8 items from 2011
David Lynch, Meg Ryan and Jim Jarmusch all have one thing in common--for some reason, coffee has been a recurring set piece over the course of their careers. The ubiquitous caffeinated beverage's power to stimulate the brain and draw people together over conversation has propelled storylines in many of their films, and they are not alone.
For a while back in 2006, it even looked like Tom Hanks and Gus van Sant might make a movie about the international coffee peddler Starbucks' ability save down-and-out families. We have yet to see the "How Starbucks Changed My Life" film go into production, but countless other actors and directors have slipped in sips of java to keep scenes percolating.
Here are ten of the most memorable examples.
10. Agent Kujan makes a mess, "The Usual Suspects" (1995)
Nothing punctuates a moment of surprise in a movie quite like a coffee cup shattering on the floor -- except, »
- Brian Warmoth
Day 4: La Cité des Enfants Perdus (1995)
What’s it about?
A little girl, Miette, and a carnival strong man, One, team up to look for One’s brother, Denree, who’s been kidnapped by a mad scientist attempting to steal children’s dreams.
This strange, surreal film is unlike anything many will have seen. Certain comparisons to Jeunet’s Amelie are apt, but for the most part, La Cité des Enfants Perdus is a film all its own. It opens disconcertingly, with a young child visited by Santa. Then another comes down the chimney, followed by another and another. The room begins to spin, the numerous Santas grow increasingly distorted and threatening, and the music becomes increasingly ominous before cutting out to the boy and a strange man strapped in to a machine, large helmets attached to their heads. »
- Kate Kulzick
★★★☆☆ This week sees the cinematic re-release (ahead of its Blu-ray release on 17 Oct) of Jean-Pierre Jeunet's modern day fairytale Amélie (2001), the film that launched the career of Audrey Tautou in the role of the eponymous Parisian waitress, Amélie Poulain, a Nutella-eyed innocent with puckish charm who was soon gracing the wall of many a student bedsit.
It was also the breakout film for Jeunet who, after a promising start with Delicatessen (1991) and The City of Lost Children (1995) had himself lost his way with the weakest entry in the already faltering Alien franchise, Alien: Resurrection (1997). The strong visual style and surrealist wit which had first made his name were back in abundance, with metamorphosing clouds and errant garden gnomes.
Amélie's opening hour is a wonderful compilation of crackpot stories that Jeunet had been collecting for much of his career for the purpose of the film. There is a sense of wild invention told with panache, »
- Daniel Green
Chicago – Hot on the heels of the return of the DVD Round-Up, we’re back with its fraternal twin, the Blu-Ray Round-Up, a collection of recently-released HD titles that could easily go ignored while you deal with the heat wave blanketing the country. Get out to the store. Pick one of these up. Come back to your A/C. Enjoy.
The Blu-Ray Round-Up is primarily for informational purposes but two of these recent releases are two of our favorites — “Amelie” and “Brazil.” The latter is depressingly bare-bones, especially when compared to the hard-to-find Criterion DVD release. Criterion, get on this. Get the rights back and release a Blu-ray. Until then, pick up this edition just to own one of Terry Gilliam’s best.
“Wake Wood” was released on July 5th, 2011.
“Brazil” was released on July 12th, 2011.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Late last year, Fox put out the Alien Anthology Blu-Ray set. The price tag was hefty, especially if you didn’t like the last two films. While you can purchase these individually for $15, you can get this nice box set – which I believe has extras not found on the individual releases – for $53! Click beyond the break for the full details & where to buy it.
Disc 1: Alien
**1979 Theatrical Version
**2003 Director’s Cut with Ridley Scott Introduction
**Audio Commentary by Director Ridley Scott, Writer Dan O’Bannon, Executive Producer Ronald Shusett, Editor Terry Rawlings, Actors Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton and John Hurt
**Audio Commentary (for Theatrical Cut only) by Ridley Scott
**Final Theatrical Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
**Composer’s Original Isolated Score by Jerry Goldsmith
**Deleted and Extended Scenes
**Mu-th-ur Mode Interactive Experience with Weyland-Yutani Datastream
Disc 2: Aliens
**1986 Theatrical Version
**1991 Special Edition with James Cameron »
- Andy Triefenbach
Each week within this column we strive to pair the latest in theatrical releases to the worthwhile titles currently available on Netflix Instant Watch.
This week Captain Jack returns to theaters to face off against – well, no one really…That’s right. Not one single studio feature wanted to do battle with Pirates 4 at the box office. Happily a trio of new features will be opening in limited release, including the latest from Woody Allen, an African-American ensemble dramedy, and documentary about the power of slam poetry. And as always, if you’re keen to take the gasps, laughs, love, and real-world drama home – we’ve got you covered.
- Kristy Puchko
To celebrate the release of Revolver’s new movie, What War May Bring on 2nd May, they’ve been kind enough to give us two copies of the movie on DVD to give away.
Over 10 years in production, Academy Award-winning director Claude Lelouch celebrates his 50th anniversary of film-making with What War May Bring, an epic World War II film, starring Dominique Pinon (Micmacs, Alien: Resurrection) and Jacky Ido (Inglourious Basterds). It’s an unforgettable journey with explosive action and dramatic battle sequences of the Normandy Landings which effectively convey the chaos of war.
The story is told through the eyes of two American soldiers and Ilva Lemoine (Audrey Dana), a beautiful and enigmatic woman who reflects on her turbulent life in war-torn Europe.
As France struggles to cope with the German occupation and the battles across the continent get ever more bloody, Ilva betrays her resistance roots and becomes »
**Read all the posts in our ‘Love Theatrically’ series here**
#9 – “AMÉLIE” (2001)
Directed by Jean Pierre Jeunet
Despite emerging as by far the weakest installment in the series “Alien Resurrection” does at least have one positive thing in its favour insofar as it led to director Jean Pierre Jeunet returning to France and creating the truly magical “Amélie”, a film so charming, so captivating and so irrepressibly exuberant that it should henceforth be considered prescribed viewing for anyone feeling a little disheartened with life.
With nary a poorly designed xenomorph hybrid in sight “Amélie” saw Jeunet unleash a wildly colourful magic box of cinematic surprises that coupled with Audrey Tautou’s beguiling lead performance (a role initially written for Emily Watson) resulted in quite possibly one of the most lovable, kind-hearted, sweet and affecting characters to emerge from modern cinema in many a year.
Employing a delightfully narrated montage technique first »
- Nick Turk
8 items from 2011
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