7 items from 2014
What a busy busy month that was. We were overachievers here, really. I'm so exhausted I'm hoping to prick my finger on a cursed spindle for a little R&R. Traffic always picks up in the fall when the adult movies arrive so if you're just rejoining us we welcome you back with slighly chilled affection (this place is hopping all year round!) by pointing out what you may have missed.
Neo, Cheryl and Rocky hike the Pct
Index of Goodies
Toronto was a blast! - a handydandy guide (and prizes) for everything I saw there
Nyff - in progress but we've already talked about a bunch of foreign films as well as Maps to the Stars, Gone Girl & Whiplash
- NATHANIEL R
For Robert Wise's centennial, we're looking back on a random selection of his films beyond the familiar mega-hits (The Sound of Music & West Side Story) which we are far more prone to talk about. Here's Nathaniel on the Paul Newman boxing drama...
The poster art for Robert Wise's 1956 biopic on Rocky Graziano reminds us that the more things change the more they stay the same. We're still getting taglines like "A girl can lift a fella to the skies!" (see: Theory of Everything) but Pier Angeli's role as Rocky's wife Norma in the Paul Newman boxing pic is actually fairly minor. She straightens him out primarily by giving him something consistent to hold on to in a life that's been previously totally adrift in noncommittal boxing matches for money and petty crimes. Not that his crimes were always petty, mind you, but we'll get to that in a minute. »
- NATHANIEL R
A quarter-century ago, Kevin Costner hit a double-play, following up "Bull Durham" with "Field of Dreams" and becoming king of the sports movie. Twenty-five years later, as "Field of Dreams" marks its 25th anniversary (it was released on April 21, 1989), Costner is back with "Draft Day." The movie's about football, not baseball, and Costner's character plays in the executive suite, not on the field, but his mere presence still offers a reminder of great sports movies past.
And after all, isn't nostalgia a key element of sports movies? "Field of Dreams" makes this explicit -- we long for the sports heroes of our childhood, for a supposed long-gone golden age of our preferred sport, as a way of connecting with our past and bridging the generational divide that separates us as adults from our parents. Sports movies offer more than just the drama of winners and losers, or the journey from dream to achievement, »
- Gary Susman
What if he'd lived, James Byron Dean? What if he'd never ploughed his Porsche Spyder into that oncoming station wagon, had won his auto race that afternoon in Paso Robles, and gone back to work after the weekend to reshoot his final drunk scene from Giant, the one he'd botched the week before?
Would he have had Paul Newman's career: expertly managed, disciplined, intelligent, building himself year upon year towards the iconic status he finally achieved, and two-page spread obits on his death? It's not implausible to think of Newman as someone who benefited directly from Dean's death he inherited Dean's role in the 1956 boxing picture Somebody Up There Likes Me or as an actor who many times in the late 50s and 60s played characters (Hud, »
- John Patterson
Patty Duke ruled the 1960s, winning an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress at 16 for The Miracle Worker and later starring in her eponymous sitcom. Starting her career at just 7, Duke has unique insight into the life of a child star, and the specific challenges they face as they grow up in the public eye. Duke opened up about those struggles in her memoir, Call Me Anna, which showed how she overcame her own difficult obstacles.
With the sad news that perhaps the most famous child star of all time, Shirley Temple, passed away Monday night, EW spoke with Duke »
- Erin Strecker
As indie films about self-absorbed young white men making bad romantic choices accompanied by a mixtape soundtrack go, Maggie Kiley's Brightest Star is a vast improvement over 2013's lethally quirky Somebody Up There Likes Me.
Brightest Star's unnamed male protagonist (Chris Lowell) bounces around life after getting dumped by his pert blonde girlfriend, Charlotte (Rose McIver), trying to woo her back while figuring out what he wants to do with himself, flitting between lifestyles and jobs in the consequence-free manner that only the truly privileged can get away with, and of course disregarding the brunettes he's clearly meant to be with.
Space and relativity and other science-y things also factor in the story, in a metaphoric, non-scientific way, w »
Academia is always fertile ground for satire — well, almost always. There’s a lot of snark but not much actual amusement in the university faculty hijinks of “Crimes Against Humanity,” Jerzy Rose’s second feature after 2011′s little-seen “Some Girls Never Learn.” Still, the film’s absurdist intrigue could find support for modest niche theatrical and home-format exposure among fans of such tonally similar (if better) recent comedies as “The Color Wheel” and “Somebody Up There Likes Me.”
Unpleasantly superior-acting while evidently inferior in every way, weasel-like Lewis (Mike Lopez) is a dean’s assistant tasked with investigating rumored ethical breaches by professors — bedding students, practicing Satanism, etc. He relishes this spying as a Grand Inquisitor might, further raising the hackles of tweed-jacketed prey already predisposed to dislike him. On the homefront, things aren’t much more cheerful, as Lewis routinely punctures any remaining self-esteem possessed by his unemployed live-in g. »
- Dennis Harvey
7 items from 2014
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