5 items from 2015
Over the course of film history, we've seen plenty of long-time actors step behind the camera to take up their directorial ambitions. Clint Eastwood did it. Mel Gibson did it. George Clooney did it. What do these three have in commonc Well, for starters, they are all men, so there's that. Further, they are all white, but more on that later. More to the point of the article, these men all eased into their directorial careers by starring in their respective debuts, using their presence on screen to help market their talents off it. And with his feature directorial effort The Water Diviner, which hits limited theaters this week, Russell Crowe is just the most recent addition to a growing list of actors who have decided to try their hand behind the camera. Like Eastwood, Gibson, and Clooney before him, the Best Actor winner stars in his first feature as director, »
- Jordan Benesh
The first time I saw Nicolas Roeg's Don't Look Now was October 2008, as I was watching a slew of films in an effort to put together a list of my top ten scariest films. In the end, I came up with six, Don't Look Now wasn't one of them. I mention this because I initially watched this movie under the impression it was tremendously frightening. I had never seen it before, but everything I read about it spoke to how terrifying it was. I didn't find it frightening in the least, not then and not now. However, revisiting it with this new Criterion Blu-ray release gave me a chance to watch it with different eyes and I found myself appreciating it a bit more. Granted, I still can't bring myself to say I'm an overall fan of the picture, but watching it without the expectation it will be something it isn't, »
- Brad Brevet
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
Conventional wisdom may have it that sheep are dumbest of all livestock, but the woolly ones’ wits get a collective sharpening in “Shaun the Sheep Movie,” a sweet-natured but cleverly off-kilter feature-length debut for Aardman Animations’ plucky farmyard hero. Retaining the gentle, non-verbal comedy and daffy sight gags of the popular stop-motion TV series — itself a loose spinoff from Aardman’s cherished “Wallace and Gromit” franchise — while assigning Shaun and his flock an urban escapade more expansive than their usual short-form gambols, the film should reward small fry and parents jaded by more synthetic kiddie toons. Hot off the runaway success of “Paddington” in Blighty, Studiocanal won’t quite match those numbers with its latest family treat, but should emerge with a healthy three bags full.
Originally introduced 20 years ago in the Oscar-winning “Wallace and Gromit” outing “A Close Shave,” diminutive sheep Shaun has since headlined more than 100 miniature adventures »
- Guy Lodge
From the pool party dive in Boogie Nights inspired by Mikhail Kalatozov’s I Am Cuba to the steering wheel scene in Hard Eight that so deftly recalls Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur, playing spot the reference with Paul Thomas Anderson is always fun. It is through these moments that we can fully appreciate the voracious depth at which one man is embroiled in his art; forever the immersed student despite his steady rise to master, yet with a constant, gleeful wish to share with us an unconditional love for the cinema – something that we can all identify with.
Of all Paul Thomas Anderson’s creations, one continues to standout as a jarring anomaly: that being Punch-Drunk Love, which does away with many of the recurring narrative themes (fathers and sons, abandonment, etc.) that can be traced throughout his work, and instead challenges the conventions of the romance genre – though, with »
- Nicholas Page
5 items from 2015
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