18 items from 2017
“Here is the screen’s most shocking exposé, of the ‘Baby-Facers’ just taking their first stumbling steps down Sin Street U.S.A.!” Robert Altman’s first feature film is far too good to be described as any but an expert step toward an impressive career. But he had to deal with a young actor who drove him up the wall, Tom Laughlin.
1957 / B&W / 1:66 widescreen / 72 min. / Street Date March 21, 2017 / available through the Olive Films website / 29.98
Starring: Tom Laughlin, Peter Miller, Richard Bakalyan, Rosemary Howard, Helen Hawley, Leonard Belove, Lotus Corelli, James Lantz, Christine Altman, George Mason Kuhn, Pat Stedman, Norman Zands, James Leria, Julia Lee, Lou Lombardo.
Cinematography: Charles Paddock
Film Editor: Helene Turner
Second Unit Director: Reza Badiyi
Produced, Written and Directed by Robert Altman
The hoods of tomorrow! The gun molls of the future!
Ah, the glorious Juvenile Delinquency film, or J.D. Epic, »
- Glenn Erickson
A extensive look at all those movies James Franco directed.
James Franco has done a lot of things, we’ve heard. Following a successful turn on Judd Apatow’s Freaks and Geeks and a well-received starring spot on a TNT biopic on James Dean, he turned immediately to a litany of pursuits: from playwriting and English degrees to painting and directing no less than ten feature-lengths. The latter project interested me. Were they any good? In Franco’s Rolling Stone profile last year, Jonah Weiner ran around a thesaurus of words like “dizzying,” “indefatigable“ and, wait for it, “multihyphenate” to describe his subject but none of those words mean very much. Paul Klee painted over a thousand paintings in the penultimate last year of his life. So could I. So what?
- Andrew Karpan
Robert Altman was making a living as an industrial filmmaker in Kansas City, Missouri when an opportunity arose that would change his life — and the history of American movies — forever. It was the mid-1950s and juvenile delinquent movies like The Blackboard Jungle and Rebel Without a Cause were burning up the box office, so the son of a movie theater chain owner approached Altman with idea of producing his own teen film. Altman banged out a script in three or four days, and on a budget of $60,000 shot his first feature, The Delinquents, in two weeks with […] »
- Jim Hemphill
Silly nostalgists, ‘Power Rangers’ is for kids.
There is a fine line between what is simply not for me and something that is actually objectively awful. For the most part, Power Rangers falls on the former side. I turned 40 this week, so the idea of being too old for anything is admittedly a frustrating personal issue right now. When Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was all the rage, I was a teenager working at a Toys “R” Us dealing with parents trying desperately to find all the action figures before Christmas. It was the latest craze. The Cabbage Patch Kids of the ’90s.
Now the kids who wanted Power Rangers toys when their popularity was big news are adults and filled with nostalgia. That is why Power Rangers has been made and presumably why it’s not a movie for kids. There’s also a strong fanbase who seem not to just be looking back to their childhood »
- Christopher Campbell
“La La Land,” as expected, dominated the Oscar crafts, with Damien Chazelle’s musical valentine taking four awards for cinematography, production design, score, and original song. Still, it was predicted to win at least three more.
And it was a great night for Disney and its trio of winners: the zeitgeist-grabbing “Zootopia” (animated feature), Disney Animation’s third Oscar in four years, which trumpeted tolerance ahead of the Presidential election; Alan Barillaro’s fine-feathered “Piper” (animated short), Pixar’s R&D sculpting project that ended its 15-year shorts drought; and Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” (VFX), which innovated photographic-based realism. The award was shared by production VFX supervisor Rob Legato, Mpc’s VFX supervisor Adam Valdez, Weta Digital’s VFX supervisor Dan Lemmon, and Andrew R. Jones, the animation supervisor.
In winning his third Oscar, Legato expanded a live-action ethos for believably integrating virtual characters and environments (created by »
- Bill Desowitz
Anyone who isn’t poised to win the Oscar for Best Director is certainly entitled to hate Damien Chazelle, and there’s not an openly fascistic executive order in the world that can stop them. But, as of late, the infuriatingly accomplished “La La Land” mastermind has been making it very difficult to do so. As if it weren’t frustrating enough that his sensational, stimulating new film is a quantum leap forward from the comparatively airless “Whiplash,” Chazelle further endeared himself to many by giving the rare awards show acceptance speech that actually engendered a deeper appreciation for the honoree’s work.
Accepting the Best Picture prize from the New York Film Critics Circle, the mustached wunderkind pandered to the audience with the same crowd-pleasing cinephilia that’s been squeezed into every frame of his box office phenomenon. Instantly grabbing the room’s attention, his remarks began by name-checking legendary American filmmaker Frank Borzage, »
- David Ehrlich
From its opening, traffic-stopping number to its romantic ending, La La Land is a love letter to the city of Los Angeles — as well as to the classic movie musicals of the ’40s and ’50s.
In his six-year quest to get the film — which earned a record-tying 14 Academy Award nominations — made, director Damien Chazelle called upon those original MGM song and dance numbers for inspiration.
- Julia Emmanuele
Need to catch up? Check out our previous Riverdale recap here.
This week on Riverdale, the gang enjoys an old-school night at the drive-in… while an important piece of the Jason Blossom puzzle packs up and leaves town.
Betty is still stewing over the revelation last week that Dilton spotted Miss Grundy’s car at the river on the Fourth of July. She remembers that Archie was “taking” “lessons” (ahem) from Grundy at the time, and starts to suspect them of having an affair. She confronts Archie about it in the Pop’s parking lot, and he blurts out, “Did Jughead tell you? »
La La Land’s singing and dancing stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone may be center stage in the Oscar-nominated film, but movie history buffs (and Angelenos) likely noticed another small but significant cameo right at the end when, ahem, the big thing happens. (No spoilers here.)
The Chateau Marmont, Hollywood’s most infamous hotel, makes an appearance, as the final real-life Los Angeles location featured in the film, which has been called a love letter to the city. But it’s not simply a quaint bit of nostalgia like the Rialto Theatre or Angel’s Flight.
Related: The L. »
- Mackenzie Schmidt
Sal Mineo & Natalie Wood at the Oscars for Rebel Without A Cause (1955) one of only two years wherein two minors were nominated. The other is 1973As Sunny Pawar (Lion) can attest this Oscar season, being a cute kid with a preternatural gift in front of the cameras can only get you so far. A little further if you're a girl but still, the point is: it's not easy to be Oscar nominated when you're a minor. Think of the famous or iconic minor performances that Didn't snag nominations: Natalie Wood in Miracle on 34th Street, Elizabeth Taylor in National Velvet, Hayley Mills in The Parent Trap, Judy Garland in The Wizard of Oz, Evan Rachel Wood in thirteen, Jacob Tremblay in Room and so on.
On this 18th day before the Oscars let's quickly survey all the actors who managed a nomination before their 18th birthday!
There are 21 of them »
- NATHANIEL R
While “La La Land” remains the obvious favorite in the cinematography race — thanks to Linus Sandgren’s sumptuous imagery — there are four other great movies in contention (“Arrival,” “Lion,” “Moonlight,” and “Silence”). So it’s entirely possible that one of the Best-Picture Oscar contenders (“Arrival,” “Lion,” or “Moonlight”) could pull off an upset.
We’ll get a better gauge for how this plays out at the Asc Awards on Saturday. In the last 20 years, the Asc winner has earned the Oscar 11 times — and this year the same five are in contention for the fifth time in the last three decades.
If Damien Chazelle’s rapturous love letter to the Hollywood musical is primed for Best Picture glory, then logic dictates that Sandgren’s acclaimed work should be honored as well. New to the musical, »
- Bill Desowitz
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Jack Hill's Spider Baby (1967) will be showing January 24 - February 23 and Pit Stop (1967) will be showing January 25 - February 24, 2017 in the United States.Quentin Tarantino, unsurprisingly a gushing fan of Jack Hill, once famously compared the exploitation specialist to venerable Hollywood icon Howard Hawks, presumably on the basis of his distinctly personal preferences and his unassuming, across-the-board genre dabbling. Of course, those genres explored by Hawks—from westerns to screwball comedies—were considerably different than those in which Hill excels, but the point is well taken: within his respective niches, Hill does it as well as anyone, with skill and without pretense. This includes quintessential Blaxploitation classics like Coffy (1973) and Foxy Brown (1974), and some of the finest women-in-prison films ever made—yes, there are some very fine women-in-prison films—namely The Big Doll House (1971) and The Big Bird Cage »
This story originally appeared on travelandleisure.com
At this point, it’s become cliche to say that a city plays a character in certain films. But, then again, not every film spends as much time running around a city as La La Land.
The hit movie, which has already been nominated for over 140 awards, just tied the record for most Oscar noms in a single year with 14 at this year’s ceremony. The movie nabbed a Best Picture nomination and stars Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling were both nominated in the lead acting categories.
And the film dedicates as much »
- Mackenzie Schmidt
Early in La La Land, Emma Stone’s aspiring actress rises from a restaurant conversation about the unpleasantness of contemporary moviegoing and sprints to the Rialto Theatre to take in Rebel Without a Cause with Ryan Gosling’s intractably traditionalist jazz pianist. The burst of exuberance doesn’t last. The Rialto later closes down and as Gosling waxes poetic about jazz’s declining cultural relevance you begin to feel that for La La Land jazz is just a surrogate for the state of film itself. La La Land is an ode to the magic of movies – at a time when going to the movies has […] »
- Matt Mulcahey
1954 / Color / 1:85 widescreen / 72 min. / Street Date January 10, 2017 / Available from the Twilight Time Movies Store 29.95
Cinematography: Bert Glennon
Editor: Grant Whytock
Written by: Crane Wilbur
Produced by: Bryan Foy
Directed by John Brahm
Twilight Time, bless ’em, hands us another treat to go with their 3-D discs of Man in the Dark, Miss Sadie Thompson and Harlock Space Pirate 3-D — and this time it’s a fun bit of 1950s horror — with a hot pair of short subject extras.
There have been plenty of theories as to why horror films became scarce after WW2; it’s as if the U.S. film industry took a ten-year break from the supernatural, and partly »
- Glenn Erickson
Stars: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Amiée Conn, Terry Walters, Thom Shelton, Callie Hernandez, Jessica Rothe, Sonoya Mizuno, J.K. Simmons, Jason Fuchs | Written and Directed by Damien Chazelle
The third film from Damien Chazelle, in what might be dubbed his “Jazz Trilogy”, La La Land eschews the New Wave immediacy of Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench and the psychological horror notes of Whiplash, and brings us a blast of Golden Age musical energy. La La Land arrives on a zephyr of hype; and while it’s not up to the standard of his previous feature, it has a certain charm of its own.
Except, it’s not really its own. Like The Artist before it, La La Land is an awards-friendly picture – proudly presented in “Cinemascope” – which is inextricably wedded to past glories. Yet I’m not sure its modern elements are entirely comfortable in the relationship. »
- Rupert Harvey
There’s a big year ahead in Geek Culture with lots to look forward to. Upon reflection, I feel like should have more clearly defined plans.
Cosplayers are the best at looking ahead and especially planning their convention attendance. The inherent creativity and creation of cosplay demands disciplined convention selection and scheduling. Cosplay entails developing elaborate timelines so that cosplayers have the necessary time to envision, plan, purchase materials and sew and/or assemble their cosplay costumes. And of course, so many cosplayers create multiple costumes. The finished products are impressive, and the work it takes to get there is impressive.
I’d like to attend several conventions this year and have my favorites. But in general, I find myself really looking forward to the smaller ones. That might be just because I’ve had so many great experiences at the big ones. And as a very impatient guy, I »
- Ed Catto
“La La Land,” in theory, is a movie that needs no explanation. The simplest thing you could call it is “an old-fashioned musical” — which means, of course, that it’s a big colorful splashy cornball swoon of a movie, one that traffics in the kind of billboard emotions (Love! Sadness! Joy!) and timeless Hollywood forms (Singing! Dancing! A Lavish Freeway Production Number Done In One Unbroken Take!) that can hit audiences like a sweet shot to the heart. That’s the beauty of it, right?
Yet “La La Land” isn’t just old-fashioned. It’s the new-fangled version of a sprawling Tinseltown classic. It’s Old Hollywood meets Jacques Demy meets “New York, New York” meets postmodern indie backlot passion. It’s a grand Los Angeles epic that features “mainstream” sentiments, but it’s also a subtle and idiosyncratic journey that’s almost entirely unpredictable. (Half an hour before it ends, »
- Owen Gleiberman
18 items from 2017
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