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Review: Jason Bourne

7 hours ago

It’s Eric, returning to talk about the fifth chapter in the popular Jason Bourne franchise.   Judging from the discussions I heard coming from the exit of an early screening of Jason Bourne, your enjoyment of this latest installment of the venerated action spy films probably rests in your expectations.  

Because the level of artistry involved with these films has been so high, some out there are naturally hoping that the creative forces behind Jason Bourne found a way to ratchet things up even further.  The main grumble outside the theater seemed to be that the films have gotten repetitive in form and content (Bourne finds himself in a huge public space, uses the natural crowd to escape, etc.).   

I find myself in a different camp:  to me, it’s exactly these set-ups, and specifically the skillfulness with which they’re executed, that fuel the enjoyment...   »

- Eric Blume

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Hmwybs: A Sensational Diane Keaton in "Looking for Mr Goodbar"

14 hours ago

Best Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 3

Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)

Directed by: Richard Brooks

Cinematography by: William A Fraker

Finally with chapter 3 in our look back at the Cinematography nominees of 1977 -- a little prep work for the Supporting Actress Smackdown (last day to get your ballots in) -- a real threat to Close Encounter of the Third Kind for the Best Cinematography crown. Close Encounters won the Oscar, its sole competitive Oscar, but William A Fraker was more than worthy as a nominee for his evocative experimental work on Looking for Mr Goodbar. The cinematography (along with its swinging partner, the editing) are ready and able to capture the whirlwind moods, liberated momentum, self-deprecating humor, and multiple flashes of fear within this time capsule of the sexual revolution.

My only regret in showcasing the cinematography for this series is that good images are hard to come by. More (a little bit Nsfw) after the jump. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Pete's Dragon - 1977 and Now

17 hours ago

Our year of the month is 1977! Here's Chris looking back on Pete's Dragon...

As Disney has been increasingly revisiting their classics in live action, big budget form, the resulting films have revealed the evolution of family storytelling over the decades. Cinderella showed an increased emphasis on character, while this year's The Jungle Book was an example of the shift towards realism even in fantastical, unrealistic settings. While these rehashings are becoming old hat already, one of the most exciting films still to come this summer is the remake of 1977's Pete's Dragon.

The recent Disney revamps have extrapolated upon or directly lifted from their original source films, but the first glimpses of Pete's Dragon have already revealed a sharp turn in tone. Again, they are trading in a more modestly minded lark for larger spectacle. If nothing else, the creation of the dragon Elliott embodies the shift from traditional animation to digital imagery. »

- Chris Feil

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Cast This!: A Bosom Buddy for Tilda's Auntie Mame

20 hours ago

Chris here. It's been so long since we first heard about Tilda Swinton's plans to remake Auntie Mame that we'd assumed the project had died. But, as it turns out, Annie Mumolo and Tilda Swinton are giving us a banquet because we poor suckers are starving to death.

While being interviewed by Vanity Fair, Oscar-nominated screenwriter Annie Mumolo let slip that she's working on the screenplay for Auntie Mame, with Tilda Swinton taking over Rosalind Russell's fur coat. No, it won't be a musical version, because Tilda Swinton in a musical would be too much for our tender hearts.

This would be a huge star vehicle for the actress, putting her at the forefront of a big cast rather than her usual spot on the periphery of comedic ensembles. One thing Swinton doesn't get enough credit for is her incredible chemistry with a wide range of different kinds of performers, »

- Chris Feil

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Venice Film Festival Lineup Announced

28 July 2016 8:45 PM, PDT

What do Spotlight and Birdman have in common? Apart from being Oscar Best Picture winners starring Michael Keaton that is. They both debuted at the Venice Film Festival, that's what. The 73rd annual Venice Film Festival line-up has been announced, with the potential of another Best Picture winner in its midst.  As was previously announced, La La Land is opening the festival, and if you've  been watching the trailer on loop like us, it’s hard to get excited about anything else. But let’s take a shot »

- Josh Forward

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Ava & Oprah

28 July 2016 5:00 PM, PDT

Kieran, here.  It was recently announced that Ava DuVernay would direct an adaptation of the classic children’s fantasy novel A Wrinkle in Time for Disney starring Oprah Winfrey. The script is to be penned by Frozen scribe and co-director Jennifer Lee and will also star Amy Adams and Kevin Hart. Winfrey is also collaborating with DuVernay (off screen) in the capacity of executive producer for the upcoming Own series “Queen Sugar” staring Rutina Wesley (“True Blood”). 

While A Wrinkle in Time may seem like an odd career zag on paper for nearly everyone involved, pairing Ava DuVernay and Oprah Winfrey together again after 2014’s justifiably lauded Selma should have movie-watchers willing to follow this director-actor duo to the ends of the Earth »

- Kieran Scarlett

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Looking: The Movie Review

28 July 2016 2:00 PM, PDT

Manuel here with an extra episode of HBO Lgbt to celebrate the release of Looking: The Movie. I get the title format but would it have hurt Andrew Haigh to give it a less generic title. I mean, “Looking for Closure” would have been a bit on the nose but it’d have fit nicely with the show’s episodic titles (which included “Looking for a Plot” and “Looking for Home” after all).

I have gone on the record before saying how much I treasured Looking—recapping its second season right here was wonderful and a chance to really flesh out why I think Haigh and Michael Lannan’s show was such a striking meditation on gay male intimacy »

- Manuel Betancourt

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Michael Mann's "Miami Vice" 10 Years Later

28 July 2016 11:40 AM, PDT

Please welcome back new contributor Bill Curran for a 10th anniversary look at Miami Vice

The major studio head-scratcher of its year, the ultimate distillation of Michael Mann’s brand of clean sheen noir, and the most authentically auteurist film of the aughts, Miami Vice was the movie offspring of a successful and ever-parodied 80s TV series that was nothing like the original. Instead, Mann unleashed a brooding and voluptuously pixilated peacock of a crime thriller upon an unsuspecting public

If only every recent remake had as much reckless spirit as this one did when it opened nationally ten years ago today. Though the film received favorable notices from top print critics, including a rave from A.O. Scott, the majority of reviewers (and almost all audiences) were simply confused »

- Bill Curran

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Actresses We Love & the Festivals They Are Going To

28 July 2016 9:38 AM, PDT

Murtada here. It’s the week of fall film festivals announcements. We just heard that The Bening is going to New York. Lupita Nyong'o and Rosamund Pike are going to both London and Toronto. Let’s check in with a few others who are going to Venice, Toronto and possibly Telluride (Telluride doesn’t announce its program until its first day but if a film is announced as a Canadian Premiere at Tiff, and it hasn’t appeared at Sundance, it’s assumed to be Telluride bound).

Sally, Dakota, Rooney and more after the jump...

»

- Murtada Elfadl

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Have you seen "Sing Street" yet?

28 July 2016 7:29 AM, PDT

It's out on DVD and BluRay now so you have no excuses left. Here's a lovely endorsement for one of the year's best movies, from actor Darren Criss (Glee), who knows from finding your musical voice.

Now that it’s back in the theater, I would like to officially endorse my love for @singstreetmovie. Was obsessed with this film at Sundance. Can’t understand how it didn’t make a bigger splash. To me, it’s up there with all the classic band movie greats. Can’t wait for people to hear the original songs at the Oscars- all tunes I so desperately wish I wrote. Never seen a movie that has better portrayed that journey of musical adolescence- of what it’s like to search for and find your voice through music. This one’s especially for all band-obsessed siblings, growing up listening to records in their basement @CharlesCriss. »

- NATHANIEL R

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New York Film Festival Selects Mike Mills' 20th Century Women for Centerpiece Film

28 July 2016 6:00 AM, PDT

Sound the alarms: there's a fresh new reason to celebrate Annette Bening. Following in the footsteps of last year's selection of Steve Jobs, the New York Film Festival has chosen Mike Mills' 20th Century Women as its 2016 Centerpiece, which stars The Bening as a single mother raising her son in 1979 Santa Barbara, co-habiting with a Bowie-cut Greta Gerwig, nomadic carpenter Billy Crudup, and frequent house guest Elle Fanning. We've been anxiously awaiting Mills' follow up to the intimate, structurally adventurous tone poem that is Beginners for a few years now, and Nyff's programming pick (and description of the film as a vibrantly alive time capsule, plus taste-maker A24's acquisition) signals a strong indication that it's been worth the wait. Imagining The Bening caught at the crux of cultural, decade-splitting identities, and strapped into denim overalls to boot, would be enough reason to anticipate the film, but the thought »

- Daniel Crooke

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Dystopia/Utopia. Complete the Sentence.

27 July 2016 8:52 PM, PDT

Given what's going on in the world, at home and abroad, and the constant tough struggle we have before us to choose love and optimism, let's talk Utopias and Dystopias. It's the subject, in a way, of two current movies: Captain Fantastic and Star Trek Beyond. But dystopias are plentiful in cinema. So, let's complete the sentence...

My favorite movie dystopia is __________ but I hope this world turns out more like the utopia imagined in __________.  »

- NATHANIEL R

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Hmwybs: "The Turning Point"

27 July 2016 5:24 PM, PDT

Bancroft & Maclaine reminisce in The Turning PointBest Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 2

The Turning Point (1977)

Directed by: Herbert Ross

Cinematography by: Robert Surtees

When The Turning Point is remembered today, on the rare occasion that you hear it name-checked, it is nearly always in connection to its status as Oscar's all time loser (11 nominations without a win). That "achievement" was later shared when Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple (1985) met the same Oscar fate, entering the competition as a very big ticket and coming away empty-handed. It's surely no coincidence that both films are women's pictures. Oscar has grown increasingly wary of films about and for women over their 88 year history; that's not a mark on the films themselves but a stain on film culture and the Oscars. 1977 was in some significant ways, the very last Oscar year to be dominated by women. The sole "boys" movie up for the top prize was Star Wars, »

- NATHANIEL R

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Which is Yummier?

27 July 2016 12:45 PM, PDT

It's an Instagram battle. Which looks most delicious to you: Karl Urban's "tasty gum balls," Ansel Elgort's "milkshake," or Harry Shum Jr's "Roasted seaweed" which gives him wings*? Choose wisely.

*I'm not sure what that means but I think I'm for it because he woke up like this.

A photo posted by Karl Urban (@karlurban) on Jul 18, 2016 at 11:33am Pdt

My Milkshake

A photo posted by anselelgort (@anselelgort) on Jul 23, 2016 at 9:02am Pdt

Roasted seaweed gives me wings.

A photo posted by Harry Shum Jr (@harryshumjr) on Jul 25, 2016 at 3:30pm Pdt

 

 

  »

- NATHANIEL R

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10 Things to Love About "Scoop"

27 July 2016 10:20 AM, PDT

Today marks the 10th anniversary of Woody Allen’s murder mystery romp, Scoop. The film followed the darkly sexy Match Point, reuniting the director with star Scarlett Johansson. Unfortunately, critics and audiences were less dazzled by the pair’s second feature together, and Scoop joined the ranks of Allen’s lesser films. 

Still, I have a soft spot for this quirky little film. It’s not perfect, but it’s a fun; a confection (more dessert than entree). It’s a movie you can put on in the background while working on a project or as a pick-me-up after a bad day. So in honor of its anniversary, here are ten things to love about the mostly unloved Scoop

10 Things To Love About Scoop

by Steven Fenton

10. Giles!

Everyone’s favorite Watcher (Anthony Stewart Head), appears in a brief cameo as a detective interviewing Peter Lyman. It always a thrill »

- Steven Fenton

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Judy by the Numbers: "The Man That Got Away"

27 July 2016 7:17 AM, PDT

When Judy Garland and George Cukor made A Star Is Born for Warner Bros, both Judy and the industry were changing. The Paramount Case and The De Havilland ruling had weakened the paternalistic power of the studio system by forcing studios to sell their theaters and release their stars, while widescreen technology changed the shape of the movies. Similarly, Judy's previously squeaky-clean MGM image had transformed. In the early 1950s, she divorced Vincente Minnelli, married Sidney Luft, survived a suicide attempt and rehab and launched a successful concert series and an even more successful concert album. It was no coincidence that in the middle of this maelstrom Judy Garland's comeback vehicle was a remake of a 1937 Technicolor classic.

The Movie: A Star is Born (Warner Bros 1954)

The Songwriter: Harold Arlen (music), Ira Gershwin (lyrics)

The Players: Judy Garland, James Mason, Jack Carson, Charles Bickford, directed by George Cukor

I'm breaking with tradition slightly, »

- Anne Marie

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Golden Globes 77. A Look Back

26 July 2016 6:45 PM, PDT

Editors Note: Nathaniel is running behind on the Cinematography Special - but don't miss yesterday's installment or Tim's huge ongoing post at Antagony & Ecstasy so we'll resume tomorrow night. In the meantime enjoy Eric's look back at the Globes in '77, since its our Year of the Month.

Peter O'Toole with Globe winners Jane Fonda (Julia), Richard Burton (Equus), and Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

Globe/Oscar comparisons are always fun to see because though the  groups have different sensibilities, inevitable industry hype influences both. Yet the Globes are rarely revisited outside of their years since Oscar is the one people obsess on when they look back, "the one that matters" as it were. Let's correct that as we gaze at 1977...  »

- Eric Blume

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Crazy Ex-Girlfriend (S1.E7-8)

26 July 2016 3:30 PM, PDT

Dancin' Dan here taking over for Nathaniel a bit on the Crazy Ex-Girlfriend beat. This time out: crazy guest stars, crazy accents, and crazy mothers!

S1:E7 "I'm So Happy That Josh Is So Happy!"

Feeling depressed about Josh moving in with Valencia, Rebecca screws up a pitch to win the firm a new client. But that new client only has eyes for Paula. Meanwhile, Josh gathers his bros to try to do something nice for Valencia while moving in to their new place. Let's rank the crazy after the jump! »

- Denny

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Five Days 'til the Smackdown

26 July 2016 1:00 PM, PDT

The Supporting Actress Smackdown Of 1977 is coming. You already met two of our panelists. And here are the other three (including me). 

Meet The Panelists 

Panelist: Sara Black McCulloch

Bio: Sara Black McCulloch is a Toronto-based researcher, translator and writer. She has written for i-d, cleo Journal, Adult, The Hairpin, Gawker, Bitch Magazine and The National Post. You can read more of her work here. 

Question: What does 1977 mean to you? 

1977 seemed to be steeped in so much disillusionment. I think that, like the years that signal the end of a decade but don't quite bookend it, it was...fraught. The year was packed with events that pointed to change and fueled uncertainty. It was the year the U.S. signed the nuclear-proliferation pact and the same year that the U.S. government voted against covering elective abortions through Medicaid. The Apple II computer hit the market and Jimmy Carter »

- NATHANIEL R

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Linkdale

26 July 2016 10:45 AM, PDT

The Ringer Who is winning the Chris wars: Evans, Pine, or Hemsworth?

/Film Stranger Things will get a sequel season, Netflix confirms. I'm a bit disappointed honestly because I thought an anthology approach would be more satisifying, with a whole new story. Season 1 was resolved satisfyingly. Who needs every story thread neatly tied up? Boo.

The Metrograph has a Madonna week in August which will include a Q&A with Truth or Dare director Alek Keshishian - alas, the latter is already sold out. They also have a fun series in a week called "This is PG?!" featuring movies from the late 70s to the mid 80s when the MPAA was pressured into adding "PG-13" (I really have to get better at this Metrograph thing. They're big nights with Q&As seem to sell out instantly so I keep missing them.)

IGN interviews Joss Whedon at Comic Con. They talk Buffy comic book, »

- NATHANIEL R

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