15 items from 2015
Written by William Hurlbut
Directed by John M. Stahl
Directed by Douglas Sirk
The debate about the necessity and worth of continual remakes rages on every year. Will the new version be as good as the original? Or even better? Should it have even been made to begin with? While we do seem to hear more about this recently, the concept of a remark is, of course, nothing new. Examples go back to the very dawn of cinema. What makes a remake particularly worthwhile, however, is when the films involved are dissimilar in certain aspects yet notably congruent in other areas: just enough to keep the basic premise or theme consistent, but varied enough to keep it up to date and original in one way or another. If both versions have their merits, a considerate comparison and contrast »
- Jeremy Carr
“Monogamy isn’t realistic” says a soon-to-be-divorced dad to his two pre-teen daughters in an early scene from Judd Apatow’s “Trainwreck.” Two decades later, those words have taken their toll on one of those erstwhile little girls — a tart-tongued, booze-swilling serial dater (writer-star Amy Schumer) whose love life is barreling downhill with ever-increasing velocity. She’s the screwed-up, screwball heroine at the center of a somewhat shaggy, frequently hilarious romantic comedy that, like much of Apatow’s best work, delicately balances irreverent raunch with candid insights into the give-and-take of grown-up relationships. The change in scenery (New York from L.A.) and gender emphases serves Apatow well, as does Schumer’s excitingly original comic voice, which should spell a critical and commercial rebound for the comedy impresario, following the mixed fortunes of his more sober, semi-autobiographical “Funny People” and “This Is 40.” The Universal release opens wide July 17 following »
- Scott Foundas
The Oscars have given out a Film Editing award for 81 of its 87 years. "Birdman" just became the 10th film to win Best Picture without at least reaping a bid in that race, which went to "Whiplash." Indeed, when nominations were announced last month, many pundits viewed the snub of "Birdman" in this category as a very bad omen for the film's chances in Best Picture. Indeed, the last Best Picture without a corresponding nomination for Film Editing was "Ordinary People" back in 1980. The cutting prize that year went to "Raging Bull." Below, the eight other years where the Best Picture winner was not even in the running for Best Editing. -Break- 1934: "It Happened One Night" (Film Editing winner: "Eskimo") 1937: "The Life of Emile Zola" (Film Editing winner: "Lost Horizon") 1948: "Hamlet" (Film Editing winner: "The Naked City") ...' »
The 87th 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 25 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
Valentine's Day is this weekend and many couples are going to celebrate by heading to the multiplex and seeing Fifty Shades of Grey. Analysts are saying it might gross an astonishing $100 million during the four-day weekend despite mostly scathing reviews. Some critics are saying that parts of the movie are so inadvertently funny you almost feel like you're watching a romantic comedy.
By Anjelica Oswald
With the DGA Award in hand, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has become a frontrunner in the best director Oscar race for Birdman.
Only seven winners of the DGA Award have not won the best director Oscar in the 66 years that the Directors Guild of America has given the award. The most recent case was two years ago, when Ben Affleck wasn’t even nominated for the best director Oscar for Argo, which won best picture.
No American has won for best director since 2011 and if Inarritu, who is from Mexico, takes the Oscar this year, the trend will continue. Inarritu could become the second Latin American director to win for best director, following Alfonso Cuaron’s win last year.
In the 86 years since the Academy Awards’ inception, 89 Oscars have been given for best director. Twenty-six awards (29 percent) went to non-American born directors.
At the first annual »
- Anjelica Oswald
Daniel Radcliffe has been acting since the age of 9, when he played the young David Copperfield opposite Maggie Smith in the BBC’s 1999 adaptation of the classic Dickens story. But it was in 2001, when Radcliffe was cast as the titular boy wizard of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone that he became an internationally recognised movie star. Eight feature films, adapted from the seven novels by Jk Rowling, were to follow, grossing more than $7bn at the global box office.
With roles in December Boys and My Boy Jack, Radcliffe proved he was no one-trick pony. But it was his 2007 turn on stage – in Thea Sharrock’s West End revival of Peter Shaffer’s play Equus – that established Radcliffe as a serious young actor. Then 17, Radcliffe earned rave reviews for his haunting turn as Alan Strang, a role that required him to disrobe. The actor was nominated for a »
- Phil Wheat
Terrence Malick is having a busy week, which for the director who formerly took ages between films, must rank among his busiest. Malick has first been working on a documentary called Voyage of Time that will incorporate footage from The Tree of Life and be “a celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse,” according to a press release via HitFix. One version of the film will be just 40 minutes long, will feature narration by Brad Pitt, and will appear on IMAX screens. Another longer version will appear in traditional theaters and will be narrated by Cate Blanchett. Neither version has a release date just yet but are being planned for 2016.
His latest film however, Knight of Cups, is about to premiere at the Berlinale on February 8 (watch the trailer here), and the full plot revealed for the film sounds perfectly Malick-esque. »
- Brian Welk
Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine' 1938: Jean Renoir's film noir (photo: Jean Gabin and Simone Simon in 'La Bête Humaine') (See previous post: "'Cat People' 1942 Actress Simone Simon Remembered.") In the late 1930s, with her Hollywood career stalled while facing competition at 20th Century-Fox from another French import, Annabella (later Tyrone Power's wife), Simone Simon returned to France. Once there, she reestablished herself as an actress to be reckoned with in Jean Renoir's La Bête Humaine. An updated version of Émile Zola's 1890 novel, La Bête Humaine is enveloped in a dark, brooding atmosphere not uncommon in pre-World War II French films. Known for their "poetic realism," examples from that era include Renoir's own The Lower Depths (1936), Julien Duvivier's La Belle Équipe (1936) and Pépé le Moko (1937), and particularly Marcel Carné's Port of Shadows (1938) and Daybreak (1939). This thematic and »
- Andre Soares
One thing I know after seeing Godzilla is Gareth Edwards doesn’t need a good script to deliver a great blockbuster. I don’t think I could even tell you the plot from memory right now, and yet I stand by my opinion that the monster movie reboot was one of the most spectacular and thrilling pieces of cinema released last year. Before that, with Monsters, he wowed me with a tired story recycled from It Happened One Night by throwing in some giant aliens and crafty direction. He could go ahead and make his Star Wars spin-off with no screenplay at all, and I’m sure I’d be happy. But I can’t speak for the rest of the franchise’s fans out there — especially if any overlap with the large group of people who hate what he did with Godzilla – and I certainly can’t speak for Disney and LucasFilm. They »
- Christopher Campbell
I got around to a lot more movies this week, beginning with last Sunday evening where I caught Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance on Encore. I know everyone pretty much loves Die Hard, but I'm not sure I don't love With a Vengeance a little more, I just love Samuel L. Jackson in that movie and Jeremy Irons is a perfect villain. Things took a bit of a dip when I went to the theater to watch The Boy Next Door, but I quickly resolved that with It Happened One Night, which became my latest Best Movies entry. Then I got a hankering to watch Strangers on a Train after it was recently announced David Fincher, Ben Affleck and Gillian Flynn were looking to put together a remake. I was also thinking it might become Best Movies entry #9, but after watching it and Robert Walker's performance »
- Brad Brevet
The above exchange from Frank Capra's romantic gem It Happened One Night doesn't necessarily give you any insight into the plot. Without the knowledge of what came before, or the visual of Claudet Colbert as spoiled sophisticate Ellie Andrews warily climbing into the car with the man she's traveled alongside from Florida to New York City, the joke probably doesn't pack much of an umph. But once you've seen this 1935 Best Picture winner as many times as I have, you never know which lines will jump out and make you laugh more than you previously did in the past. It Happened One Night is one of those wonderful Hollywood accidents. Neither Colbert nor her co-star, Clark Gable, were the first choices for the lead roles. In fact, it wasn't until Colbert won for Best Actress that she publicly thanked Capra for making the film (despite not even attending the Oscars, »
- Brad Brevet
The American Film Institute is probably best known for those lists of the 100 Greatest Movies of All Time (y'know... if it's an American production in some way). Well, every year they hold their own awards, because every group of people has to have awards. They recognize the ten best films (for this year, it's eleven due to a tie) and the ten best television programs of the year. There are not winners in these categories, but each one gets celebrated. On that front, I kind of like the AFI approach to awards. Along with the awards, AFI has put together this four and a half minute montage chronicling the last 120 years of film. Now, it would be ridiculous to cover every single year. Instead, they start with 1894's Strong Man and jump every ten years, showcasing films like Rear Window, The Godfather: Part II, Pulp Fiction, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind »
- Mike Shutt
Jean Arthur films on TCM include three Frank Capra classics Five Jean Arthur films will be shown this evening, Monday, January 5, 2015, on Turner Classic Movies, including three directed by Frank Capra, the man who helped to turn Arthur into a major Hollywood star. They are the following: Capra's Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, You Can't Take It with You, and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; George Stevens' The More the Merrier; and Frank Borzage's History Is Made at Night. One the most effective performers of the studio era, Jean Arthur -- whose film career began inauspiciously in 1923 -- was Columbia Pictures' biggest female star from the mid-'30s to the mid-'40s, when Rita Hayworth came to prominence and, coincidentally, Arthur's Columbia contract expired. Today, she's best known for her trio of films directed by Frank Capra, Columbia's top director of the 1930s. Jean Arthur-Frank Capra »
- Andre Soares
You're hung over. You want good streaming options now. You don't want to move. Let us do the work for you. Check out the best of new Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu below. Netflix "Mean Girls" If you didn't spend enough of 2014 commemorating the 10th anniversary of this gem, make a resolution to re-watch it first thing in 2015. Still Amy Poehler's funniest role to date. Happy hour's from four to six! "Friends" (Complete series) Lisa Kudrow > Courteney Cox > Jennifer Aniston > Matthew Perry > Matt LeBlanc > David Schwimmer. That is the only thing I know about this life. "Election" There is plenty to cherish about this movie, specifically that Reese Witherspoon is exactly the right kind of terrifying as Tracy Flick, but let's just remember the days of Chris Klein as an august young movie star who represented the flip-haired bravado of the class of '99. "101 Dalmatians" Forgive me, but this »
- Louis Virtel
15 items from 2015
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