18 items from 2014
In terms of wide releases, it's a fairly quiet week due to Marvel taking over more than 4,000 screens nationwide. Universal is countering with its James Brown biopic, but there's no other real compeition in the market for mainstream crowds. Specialty audiences are still discovering Richard Linklater's Boyhood (Don's review), which expands to AMC Barton Creek and Alamo Drafthouse Lakeline this weekend, while continuing with plenty of showtimes at Alamo Slaughter Lane, Regal Arbor and Violet Crown Cinema.
Speaking of Mr. Linklater, he'll be at the Marchesa tonight to introduce Vincente Minnelli's The Band Wagon. It's a free screening for folks who contributed to last year's Austin Film Society campaign to make improvements at Marchesa Hall and Lars Nilsen reports that the 35mm print is "pretty much perfect." Capacity permitting, $10 general admission tickets will be available. Barbara Stanwyck wil be taking over the Essential Cinema series for August (Elizabeth's »
- Matt Shiverdecker
Grace Kelly is an actress that I haven’t spent nearly enough time with. Thankfully, that will soon change thanks to Warner Bros. Home Entertainment. Here is a portion of the news release …
On July 29, Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (Wbhe) will remember one of Hollywood’s most glamorous film stars with the debut of the Grace Kelly Collection. The Collection includes six of the iconic screen legend’s most popular films. She stars with some of Hollywood’s finest leading men, including Clark Gable, Cary Grant, William Holden, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.
About the Films
Kelly received her first Academy Award nomination (Best Actress in a Supporting Role) in this remake of 1932’s Red Dust, in which Gable originally starred with Jean Harlow. He stars here with Kelly and the sizzling Ava Gardner, who was also nominated for her performance. Directed by John Ford, and shot on location in Africa, »
- Jeff Bayer
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
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
1. The term "gaslight." The Ingrid Bergman thriller "Gaslight" -- released 70 years ago this week, on May 4, 1944, wasn't the original use of the title. There was Patrick Hamilton's 1938 play "Gas Light," retitled "Angel Street" when it came to Broadway a couple years later. And there was a British film version in 1939, starring Anton Walbrook (later the cruel impresario in "The Red Shoes") and Diana Wynyard.
Still, the glossy 1944 MGM version remains the best-known telling of the tale, with the title an apparent reference to the flickering Victorian lamps that are part of Gregory's (Charles Boyer) scheme to make wife Paula (Bergman) think she's seeing things that aren't there, thus deliberately undermining her sanity in order to have her institutionalized so that he'll be free to ransack the ancestral home to find the missing family jewels.
This version of Hamilton's tale was so popular that it made the word "gaslight"into a verb, »
- Gary Susman
Episode 16 of 52 as Anne Marie screens all of Katharine Hepburn's films in chronological order.
In which Katharine Hepburn wins it all back and then some.
For Classic Hollywood stars whose images so often transcended or eclipsed the films they appeared in, there often emerges one film that becomes image-defining. This film has the power to stretch forward and back in time, coloring biographical details and even other performances by that actor. It’s the film that will show up in retrospectives and Turner Classic Movies montages, be quoted by fans and impersonators. For Bette Davis, it’s All About Eve. For Gloria Swanson, it’s Sunset Boulevard. For Katharine Hepburn, it’s The Philadelphia Story.
What sets Kate and The Philadelphia Story apart is how deliberately this star-defining was done. Davis was a last-minute replacement for Claudette Colbert, and Swanson was on a list of Pre-Code potentials that included Mae West. »
- Anne Marie
Undoubtedly one of the biggest -- and unique -- actors of his generation, Nicolas Cage got his start in 1982's "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" in a part so small if you blink you'd miss it. Then, after changing his name from Coppola to Cage, the actor's career took off and he's been a leading man ever since.
This week, Cage stars in David Gordon Green's "Joe," as a hot-tempered, but protective ex-con in a role that has critics raving about the actor's restrained performance. Whether or not you're a fan of the intense star, there's no denying he's a cinematic force to be reckoned with.
1. Born Nicolas Coppola, the actor chose Cage as his stage name to honor comic book superhero Luke Cage.
2. Inspired by Superman's birth name, »
- Moviefone Staff
Get ready for SNL: The Musical.
The host: Anna Kendrick, who snagged an Oscar nomination for Up in the Air but is probably known best for crooning without accompaniment — unless you count a little cup percussion — in Pitch Perfect. Sondheim-lovers of a certain age may also remember the actress’ film debut as Fritzi, the most conniving girl at theater camp – and real Kendraholics know that even before that, at the age of 12, Kendrick was nominated for a Tony for her work in Broadway’s High Society (a musical adaptation of The Philadelphia Story).
Long story short: The lady »
- Hillary Busis
Screenwriter Lorenzo Semple,. Jr. died Friday of natural causes at his Los Angeles home. He had just turned 91 the day before. Born Lorenzo Semple III in Westchester, New York, the writer's uncle was playwright Philip Barry ("The Philadelphia Story"). Semple studied at Yale before driving an ambulance in the Mideast during World War II, earning the Croix de Guerre, followed by a stint in the Army, emerging with a Bronze Star. He started out his career writing short stories for the Saturday Evening Post and Time, and after finishing his degree in drama at Columbia, he wrote several plays, several of which were mounted and acquired by Hollywood. He was mentored by TV producer Aaron Spelling ("Burke's Law"). And he created the original campy "Batman" TV series starring Adam West, which spawned a 1966 movie which he also wrote. Semple moved to Hollywood during "Batman," where he wrote screenplays (along with »
- Anne Thompson
Amir here, with the weekend's box office report. As expected by every single person not living under a rock, Divergent took the top spot, affirming the unfortunate bankability of Ya adaptations. Critically and commercially, it fell somewhere much closer to Twilight than The Hunger Games, but the target demographic seems content and that's all that matters to the studio. I'm sure a sequel is already underway, though my level of interest in finding out whether the source novel actually has sequels or not also falls somewhere much closer to my interest in Twilight than The Hunger Games, no. Sorry. I’ll pass on all of them.
01 Divergent $56 *new*
02 Muppets Most Wanted $16.5 *new*
03 Mr Peabody & Sherman $11.7 (cum. $81) this franchise's history
04 300: Rise Of An Empire $8.6 (cum. $93.7)
05 God's Not Dead $8.5 *new*
06 Need For Speed $7.7 (cum. $34)
07 Grand Budapest Hotel $6.7 (cum. $12.9)
08 Non-stop $6.3 (cum. $78.6) Amir's Review
09 The Lego Movie $4.1 (cum. $243.3) Nathaniel's Review
10 Tyler Perry »
- Amir S.
Why does cinema favor the mad woman? It's easy to see why Oscar does: roles like Jasmine French give an actress space to not only chew but swallow and spit up scene after scene. Cate Blanchett will almost certainly win Best Actress this year for her frittered, diabolical performance in "Blue Jasmine" as cinema's archetypical woman-on-the-verge: that pill-popping, martini-swilling mad Medea who men fear and women sometimes dream of (being? playing? escaping into?).Thus, here are eight classic Oscar snubs in the Best Actress category. Bow down to Gena Rowlands in "A Woman Under the Influence." Watch clips after the jump. Also, check out our Toh! feature on eight scene-stealing female performances from 2013.1940 Who Won: Ginger Rogers ("Kitty Foyle") Who Should've Won: Joan Fontaine ("Rebecca") Who Was Nominated: Bette Davis ("The Letter"), Katharine Hepburn ("The Philadelphia Story"), Martha Scott ("Our Town") Hitchock's delirious and deliciously twisted English gothic »
- Ryan Lattanzio
This year’s Best Actor race is shaping up to be one of the greatest of all time. And by greatest, I mean both the most competitive and also the most outstanding, in the sense that each nominee is excellent — hypothetical winners in almost any other year. They also reflect the depth of superb male performances in 2013. Consider: Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips), Robert Redford (All Is Lost), Joaquin Phoneix (Her), Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis), and Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station) all missed the cut.
EW’s Owen Gleiberman recently analyzed this year’s Best Actor race, calling it the most “fiercely, »
- Jeff Labrecque
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
Feature Mark Harrison 3 Feb 2014 - 06:26
As much as the 2015 of Back To The Future Part II has been lampooned in internet memes, truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. Is it entirely unreasonable to expect that 30 years from right now, we'll have flying cars, hoverboards and 19 Jaws movies? Maybe, maybe not.
Given their track record for accuracy, it's doubtful that Robert Zemeckis and co could ever have foreseen themselves doing a stage musical version of Back To The Future around the time of the film's 30th anniversary, but sure enough, they announced one last week. It's coming to the West End next year, as we reported here.
The Power Of Love, Earth Angel and Johnny B. Goode are all essential musical moments from the original film, »
‘Grace of Monaco’ U.S. March release canceled as biopic starring Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly to open 2014 Cannes Film Festival (photo: Nicole Kidman as Grace Kelly in ‘Grace of Monaco’) Directed by Olivier Dahan, and starring Nicole Kidman as Oscar-winning Hollywood actress-turned-European princess Grace Kelly, Grace of Monaco was to have been a (possibly) strong Oscar 2014 contender — at least in the Best Actress category. After all, Dahan had guided 2007 Best Actress Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard as Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose; Nicole Kidman is a respected actress with one Academy Award win (for Stephen Daldry’s The Hours) and two nominations (Moulin Rouge!, Rabbit Hole); and, last but certainly not least, Grace of Monaco was to have been released in North America by the Oscar-savvy The Weinstein Company. However, Harvey Weinstein was reportedly unhappy with Olivier Dahan’s final cut, and demanded that Grace of Monaco be reedited. »
- Anna Robinson
Philadelphia Story (1940) earned Jimmy Stewart his only Best Actor Oscar as Macauley Connor – a tabloid reporter for ‘Spy’ Magazine, and also won the Best Screenplay Oscar. Directed by George Cukor (Oscar nominated), Philadelphia Story is set among the privileged upper class society in Philadelphia. Hepburn’s character, a self-willed young aristocratic heiress (nicknamed ‘Red’ by her ex-husband), is on the verge of a second marriage. The Philadelphia socialite has divorced her dashing, colorful, pompous, playboyish husband (Cary Grant) and become involved with a solitary, self-made and dull business tycoon/millionaire (John Howard). The plot thickens and becomes complicated when her irresponsible ex-husband appears on the eve of the wedding, with intentions to keep her shielded from an overly-ambitious, cynical tabloid newshound (James Stewart) – a second male principal who is also vying for Hepburn’s love on the day (and night) leading up to the ceremony.
Philadelphia Story is one of those intelligent, »
- Tom Stockman
The Oscar nominations are in, and if you haven’t glanced at the Best Actress category, you’re in for a star-studded explosion. Collectively, the five chosen actresses have been nominated 38 times for Academy Awards, so any member of this esteemed quintet could run off with the gold.
But every great actor is an entitled to a mediocre performance or two. Here are my least favorite performances by the five nominated actresses of 2014.
Amy Adams: Julie and Julia
I actually appreciate that Julia and Julia was half-about the tribulations of a blogger trying to establish herself. Scaring up pageviews in order to sustain a living is an unusual situation, and I haven’t seen that explored in many movies. But Amy Adams is a pile of quirks and unfunny dialogue in this movie, and I’ve never seen her so flatly perky. You miss Meryl when she’s not »
- Louis Virtel
In which two ingénues are introduced...
A girlish debutante in a white gown floats down the stairs and into her waiting beau's arms. Gracefully, they glide around the dance floor sharing quips and quiet smiles. Thus is the world introduced to Katharine Hepburn in A Bill of Divorcement in 1932. It's a pretty enough entrance, but somehow inauspicious for Kate the Great. It is just so entirely Movie Ingénue Ordinary. The girl floating down the stairs could just as easily be Jeanette McDonald or Joan Bennett. Considering who Katharine Hepburn was and who she became, one would expect her to come striding into the room like a Greek goddess. Katharine Hepburn would make many more striking and characteristic entrances later, so for now we'll settle for this beautiful-if-ephemeral debut of the ingénue, and proceed with my own introduction.
- Anne Marie
18 items from 2014
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