14 items from 2015
Finished all the titles on your Netflix list? No worries, HBO Now has a whole bunch of new (and classic) movies coming in September. You can watch Reese Witherspoon's Oscar-nominated performance in Wild, see Angelina Jolie's directorial debut, Unbroken, or indulge in some oldies but goodies, like Bring It On and The Faculty. Here's everything you need to know about the movies and shows premiering on HBO Now and HBO Go during the upcoming month - plus the ones that are disappearing! In case you still haven't gotten to all of them, these are the new movies that turned up in August, as well. Saturday night premieres: Sept. 5: Wild Sept. 12: Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb Sept. 19: Exodus: Gods and Kings Sept. 26: Unbroken Original programming highlights: Sept. 9: Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Houston Texans Sept. 12: Ferrell Takes the Field Sept. »
By Alex Simon
They say that clothes make the man. They also make the man in the movie and, sometimes, even make the movie itself live on in the annals of classic filmdom. With that in mind, here is a list (in no particular order) of ten gents and the characters they played who changed our sartorial habits forever.
1. Michael Douglas/Gordon Gecko—Wall Street
Arguably the movie that set the style for second half of the 1980s, Oliver Stone’s Wall Street featured Michael Douglas’ Oscar-winning turn as corporate raider Gordon Gecko, whose ruthlessness in the boardroom was only matched by his sense of style. Douglas is all clean lines in his pinstripe suits, suspenders and slicked-back hair, creating an iconic look that screamed “power” and “go fuck yourself” simultaneously.
Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian sci-fi allegory is one of cinema’s great dark satires, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Clint Eastwood revisited Harry Callahan three more times, usually whenever his career was in the dumps. If Dirty Harry was a cultural phenomenon and Magnum Force a respectable follow-up, the rest are uninspired cash-ins. The main law Harry enforces in these sequels is the Law of Diminishing Returns.
Given Dirty Harry‘s San Francisco setting, something like The Enforcer (1976) was inevitable. After all, San Fran hosted Haight-Ashbury, hippie capital of the world; was a favored site for Black Panther and Sds protests; headquarters of the nascent gay rights movement; victim of Weathermen bombings and the racially-charged Zebra murders. Writers Gail Morgan Hickman and S.W. Schurr based their script, originally titled “Moving Target,” on the Symbionese Liberation Army which kidnapped Patty Hearst. Dean Riesner (who cowrote the original Harry) and Stirling Silliphant (In the Heat of the Night) polished the film.
Harry battles the People’s Revolutionary Strike Froce, led by »
- Christopher Saunders
Annette Bening and Warren Beatty on the Oscars' Red Carpet Best Actress nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty Smiling radiantly, Best Actress Academy Award nominee Annette Bening and husband Warren Beatty are seen above as they arrive at the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony, held on Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre, located in the world-renowned (but locally not all that prestigious) Los Angeles suburb of Hollywood. Annette Bening was in the running for her performance as a lesbian companion/wife to Julianne Moore and mother/adoptive mother of Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson in Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are All Right. Bening lost the Best Actress Oscar to Natalie Portman for her mentally unbalanced ballerina in Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan. See also: Pregnant Natalie Portman on the Oscars' Red Carpet. Annette Bening: Four Oscar nominations The Kids Are All Right was Annette Bening's fourth Academy Award nomination. »
- D. Zhea
This week marks the 10th anniversary of the release of "Crash" (on May 6, 2005), an all-star movie whose controversy came not from its provocative treatment of racial issues but from its Best Picture Oscar victory a few months later, against what many critics felt was a much more deserving movie, "Brokeback Mountain."
The "Crash" vs. "Brokeback" battle is one of those lingering disputes that makes the Academy Awards so fascinating, year after year. Moviegoers and critics who revisit older movies are constantly judging the Academy's judgment. Even decades of hindsight may not always be enough to tell whether the Oscar voters of a particular year got it right or wrong. Whether it's "Birdman" vs. "Boyhood," "The King's Speech" vs. "The Social Network," "Saving Private Ryan" vs. "Shakespeare in Love" or even "An American in Paris" vs. "A Streetcar Named Desire," we're still confirming the Academy's taste or dismissing it as hopelessly off-base years later. »
- Gary Susman
All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century. Click here for a complete list of our essays. How to decide in the grand scheme of things which film year stands above all others? History gives us no clear methodology to unravel this thorny but extremely important question. Is it the year with the highest average score of movies? So a year that averages out to a B + might be the winner over a field strewn with B’s, despite a few A +’s. Or do a few masterpieces lift up a year so far that whatever else happened beyond those three or four films is of no consequence? Both measures are worthy, and the winner by either of those would certainly be a year not to be sneezed at. But I contend the only true measure of a year’s »
- Richard Rushfield
By Alex Simon
By the mid-1960s, the notorious Hayes Code, the censorship standards begun in the 1930s, had begun to fall away. Films like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Bonnie & Clyde, The Graduate and In the Heat of the Night started pushing the envelope in terms of “adult” content portrayed on-screen. With the advent of the MPAA rating system in November, 1968 a new era of freedom was ushered in. Filmmakers could frankly portray sex, violence, profanity and formerly taboo subject matters. While the aforementioned films are all iconic in stature, one of the key films that pushed the rating system into being is now largely forgotten.
Roderick Thorp’s 1966 novel The Detective became an instant best-seller, a mammoth (600 pages), unflinching look at Joe Leland, a weary veteran cop who finds his legal and personal mettle tested while investigating the brutal murder of a wealthy, gay department store heir. »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, 1967.
Directed by Stanley Kramer.
Mr and Mrs Drayton are in for a shock when their daughter brings home her new fiance – Dr. John Prentice Jr, an African-American…
At one point in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner? Sidney Poitier, the African-American husband-to-be, tells Spencer Tracy, the father-of-the-bride, how their potential children may become Presidents of the United States. Poitier, lightening the mood, acknowledges that he’ll accept Secretary of State – of course, his wife-to-be is possibly too ambitious. Made in 1967, it seems the filmmakers weren’t too ambitious, and only six years prior to the cinema release date, in Kapiʻolani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, Barack Hussein Obama II was born. It is difficult to imagine the era in fact. We know the horror stories and the necessity of the civil rights movement, »
- Simon Columb
Producer Walter Mirisch is on a first- and second-name basis with Oscar, having a Thalberg, a Hersholt and a best picture statue for producing “In the Heat of the Night.” His career also includes cinematic highwater marks such as “Some Like It Hot” and “West Side Story.” But it all started on Hollywood’s so-called Poverty Row at Monogram Pictures where a 25-year-old Mirisch was high on “Cocaine,” a crime yarn by Cornell Woolrich, which in 1947 was turned into “The Fall Guy,” Mirisch’s first producing credit.
My second picture was also based upon a Woolrich story: “I Wouldn’t Be in Your Shoes.” But he was very private and I only spoke to him through his agents.
- Steven Gaydos
“Selma” star David Oyelowo addressed the controversy over the film’s Oscar snubs at the Santa Barbara Film Festival on Sunday, admitting that he believes “we, as black people, have been celebrated more for when we are subservient; when we are not being leaders or kings or being in the center of our own narrative, driving it forward.”
Oyelowo noted that this has been borne out in previous Oscar results, admitting, “To me, Denzel Washington should have won for playing Malcolm X,” and adding that he believed Sidney Poitier should have been awarded his Oscar for “In the Heat of the Night” (for which he wasn’t even nominated) rather than for “Lilies of the Field.”
Though “Selma” is among the eight nominees for best picture, Oyelowo and the film’s director, Ava DuVernay, were not recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which drew ire across the Internet. »
- Variety Staff
"Generally speaking, we as black people have been celebrated more for when we are subservient, when we are not being leaders or kings or being at the center of our own narrative, driving it forward," he said of his snub while at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival this weekend.
Photos: And the Oscar Nominees Are...
Oyelowo, who was nominated for a Golden Globe, further commented that he thought Denzel Washington deserved to win an Oscar when he was nominated in 1992 for his role as Malcom X. He also noted that Sidney Poitier didn't get nominated for his iconic performance as authoritative figure Virgil Tibbs in the 1967 film In The Heat of the Night. Instead, the legendary actor won for Lillies of the Field where he played an itinerant »
#20. The Exorcist (1973)
Lost to: The Sting
Crammed in between two Best Picture wins for Francis Ford Coppola’s “Godfather” films was an interesting little year that rewarded another pairing of Robert Redford and Paul Newman (trivia: “The Sting’s” Julia Phillips is the first time female producer to ever win Best Picture). The other big landmark – the first time a purely horror film was nominated for Best Picture. “The Exorcist” was nominated for ten Oscars, winning for Sound and Adapted Screenplay. The horrifying story of a young girl possessed was, rumor has it, cursed as they tried to complete the film. This film about the struggle between faith and sin is possibly the most important horror film of all time.
#19. Avatar (2009)
Lost to: The Hurt Locker
The year after “The Dark Knight” and “Wall-e” missed out on Best Picture nominations, the Academy decided to change the rules and allow ten nominees. »
- Joshua Gaul
30. Apollo 13 (1995)
Lost to: Braveheart
In 1995, director Ron Howard brought a true life story of hope in the face of peril and started sweeping up awards. He won the Directors Guild Award. He won the Producers Guild Award. He won the Screen Actors Guild Ensemble Award. He lost the Golden Globe Drama to “Sense and Sensibility,” though he was nominated. Nothing could beat “Apollo 13.” Oscar night came and the Academy decided to hand the award to Mel Gibson’s historical epic about William Wallace, whose only precursor award was a surprise directing win at the Golden Globes. I’m not saying “Apollo 13″ is a greater film than “Braveheart.” It’s just proof that even the mighty may fall if a charismatic actor/director is at the helm.
29. L.A. Confidential (1997)
Lost to: Titanic
- Joshua Gaul
It’s December. And you know what that means? It means for every popcorn blockbuster, we get about three Oscar bait movies that are made solely to appease that body of somewhat stodgy Academy voters. Don’t get me wrong – a good portion of the Best Picture winners in history are still some of the greatest films ever made – “The Godfather” (Parts I and II), “Schindler’s List,” etc. But what about those historically good movies that got the nomination, but didn’t take home the prize? What about those popular movies that carried fan support, but lost out to a smaller, most of the time better, film? Well, here they are. This list focuses on those films that may or may not have been produced as Oscar bait, but earned the recognition of “Best Picture nominee,” only to walk away without the big prize. As usual, not in order of worst to best. »
- Joshua Gaul
14 items from 2015
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