and the Western. Going beyond their character differences, Django/Zorro #1 is scripted by a writer known for his work in pulp comics and plotted by one known for Pulp Fiction. However, like Django and Don Diego de la Vega, co-writers Quentin Tarantino and Matt Wagner use both the differences and similarities between their »
- Logan Dalton
Tumbleweeds will screen Friday, November 14th at Webster University’s Moore Auditorium as part of The King Baggot Tribute at the St. Louis International Film Festival. It will be preceded by a 35mm showing of the 1913 version of Ivanhoe featuring live music by The Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra and an illustrated lecture on the life and career of King Baggot by We Are Movie Geeks own Tom Stockman. Tumbleweeds will feature live piano accompaniment by Matt Pace
William S. Hart (1864-1946) was the first great star of the movie western. Fascinated by tales of the Old West, Hart actually acquired Billy the Kid’s six-shooter and was a friend with legendary lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. He entered films in 1914 where, after playing supporting roles in shorts, achieved stardom as the lead in the western The Bargain. Hart was particularly interested in making his westerns realistic and »
- Tom Stockman
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