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The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “The Story of Hollywood in 10 Films” — Robbie Collin at The Telegraph attempts a simply/impossible feat of boiling down American industry filmmaking into .000000001% of its output. “The industry grew into itself, the star system formed, and filmmakers from around the world fluttered, moth-like, to Hollywood, bringing European elegance and style with them. Some, like Ernst Lubitsch and F W Murnau, were already successes at home. Others, like the Italian-born Francesco Capra, arrived in America as children and were seduced by Hollywood on its home turf. The film of 1934 was Capra’s It Happened One Night, and the Oscars agreed. (It was the first to win in all five major categories.) Here was another comedy that centered on an ordinary man on the make – in this case, Clark Gable »
- Scott Beggs
In music there are only 12 notes, so it's no wonder so many songs sound the same. But what about someone's voice? The way someone speaks is not bound by any kind of scale or music theory, rather it's the sum a person’s upbringing, their physicality, and their personality. So why do so many cartoon characters sound so eerily familiar? In this list we highlight 10 cartoon characters whose voices (and often their likenesses) are based on other actors. We also mention 5 other cartoon voices that are impressions in the bonus sections of related entries. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, these actors have been thoroughly praised by some of the best.
Over the past 3 decades The Simpsons has been on the air, America’s favorite family has gone through many changes. Aside from the quality of the animation, the most noticeable »
- Eli Reyes
Marking its 25th anniversary this week is "When Harry Met Sally," which many viewers consider the best romantic comedy ever made. Certainly, the film (released on July 12, 1989), deftly directed by Rob Reiner, smartly written by Nora Ephron, and indelibly acted by Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan, is the most influential romantic comedy of the past quarter century. Virtually every rom-com since has borrowed from its witty banter, its urban setting, its soundtrack both modern and nostalgic, and its neurotic-yet-lovable leads.
Of course, "When Harry Met Sally" also owed a debt of influence to Woody Allen's romantic comedies about talky New Yorkers, as well as to dozens of other rom-coms, going all the way back to the road-trip antics of Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert in 1934's screwball classic, "It Happened One Night."
There are a lot of great romantic films that go to such dark places (from "The Apartment »
- Gary Susman
The clue to the right was included in Criterion's most recent newsletter, hinting at an upcoming title they will be releasing. I am terrible at these things and can never get them right, but I took it to Twitter and guesses began flooding in including Paul Robeson's Jericho (1937) and Robert Bresson's Lancelot of the Lake (1974), but it seems the folks over at Criterion Forum may have been onto something guessing Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934) starring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert with the image referring to Gable's character's reference to the "Walls of Jericho" as he walks in to see Ellie (Colbert) has erected a sheet between their two beds: Oh thisc Well, I like privacy when I retire. Yes, I'm very delicate in that respect. Prying eyes annoy me. Behold the walls of Jericho! Uh, maybe not as thick as the ones that Joshua blew down with his trumpet, »
- Brad Brevet
Blu-ray Release Date: Sept 30, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $49.99
Studio: Warner Home Video
Classic romance drama Gone With the Wind — perhaps The classic romance drama film — turns 75 and is celebrated with another Ultimate Collector’s Edition, but the set does have some new features.
Limited and numbered with new memorabilia, packaging and special features, the Gone With the Wind 75th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition Blu-ray set includes a replicaof Rhett Butler’s handkerchief and a music box paperweight playing Tara’s theme with an image on top of the Rhett-Scarlett kiss.
Also included is a 36-page companion booklet featuring a look at the timeless style of the film, written by New York fashion designer and Project Runway finalist Austin Scarlett, whose signature look reflects the romantic elegance of the Gone With the Wind era.
The new special features on the Blu-ray disc are:
When we think of movie characters they are larger than life in human form. However, there is a tendency to connect a particular film or film’s mortal personality with something that registers beyond the piece of entertainment or the walking and talking characterizations. The realization is that some movie-related inanimate objects equal or surpass the human element in cinema while adding elements of mystery, curiosity, symbolism and imagination.
In The Top 10 Iconic Movie Objects let us take a look at some of the non-breathing items that made an impact in their perspective films and see what meaning these images brought to the table. Perhaps you have in mind your own treasured inanimate objects that come to mind that transcends your viewing pleasure during the screening of your favorite flicks?
The Top 10 Iconic Movie Inanimate Objects are as follows (Note: the selections are not presented in any order of chosen »
- Frank Ochieng
But prepping for his first romantic lead required more than just dropping his drawers. In the film, from director Michael Dowse (Goon, Take Me Home Tonight), Radcliffe, 24, had to get comfortable acting in modern times. After Harry Potter and period films such as The Woman in Black, What If — about a med-school dropout (Radcliffe) who falls for an already attached art director (Ruby Sparks’ Zoe Kazan) — is Radcliffe’s “first foray into the 21st century,” he notes. To prep, »
- Nicole Sperling
It’s not always the destination but how you get there, and John Curran’s Tracks, released today in the UK, proves exactly that. Starring Mia Wasikowska as the socially inept and desperately stubborn Robyn, Tracks follows this young woman as she treks 1,700 miles across West Australia.
To celebrate the film’s release we took a look at some of the best journeys in cinema and the characters who took them.
1986, dir. Rob Reiner
A perfect film about the tribulations of growing up, Stand By Me ends with four boys visiting a missing body, but the obstacles that they endure on their trip, from raging trains to high school bullies are what shape its characters. So believable are the scrappy and defiant nature of our four protagonists that its difficult not to side with them, even if the end of their journey doesn’t signify a great victory. »
- Beth Webb
Blu-ray & DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
Price: DVD $24.95, Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Olive Films
With the 1948 film noir mystery Sleep, My Love, the great Douglas Sirk (All That Heaven Allows) directed the third and final teaming of Claudette Colbert (It Happened One Night) and Don Ameche (Cocoon), who previously appeared together in Mitchell Leisen’s Midnight and later in Sam Wood’s The Guest Wife).
The movie casts Colbert as Alison Courtland, a wealthy New York socialite who awakens on a Boston-bound train with no memory of how she got there. A kind, elderly woman helps Alison call her husband Richard (Ameche), who in the meantime had contacted a detective (Raymond Burr, TV’s Perry Mason) to help him find his missing wife. On the plane back home, Alison meets Bruce (Robert Cummings, The Devil and Miss Jones), who’s immediately enamored with her. »
What’s new, what’s hot, and what you may have missed, now available to stream.
streaming now, while it’s still in theaters
The Unknown Known: documentary interview with Bush-era insider Don Rumsfeld is like a horror movie with a calm sociopath at its center [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s on dvd
Great Expectations: a lively, vibrant retelling that feels very modern, with none of the stuffiness of a traditional costume drama [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video] Philomena: a cry-till-you-laugh-dramedy about seeking lost family and finding new purpose; Judi Dench and Steve Coogan are fantastic; seriously, though: bring Kleenex [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
streaming now, before it’s in theaters
The Machine: the bleak chic of this Sf drama is intriguing, but the script that starts out smart and elegant soon slips into the shoddy and familiar [my review] [at Amazon Instant Video]
new to Prime
new to stream
Crouching Tiger, »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The members of the Online Film Critics Society — of which I am one — have jointly ranked the 86 movies that have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. This is our top 10:
1. The Godfather (1972)
2. Casablanca (1943)
3. The Godfather Part II (1974)
4. Sunrise (1927/28)
5. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
6. It Happened One Night (1934)
7. All About Eve (1950)
8. Annie Hall (1977)
9. On the Waterfront (1954)
10. All Quiet on the Western Front (1929/30)
Links go to my reviews. The rest of the Ofcs list is at Online Film Critics Society. (You’ll see how current we can be: newly minted Best Pic 12 Years a Slave is on the list, at No. 23.)
Read more about the Oscar Best Pictures, including fascinating trivia nuggets for each Best Picture and the other nominees each were up against, in these Ofcs posts:
• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 1” (counting down from 86 to 66)
• “The Best of the Best Picture Oscar Winners, Part 2” (65 through 51)
• “The »
- MaryAnn Johanson
The 86th Academy Awards are this Sunday evening, and we're counting down the minutes!
We've already given you our Oscar predictions, and now we're bringing you a few of the best (and craziest) Academy Awards facts. From the first Best Actor winner to the "one dollar" Oscar rule, here are 23 things you (probably) don't know about the Oscars.
1. The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O'Neal, who won Best Supporting Actress for "Paper Moon" (1973) when she was only 10 years old. Shirley Temple won the short-lived Juvenile Award at 6 years old.
3. After winning Best Actress for "Cabaret" (1972), Liza Minnelli became (and still is) the only Oscar winner whose parents both earned Oscars. Her mother, Judy Garland, received an honorary award in 1939 and her father, Vincente Minnelli, »
- Jonny Black
Just as horse racing has its Triple Crown, red-carpet season has its own impressive awards haul that only the boldest of films aspire to win: the "Big Five" at the Oscars. Taking home a trophy in the Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay categories is considered a "sweep" at the Academy Awards, and this year's contest has American Hustle vying for the honor. In the 86-year history of the awards, 42 films have been nominated across the big five categories, with only three ever pulling off the sweep: 1934's It Happened One Night, 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest »
- Kiran Hefa
Unless you're prediction-loving, number-crunching wizard Nate Silver, you probably find statistics pretty boring. But stats concerning the Academy Awards have always been fascinating, mostly because the Oscars are just plain weird, and riddled with anomalies.
The ceremony got its start in the late 1920s, when movies were just making their transition into sound, and early nominees and categories reflected the sheer chaos of those halcyon days of what would eventually become Hollywood's golden age. (Though, of course, any film aficionado worth his/her salt would have a strong opinion about the exact dates that that age entailed.)
As the Oscars tradition continued, the awards became a bit more traditional themselves, settling into a predictable pattern of narratives that have stayed relatively consistent to this day. But there are always idiosyncrasies hiding in the woodwork, and the Academy Awards have them in spades. Here, we've collected some of the most distinctive »
- Katie Roberts
Amazon is offering $105 off The Columbia Best Pictures boxed DVD set containing 11 winners of the Best Picture Oscar. Here are the details:
14-disc set of 11 Best Picture Oscar winning films in an attractive, collectible, black fiber cover with slipcase. The pages within will have film synopsis, details on the Oscar win for each film, and art from key scenes. This set features Columbia Pictures' Best Picture Oscar winners spanning the years from 1934 to 1982 and include the following films:
1949 All the King's Men
1954 On the Waterfront
1962 Lawrence of Arabia
1979 Kramer vs. Kramer
Bonus extras include:
Lord Attenborough Audio Commentary
From the Director's Chair
Madeleine Slade: An Englishwoman Abroad
Reflections on »
- email@example.com (Cinema Retro)
A very light week for me on both the movie and TV side of things as I only caught Pompeii in theaters and this weekend introduced my wife to The Thin Man. She's not normally a big fan of older films but I knew the dynamic between William Powell and Myrna Loy would be something she'd love, after all, she already liked them in It Happened One Night. I've been meaning to get a second title into my Best Movies series lately and I've been considering Dr. Strangelove since watching it a week or so ago, but after watching The Thin Man I think it may be a more interesting addition as Stanley Kubrick is always a goto in these type of things and I think I'd like Barry Lyndon to be the first of his to add to the collection. That said, a lot of my free time as »
- Brad Brevet
Tim here, with your daily dose of Oscar numerology. We’re now in the third year of the Academy’s undoubtedly well-intentioned "some random number that always turns out to be nine" approach to selecting Best Picture nominees, and for some of us, this is irritatingly arbitrary. But it could be so much worse. Think of how awful it must have been to been a rabid Oscar fanatic in the first decade of the award’s existence: depending on the year, there were anywhere from three to twelve Best Picture nominees, until it was finally nailed down at a nice, round ten at the 9th Academy Awards, for the year 1936.
The magic number of the day being 12, I'd like you to join me, for a closer look at 1934, the first of two years with 12 nominated films (for space reasons, I am alas compelled to leave 1935 to fend for itself) - the first year, »
- Tim Brayton
Well, we’ve finally reached the summit: the 10 most definitive romantic comedies of all time. Unlike the other sections of this list, there is not a movie here that approaches “bad.” As always, some are better than others, despite the order. But one thing is for sure: if you plan to have a rom-com binge-a-thon soon, this is where you start, no questions asked. In fact, after reading this, you should go do that and report back.
courtesy of reverseshot.com
10. Some Like It Hot (1959)
What’s funnier than men dressing in drag? Depends on who you ask. It’s Billy Wilder again with a fictional story of two musicians – Joe (Tony Curtis) and Jerry (Jack Lemmon) – who witness the St. Valentine’s Day massacre in Chicago and leave town. But, since the mob has ties everywhere, they need to disguise themselves as best they can: as women in an »
- Joshua Gaul
Lord Grantham is largely absent from this episode, as he leaves for America to help his brother-in-law Harold through the Teapot Dome scandal. He takes Thomas with him as his valet because Lady Mary asks him to.
Why? Because Mrs. Hughes doesn't think Bates should be away from Anna with her (and their marriage) in such a fragile state, so Mrs. Hughes tells Mary what happened to Anna so that Mary will help out.
Mary is, of course, horrified at the news and very kind to Bates, telling him it wasn't his fault. She also urges Anna to go to the authorities but respects Anna's wishes to leave it be. Anna also has her own crying-in-the-hallway scene that is just as heartbreaking as Bates' scene last week. »
“Well you’ve shown me an excellent example of the hiking part. When does the hitching come in?”
Frank Capra’s 1934 film It Happened One Night was the first film to win the Oscar “grand slam” (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director and Screenplay) and is considered a pioneer of the screwball comedy genre. Lucky St. Louisans will have the chance to see it on the big screen when it plays next Saturday, February 8th at The Hi-Pointe Theater at 10:30am as part of their Classic Film Series.
It Happened One Night concerns an heiress, Ellie Andrews (Claudette Colbert) who runs away from her father to join her new husband, society aviator King Westley (Jameson Thomas). On the bus, she meets a reporter named Peter Warne (Clark Gable) who is down on his luck. The strike a bargain: Peter can have an exclusive on Ellie’s story »
- Tom Stockman
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