1-20 of 46 items from 2014 « Prev | Next »
Hit Me With Your Best Shot always has to step aside for the utter madness of Fall Festivals and Awards Season. It will return for a sixth season next March. So join in now while we're still rolling and see how much fun it is over the course of the next five movies. It's simple to play:
1) Watch the movie.
2) Choose your "Best Shot" (your definition - beauty in the eye of the beholder)
3) Post it online somewhere with a few words about why you chose it. We link up.
Tues July 29th Cries & Whispers (1973)
Since we're celebrating 1973 all July to coincide with the Smackdown, here's your Best Cinematography winner. Ingmar Bergman's extraordinary movie about sisters and death. Cheerful!
Tues August 5th The Saddest Children In The World (2003-2009)
Bite-sized Week. Here's a short film trilogy from the super gifted Canadian filmmaker Jamie Travis (For a Good Time, Call. »
- NATHANIEL R
The Austin Film Society is kicking off the weekend with another Free Member Friday event. Tonight, Afs Members can enjoy a program of short films at the Marchesa for free, including Kat Candler's original 2012 short Hellion (recently adapted into a terrific feature) and Todd Rohal's Rat Pack Rat, which won a special jury prize at Sundance this year. Come on out even if you're not a member for $10 general admission tickets.
Afs is also hosting some special advance screenings of Richard Linklater's acclaimed new film Boyhood (Debbie's review) this weekend. The 1 pm screening on Sunday at the Marchesa is already sold out, but a 7 pm show still has VIP tickets available that include a private dinner with the director and cast. The acclaimed documentary Manakamana is screening at the Marchesa on Tuesday evening while Sweet Dreams folows on Wednesday. Essential Cinema closes out a busy week with »
- Matt Shiverdecker
The first half of the 5th season of "Best Shot" began with the most robust participation ever. I hope we can kick it back up to that notch for these final 5-7 episodes. Here's what's on tap so adjust your queues and join the fun...
Tues July 15th Batman 75th Anniversary Special (1989-2012)
WB/DC have been celebrating the 75th birthday of the winged nut (not to be confused with wingnut) all year with various events. For this special event, choose any one (or more) of the 9 theatrically released Batman features and select your "Best Shot". I'll link up to your selections. It'll be interesting to see which of the features and which characters are best represented, don't you think? I'm guessing everyone chooses Batman and Robin as their favorite.
Batman (1966) | Batman (1989) | Batman Returns (1992) | Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993) | Batman Forever (1995) | Batman & Robin (1997) | Batman Begins (2005) | The Dark Knight (2008) | The Dark Knight Rises »
- NATHANIEL R
The New Yorker on Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice by Paul Mazursky. I love that movie so much
THR The Academy sues the estate of art director Joseph Wright. His family auctioned off his Oscar for My Gal Sal (1942) for $79,200. (God, imagine how much an Oscar for a famous movie or actor would get!) But auctioning off Oscars is a big big no-no. AMPAS freaks out every time.
The Wire Joe talks that Eric/Jason sex scene on True Blood and what a failure the show has been in terms of the gay. Co-sign every word.
- NATHANIEL R
By Lee Pfeiffer
Cinema Retro mourns the loss of Eli Wallach, the prolific actor of screen, stage and television, who passed away Tuesday in his New York City home. He was 98 years old. Wallach was one of the last of the Hollywood legends. He rarely enjoyed a leading role but was considered to be one of the most respected character actors of the post-wii era. He was as diversified as a thespian could be and would play heroes, villains and knaves with equal ease. For retro movie lovers, his two most iconic performances were as the Mexican bandit Calvera in John Sturges' classic 1960 film The Magnificent Seven and as Tuco, the charismatic rogue bandit in Sergio Leone's landmark 1966 production of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Although he never won or was »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
He played cotton-gin owners, military officers, monsignors, rabbis, truck drivers, Shakespearean heroes — even a Batman villain. But Eli Wallach, who passed away at age 98 due to causes unknown, is best known to a generation of moviegoers as the ultimate bandolero-wearing bandito, thanks to two iconic roles: Calvera, the leader of the frontier thugs who terrorize a Mexican village in The Magnificent Seven (1960); and Tuco, the "ugly" of Sergio Leone's epic Spaghetti Western The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966). When you think of a stubbled outlaw villain, the kind »
The Criterion Collection has issued both The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Red River recently, and though the two would seemingly have little in common, it turns out there are a number of parallels. Both films begin with the main character losing someone close to them in a way that drives the narrative, both follow a driven and arrogant man who needs to see the error of his ways, both deal with great adventure, both deal with a father/son relationship, and both conclude with the main character coming face to face with their supposed enemy, only to realize violence may not be the answer. Bill Murray and Owen Wilson star in the Aquatic for Wes Anderson, while John Wayne and Montgomery Clift star in Red River for Howard Hawks. My review of both The Life Aquatic on Blu-ray and Red River follows after the jump. The Life Aquatic »
- Andre Dellamorte
Directed by Howard Hawks
Howard Hawks’ Red River is supposedly the film that convinced John Ford of John Wayne’s talent (apparently opposed to his abilities to simply perform or suggest a powerful screen presence). Ford had, of course, worked with Wayne previously, and Wayne had appeared in dozens of other films prior to this point, but when Ford saw what Wayne did in the role of the aged, bitter, driven, and obsessive Thomas Dunson, it led him to comment to his friend Hawks, “I didn’t know the big son of a bitch could act.” If it were only for Wayne’s performance, which is excellent, Red River would be a vital entry into the Western genre. But there is more, much more to this extraordinary picture. That’s why it’s not only one of the greatest Westerns ever made, »
- Jeremy Carr
I promise – it wasn’t my plan to have seven of the ten films on this portion of the list focus on World War II. But, if we look back at the biggest international conflicts of all time, World War II is the one that provides the most opportunity. It’s a chance for a number of different countries to look at the same war from different perspectives. In this portion alone, there’s a French film, a German film, a Hungarian film, a couple British/American films, and a few American films – all about varied aspects of World War II.
courtesy of fmvmagazine.com
40. The Killing Fields (1984)
Directed by: Roland Joffé
Conflict: Cambodian Civil War
For all the films made about World War II and larger scale conflicts, the few that depict smaller, more concentrated ones are sometimes more effective. Roland Joffé’s 1984 drama The Killing Fields hones in on Cambodia, »
- Joshua Gaul
I can't remember the first time I saw Howard Hawks' Red River, but I feel like it was on Turner Classic Movies about five years ago or more. What I do remember, however, was it didn't exactly look very good, it was murky, muddy and just overall and unimpressive visual representation of this film classic. The narrative, obviously, wasn't affected. Now, Criterion has given it an HD upgrade, cleaned it up and delivered not just one version, but a pre-release version for the curious. As you'll learn in the wealth of bonus features, there was a pre-release version of the film and a theatrical version. The theatrical version of Red River runs shorter than the pre-release version, which was only intended for testing purposes. Hawks preferred the theatrical cut, though Peter Bogdanovich tells us in a new interview Hawks actually preferred the ending on the pre-release version, which was »
- Brad Brevet
The Criterion Collection continues to impress through the remarkable range of what it offers cineastes on a monthly basis. Look at the highlights of their May 2014 Blu-ray offerings, all currently available in stores and for online order. What on Earth do “Overlord,” “Like Someone in Love,” and “Red River” have in common?
One is set in World War II, one during the Chisholm Trail, and one in present day. One is British, one defiantly American, and one is Japanese. Abbas Kiarostami really couldn’t have more distinctly different cinematic intentions than Howard Hawks. And yet Criterion wisely understands that film lovers love all different kinds of film. Pick your favorite.
For me, the best film is “Like Someone in Love,” the best release is “Red River.” “Overlord” remains an interesting curiosity, a film that blends archival footage and fictional filmmaking to achieve something unique. Directed by Stuart Cooper and shot »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
I'm going to need a stiff drink tonight. (Should I blame the unpleasant Zorba the Greek?). Why is this week so hard? It's my birthday week!
Variety on Jonah Hill's blooming career and recent homophobic slur
Gawker The Chicago Sun Times apologizes for a recent bit of transphobic nonsense regarding Laverne Cox (Orange is the New Black) that they Must have known was unwise. People will publish anything to get clicks these days.
Metro a woman wants a divorce from her husband »
- NATHANIEL R
Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
What's It About? Just how far would you go for a dare? David Koechner ("Anchorman") plays a super rich dude who's looking for some cheap thrills at the expense of a couple of guys who need cash. Pat Healy ("Compliance") and Sara Paxton ("The Innkeepers") co-star.
Why We're In: This disturbing indie got great reviews, but it's definitely not for everyone. If you like your gore with a side of sly political commentary, this could be your jam.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
"The Life Aquatic"
What's It About? Bill Murray stars as Steve Zissou, an oceanographer who's making a documentary about his hunt for the Jaguar Shark, which made a snack out of his old partner. He's joined by a ragtag gang played by Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, and other Anderson all-stars.
Why We're In: This Criterion package includes audio commentary, »
- Jenni Miller
It’s clear to see that there were good intentions behind the making of Michael Hazanavicius latest film, The Search, a follow-up to his 2011 Best Picture winner, The Artist. Heretofore a director of silly or lighter themed fare, many of which showcase actress and wife Berenice Bejo, he dives headfirst into roiling dramatic waters with this update of Fred Zinneman’s 1948 film, headlining Montgomery Clift in his first theatrically released role (which snagged the actor an Oscar nod, as well as a win for its screenwriters and a special Oscar for child actor Ivan Jandl). Whereas the original dealt with a lost boy in an internment camp searching for his mother shortly after the end of World War II, aided by a friendly American G.I., Hazanavicius updates the tale to the 1999 Russian invasion of Chechnya, tacking on an additional perspective »
- Nicholas Bell
Following his breakout film The Artist, which won Best Picture at the 84th Academy Awards, Michel Hazanavicius is remaking the 1948 Fred Zinnemann film The Search. The film details the struggles of a young Auschwitz survivor and his mother who search for each other across post-World War II Europe. Zinnemann’s movie is famous for shooting against the ruins of postwar German cities. Clint Eastwood has even cited star Montgomery Clift’s performance as the single greatest influence on his career. Hazanavicius' version stars Abdul Kahlim Mamutsiev as Hadji, orphaned during the Second Chechan War in the 1990s. Ngo worker Carole (Berenice Bejo, who also happens to be Hazanavicius’ wife) takes him in. Meanwhile, Hadji’s older sister...
- Alison Nastasi
One of the high-profile premieres at this year’s Cannes Film Festival is The Search, an update of the classic Fred Zinnemann war film starring Montgomery Clift. Although it received mixed reviews, it could have been due to high expectations. The Search‘s director, Michel Hazanavicius, arrived on the world cinema plateau three years ago when The Artist debuted at Cannes. 10 months later, he had a Best Director Oscar in his hand.
While The Search did not receive much critical adoration, it still looks riveting enough to check out when it arrives in theatres later this year. The film stars Bérénice Bejo as an Ngo worker who forms a relationship with a young, displaced boy named Hadji (Abdul Khalim Mamutsiev) in Chechnya after Russian troops invaded the country in 1999. The film also has various subplots, one involving Hadji’s older sister, Raïssa, who is searching for him in the wartorn region. »
- Jordan Adler
Promoting new movie set during the Chechen war, The Search director expresses scepticism at the efficacy of peace-keeping bodies and explains how the success of The Artist enabled him to make a movie he felt was necessary
When your last film came from nowhere, cost peanuts, seduced critics, made a mint and won five Oscars (including best film), you can write your own cheque for the next one. What Michel Hazanvicius, whose 2011 black-and-white silent comedy The Artist is the most awarded in French history, chose to spend it on was an earnest anti-war epic about the trauma of modern conflict and the impotence of the liberal west.
"It felt the right thing to do," he said, following the film's first screening in Cannes, where it earned notices markedly less enthusiastic than those dished out to The Artist on its premiere here three years ago. »
- Catherine Shoard
Cannes - At the risk of being unkind about a filmmaker who delighted me (and many others) so unequivocally with his last feature, it's probably tempting fate to open any film with the words, "What is this piece of shit?” That's not an entirely fair assessment of “The Search,” Michel Hazanavicius' follow-up to his unlikely, Oscar-garlanded 2011 hit “The Artist,” but it does roughly sum up the jaded bafflement with which it was received by journalists in Cannes this morning. A stiff, lumbering humanitarian drama that works obtusely and tirelessly against its director's spryest skills, it's proof positive that good intentions pave not only the road to hell, but the one to dreary mediocrity as well. Whatever road it's on, “The Search” sits squarely in the middle of it. Fred Zinnemann's 1948 Oscar-winner of the same title was a Hollywood studio film that depicted contemporary casualties of war with then-uncommon fortitude and frankness. »
- Guy Lodge
“I want this to be a picture of dignity — a true canvas of the suffering of humanity!” So declared the comedy-director hero of Preston Sturges’ classic “Sullivan’s Travels,” and his fit of self-importance may well enlighten viewers as they ponder why Oscar-winning director Michel Hazanavicius has decided to follow the deft, effervescent charms of “The Artist” with “The Search,” a grueling, lumbering, two-and-a-half-hour humanitarian tract that all but collapses under the weight of its own moral indignation. Intermittently stirring and undeniably well made as it slowly unspools a multi-pronged drama set during the 1999 outbreak of the Second Chechen War, the picture has run-of-the-mill pacing and storytelling lapses that are compounded by its ultimately hectoring, didactic approach. Significant trims, and perhaps key restorations from a reportedly longer cut, could improve its chances for widespread theatrical export, though its search for a receptive audience is destined to be a hard one. »
- Justin Chang
Why bother updating a good movie? Michel Hazanavicius' "The Search" implicitly asks this question and never finds a sufficient answer. Fred Zinneman's 1948 drama revolved around the plight of a child concentration camp survivor separated from his mother in postwar Berlin and aided by a benevolent American private memorably portrayed by Montgomery Clift. In his 2014 remake, "The Artist" director Hazanvicius upgrades the story to Second Chechen War in 1999, swapping the Clift role for a Human Rights Committee representative played by Hazanvicius muse Berenice Bejo. Instead of a mother searching for her son, young Chechen refugee Hadji (Abduel Khalim Mamutsiev) winds up being cared for by Carole (Bejo) while his older sister Raissa (Zukhra Duishvili) follows his trail after Russian soldiers murder their parents. Hazanvicius, who also wrote the screenplay, compounds these ingredients with a separate narrative involving the experiences of a young Russian named Kolia (Maksim Emelyanov) »
- Eric Kohn
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