7 items from 2017
Neil Calloway wonders why every film has to be so long now…
With the rumour that Justice League is going to clock in at just shy of three hours, it’s time to ask when did movies start getting really long?
Of course, there have always been long movies, but back then films came with an intermission, now we’re expected to sit through 170 minutes with no respite. There are a couple of reasons for this, I reckon. Though Zack Snyder has denied the movie will be that long, it sounds about right.
One is that with franchise films, each instalment has to be bigger and better, both metaphorically and literally. Everyone wants more action sequences than the last, and everyone wants more characters, too, which is where the second reason comes in.
Every actor wants to be the lead in a film and to receive top billing, but that »
- Neil Calloway
Over the last few decades – thanks in part to movies and TV shows like Dazed and Confused, Boogie Nights, Anchorman and HBO's Vinyl – there’s been a pronounced pop cultural tendency to reduce the 1970s to little more than a fabulous parade of campy signifiers like mirrored disco balls, brightly-painted muscle cars, platform shoes, bellbottomed jeans, tube tops, Afro hairdos, pornstaches and piles of cocaine.
It's an understandable impulse, of course. (Who doesn't love Afros or piles of cocaine?) But taking such a superficial approach to the seventies means glossing over the grittier, »
Oscar statue (Courtesy: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP)
By: Carson Blackwelder
There was always a chance for the best picture category at the 2017 Academy Awards to feature solid representation for female producers and, with the nominations official, the numbers are in. Turns out there are five of the nine films in this year’s top category with women behind it — but how does that stand up to the rest of Oscar history?
As mentioned above, there are five out of the total nine films in the best picture category this year that took some girl power to get made. There’s Hell or High Water (Carla Hacken and Julie Yorn), Hidden Figures (Donna Gigliotti and Jenno Topping), Lion (Angie Fielder), Manchester by the Sea (Kimberly Steward and Lauren Beck), and finally Moonlight (Adele Romanski and Dede Gardner). This leaves out Arrival, Fences, Hacksaw Ridge, and La La Land as »
- Carson Blackwelder
Three episodes were provided prior to broadcast.
Is there a prouder American institution than that of the con artist? They abound throughout our history and literature. Huckleberry Finn adventured with the Duke and the Dauphin, Herman Melville gave us a literal boatload of con men in The Confidence Man, and Paul Newman and Robert Redford grifted and conned their way through The Sting.
And it’s not just fiction. Not only are all the aforementioned con artists based on real people, but they just keep popping up in the tale of America: Bernie Madoff, Frank Abagnale and Mel Weinberg are all living men infamous for their tricks of confidence. Even the sitting president has been labeled a con artist by both his detractors and members of his own political party.
With all this said, is it necessary to tell another story centered around con artists? Someone certainly seems to think so. »
- D.F. Lovett
Inspired by a true story, the disappointing Gold stars Mathew McConaughey as Kenny Wells, who in the late 1980’s inherited the Washoe Mining Company in Reno, Nevada from his father (Craig T. Nelson). He’s such a failure that he’s soon running it from the back of the restaurant where his devoted girlfriend Kaylene (Bryce Dallas Howard) waits tables. But Kenny’s fortunes appear to change when he teams up with experienced geologist, Michael Acosta (Édgar Ramírez). The pair head to the jungles of Indonesia where, under the watchful eye of the Suharto regime, and after Kenny almost dies from malaria, the pair announce a major gold strike, the “largest of the decade”. Washoe’s stock soars as everybody vies for a piece of the action.
The elements are there for a good story with Gold, but they don’t fit together well thanks to an underwritten script and »
- Tom Stockman
1 | On Emerald City, who styled Dorothy’s hair as she quickly changed into her tornado-fighting gown? Unseen attendants? And shouldn’t she have changed back into street clothes/practical boots when resuming her arduous trek?
2 | Wouldn’t it be funny if MacGyver, while stranded with Jack in the Kazakhstan forest, revealed that he didn’t know how to start a simple campfire?
3 | SNL viewers, »
Author: Dave Roper
The prospective candidates for admission to MiB were hand-picked because they were the best of the best of the best. That’s a lot of superlatives. Eric Roberts and Chris Penn were two of the more unlikely members of a Tae Kwon Do team that took on Korea in The Best of the Best and across pretty much every athletic and artistic theatre of endeavour you can think of, debate rages as to who is the best of the best. Today we look at the greatest movie actors.
This new series of articles is not intended to lay such arguments to rest. Instead it will hopefully prompt some discussion and (polite) debate as we consider, within certain film-making disciplines, who might be considered to be the best and what is their best work. Highly subjective, of course, but that is whence springs healthy debate. We’ll get to actresses, »
- Dave Roper
7 items from 2017
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