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25 Things We Learned from the Dangerous Men Commentary

26 April 2016 6:38 PM, PDT

There are good movies, bad movies, and plenty of movies in between — and then there are movies like Dangerous Men. It’s a charmingly inept action/drama that’s utterly uninterested in predictability or following the norms of narrative film-making. Characters come and go, main plot points are dropped randomly while others are picked up, and it was filmed over two decades. Two decades for an 80 minute movie with zero narrative cohesion! It’s pretty magical in its own special way, and as the credits make clear, it’s all due to writer/director John S. Rad. Drafthouse Films helped reintroduce it to the world, and their Blu-ray/DVD release features interviews, a documentary on the film’s rebirth, and a fittingly funny and ridiculous commentary track. It’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for someone — and you know who you are. Keep reading to see what I heard on the Dangerous Men commentary. Dangerous Men »

- Rob Hunter

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6 Filmmaking Tips From Documentary Pioneers Robert Drew and Richard Leacock

26 April 2016 11:47 AM, PDT

Robert Drew‘s name is attached to a team of filmmakers who made revolutionary changes to documentary in the early 1960s. But today he’s probably the least-appreciated member of Drew Associates and the Direct Cinema movement after Albert Maysles, D.A. Pennebaker, and Ricky Leacock. Part of that is because he never became as well-known a solo director as his colleagues. He didn’t go on to make more revered classics like the Maysles Brothers’ Salesman and Grey Gardens or Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back and The War Room, and he didn’t have the kind of film history-spanning career and influence that Leacock’s legacy entails. That’s why Criterion’s new set “The Kennedy Films of Robert Drew & Associates” is so important. Not that it totally isolates Drew from the others — he barely gets to stand out alone even in the new bonus-feature documentary Robert Drew in His Own Words — but it at least »

- Christopher Campbell

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Female Directors in Hollywood: Are Things Getting Any Better?

26 April 2016 9:24 AM, PDT

You might have been forced to suppose otherwise, but believe me: a “female director” is not a rare breed of artist by any means. But a Hollywood film directed by one? That’s a different story. Sadly, a recent exploration of the industry site The Wrap revealed that we aren’t about to see the light at the end of the tunnel anytime soon when it comes to the small number of films –especially big-budget ones- directed by women. Thanks to their thorough survey, we now know that 20th Century Fox and Paramount -two of the “Big Six” major film studios-, will not have a single release directed by a woman through 2018. Fox (not including Fox Searchlight) will release 22 movies during this period. Paramount will open 25 movies throughout the same timeframe. Let me spell it out for you again: men will direct all of these films. You have probably already memorized the broad brushstrokes of dire industry »

- Tomris Laffly

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Are Bad For New York City Tourism

25 April 2016 12:30 PM, PDT

Last week, actress Karen Gillan (Guardians of the Galaxy) asked her Twitter followers, “Can anyone recommend a film that will persuade me to move to New York?” Most people answered with Woody Allen films, Meg Ryan romantic comedies and Ghostbusters. I personally suggested the recent Frederick Wiseman documentary In Jackson Heights, because why not be truthful in a great way? Some people named Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which could have been a joke, or those people could have worked for the city’s tourism board. NYC & Company, the organization in charge of marketing the Big Apple as a tourist destination, has named the Tmnt characters as the “Official NYC Family Ambassadors.” Technically it has nothing to do with the movies, instead being more tied to the current Nickelodeon animated series, but it’s no coincidence that this decision arrives at the same time the “Heroes in a Half Shell” also have a new live-action theatrical feature, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows »

- Christopher Campbell

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15 New Movies to Watch at Home This Week on Blu-ray/DVD

25 April 2016 11:30 AM, PDT

Welcome back to This Week In Discs where we check out tomorrow’s new releases today! Death Becomes Her (Scream Factory) What is it? Madeline (Meryl Streep) and Helen (Goldie Hawn) have been rivals for years, but their biggest face-off comes after a desperate Madeline takes a potion in a bid to look and feel young again. It makes her immortal — right before she falls down the stairs and breaks her neck. She can’t die, but her body can take a beating, and even in her undead state she once again finds herself in competition with Helen. Why buy it? Director Robert Zemeckis is clearly at home with this blackly comic, Tales from the Crypt-like feature that deftly mixes laughs, gruesome deeds, and cutting edge (for 1992) special effects. Streep and Hawn are both terrific, but Bruce Willis more than holds his own (and delivers one of his best performances) as a beleaguered husband with a »

- Rob Hunter

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Game of Thrones Explained: ‘The Red Woman’ Has New Tricks, Raises New Questions

24 April 2016 7:10 PM, PDT

One of the most surprising things to emerge from my ranking of every Game of Thrones episode to date was this notion that not every season premiere has been great. For much of its first four seasons, Game of Thrones has been a slow starter. The first few episode of every season has been spent checking in on the numerous storylines being juggled by the production. With season five, a lot of the landscape of Westeros has changed. Storylines began converging as the show apparently stepped into the back half of its overall narrative. And now that we’re through that season and beyond some of the more bloated elements of George R.R. Martin’s books, it makes sense that the show might shift into another gear. That’s exactly what we have with “The Red Woman,” the premiere of season six. There is plenty of checking in — we spend a little time with Arya, get »

- Neil Miller

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