11 items from 2014
Who doesn't love to laugh? Whether your taste runs to R-rated raunch, classic yuks or witty British humor, you'll find something hilarious to stream on Netflix.
Right now, there are movies starring Robin Williams, Walter Matthau, Jack Black, Goldie Hawn and a nice selection of films showcasing the comedy chops of Joan Cusack. (Availability subject to change, so get streaming now!)
1. "The Addams Family" (1991) PG-13
Everyone's favorite macabre family is wonderfully portrayed by Anjelica Huston as Morticia, Raul Julia as Gomez, Christopher Lloyd as Uncle Fester and Christina Ricci as Wednesday. Spooky fun, just in time for Halloween.
2. "The Bad News Bears" (1976) PG
3. "Bernie" (2011) PG-13
Jack Black stars in the real-life story of a mortician who ends »
- Sharon Knolle
The further adventures of Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno — not that those are necessarily their real names — are chronicled in “The Yes Men Are Revolting.” The prankster activists here turn their imaginative shaming schemes toward those corporations and governments doing little to address (when they’re not actively enabling) the escalating global-warming crisis. Co-directed with Laura Nix, the duo’s follow-up to “The Yes Men” (2003) and “The Yes Men Fix the World” (2009) is on the fest circuit and in niche various-format release.
The opening sequence brings back “The Yes Men Fix the World,” specifically its ludicrous, inflatable human “survivaballs” (think of Woody Allen’s inflatable suit in “Sleeper), as the protags hope to float a flotilla across the Hudson to get the attention of a U.N. climate-change summit. (Alas, the Coast Guard and NYPD are unamused.) After briefly recapping the twosome’s past protests and media coverage, the focus »
- Dennis Harvey
The Planet of The Apes movies occupy a curious netherworld of critical opinion. With each film, the budget was sawn in half, leading to a successive pattern of diminishing returns that led to a cheapening of its esteem. The spin-off TV show was quickly cancelled, further dulling the lustre and few people even remember the animated series that finally put the Apes to bed until a rude awakening in 2001.
However, for all their child-pleasing capers (the family-friendly G rating was a mandatory stipulation from the studios), the Apes movies deftly juggled important themes and arguments about slavery, free-will, nuclear war, vivisection, racism and oppression, and man’s innate capacity for cruelty. In pure storytelling terms, the circuitous plot links the first five movies (and the prequel Rise of The Planet of The Apes) into a pleasing, if relentlessly pessimistic, self-perpetuating full-circle.
Enormous box office successes in their early stages, they »
- Cai Ross
Blu-ray Release Date: May 13, 2014
Price: Blu-ray $29.95
Studio: Twilight Time
The 1975 sci-fi-tinged action-sports film Rollerball, one of the Seventies great dystopian future-shock flicks, finally makes its Blu-ray debut courtesy of Twilight Time.
In the future, there will be no war. But there will be Rollerball.
Rollerball posits a future—in this case a not-so-far-away 2018—in which war has been replaced by the titular game, a gladiatorial spectacle of violence that helps keep the global populace entertained and anesthetized. Emerging from this hard-hitting “sport” is a champion, Jonathan E (James Caan, Thief), whose individual expertise defeats the worldwide corporate leadership’s design: to emphasize the futility of individual effort. Corporate big-wigs (icily incarnated by The Fog‘s John Houseman) need Jonathan to retire, but Jonathan begins to have his own dangerous ideas.
Head Case: Silver Returns With Another Slice of Low-fi Discomfort
At the end of the final credits of Soft in the Head, Nathan Silver dedicates his latest film “For the Idiot,” a nod to his inspiration for as partially being born out of a desire to adapt Dostoevsky’s famous classic, The Idiot, concerning a character released from a sanitarium, whose subsequent interactions with the outside world suggests that the cruelty and duplicity of others is more vicious than the sanitarium. In his 2012 darkly comedic Exit Elena, Silver examines an awkward and uncomfortable relationship allowed to develop because of accepted notions of polite social exchange in a situation predicated by monetary necessity for its main character. His latest also glorifies in the discomfort of mixing company of those living in the comfortable scripts of their lives with the instability of those in a slipping down desperation to find themselves without proper support or resources. »
- Nicholas Bell
Every Wednesday, FM writers Simon Columb and Brogan Morris write two short reviews on Woody Allen films ... in the hope of watching all his films over the course of roughly 49 weeks. If you have been watching Woody's films and want to join in, feel free to comment with short reviews yourself! Next up is Shadows and Fog & Sleeper...
Simon Columb on Shadows and Fog...
Lurking in the shadows is the killer. You don’t want to discuss it and you don’t want to put yourself in the fog and make yourself a target. It is inevitable. Death, in and of itself, is inevitable. Shadows and Fog, a dark and dusty drama from Woody Allen asks these profound questions. Under the guise of an ambiguous type of dwelling, town folk are awkward and join different groups (see. Religions) in the hope of capturing the killer (see. Death). Mr Kleinman (Allen), alternatively, »
- Gary Collinson
1973's The Sting took it global, but there's more to ragtime music than that film's Keystone Kops crazy-chase soundtrack
Reading on mobile? Click here to listen to The Maple Leaf Rag played by Scott Joplin
One album was all it took to herald a revival. In 1970, the year of Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water and The Beatles' Let It Be, a record of arcane late 19th-century American piano music, released on a label that was otherwise building its reputation as a chronicler of the hardcore American avant-garde, began to sell in implausible quantities. Audiences ordinarily enamoured of piano miniatures by Chopin, Brahms and Liszt were suddenly taking pleasure in the compositions of Scott Joplin, the Texas-born "King of Ragtime" whose über-catchy 1899 Maple Leaf Rag brought him immediate popularity, but who died in 1917 with two typically embarrassing composerly problems hanging over him: syphilis and a terminally unproduced opera, Treemonisha, »
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 23 Jan 2014 - 05:44
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2006, and a further 25 overlooked gems...
With all the major films that elbow their way into their cinemas every year, there's bound to be some casualties among the big hits. And just like any other year, 2006 was dominated by the likes of Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, The Da Vinci Code and Ice Age: The Meltdown. But in tandem, there were dozens of lesser-seen films which shuffled in and out of cinemas (or occasionally, didn't get a release in cinemas at all) without very many people noticing.
As we're sure you're aware by now, these lists aim to redress the balance a little, and hopefully introduce a few films from any given year that you may have missed. There are also one or two films that, although »
Woody Allen Golden Globes 2014 tribute: Diane Keaton remembers ‘friend’ (photo: Woody Allen directing Cate Blanchett in ‘Blue Jasmine’) Accepting from presenter Emma Stone the 2014 Cecil B. DeMille Award for absentee Woody Allen, Diane Keaton (Sleeper, Love and Death, Annie Hall, Interiors, Manhattan, Manhattan Murder Mystery) was a likable presence at the January 12, 2014, Golden Globes ceremony, but her reminiscences about Allen were clearly PG-rated, going on about their "friendship" as if the two had always been just pals. Was that lullaby she sang moving or would Woody Allen have been right in yelling, "get the hook and get her off the god damn stage"? You decide. Now, in all fairness, Diane Keaton’s Woody Allen tribute wasn’t all PG-rated treacle, as she was twice bleeped by the censors. Apparently, NBC — and the ludicrous FCC — believe television audiences should be treated as if we were all three-year-olds. (See also: “Golden Globes »
- Andre Soares
Golden Globes 2014 winners (photo: 2014 Best Supporting Actress Golden Globe winner Jennifer Lawrence in ‘American Hustle’) Scroll down to check out the full list of Golden Globes 2014 winners. This year’s Golden Globes ceremony took place earlier this evening, January 12, with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey back as hosts. (Here are our fearless — and somewhat accurate — Golden Globes 2014 Predictions and our equally fearless — and mostly accurate — 2014 Golden Globes Predictions - The Nominations.) The 2014 Golden Globe nominations were announced by Aziz Ansari, Zoe Saldana, and Olivia Wilde exactly one month ago. Among the surprises was the inclusion in the Best Picture - Drama category of Ron Howard’s domestic box office disappointment Rush, starring Chris Hemsworth and Best Supporting Golden Globe nominee Daniel Brühl, and the exclusion of The Wolf of Wall Street‘s Martin Scorsese from the Best Director roster. Also, Julie Delpy and Greta Gerwig were both in the running »
- Steve Montgomery
Strap on your leather gloves and jaunty hat, because it’s Diane Keaton‘s 68th birthday this weekend! The legendary thespian will always be known for Best Actress-earned turn in Annie Hall, but she’s given us enough joy to last us a few cinematic lifetimes: Love and Death, Sleeper, Looking for Mr. Goodbar, Manhattan, Reds, Baby Boom, Father of the Bride, Marvin’s Room, The First Wives Club, and hell, Something’s Gotta Give. She eked an Oscar nomination out of Something’s Gotta Give, people. The woman has earned her props. And her memoir? Is outstanding.
To celebrate her big day, I ask you: What’s the most underrated Diane Keaton performance?
- Louis Virtel
11 items from 2014
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