17 items from 2014
I also rode the Tokyo Tribe rollercoaster, and my head hasn’t stopped spinning yet. Slamming together the most rabid excesses of the worlds of manga comics and hip-hop music, it’s a continuous blitzkrieg: Sono’s ne plus ultra of sheer brio, and, along with Godard’s Adieu au language, the festival’s most assaultive sensory experience so far. Its pinwheel neon hues, inflamed camera movements and acrobatic gangland mugging are straight-up dilations of Seijun Suzuki’s vintage gonzo pulp—indeed, the first time I ever heard Japanese rapping on screen was during a brief interlude in Suzuki’s mock-opera Princess Raccoon. I doubt even that veteran iconoclast, however, could have dreamed up the bit in Tokyo Tribe when the vile underworld kingpin (Riki Takeuchi), swollen like an obscene parade float, pulverizes a field of warring gangs with a Gatling gun held, of course, crotch-level. Such moments of absolute glee abound, »
- Fernando F. Croce
Throughout the summer, an admin on the r/movies subreddit has been leading Reddit users in a poll of the best movies from every year for the last 100 years called 100 Years of Yearly Cinema. The poll concluded three days ago, and the list of every movie from 1914 to 2013 has been published today.
Users were asked to nominate films from a given year and up-vote their favorite nominees. The full list includes the outright winner along with the first two runners-up from each year. The list is mostly a predictable assortment of IMDb favorites and certified classics, but a few surprise gems have also risen to the top of the crust, including the early experimental documentary Man With a Movie Camera in 1929, Abel Gance’s J’Accuse! in 1919, the Fred Astaire film Top Hat over Alfred Hitchcock’s The 39 Steps in 1935, and Stanley Kubrick’s The Killing over John Ford’s »
- Brian Welk
Some Like It Hot, 1959.
Directed by Billy Wilder.
After witnessing a murder, two musicians flee Chicago to join an all-female band on their way to Florida…
Some Like It Hot is not known for its mob ties. Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis, carrying their awkwardly-shaped bass-case and sax-box, dressed in drag, is the memorable image. It would be easy to watch the opening first ten minutes and not even realise what the film is as we see gangsters with tommy-guns, shoot through a hearse revealing the liquor inside. Remember the funeral parlour that doubles as a speakeasy with the appropriate knock? Or the dancing girls and jazz music that echoes out onto the street while drinkers order their “coffee”? Oh, and then the camera subtly moves to introduce Gerald (Lemmon) and Joe (Curtis). They look bored playing their up-beat music. »
- Simon Columb
It isn’t always easy for a film critic to admit he’s wrong or say he’s sorry. Our job is to defend our statements, even if it comes to revising them later.
It’s even harder for a modern film critic, today’s most dwindling yet thriving non-occupation, to leave a lasting influence on popular culture, the web and language itself.
Yet The Dissolve critic Nathan Rabin did manage to make an impact with a coined turn of phrase that has since hit ubiquity, and he’s now taken to the pages of Salon to apologize.
Back when he was an A.V. Club staffer, Rabin used the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” in a 2007 essay to slam Kirsten Dunst’s character in the Cameron Crowe movie Elizabethtown. The rest is history, with The A.V. Club themselves doing an Inventory feature looking at Manic Pixie Dream Girls through the ages, »
- Brian Welk
The Supporting Actress Smackdown of '73 arrives on July 31st, just over two weeks from now. You need to get your votes in too if you want to participate (instructions at the bottom of this post). If you've wandered in from elsewhere and are like, "What's a Smackdown?," here's how it started.
The Smackdown Panel for July
Without further ado let's meet our panel who will be discussing popular classics Paper Moon, The Exorcist, and American Graffiti as well as the more obscure title Summer Wishes Winter Dreams. All of the Supporting Actress nominees this Oscar vintage were first timers and so are our Smackdown panelists.
Dana Delany is an actress working on stage, screen, television and now internet. She was last seen starring in "Body of Proof" on ABC. In August you can rate and review the pilot "Hand of God" in which she co-stars with Ron Perlman on Amazon. »
- NATHANIEL R
The short answer: because Hollywood declared it so. Of course, that was before 1939 came along and actually became the unofficial greatest year of movies of all time, including the releases of Gone With the Wind, Stagecoach, The Wizard of Oz, Dark Victory, Wuthering Heights, Of Mice and Men, Ninotchka, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Love Affair and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. And those were just the Best Picture nominees, excluding The Rules of the Game, The Women and Gunga Din and many more. Well, 1938 did have Bringing Up Baby, Holiday, Jezebel and Best Picture winner You Can’t Take It With You, which I honestly adore. Yeah, there’s something of an imbalance there. The claim that 1938 was the greatest came before the year was through as part of a marketing campaign to get Americans back to the movies. It was still the Great Depression, and by some theories that should’ve meant people sought out more escapist »
- Christopher Campbell
Episode 25 of 52: In which Kate confronts Angela Lansbury onscreen and the Blacklist offscreen and manages to beat both.
Early on, I stated that sometimes Kate’s career seems charmed. I’d venture 1948 is one of those charmed years. As we saw last week, Song of Love failed--Kate’s first failure at MGM. Yet some strange circumstances and good luck landed Kate in State of the Union, based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning play. I say “good luck” because in the fall of 1947, the storm that would become the Hollywood Blacklist was brewing, and Kate nearly got caught in the center of it.
Though not as cloyingly obvious as Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - no light from the Lincoln Memorial in this film - State of the Union nevertheless delivers the classic Capra Corn package: nostalgia, patriotism, and a happy ending snatched from the jaws of tragedy at the last second. »
- Anne Marie
I can't remember the first time I saw Howard Hawks' Red River, but I feel like it was on Turner Classic Movies about five years ago or more. What I do remember, however, was it didn't exactly look very good, it was murky, muddy and just overall and unimpressive visual representation of this film classic. The narrative, obviously, wasn't affected. Now, Criterion has given it an HD upgrade, cleaned it up and delivered not just one version, but a pre-release version for the curious. As you'll learn in the wealth of bonus features, there was a pre-release version of the film and a theatrical version. The theatrical version of Red River runs shorter than the pre-release version, which was only intended for testing purposes. Hawks preferred the theatrical cut, though Peter Bogdanovich tells us in a new interview Hawks actually preferred the ending on the pre-release version, which was »
- Brad Brevet
Episode 21 of 52 of Anne Marie's chronological look at Katharine Hepburn's career.
When a star’s career is as long-lasting and iconic as Katharine Hepburn’s was, there are going to be dramatic highs and lows in terms of quality. Mapped out on a timeline, it would resemble a mountain range. The glittering Mount Holiday would stand tall on the horizon, dwarfed on either side by Bringing Up Baby Peak and The Philadelphia Story Summit. Behind it would be the dark valleys and caves of Rko. However, the most treacherous topographical feature on our Atlas Hepburnica would be the Seven Year Desert, stretching seemingly endlessly from Woman of the Year Peak to Adam’s Rib Ridge. The Seven Year Desert is a vast sea of grass that barrages a traveler with its unending, monotonous mediocrity. Woe to the weary wanderer who gives up, rather than trudge through another undistinguished Hepburn vehicle. »
- Anne Marie
Yvonne Strahovski appears in two shows Monday night. Isn't that wonderful? It is if you happen to be a Strahovski enthusiast, as I am. It may even be more wonderful if you don't know her yet, and take the opportunity to watch Fox's 24: Live Another Day, premiering at 8 p.m. Et/Pt, and the second of two back-to-back episodes of FX's Louie, which begins a new season at 10 p.m. Et/Pt. I first became intrigued by this Australian actress during season 7 of Showtime's Dexter, starring Michael C. Hall. She played serial killer Dexter Morgan's soul mate, Hannah McKay. »
- PEOPLE TV Critic Tom Gliatto
Episode 17 of 52 of Anne Marie's chronological look at Katharine Hepburn's career.
In which Tracy and Hepburn explode on screen in a dynamic maelstrom of celluloid chemistry.
What sparks great star chemistry? Katharine Hepburn, an actress who was all angles and independence, bottled that lightning not once, but twice, with two men who were polar opposites: Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy. Near the end of Bringing Up Baby, Grant’s character tells Katharine Hepburn “...in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but, well, there haven't been any quiet moments.” This stuttering sentence sums up the banter-based rapport between Hepburn and Grant that played through their four films together. Watching Grant and Hepburn is watching two master comedians play a scene - glamorous, theatrical, loud, and wonderful. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy are the complete opposite: authentic, intimate, sexy, and sweet.
Woman of the Year, the first Tracy/Hepburn film, »
- Anne Marie
Hello my beautiful cinephiles. Nathaniel, back from my rejuvenating weekend. It's possible that you haven't missed me since the team has been doing a great job but I missed you.
For my annual post-Oscar getaway I took my first cruise. On the left you'll see me finishing up some cherry & umbrella accented cocktail. That said I wasn't very boozy at all because cruises are cheap but they find other ways to charge you (aka alcohol). I brought no internet screens because cruises are cheap but they find other ways to charge you (aka wi-fi at 75¢ a minute!). The break was good for my eyes and soul so I'm excited to talk movies again (where do we even start?). The break was not, however, good for my skin; I am an unholy mess of three colors (blinding white, near-bronze, and cherry red) because I am not accustomed to sunlight. Sunscreen is, »
- NATHANIEL R
Episode 14 of 52 from Anne Marie's series screening Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.
In which there is a leopard on your roof and it’s my leopard and I have to get it down and to get it down I have to sing!
Bringing Up Baby is a movie I’m honestly a little afraid to discuss. This golden Howard Hawks comedy about a befuddled professor (Cary Grant), a ditzy socialite (Kate) and a leopard (Baby), rightly occupies many “best of” lists. But while we all know the legend behind the film--troubled production, loses money, critically panned, “box office poison,” etc--the reality is a little less dramatic. Well, except the critically panned part:
“In Bringing Up Baby Miss Hepburn has a role which calls for her to be breathless, senseless, and terribly, terribly fatiguing. She succeeds, and we can be callous enough to hint it is not entirely a matter of performance. »
- Anne Marie
Review by Sam Moffitt
I never was a fan of Shirley Temple, far from it. I do recall seeing most of her movies years ago. Back in the Sixties Channel 11, in St. Louis, used to have a Shirley Temple Theater on weekend afternoons. My sister Judy, for some reason, had to watch those Shirley Temple films. So I can recall seeing Bright Eyes, the Little Colonel, Heidi, Little Miss Marker and what have you.
To say I was not impressed would be a major understatement. Even as a young kid I realized there was a strict formula to Shirley’s movies, namely her sunny disposition and optimistic outlook would win over cranky old adults and straighten out bratty little kids, who were usually the villains, in her films, and that was about all.
I do recognize and respect Shirley Temple’s place in film history. She was the biggest star »
- Movie Geeks
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
So Evangeline Lilly might be playing a key role in Ant-Man: Good news all around! Lilly is still best known for her work on Lost, where she managed to make Kate into an appealing heroine despite the fact that the show never figured how to give her good flashbacks. (Or flashforwards.) (Or flash-sideways.) (Spoiler alert?) But she was a lot of fun playing Human Female in Real Steel, and by all accounts was good as Elf Female in 2 Hobbit 2 Smaug. She throws a mean right hook. She was in a movie that won Best Picture. It makes sense that »
- Darren Franich
Chicago – The actor Andy Garcia has been known throughout the years as a tough-guy leading man, with memorable roles in “The Godfather: Part III” and the “Ocean’s Eleven” series. He latest role is a gentle and comic turn, as a father doing a college tour with his son, and discovering more than expected in “At Middleton.”
Andy Garcia has experienced a brilliant American Dream story. He was born in Cuba, came to America as a child, where his father developed a successful perfume company. He was an athlete in high school, and turned to acting in his senior year. After graduating college, he moved to Los Angeles and began to move up the ladder. After doing “The Godfather: Part III,” Garcia continued with leading man roles in “Internal Affairs,” “Hero” and “When a Man Loves a Woman.” He is taking on more character parts at this point in his career, »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
17 items from 2014
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