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56 minutes ago

Screencrush offers hilarious proof that every superhero movie is called the greatest superhero movie ever. People are easily excitable!

Sight and Sound picks the best documentaries ever by pollling filmmakers: Man With a Movie Camera, Shoah and more...

MBetancourt finishes his Instagram Buffy The Vampire Slayer project. It was awesome. Naturally "Tabula Rasa" was the most popular - but not because it's a great episode

PopBytes I normally dont link to super gossipy things but this Justin Bieber / Orlando Bloom fight is just so bizarre and the coverage keeps getting weirder. I guess...

Gawker ... Leonardo DiCaprio was also there, cheering Orlando on? I mean who wouldn't?

Vox I love Todd Vanderweff but I'm not sure I buy Lucy as a feminist movie, even one that's afraid of feminism as posited

Gawker "I am terrified of Reese Witherspoon and a little bit in love with her"

In Contention Rosewater by Jon Stewart »

- NATHANIEL R

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Tim's Toons: A field guide to animated raccoons

14 hours ago

Tim here. Tomorrow, the much-hyped latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Franchise Expansion Plan opens, Guardians of the Galaxy. While reviews have promised a broad, inventive space comedy/adventure, the marketing to date has focused on two specific things:

1) Chris Pratt plays Han Solo.

2) Bradley Cooper voices Han Solo as a raccoon.

And since I take it as axiomatic that two Han Solos is better than no Han Solos (as graphically demonstrated by the Star Wars prequels) I’m actually perfectly okay with that. Anyway, it’s pretty clear at this point that Disney wants the Raccoon – Rocket Raccoon, to give him his proper name – to be the film’s big breakout character, so the time was perfect to launch into a brief history of the talking raccoon throughout animation history.

Rj, Over the Hedge (2006)

To date, the most visible of all anthropomorphic raccoons has been this character in DreamWorks Animation »

- Tim Brayton

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Smackdown 1973: Candy, Madeline, Linda, Sylvia, and Tatum O'Neal

20 hours ago

Behold the five Oscar-nominated Supporting Actresses of 1973: a "bitchin' babe" (Candy Clark), a pint-sized con-artist (Tatum O'Neal), a possessed teenager (Linda Blair), a selfish carnival dancer (Madeline Kahn), and a vinegary New York institution (Sylvia Sidney). 

The Nominees

 

Last month's featured year, 1964, gave us an extremely senior acting shortlist of Oscar regulars but the corresponding shortlist of 1973, apart from Sylvia Sidney who had been a respected working actress for nearly a half-century, skewed very new and very young and not just because it gave us the youngest Oscar winner of all time in Tatum O'Neal; she was 10 years and 148 days old. The four actresses nominated with Sidney were in their first flush of stardom and only acting in their first (O'Neal) second (Kahn & Clark) or third films (Blair). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences obviously approved of their career choice.

This Month's Panelists

from left to right: Chambers, »

- NATHANIEL R

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I Wish... we'd get an "Into the-- Hey, I wasn't done wishing yet!

22 hours ago

Well, this is unexpected. Just one day after releasing 10 new images, and an hour after posting about them, there's a teaser, too.

You'd think they'd want to space out the media attention since Christmas is still a long way away but we'll take it. As per usual, they're not quite admitting it's a musical yet in advertising. You hear the opening words "I wish..." of the prologue chorale number over and over again but nobody quite sings it as if the spirit of Rex Harrison has taken over. Anna Kendrick comes closest to sounding melodic while just speaking. But the teaser is enticing.

Come what may, for better and we-hope-not worse, it will be an event to see this musical on big screens during the holidays. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Thoughts I Had... while looking at new "Into the Woods" images

23 hours ago

If there is one thing in life that's certain at Tfe beyond daily postings, Actress mania, Oscar chart delays, and time-jumping movie coverage, it's this: if Meryl Streep is featured there are a bajillion comments. And yet the last two Streep attacks, a look back at 2009 and a subliminal Hours reunion proved the exception. Is this merely summer doldrums or a sign of the Streepocalypse? Or were people just waiting for Into the Woods news? If so, it has arrived.

Update: And the Teaser too!

Yesterday a bunch of new images surfaced from the movie and you know how this goes. We look at the image and we list off thoughts as they come without self-censorship to keep the brain loose and the words flowing and to not be too mundane about what this actually is - free advertising for Disney and regurgitated photo sharing.

Meet Rapunzel

• I always forget »

- NATHANIEL R

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Byo Ynms: Interstellar, November Man, Nightcrawler,Child of God, Cantinflas

31 July 2014 5:46 AM, PDT

Is it just me or are the trailers all coming in huge bundles lately? Space 'em out a little bit PR peeps, why don't you? Herewith, some I missed writing up so that you don't miss them. Bring your own Yes No Maybe So action to the comments.

I'm purposefully not watching Interstellar since I wrote up the first teaser and I only needed the cast list to convince me to see it and I don't want to know any more before seeing it. That said, I miss Anne Hathaway like forrealz muchly so it wasn't an easy decision. Five trailers after the jump

»

- NATHANIEL R

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Bergman's Ghosts

30 July 2014 6:30 PM, PDT

This is Tfe's late entry into the Hit Me With Your Best Shot gallery of Cries and Whisper's finest moments

Ingmar Bergman will never die. We need not be literal about this. Yes, the great Swedish auteur passed on in 2007 but his rich inimitable* filmography is not of the corporeal so much as its of the spirit (however despairing) or at least the deep recesses of the psyche, if you'd care to differentiate. In collaboration with fellow geniuses cinematographer Sven Nykvist and actress Liv Ullman he captured many of the greatest close-ups in the whole of cinematic history. In a Bergman/Nykvist/Ullman close-up it's not the eyes that are the window to the soul so much as the face as the soul, fully visible even when its bathed in shadow. 

Yet even revealed it's still unknowable. 

best shot

When I first saw Cries and Whispers in college while pursuing »

- NATHANIEL R

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Why I'm Not Seeing "Lucy"

30 July 2014 4:45 PM, PDT

"Lucy" will be discussed soon on the podcast but at least one member of Scarjo-loving Tfe refuses to see it. Here's Matthew Eng to tell you why. - Editor

I don't care if Lucy is every bit the gloriously silly and shamelessly outré action fireworks show that gung-ho summer audiences have made into a "surprise hit." I care even less that Luc Besson has managed to curb his own gonzo cheese-fest tendencies to a running time of less than 90 minutes, compared to the ceaselessly spinning tops and chiseled self-mythologizing of every Christopher Nolan movie post-Insomnia. And, though it's been tempting, I finally don't care that Besson and Co. have seemingly put the newly-rejuvenated Scarlett Johansson (so good in Under the Skin; so great in Don Jon) on a pedestal of full-out Film Goddess proportions, in a genre where movies in which women are front and center and not merely »

- Matthew Eng

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A Year with Kate: The Rainmaker (1956)

30 July 2014 12:03 PM, PDT

 Episode 31 of 52: In which Katharine Hepburn lets her hair down and rolls in the hay with Burt Lancaster.

 It makes a certain kind of sense that The Rainmaker, which is the last of Kate’s Spinster Films, should be the most archetypal of this phase of her career. N. Richard Nash’s screenplay about a silver-tongued conman (Burt Lancaster) who promises water to a town and love to an old maid (Kate) works almost as a genre checklist: Lonely Single Woman? Check. Scenes establishing that most folks find her plain? Check. Handsome outsider who sees the beauty in her? Check. Life affirming rendezvous? Check. Throw in a metaphor about the drought-stricken land and Lizzie’s lovelorn heart, and you have The Rainmaker.

Make no mistake, Lancaster and Hepburn elevate The Rainmaker. Their acting styles clash--Kate’s Old Hollywood manner butts against Lancaster’s charismatic, physical style (which he’d »

- Anne Marie

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The Linkage

30 July 2014 10:06 AM, PDT

IndieWire takes the Verge to task for publishing a pro-torrent essay on Expendables 3

Nicks Flick Picks Nick & Joe Reid are doing Nick's trademark halfway'ish "Fifties" thing (which starts as soon as Nick has hit 50 movies in any given year. Delicious smart writeups on editing, screenplays, supporting actors and more

Comics Alliance the internet is all excited about this old test footage for that Deadpool movie that's not going to happen for some reason. Starring Ryan Reynolds.

Lincoln Center standby only for the John Waters and Isabelle Huppert event tonight. I'm sure the Q&A will be great but I didn't like that movie Abuse of Weakness much (my review)

CNN Money spends a day with a working Broadway actress

Newsweek explains the recent Buzzfeed scandal in the only way anyone should... through gifs of Shattered Glass

The Daily Beast has a great Susan Sarandon interview icymi where she talks David Bowie, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Shouldn't You Actually Start Filming Before You Have a Movie Poster?

30 July 2014 8:00 AM, PDT

They're now officially counting Kill Bill as One feature so that The Hateful Eight can be Quentin Tarantino's official "8th" film. Convenient, eh? But that's okay because they should've been one film all along. And oh what gross film-splittings have occurred in their wake.

Question: Shouldn't you start filming before releasing a poster?

The movie is not scheduled to start filming until 2015... and the poster assumes everything will happen on schedule and it will be out by the end of that year. Good luck, movie! This reminds me of Amir's rants about all those opening day announcements for secret movies. Hollywood has a preemie problem.

 And may Quentin get this out of his system since this'll be his second consecutive nearly all male western. May he some day return to writing great female roles again because he's slipping into terrain that other writer/directors have covered sufficiently throughout time. »

- NATHANIEL R

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'Mom! Streep & Julie are flirting again'

30 July 2014 5:34 AM, PDT

I can't resist putting these images in dialogue. Are the two esteemed actresses thinking of each other in their grey flat-ironed wigs, or is this a subliminal cry for a sequel to the sapphic wonders of The Hours? As Christian so correctly observed on Twitter, Nicole is never going to let a grey hair near her scalp. But she died in The Hours so she can't be in the sequel anyway.

This twinned image was fun to discuss on Twitter but after the fact it reminded me of an earlier conversation with Anne Thompson and Kyle Buchanan about why there are so many aged lady villains in Ya adaptations. My contention is that it's their ageist way of playing both sides. So many stories about young girls that pay lipservice to "girlpower" are, just like stories centered on men and boys, still scared of the power and agency of (adult »

- NATHANIEL R

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Visual Index ~ "Cries and Whisper" Best Shot(s)

29 July 2014 8:02 PM, PDT

Tuesday night means Best Shot. This week we're looking at Ingmar Bergman's biggest success stateside both at the box office and with Oscar voters. If Cries and Whispers is not quite his most famous classic today, it remains one of the true essentials within his celebrated filmography. This mysterious and utterly gorgeous film won Bergman's longtime Dp Sven Nykvist the first of his two Oscars for best cinematography. It concerns three sisters, one of whom is dying, and the family's maid. Naturally it's very depressing. But great art always transcends.

If you're running late with your choice for Best Shot, take heart and finish watching. My own entry in this "best shot" party will be up tomorrow so yours can be too. I have a good excuse. Today I finalized all the prep work for both the '73 Smackdown festivities (running from Thursday to Saturday here) and all the »

- NATHANIEL R

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Interview: Adapting "Guardians of the Galaxy" for the Screen

29 July 2014 3:11 PM, PDT

Anne Marie interviewed Nicole Perlman, the screenwriter of Guardians of the Galaxy which opens this weekend

Nicole Perlman, Screenwriter"Nicole Perlman" has been a name shrouded in mystery since Marvel announced Guardians of the Galaxy two years ago. Though the screenwriter has received awards for her writing, Guardians will be her first official screen credit. (She shares co-screenwriting credit with Guardians director James Gunn). I sat down with her over the weekend at Comic Con to learn a little more about the woman who turned Guardians of the Galaxy from cult comic hit to Marvel's biggest blockbuster experiment. We talked about Guardians, her new project with Cirque du Soleil, and how screenwriters make terrible movie audiences.

Anne Marie: You started with getting your Challenger screenplay on the Black List, which is really cool, and then did a complete jump into Marvel. Tell me about that!

Nicole Perlman: I had »

- Anne Marie

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A Dame To Shill For

29 July 2014 8:24 AM, PDT

Ja from Mnpp here. My boyfriend likes to tease me that he loved Eva Green first, and he did - he loved her the first time she showed up on some red carpet wearing long glamorous sleeves in a sea of bared skin. It's not that you can exactly call Eva Green demure - the first time any of us saw her she was taking a bath with her on-screen brother while pawing at Michael Pitt's genitalia after all, and earlier this year she toplessly mounted Sullivan Stapleton while swinging around a sword for god's sake. Not to mention the bizarre throwback moral brouhaha that's currently been greeting every piece of art-work associated with her Sin City: A Dame To Kill For character - hide the children, there are breasts!

So no, demure's not really the word for her. But dive as she does, time and again, into these depths of gorgeous depravity, »

- JA

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Curio: Suspect and Fugitive

29 July 2014 8:01 AM, PDT

Alexa here with your weekly arts and crafts.   Nathaniel's banana Bond boredom from last week reminded me of a project that Seattle-based artist Kris Garland/Rakka Deer did back in 2008.  Titled Suspect and Fugitive, the series involved making one item a day from suspect (questionable) and fugitive (non archival) materials. This involved Rakka combining pop culture portraiture with food (and sometimes other materials) in new and clever ways every day for one year.

Like this pancake Cate Blanchett...

Pancake Blanchett

Maybe Nathaniel should try this.  Favorite actresses and foodstuffs maybe?  In any case, here is some more inspiration courtesy of Rakka from Donnie Darko to Doris Day after the jump »

- Alexa

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1973 Look Back: Biblical Musicals

28 July 2014 6:20 PM, PDT

Our celebration of 1973 continues with Andrew on Godspell and Jesus Christ Superstar

In 1970 John-Michael Tebelak was completing work on his master’s thesis project about Jesus Christ at Carnegie Mellon University. Before long he would pair up with musician and lyricist Stephen Schwartz and in May of 1971 the musical Godspell would officially begin playing. Around the same time, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice were finalising work on a rock album, a concept musical of sorts, on the last ten days of Jesus' life. The album would be released in the fall of 1970, and one year later Jesus Christ Superstar, the musical developed from the soundtrack, would open on Broadway. By some weird happenstance the fates of the two Jesus musicals would be tied*. Two years later, the two musicals (both moderate hits on stage by that time) saw screen adaptations released in 1973.

One religious stage-musical adapted to the »

- Andrew Kendall

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Podcast: Charming Musicians, Frosty Survivors, Talking Apes

28 July 2014 12:33 PM, PDT

It's one-on-one podcast time this week. Nathaniel and Nick discuss two movies they're sympatico on (Begin Again and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes) and one which halfway divides them (Snowpiercer). 

You can listen at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation in the comments.

Index

00:01 Intro & Scene Stealing

01:30 Begin Again: rough starts, Mark Ruffalo's abrasiveness, Keira Knightley overall excellence, how it compares to Once.

14:00 Why we're not talking Boyhood. Plus the difficulty of grading ambitious movies.

20:00 Snowpiercer: allegory, structure, and the fight over the final cut, Tilda Swinton of course. Plus Bong Joon-ho and Korean cinema.

35:00 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: highlight scenes, amazing imagery, franchise politics, Jason Clarke, and Caesar vs. Koba.

45:00 "Lost Stars" 

What is this picture doing here? You'll have to listen to find out.

  »

- NATHANIEL R

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Beauty Vs Beast: A Dog Eat Dog World

28 July 2014 10:00 AM, PDT

Ja from Mnpp here with this week's "Beauty Vs Beast," which is a real Hemingway-esque battle between the forces of Man and the forces of the Untamed Wildnerness. On the one side we have Tom Hanks, multiple Oscar winner, as the determined Detective Scott Turner, trying to solve the most important make-it-or-break-it case of his career. And on the other side... there's Hooch, the junkyard dog who witnessed this most heinous act of murder.

As the VHS box said at the video-store I worked at in high school, they're the oddest couple ever unleashed! Today is actually the 25th anniversary of Turner & Hooch's release, and heck, somebody should note it. Tom Hanks would probably rather it be forgotten, and I probably haven't seen the movie in 20 years, but I was 11 when it came out and dang it... I totally saw it. That means something.

 

T&H was actually a pretty »

- JA

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Introducing Pt 2... Blair and Candy

28 July 2014 8:06 AM, PDT

Previously on "Introducing": Tatum, Sylvia & Madeline

It's just 3 days until the Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1973. Bless StinkyLulu for dreaming up this event years ago because it's still so fun. But first some unfinished introductions: how do Candy Clark and Linda Blair enter their movies. If you hadn't yet seen the movie would you be expecting an Oscar nomination from these first scenes? What do the scenes telegraph for first time viewing? 

Sure do love you.

Hi, Mom!

11½ minutes in. Meet "Regan" (Linda Blair in The Exorcist)

How fitting that she first appears in bed, since she'll spend the bulk of the movie in one albeit it under far more horrific circumstances than a good night's sleep. As the scene begins her mother Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn) has heard noises in her Georgetown rental and checks on her daughter first. Sound asleep. But there's a telling pan left to the open window, »

- NATHANIEL R

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