10 items from 2016
The members of the HFPA (The Golden Globes) have to turn in their ballots today with nominations announced on Monday. In the less celebrated corner of Precursor World the Bfca Critics Choice ballots are also due for the winners. My own votes are all over the place as I don't do lazy sweep voting but judge each category separately as one should. The Critics Choice Awards are this Sunday evening -- watch it live -- and the Golden Globe nominations are announced Monday morning. But movies, as events to celebrate, are more than just temporal things. You can celebrate anything you'd like across the time continuum via the happy things known as anniversaries and birthdays...
On this day in history as it relates to showbiz
1854 Alfred Tennyson published his famous war poem "Charge of the Light Brigade" - it would be made into a movie three times, most famously with »
- NATHANIEL R
When Barack Obama announced this week the latest recipients of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor that can be bestowed upon a civilian, there were many prominent names, people whose stories are widely known throughout pop culture including Michael Jordan, Robert Redford, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Lorne Michaels, Diana Ross, and Robert De Niro.
The Names You Didn't Recognize On The Presidential Medal of Freedom List
Amid that glittering Medal of Freedom list, there were two lesser known names that gladdened my heart: Grace Hopper and Margaret H. Hamilton. That they are lesser known is a crime, really. Each has been a pioneer in the history of computing, and each deserves a bigger place in our cultural conversation. It is to the president’s credit that in his last group of Medal of Freedom recipients, he included two of our country’s greatest scientists, »
- David Bloom
Halloween is a time when regular folk allow themselves to see the world as us horror lovers do – weird and wonderful, sinister mischief with tongue in cheek under (and over) tones. They watch that scary movie they’ve been meaning to get to for the past year, string up skeletons, and parade around at office parties in the latest ironic costumes (expect tons of Trumps and Weiners this year). But for the fearful faithful, this is our workaday; we watch the films daily, display our rooms with terror trinkets, and dress up as our favourite icons at constant conventions around the globe. So what separates the actual day of Halloween from our normal routine? TV viewing, of course.
‘Tis the season when every station trots out horror programming, sometimes for weeks on end leading up to and including the big night. A lot of this is for Johnny and Jane »
- Scott Drebit
Leave it to director William Wellman to direct the most compelling social justice movie of the 1940s. Taken from a bestselling novel, it's a wrenching examination of the workings of a natural American phenomenon, the Lynch Mob. The Ox-Bow Incident Blu-ray Kl Studio Classics 1942 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 75 min. / Street Date July 12, 2016 / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe, Harry Morgan, Jane Darwell, Matt Briggs, Harry Davenport, Frank Conroy, Marc Lawrence Cinematography Arthur Miller Art Direction James Basevi, Richard Day Film Editor Allen McNeil Original Music Cyril J. Mockridge Written and Produced by Lamar Trotti from a novel by Walter Van Tilburg Clark Directed by William A. Wellman
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
In the first scene of this grim feature, Henry Fonda stumbles out of a saloon street and throws up in the street. Apparently that was the reaction shared »
- Glenn Erickson
Radical changes were required to adapt Lillian Hellman's Broadway play for post-Code Hollywood, to eradicate a theme that in 1934 was entirely taboo. But were audiences really unaware of the subject matter switch? William Wyler excels with this bowdlerized, yet curiously near-perfect, story about the power of scandal. These Three DVD-r The Warner Archive Collection 1936 / B&W / 1:37 flat Academy / 93 min. / Street Date February 9, 2016 / available through the WBshop / 21.99 Starring Miriam Hopkins, Merle Oberon, Joel McCrea, Catharine Doucet, Alma Kruger, Bonita Granville, Marcia Mae Jones , Carmencita Johnson, Mary Ann Durkin, Margaret Hamilton, Walter Brennan. Cinematography Gregg Toland Film Editor Daniel Mandell Original Music Alfred Newman Written by Lillian Hellman Produced by Samuel Goldwyn Directed by William Wyler
Reviewed by Glenn Erickson
William Wyler directed half a decade's worth of silent westerns before his big break came. From that point on he made high profile dramas, almost all of which are excellent movies. »
- Glenn Erickson
Did you ever see an actor/actress in a famous role and then hear later that they were not the first, or even the second choice to play the iconic part? Many of the legendary movie characters began as a vehicle for a different star than the one who we know-and-love in the part. Here are a few of the greatest examples of famous "Almosts'.
Christopher Walken As Han Solo: George Lucas had a very hard time finding his Han Solo in Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). This character was the last of the lead figures to be cast. Lucas’ leading contender at one point was none other than Christopher Walken. Just think about the possibilities in that performance! However, a chance meeting with Harrison Ford (Who was working as a carpenter at the time) inspired Lucas to cast Ford in the part instead, which launched him into super stardom in the 80s. »
- email@example.com (Rob Young)
William Castle’s 13 Ghosts (1960), 13 Frightened Girls, Homicidal, and Mr. Sardonicus are coming to Blu-ray in two double features from Mill Creek Entertainment! Both double bills will be released on July 5th.
From Mill Creek Entertainment: “13 Ghosts (1960) – B&W – 85 minutes – Not Rated
When an eccentric uncle wills a huge, ramshackle house to his impoverished family, they get the shock of a lifetime. Their new residence comes complete with a spooky housekeeper, plus a fortune in buried treasure and 12 horrifying ghosts.”
13 Frightened Girls (1963) – Color – 88 minutes – Not Rated
The girls of a Swiss boarding school have one thing in common — they are all daughters of diplomats. One in particular finds out that she has a knack for espionage, and uncovers the murder of a Russian diplomat. Now she »
- Tamika Jones
Anne Marie is tracking Judy Garland's career through musical numbers…
How do you talk about this movie? How do you talk about this song? Sure, there are star-turns. There are underdog stories. But there is nothing in Hollywood legend so powerfully wedded as Judy Garland and The Wizard of Oz. It's the kind of lightning-in-a-bottle marriage of star and song that comes once every couple of generations. This was the number that would define Judy Garland as she defined it. It would be her biggest hit; one she recorded and re-recorded. It would follow her throughout her career, and outlive her when she died. Every moment before and after in the story of Judy Garland, MGM, and Studio System Hollywood lives in the shadow of "Over The Rainbow."
The Movie: The Wizard of Oz (MGM, 1939)
The Songwriter: Harold Arlen (Music & Lyrics)
- Anne Marie
Let's say someone told you that they had just seen the next big horror-movie sensation waiting to happen — you would probably not expect them to follow that declaration with "it's an early-to-mid 17th-century Puritan story that calls to mind the paranoia and persecution of the Salem witch trials." And yet ever since Robert Eggers' The Witch premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2015, his self-proclaimed "New England folktale" has been building an increasingly deafening buzz thanks to its otherworldly combination of infanticide, full-moon blood rituals, and an animal imbued »
As a child, Robert Eggers was obsessed with witches and mythical creatures, while other children dreamed of Disneyland, Eggers’ dream vacation probably looked more like something out of Häxan. It makes sense then, that he would grow up to become a sorcerer of sorts, at least one could call him that based on the enthralling qualities of his debut feature The Witch, an otherworldly folk tale set in seventeenth century New England which deals with how a Puritan family chooses to face the presence of the occult. Or at least, what they think are the dark forces that might have turned the eldest daughter, Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy) into a witch.
Not one to place judgment on his own characters, Eggers invites the audience to try and uncover the mysteries along with the family. We aren’t allowed to feel smarter than the characters, just because we’re “modern,” instead he »
- Jose Solís
10 items from 2016
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