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1-20 of 22 items from 2016   « Prev | Next »

The Gang’s All Here

29 July 2016 1:50 PM, PDT | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Wonderful isn't a good enough word to describe this joyful, funny and visually intoxicating Alice Faye musical by Busby Berkeley. Decades later it became part of a big Camp revival, but the real draw is still the Benny Goodman swing music, delightful performers like Carmen Miranda, and Berkeley's bizarre Technicolor visions. The Gang's All Here Blu-ray Twilight Time 1943 / Color / 1:37 Academy / 103 min. / Street Date July 19, 2016 / Available from Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95 Starring Alice Faye, Carmen Miranda, Phil Baker, Benny Goodman and Orchestra, Eugene Pallette, Charlotte Greenwood, Edward Everett Horton, Tony De Marco, James Ellison, Sheila Ryan, Dave Willock, Jeanne Crain, Frank Faylen, June Haver, Adele Jergens. Cinematography Edward Cronjager Special Effects Fred Sersen Original Music Harry Warren, Leo Robin, Hugo Friedhofer, Arthur Lange, Cyril J. Mockridge, Alfred Newman, Gene Rose Written by Walter Bullock, Nancy Wintner, George Root Jr., Tom Bridges Produced by William LeBaron Directed by Busby Berkeley

Reviewed »

- Glenn Erickson

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IndieWire Turns 20: An Oral History of Supporting Filmmakers and Partying at Sundance From Those Who Lived It

14 July 2016 7:00 AM, PDT | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

On July 15, 1996, IndieWire launched as an e-mail newsletter providing “the daily news service for independent film.” (See the first newsletter here.) The original iteration of the site was the brainchild of Cheri Barner, Eugene Hernandez and Mark Rabinowitz, three recent college students obsessed with the movies. In the ensuing years, IndieWire grew and changed hands many times over. Barner now works as a talent manager in Los Angeles, Hernandez is the deputy director of the Film Society Lincoln Center, and Rabinowitz is a freelance publicist, consultant and programmer.

But they have remained a part of our close-knit community. As IndieWire arrives at its 20th anniversary, the trio gathered together for their first joint interview to recall the early days of IndieWire — as well as the thriving American independent film scene that inspired the publication. 

Eugene Hernandez: IndieWire was an outgrowth of something that Mark, Cheri and I had started in 1995. At the time, »

- Eric Kohn

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The View From Central Park: Close-Up on Terry Gilliam's "The Fisher King"

28 June 2016 8:50 PM, PDT | MUBI | See recent MUBI news »

Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Terry Gilliam's The Fisher King (1991) is playing from June 1 - June 30, 2016 in the UK.In an overview of the accomplished, fraught, tumultuous career of Terry Gilliam, The Fisher King (1991) can look like not just an artistic turning point, but an economic one. Gilliam had just finished a loose trilogy of comic fantasies—Time Bandits (1981), Brazil (1985), and The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988)—each visually baroque and laced with a kind of surreal, dark, absurdist humor that marked them as a natural extension of his time as the lone American in Monty Python. Time Bandits was a head-turning left-field hit, and Brazil, the subject of a legendary battle with Universal over final cut, is often cited as Gilliam's masterpiece. But Munchausen, though held dear by a cult following, was a blow to Gilliam's career. It went quickly over-budget (wildly so, »

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The Secret Life Of Pets review

20 June 2016 12:02 PM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »




From the house of the Minions comes The Secret Life Of Pets. Here's our review...

Since the first Despicable Me movie landed in cinemas back in 2010, Illumination Entertainment – the company behind the films – has enjoyed a staggering level of box office success. Two Despicable Mes, one Minions, one The Lorax and even the live action-animation hybrid Hop have all hit to various degrees. Minions, its 2015 venture, grossed $1.159bn. Only Frozen, in animated movies, has ever done better.

So important is Illumnation’s animated output to Universal Pictures’ slate that, with DreamWorks Animation now also part of the Universal empire, Illumination boss Chris Meladandri is to creatively oversee both firms’ animated output. Not bad, considering Illumination is under a decade old.

Watching The Secret Life Of Pets, the new film from the firm, couldn’t help but ring an alarm bell or two though. For me, it’s »

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42nd Street (1933) Screens Saturday Morning at The Hi-Pointe

6 June 2016 8:28 PM, PDT | | See recent news »

“Now go out there and be so swell that you’ll make me hate you!”

42nd Street  (1933) is one of Hollywood’s most beloved musicals and you’ll have a chance to see it on the big screen at St. Louis’ fabulous Hi-Pointe Theater this weekend as part of their Classic Film Series. It’s Saturday, June 11th at 10:30am at the Hi-Pointe located at 1005 McCausland Ave., St. Louis, Mo 63117. Admission is only $5.42nd Street  will be introduced by Kmox Movie Reviewer Harry Hamm

Pretty legs go a long way in the musical 42nd Street. a lively 1933 Warner Bros film that boasts a great cast and music and served as the prototype plot for scores of subsequent films.  Suffering from the Great Depression and a bad ticker, Broadway director Julian Marsh (Warner Baxter) desperately needs “Pretty Lady” to be a hit musical. When leading actress Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels »

- Tom Stockman

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Judy by the Numbers: "Embraceable You"

18 May 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

Throughout the 1930s, Mickey and Judy had been one of America's favorite musical duos. With Mickey in the lead and Judy providing musical support, the two young teenagers - with the help of the Freed Unit - dominated the box office, regularly grossing $1 million even during the Depression. However, by the beginning of the 1940s, both 21-year-old Judy and 23-year-old Mickey had grown past the simple comedies in which they'd made their names. While both continued to pull in the same amount at the box office, Mickey was moving into more serious roles - though he still had a few more Andy Hardy movies in his contract - and Judy was dropping her hems and trading in her hair ribbons for hats. So, at the end of 1943, Mickey and Judy starred in their last musical together.

The Movie: Girl Crazy »

- Anne Marie

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Castle season 8 episode 20 review: Much Ado About Murder

9 May 2016 2:59 AM, PDT | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »




This week's Castle is a Shakespeare-tinged affair, featuring Firefly's Jewel Staite as a special guest star...

This review contains spoilers

8.20: Much Ado About Murder

Much Ado About Murder. The title alone pulled me in simply because, well, I’m a scholar of Shakespeare and the Renaissance and I think Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, in which Nathan Fillion played Dogberry, showed us that the man can legitimately pull off the Bard. Add to that the allure of former Firefly shipmate Jewel Staite showing up, and, boy-howdy, I’m in.

Did the episode actually live up to my hopes? Sorta. But certainly not the way I expected it to.

For starters, it was actually pretty light on the Shakespeare, all things considered. The plot revolves around the murder of an actor, who himself is potentially on the point of murdering Shakespeare. The episode opens with the performer, »

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Judy by the Numbers: "For Me And My Gal"

27 April 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

 In 1942, Judy Garland met a man who would come to be one of her biggest onscreen costars and supporters at MGM. When he was cast in For Me and My Gal opposite Garland, Gene Kelly was as upstart Broadway star, hot off Pal Joey and trying to make the transition to Hollywood stardom. According to Kelly, Judy Garland eased that transition; she was gracious, she was giving, and she was a consummate professional. Gene Kelly, stage dancer, learned how to perform for the camera by watching Judy Garland.

The Movie: For Me And My Gal (1942)

The Songwriters: Edgar Leslie & E. Ray Goetz (lyrics) and George W. Meyer (music)

The Players: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, George Murphy directed by Busby Berkeley

The Story: The title number of For Me And My Gal shows off the unique partnership Garland and Kelly shared. »

- Anne Marie

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Judy by the Numbers: "Chin Up! Cheerio! Carry On!"

20 April 2016 5:00 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

1941 was a year of beginnings and endings for Judy Garland. It was the year of Judy's last Andy Hardy film (Life Begins for Andy Hardy, wherein nobody sang). And she wasn't just growing up on film - 1941 was also the year of Judy's first marriage: to David Rose, the musical director of the Tony Martin Radio Show. At only 19, Judy Garland was transitioning from child sensation to full fledged star.


The Movie: Babes on Broadway (1941)

The Songwriters: E.Y. Harburg (lyrics) and Burton Lane (music)

The Players: Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, Virginia Weidler, Fay Bainter, Margaret O'Sullivan, directed by Busby Berkeley.


The Story: As the country entered World War II, the Freed Unit was lining up a series of nostalgia-inflected new hits starring Judy Garland for MGM. While Babes on Broadway looks at first glance like the typical »

- Anne Marie

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Judy by the Numbers: "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows"

13 April 2016 5:37 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. revolutionized entertainment. Though he was best known for the Vaudeville showgirls in the musical review that bore his name, but his reach extended beyond the Follies. He legitimized Vaudeville and funded the show that would spawn the modern American musical. Though Ziegfeld died in 1932, MGM continued glorifying - and profiting from - Ziegfeld's legacy.  In 1936, MGM released a biopic, The Great Ziegfeld based on the life of Ziegfeld and his wife, Billy Burke. The success of that film led the studio to announce a spiritual successor in 1938: Ziegfeld Girl, set to star Joan Crawford, Eleanor Powell, and Virginia Bruce. But when the movie was finally made 3 years later, the cast had changed a bit. 

The Movie: Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

The Songwriters: Joseph McCarthy & Harry Carroll, from a tune by Chopin

The Players: Judy Garland, Lana Turner, »

- Anne Marie

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Judy by the Numbers: "Our Love Affair"

30 March 2016 11:04 AM, PDT | FilmExperience | See recent FilmExperience news »

Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers...

By 1940 it was undeniable: Mickey and Judy were a success. Even more, Mickey and Judy with the Freed Unit behind them were a bona fide hit machine. Babes in Arms, the first Freed Unit collaboration, earned over $2 million domestically and $1 million abroad. With the promise of another blockbuster and the rise of patriotic sentiment on the verge of WWII, Louis B. Mayer dusted off an old, patriotic-sounding title and set his hitmakers on a new project: Strike Up The Band.   The Movie: Strike Up The Band (MGM, 1940)

The Songwriters: Arthur Freed & Roger Edens

The Players: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, directed by Busby Berkeley 

The Story: The original Strike Up The Band was a George & Ira Gershwin political musical satire from the early half of the 1930s. However, the new patriotic musical produced by Arthur Freed & company bore no resemblance »

- Anne Marie

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Busby Berkeley, patron saint of movie camp - archive, 16 March 1976

15 March 2016 10:00 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

16 March 1976: Derek Malcolm pays tribute to the film director who had an age named after him

It was once fashionable to call Busby Berkeley, the pioneering Hollywood dance director who has died aged 80, a vulgarian whose garish confections, usually involving women as fruits ripe for plucking, were the epitome of American bad taste.

Now, even in the age of women’s liberation, a nostalgic world takes a gentler view. The girly-merchandising Busby ballets are regarded more as celebratory masterpieces of art deco than as exploitative male fantasies. He even has an era named after him, which is more than you can say for Ingmar Bergman.

Continue reading »

- Derek Malcolm

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The Big Lebowski: looking back at a Coen brothers classic

2 March 2016 4:19 AM, PST | Den of Geek | See recent Den of Geek news »




As Hail, Caesar! arrives in UK cinemas, we take a look back at one of the Coens’ finest ever films - 1998 comedy, The Big Lebowski...

Like Spinal Tap or Withnail & I, The Big Lebowski is one of those films that is often quoted at length by its legion fans - sometimes after a few pints in a crowded pub. Yet the Coen brothers’ 1997 eccentric comedy is so much more than a grab-bag of catchy bits of dialogue - it’s arguably as genre-bending and smart as anything the pair have written before or since.

Key to The Big Lebowski’s brilliance is Jeff Bridges’ deceptively detailed performance as Jeff Lebowski - better known to his friends as The Dude - former roady for Metallica turned full-time layabout in 90s Los Angeles. Bridges slips into his character’s baggy, lazy skin so naturally that it’s easy to »

- ryanlambie

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20 February 2016 4:23 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Here's something for hardcore cineastes: an incredible restoration of Marcel L'Herbier's avant-garde silent feature, which looks unlike any other movie of its time. The weird story is about a Swedish engineer who wins the hand of famous singer by demonstrating a machine that can revive the dead. The film's designs are by score of famous architects and art notables of the Paris art scene circa 1924. L'Inhumaine Blu-ray Flicker Alley 1924 / Color tints / 1:33 Silent Aperture / min. / Street Date March 1, 2016 / 39.95 Starring Georgette Leblanc, Jacque Catelain, Léonid Walter de Malte, Philippe Hériat, Fred Kellerman, Robert Mallet-Stevens. Cinematography Roche, Georges Specht Art Direction, design, costumes, Claude Autant-Lara, Alberto Cavalcanti, Fernand Léger, Paul Poiret, Original Music Darius Milhaud (originally), Aidje Tafial / Alloy Orchestra Written by Pierre MacOrlan, Marcel L'Herbier, Georgette Leblanc Produced and Directed by Marcel L'Herbier

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Followers of art, architecture, literature and French art movies of the early 1920s »

- Glenn Erickson

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The 20 Best Detective Movies of All Time

16 February 2016 2:00 AM, PST | CinemaNerdz | See recent CinemaNerdz news »

From a pop culture perspective, private detectives stand for all that’s memorable about film noir. The indifference, the wittiness, and the moral ambiguity that define each urban knight has since become the stuff of parodied legend. We’re talking about the mediators between the crooks and the cops, the embodiment of back alley grayness that’s so tough to pin down. P.I.’s could cooperate with the law if needed, but they could just as soon do business with the bad guys for the right price. To a certain extent, that is – shamus work has always attracted the ignored and the ethical. The Wild West has mythical men with no name, The Asphalt Jungle has names with investigating licenses attached to them. Instead of a poncho and a ten gallon hat, they’re provided a fedora and trench coat.

The archetype has undergone many faces throughout Hollywood’s history, »

- Danilo Castro

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Station West

5 February 2016 9:15 PM, PST | Trailers from Hell | See recent Trailers from Hell news »

Army investigator John Haven is out to catch some crooks using stealth, his wits and a limitless supply of marvelous hardboiled dialogue. Dick Powell trades a trench coat for a cowboy hat, while luscious Jane Greer swaps a .38 snubnose for a dance hall dress. A great cast, a witty script and Burl Ives' singing voice make this a delightfully different noir-inflected oater. Station West DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1948 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 80 min. / Street Date January 12, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Dick Powell, Jane Greer, Agnes Moorehead, Burl Ives,Tom Powers, Gordon Oliver, Steve Brodie, Guinn Williams, Raymond Burr, Regis Toomey, Olin Howlin, John Kellogg, Charles Middleton, John Doucette . Cinematography Harry J. Wild Film Editor Frederic Knudtson Original Music Heinz Roemheld Written by Frank Fenton, Winston Miller Produced by Robert Sparks Directed by Sidney Lanfield

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

Want to discover a 'different,' fun '40s western with clever plotting? »

- Glenn Erickson

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'Hail, Caesar!' Review & Roundup: Escapist Hollywood Comedy from the Coen Brothers

3 February 2016 10:04 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

You can't go wrong with the Coen brothers. Even their off films (see our worst-to-best ranking here) are far better than those of most directors, and are always packed with savory pleasures. Thus "Hail, Ceasar!" qualifies as B-tier Coens, but that doesn't mean it isn't often deliciously entertaining, especially for Golden Age cinephiles who will get a kick out of seeing Channing Tatum in a sailor uniform tap-dancing (almost) like Gene Kelly, or Scarlett Johansson squeezed into an emerald Esther Williams mermaid outfit, surrounded by Busby Berkeley-esque synchronized swimmers and spouting fountains.  The Coens put Josh Brolin front and center in this broad comedy, a 50s McCarthy era Hollywood valentine they've been planning to do with George Clooney ever since "O Brother, Where Art Thou?," but finally finished writing. Brolin is straight man Eddie Mannix, the studio fixer at Capitol Pictures (shot on the Warner Bros. lot), who is constantly trouble-shooting. »

- Anne Thompson

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[Review] Hail, Caesar!

3 February 2016 5:59 AM, PST | The Film Stage | See recent The Film Stage news »

Dozens of films try to copy the Coens every year, and yet no one ever comes close. They have developed such a delicate, fluid witches’ brew of talent behind and in front of the camera, and a writing style that’s consistently funny and melancholy (often at the same time), that it seems impossible to replicate.

Hail, Caesar! is a film that could only ever be made by the Coens. Just as the brothers themselves love to present dialectics about the duality of triviality and seriousness, so, too, does Hail, Caesar! constantly skate back and forth between feeling slight and monumental.

Its plot, like much of their work, is a tangle of transparent, connected convolutions. Eddie Mannix (Josh Brolin) is a fixer for Capitol Pictures in the 1950s. His day to day is problem-solving, and he’s faced with some sizable ones. The studio is in the middle of making »

- Michael Snydel

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Two Things Channing Tatum Had To Master Before Starring In Hail, Caesar!

26 January 2016 11:07 AM, PST | | See recent Cinema Blend news »

Channing Tatum is no stranger to dancing on screen. He began his journey to stardom 2006’s Step Up. He’s even given us choreography without most of his clothes in the Magic Mike movies. His newest film, the Coen Brothers tribute to the golden age of Hollywood Hail, Caesar!, required something entirely different. Turns out there’s one kind of dancing that Tatum was not familiar with: tap. Also, he doesn’t sing. Tatum’s lack of tap dancing experience was a pretty big issue for his role in Hail, Caesar! where the actor has to lead a full Busby Berkeley style musical number. Tatum tells Vulture that’s been trying to work with Joel and Ethan Coen for years. He actually auditioned for the role of Llewelyn Moss in No Country for Old Men, which eventually went to his Caesar »

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How Sound Film Technology Evolved in the Last Century: Interview with Former UCLA Film Preservationist Gitt

25 January 2016 11:08 PM, PST | Alt Film Guide | See recent Alt Film Guide news »

Hal Roach looks on as technicians install Vitaphone equipment in his studio screening room, ca. 1928. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) 'A Century of Sound': Q&A with former UCLA Preservation Officer Robert Gitt about the evolution of film sound technology Long before multi-track Dolby stereo and digital sound technology, there were the Kinetophone and the Vitaphone systems – not to mention organ and piano players at movie houses. Much of that is discussed in A Century of Sound, which chronicles the evolution of film sound from the late 19th century to the mid-1970s. A Century of Sound has been split into two parts, with a third installment currently in the planning stages. They are: Vol. 1, “The Beginning, 1876-1932,” which came out on DVD in 2007. Vol. 2, “The Sound of Movies: 1933-1975,” which came out on Blu-ray in 2015. The third installment will bring the presentation into the 21st century. »

- Andre Soares

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