1-20 of 39 items from 2011 « Prev | Next »
Stay up late to watch Katy Perry on Saturday Night Live? Did you celebrate New Year’s Eve early with 41 of your closest onscreen celebrity friends? That is all so eight hours ago. PopWatch is already looking ahead to the coming week of must-see water-cooler events, starting with tonight’s season finale of Boardwalk Empire and culminating with Saturday’s much-anticipated SNL homecoming of the season.
Boardwalk Empire finale, 9 p.m., HBO
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men can’t put my psyche back together after last week’s episode, which only explained everything »
- Jeff Labrecque
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, impersonation is fast becoming our culture's favourite form of acting. At least since Nicole Kidman's nose won an Oscar for playing Virginia Woolf in The Hours, famous actors have been applauded for pretending to be other famous people: Helen Mirren as the Queen, Michael Sheen as David Frost, Sean Penn as Harvey Milk, Leonardo DiCaprio as Howard Hughes, Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn, the list of actors nominated for Oscars for impersonating famous people goes on and on. Now we have two more to add to the list, in star turns already accumulating predictions of Oscar nominations: Michelle Williams as Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, and Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady. »
- Sarah Churchwell
If, over the last 10 months, you’ve sometimes felt that sitting through 2011’s movies has been somewhat akin to sitting through TV’s summer reruns, that’s because you have been sitting through reruns. Well, reruns Hollywood style.
According to a Box Office Mojo story earlier this year, 2011 will end as a record year for sequels, prequels, and spin-offs. I don’t know if Mojo included remakes in that calculation, but whether they did or didn’t, remakes have certainly added to that oppressive déjà vu feeling which seems to roll into the multiplex every couple of weeks.
And we’re not even considering the familiar-feeling clones and knock-offs. “Oh, yippee, another superhero flick! Another The Hangover wannabe!” It’s like that Twilight Zone where Dennis Weaver is damned to relive the same bad dream over and over; the people take different parts in each cycle, but it’s still the same nightmare. »
- Bill Mesce
It's risky, imperfect, expensive – and the stuff of a thousand classics. As Tacita Dean's tribute to celluloid opens, some noted movie-makers give thanks for film
Steven Spielberg Director
My favourite and preferred step between imagination and image is a strip of photochemistry that can be held, twisted, folded, looked at with the naked eye, or projected on to a surface for others to see. It has a scent and it is imperfect. If you get too close to the moving image, it's like impressionist art. And if you stand back, it can be utterly photorealistic. You can watch the grain, which I like to think of as the visible, erratic molecules of a new creative language. After all, this "stuff" of dreams is mankind's most original medium, and dates back to 1895. Today, its years are numbered, but I will remain loyal to this analogue artform until the last lab closes. »
Among the few things I'm truly optimistic about, it's remakes. Odd, I know, and this isn't to say I find many remakes to be any good at all. But the potential for great film adaptations of other films is high, and so while I am in fact quite cynical about Hollywood's remake abilities and intentions, I can still be hopeful that this or that redo might be the next The Departed or Scarface or His Girl Friday or The Maltese Falcon. Or Let Me In, which had it's redundancies yet at the same time translated Let the Right One In to Americanese with perfect new context and subtext. Of course, it also failed to do much more theatrically than the original. So what's the point of continuing to immediately turnaround hot...
- Christopher Campbell
Comedy is very subjective, so this list may not represent your favorite comedic moments in cinema. Time Out London has compiled their list of the 100 Best Comedies Of All Time, and did it in a unique manner. 200 people that work in, with, or around comedy were surveyed to find out their top ten comedies. Then those lists were averaged to get the top 100.
The cool thing about the list is that the mag also included thet top ten of each person surveyed, including Edgar Wright, Dan Aykroyd and The Office creator, Steven Merchant. Below is the top 100 and a few other top ten lists. To check out all the lists visit Time Out London.
100. Sister Act (1992)
99. Carry on Screaming (1966)
98. Brazil (1985)
97. Swingers (1996)
96. BASEketball (1998)
95. The Pink Panther Strikes Again (1976)
94. Midnight Run (1988)
93. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
92. Nuts in May (1976)
91. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
90. Mean Girls (2004)
89. The Great Dictator (1940)
88. Arthur (1981)
87. A Fish Called Wanda »
From time to time, major organizations such as the AFI give us lists of the best movies of all time. There's some kind of grand countdown from 100 to 1 and then we debate for a few days over how low this one was ranked or why was another ranked too high. And most of the time, we rarely get a glimpse behind the process. Time Out London has just released their list of the 100 Best Comedies Of All Time but have done it in a fun and uniquely transparent way. They surveyed over 200 people who work in, with, or around comedy and asked them for their top tens. Then they averaged all those lists together to come up with the top 100. The best part, though, is that all the lists are public. So instead of just listing the 100 best comedies of all time, we can also find out which ten comedies »
- Germain Lussier
Christmas came early last week. That’s when I finally received my advance copy of Citizen Kane on Blu-ray in the mail. For months, I’ve had its September 13th release date circled in red ink on my calendar. What can I say? Some folks have to be the first person they know with Madden 2012. Some camp out in sleeping bags to be the first to see the latest Harry Potter movie. Me, I’m a mouth-breathing drooler when it comes to Orson Welles’ 1941 classic. And if that doesn’t sound nerdy enough, then there’s this: I couldn’t »
- Chris Nashawaty
It's not difficult to guess why BBC2's 50s newsroom thriller The Hour was commissioned in the first place. With a big Mad Men-shaped hole in the TV schedules, execs were clearly keen to give us a retro-chic drama to provide that same aesthetic pleasure.
But The Hour, which reaches its finale tonight, has given us far more than that. For all of the show's well-documented faults – we'll come to those in a minute – it has turned out to be a gripping thrill-ride of a show; escapist and stylish despite playing a bit fast and loose with historical accuracy at times. That the action and the characters have proved so enthralling is largely down to Abi Morgan's brilliantly involving scripts. She hasn't matched His Girl Friday or Aaron Sorkin at his verbose best, »
- Julia Raeside
Usually at this time of year, we'd be gearing up for the season premiere of "Mad Men." That's not happening this August, since the show's next season has been delayed until early 2012.
On Wednesday (Aug. 17), though, BBC America introduces a show that could tide over fans of smart storytelling and period-specific style in "The Hour." Set in London in 1956, the six-episode series chronicles the launch of a new kind of newscast at the staid BBC and intertwines those stories with a political thriller set against the backdrop of the Suez Canal crisis that gripped the U.K. at the time (here's a little background on the incident).
Despite the sober backdrop, "The Hour" also manages lighter moments -- creator Abi Morgan freely admits to a love for movies like "Broadcast News" and "His Girl Friday" and incorporated elements of them into the story. The series stars Romola Garai ("Atonement") as Bel Rowley, »
Jennifer Grant will be watching Sunday (Aug. 21) as her screen-legend father inhabits Turner Classic Movies for 24 hours straight.
Still widely considered one of the most singular of all film stars, Cary Grant will have his turn in the channel's annual, month-long "Summer Under the Stars" festival that showcases one actor's work each day. The lineup includes such Grant staples as "Bringing Up Baby," "Gunga Din," "The Philadelphia Story" and the Alfred Hitchcock-directed "North by Northwest."
Jennifer Grant's book "Good Stuff: A Reminiscence of My Father, Cary Grant" was published in May. Regarding Sunday's TCM picks, she tells Zap2it, "I love the movies they're showing. I'd seen all of Dad's films prior to writing the book, but the book really wasn't about his career. Many people could write better books about his history in the cinema, but the way I know him is as a father. And I »
Ralph Bellamy on TCM: Sunrise At Campobello, The Awful Truth Schedule (Et) and synopses from the TCM website: 6:00 Am Carefree (1938) A psychiatrist falls in love with the woman he's supposed to be nudging into marriage with someone else. Dir: Mark Sandrich. Cast: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Ralph Bellamy. Bw-83 mins. 7:30 Am The Secret Six (1931) A secret society funds the investigation of a bootlegging gang. Dir: George Hill. Cast: Wallace Beery, Lewis Stone, John Mack Brown. Bw-84 mins. 9:00 Am Headline Shooter (1933) A newsreel photographer neglects his love life to get the perfect shot. Dir: Otto Brower. Cast: William Gargan, Frances Dee, Ralph Bellamy. Bw-61 mins. 10:15 Am Picture Snatcher (1933) An ex-con brings his crooked ways to a job as a news photographer. Dir: Lloyd Bacon. Cast: James Cagney, Ralph Bellamy, Patricia Ellis. Bw-77 mins. 11:45 Am The Wedding Night (1935) A married author falls for the beautiful farm girl »
- Andre Soares
Ralph Bellamy, Greer Garson, Sunrise at Campobello Ralph Bellamy was what many would call a "dependable" player: always there (nearly 100 movies), always capable, (almost) always losing the girl. Why Bellamy never became a major movie star is beyond me — especially considering that guys like James Stewart, Fred MacMurray, Dick Powell, Don Ameche, Joseph Cotten, etc. were top leading men of that era. Perhaps Bellamy was just both too good-looking and too intelligent-looking to keep Ginger Rogers from Fred Astaire (Carefree), Irene Dunne and Rosalind Russell from Cary Grant (The Awful Truth and His Girl Friday, respectively), and Anna Sten from Gary Cooper (The Wedding Night). All four films — in addition to 11 other Ralph Bellamy movies — will be presented on Turner Classic Movies on Sunday, August 14, as part of TCM's "Summer Under the Stars" film series. [Ralph Bellamy Movie Schedule.] Unfortunately, there are no TCM premieres, but included are a few lesser-known titles, e.g. »
- Andre Soares
Reggie apparently has realized as Kim‘s August 20th wedding date draws closer that he’s about to lose the love of his life. He’s been texting her and has enlisted a friend to tell her that he needs to talk, according to a source for Life & Style magazine. “He was begging her to call off the wedding — and give him another chance.”
Now, anyone who has followed Kim Kardashian closely knows that Kim was totally, madly and deeply in love with Reggie Bush. She dated him from April 2007 until July 2009. Then spent all of season 4 of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, mooning over Reggie after their split. She was so depressed about the breakup at one »
- Bonnie Fuller
New York -- In the movies, there's often no such thing as irreconcilable differences.
Hollywood adheres to many clichés, but one of its more interesting habits is its insistence on reuniting divorced or separated parents. On the big screen, exes are magnetically pulled together, much to the glee of their children.
Going by the movies, one would think most divorces ended in reconciliation. Of course, remarrying an ex-spouse is a rarity. Statistics on it are hard to come by, but nearly half of first marriages in the United States end in divorce, and more than 60 percent of second marriages do.
Yet the movies keep coming, constantly urging the nuclear family back together. This summer (the following will include spoilers), both "Popper's Penguins" and the "Crazy Stupid Love" have featured separated parents again finding romance between themselves.
Such films, though, are seen by some as indulging in an unrealistic and unhealthy fantasy for children. »
The Hour writer Abi Morgan has dismissed the comparisons between the show and Us drama Mad Men. The Hour, which begins on BBC Two next week, follows a group of people establishing a new current affairs show in the 1950s. Morgan has now told The Daily Telegraph that it is a completely different series from Mad Men. "Yes, I've heard of the Mad Men comparisons, but I like to think The Hour has its own distinctive voice," she said. "Although it is set in 1956, I have tried to give it a contemporary edge, and its themes of love, passion, romance, fury, professional jealousy and personal failure are universal, I think." Morgan added: "I was particularly keen to give it quick-fire dialogue. For inspiration, I watched His Girl Friday and The Apartment again, films where the dialogue is so elegant (more) »
- By Catriona Wightman
The week ends. Come laugh along with what you missed!
Elsewhere on the site, we rounded up the latest and greatest in the ongoing coverage of our monumental new DVD.
We brought along The Undying Monster in another edition of Stills We Love.
In other recurring features, Randy Fuller continued recommending wine, this time with a Notorious side.
We told you of the Tfh-fueled storm that’s coming to Cinefamily and brought word of the Don’t Knock The Rock festival’s return.
Joe got very informational when he started to tackle the misinformation that’s out there regarding the transfer of The Little Shop of Horrors »
"Hawks was a visionary filmmaker who lasted from the silents to 1970. When I was in film school, the big director everyone talked about was John Ford. But I always thought Ford, who was Irish, was more of an immigrant director. Many of his themes were very European, as were his views of women, the family, and motherhood.
"But Hawks was a modern director. His women were strong and modern and put up with no bulls**t. I really responded to that because it felt real and American."
- Elizabeth Snead
To accuse Michael Bay of going over the top is like yelling at Mount Etna just because it erupts. It's in his very nature and genetic makeup; it's what he does – over the top is where he lives, up where the air is thin and icy and finally makes you giddy, addled and crazy enough to make movies like Transformers: Dark Of The Moon.
Forget the critical rout and ponder its contradictions and many overlapping instances of deep weirdness: a popcorn kiddie-flick that's longer, at 155 minutes, than some Béla Tarr or Pedro Costa movies; a threequel based not on a book or a comic or a Broadway hit or even a videogame, but on a Saturday morning cartoon designed to pimp a line of toys.
Considering its prepubescent target audience, »
- John Patterson
One of the greatest newspaper pictures ever (can there be many more in our future?), Howard Hawks’ gender-bending remake of The Front Page stands as a comedy classic. Its improvisational-sounding overlapping dialog still impresses as modernistic. Such stars as Ginger Rogers, Jean Arthur, Irene Dunne, Carole Lombard and Claudette Colbert turned down Rosalind Russell’s revamped Hildy Parks role. Cary Grant’s surprised reaction to one of Russell’s unexpected ad-libs was directed directly to Hawks: “Is she going to do that?”. And it’s in the movie. Unfotunately all we could find was a textless trailer on this one.
Click here to watch the trailer.
This movie is a favorite. Gleefully speedy, you can’t really get past mentioning the rapid-fire wit of all involved. Which makes it really bizarre that I found this on YouTube, an »
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