18 items from 2010
The day I signed up to formspring (as an experiment) someone asked me the following question. Can you articulate what you always search for in movies? I realized I probably couldn't do it in 140 characters on twitter. So I'll try right here.
Saying it depends on the movie is too noncomittal. So let's say instead that a movie should always be striving to be its best self. Flaws are really easy to put it up (and can even be hugely endearing) within a movie that is primarily itself. Same goes for television. I think this is why I have so little patience for knock offs, dully conceived remakes and product that doesn't challenge itself but merely regurgitates better stuff.
[tangent] I hate to pick on reality television (too easy) but it's a helpful example. The other night I walked in and The Boyfriend was watching Top Chef. Only it wasn't Top Chef. It took me a few seconds to calibrate that it was just one of many shows that use the same lighting design, same patterns of judging, same gender / age / race mixture panel of judges, same entrances and exit system for winners and losers and whatnot. This is why I detested that Work of Art reality show that was recently on. I actually felt like vomiting when I saw it (rare feeling for me). You'd think a show about visual artists would, in being its best self, be inherently different than a show about fashion designers or a show about chefs. But it was Exactly like the others. It had no connection whatsoever to Art, only to other reality shows. It's such a creatively bankrupt genre and it's really sad because -- this next bit is for Joe who hates that I pick on reality TV -- this genre is not inferior at it's core. It shouldn't really be any different than any other in its capacity for flexibility in form and content. There have got to be about 410,273 ways to make a competitive rulebook (at least) and who says it even has to be a traditional competition with one winner for every show? Why does each show have to be the same? Football doesn't have the same rules as tennis. A musical doesn't need the same scene structure as a historical drama.
editor's note: I got sidetracked. I was thinking about TV because I'll be live-blogging the Emmys August 29th. (Lots of movie stars are nominated) Heads up! [/tangent] »
- NATHANIEL R
The 1970s was the start of a golden age of American Cinema. Filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Brian DePalma and Francis Ford Coppola paved the way to make American Cinema transcend the box office into artistic expression. Their influence of foreign filmmakers like Kurosawa, Fellini and Godard with the sense of kinetic energy, passion and a disregard for rules and convention could be seen on the screen. Namely in which with Robert Altman who gained stature in 1970 with the extraordinary film, Mash, started a decade of social commentary by way of playful genre. In Brewster McCloud, Altman explores the themes of purpose and an absurd, purposeless world. The once extremely hard to find film (until now the only way to see it was on VHS or in theaters as part of an Altman Retrospective) is now available on DVD for the first time via the Warner Archive.
- Rudie Obias
Robert Altman is as varied as he is polarizing, and while it is easy to spot the feel of an Altman film, it was always difficult to predict what genre his next effort would fit in. It’s hard to run through Mash, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, Nashville, Popeye, The Long Goodbye, and Ready to Wear, and have any idea what you’ll get at the next point in the chain.
Adding to the complexity are several films that don’t fit well into a category or genre themselves. One of his most interesting, Brewster McCloud, is such a film.
A curious, bookish boy with significantly large glasses, Brewster (Bud Cort) lives in the fallout shelter of the Houston Astrodome. Watched over, in a strange and often uncomfortable sense, by the mysterious Louise (Sally Kellerman), Brewster’s life is consumed by a quest to fly.
The film’s structure is as »
- Marc Eastman
Chicago – Robert Altman made very few films that didn’t have at least a few redeeming qualities and often much more than that faint praise. Even Altman’s relative failures were often fascinating in their own way. Such a film is 1970’s “Brewster McCloud,” a work nowhere near as beloved as some of his ’70s comedies but that definitely warrants a look on its newly remastered DVD, available exclusively through the WB Shop online.
DVD Rating: 3.5/5.0
Released the same year as his wildly successful “M*A*S*H” and just six months before the great “McCabe & Mrs. Miller,” history has somewhat discarded and forgotten “Brewster McCloud.” It’s certainly nowhere near as cited nor influential as “The Long Goodbye,” “Nashville,” or “3 Women” and the more successful period that Altman would go through in the later ’70s allowed poor Brewster to slip under the radar.
How far under the radar? It »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
He plays jazz piano, thinks acting is a 'magical, mystical journey' – and couldn't care less about the money. Kira Cochrane talks to Jeff Goldblum as he hits the West End
Jeff Goldblum was just a small child when he resolved to become an actor, but he kept this passion secret for the best part of a decade. The idea of acting intoxicated him, he says, leaning towards me in an upstairs room at the Old Vic theatre in London, his long limbs folding in on themselves, eyes bulging, a rhythmic click emanating occasionally from his throat. (It's not hard to see why David Cronenberg cast him as a fly.) He continues speaking in his strange scat-singer style.
"During those years, I would take a shower," he says, "and it had a door, not a curtain, a door, a glass door, which would steam up, and I'd write every morning – because I hadn't told anyone, »
- Kira Cochrane
Self Styled Siren terrific piece on memorable movie costumes. The Siren writes beautifully. My favorite write-ups are those for Breathless and Strangers on a Train.
Boy Culture on the new Burlesque stills and out writer/director Steve Antin. I'm excited for this movie but also fearful that it'll just be the Christina Aguilera show. That would be epically disappointing given the rest of the cast list: Cher, Tucci, Cumming, Bell.
Cinema Blend Viggo & Fassbender on the set of David Cronenberg's Freud/Jung picture Dangerous Method. Can't wait. So excited to see two of today's best actors in character.
Cinematical Neil Gaiman is sick of vampires.
- NATHANIEL R
Death Race 2000 is the real deal. A truly epic piece of Roger Corman produced madness, full of blood, guts, ridiculous character names, car crashes, and of course those wonderful, pre-plastic surgery era gratuitous nipple shots.* But what makes Death Race 2000 stand out from say, Gone in 60 Seconds, is that it’s more than just the above elements. Underneath the slapstick gore and voyeuristic charms Death Race 2000 is also a sly social and political satire that is every bit as prescient as Network or Robocop. More after the jump:
The film is set in a not-too-distant future (now the past) where culture has eroded to the point where the biggest national sport is a cross country race wherein the drivers are encouraged to hit pedestrians and try to kill one another, (The writers obviously never imagined non-game shows like Deal or No Deal.) We follow the racers »
- Hunter Daniels
Supporting actors aren't just those familiar faces who can steal a film. They show a way for movies to portray real life
Do you remember the film Iris? Directed by Richard Eyre, it opened in 2001, and was about the marriage between novelist Iris Murdoch, and her husband, the literary professor John Bayley. I have not seen the picture since it opened and as I try to recall it, I see three faces – Judi Dench and Kate Winslet (they played the older Iris and the younger woman), and Jim Broadbent – who was Bayley in his mature years. I think of it as a tripartite film, yet I know there was a fourth corner and a fourth actor – the young Bayley. I hope he will forgive me, but I have to check his name – of course, it was Hugh Bonneville.
Having looked the film up, here is what surprises me: Dench was nominated for best actress, »
- David Thomson
DVD Playhouse—June 2010
The White Ribbon (Sony) On the eve of Ww I, a small village in Germany is struck by a series of tragic, seemingly unconnected events until the townspeople, and the audience, start to connect the dots. Shot in stark, beautiful black & white, director Michael Haneke has fashioned a haunting metaphorical drama that is as coldly chilling as anything made by Ingmar Bergman, and darkly unsettling as anything from the canon of David Lynch. A rich, tough, brilliant cinematic experience you’re not likely to forget. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bd bonuses: Interviews with cast and crew; featurettes. Widescreen Dolby and DTS 5.1 surround.
Alice In Wonderland (Disney) Tim Burton’s take on the Lewis Carroll classic finds young Alice (Mia Wasikowska), a 19th century girl who finds herself in an unhappy engagement to a boorish suitor, tumbling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland, where she encounters magical cakes, »
- The Hollywood Interview.com
If we could kiss, cuddle, and embrace Shout! Factory until we both weep, I think that we would. After reading the following news, we're fairly certain you'll want to join in on our video induced love fest.
From the Press Release
Just when you thought it was safe to take a dip in the water again…they’re baaaack! This summer rediscover two enduring Roger Corman underwater thrillers filled with unstoppable action and edge-of-your-seat suspense as Joe Dante’s Piranha and Humanoids from the Deep, directed by Barbara Peters, debut August 3, 2010 for the first time on Special Edition Blu-ray and DVD from Shout! Factory, in association with New Horizons Picture Corporation. These two definitive Special Edition home entertainment releases from Roger Corman’s Cult Classics are sure to cause a feeding frenzy among thrill seekers and loyal fans of Roger Corman and Joe Dante. Piranha Special Edition offers two highly »
- Uncle Creepy
By Sean O’Connell
HollywoodNews.com stays on top of the latest DVD and Blu-ray releases so you know which films are worth your time and money. This week, we review:
Valentine’s Day (Blu-ray)
Something special happens when Garry Marshall works with Julia Roberts. Audience members turn out in droves! The director’s three highest-grossing films all star the A-list actress: “Pretty Woman” ($178 million), “Runaway Bride” ($152 million), and now “Valentine’s Day” ($110 million). The last one arrives on Blu-ray DVD this week.
The magnetic redhead – with her trademark radiant smile – is but one small piece of this unwieldy concoction that tracks a small army of Angelinos falling in and out of love on Valentine’s Day. Florist Reed Bennett (Ashton Kutcher) has a finger in almost half of the loosely associated storylines. Not only does he propose to his wishy-washy girlfriend (Jessica Alba), but countless characters conveniently pop in »
- Sean O'Connell
Nashville, Tenn. (AP) — Dave Rawlings is the top nominee for this year's Americana Music Association Awards. Rawlings, long happy to stand in the shadows as a producer and longtime collaborator with Gillian Welch, received four nominations, including album of the year for his debut, "A Friend of a Friend." Oscar winner Ryan Bingham and Ray Wylie Hubbard each received three nominations and Patty Griffin, The Avett Brothers and Hayes Carll took two apiece when Emmylou Harris and Todd Snider read the nominations Wednesday in Nashville. Bingham, Griffin, Hubbard and Levon Helm and Steve Earle in a tie were nominated for »
- AP Staff
Yes, we're excited to see "Iron Man 2," "Inception" and God help us, "Predators." But what we're really looking forward to spending a few hours in the company of an undertaking Bill Murray ("Get Low"), an Italian-speaking Tilda Swinton ("I Am Love") and a toga-wearing Rachel Weisz ("Agora") in the comfort of air-conditioned theater over the next three months. (Either that or we'll be enjoying them from the comfort of home online, on demand or on DVD.)
There are no less than 114 independently produced movies arriving in theaters this summer to compete with the big studio blockbusters and we've compiled this helpful guide that covers all of them. Yet realizing that the latest arthouse and foreign fare is subject to changing dates, particularly if you don't live in Los Angeles or New York, we've also included links to follow the films on Twitter, Facebook and release schedules where available, so »
- Stephen Saito
Is the credited director of a film the one who's actually been calling the shots? Here are 10 films where that may not be the case...
It's not that uncommon for a director to take their name off a film, and to leave the moniker Alan Smithee or whatever the current equivalent is behind.
However, what's considerably rarer is when a film is released under the name of one director, but it's later revealed or rumoured that, actually, other hands were at work, either for a solid chunk or even the entirety of a production.
Granted, some of these stories that we're about to tell have little chance of ever being fully confirmed, but here are ten examples of where the helmer of a film has been called into question. They range from instances of the whole film being reportedly ghost-directed, to swathes on uncredited helming work being done.
Chicago – For fans of “The Wire,” expectations are ludicrously high for HBO’s “Treme” (pronounced “tre-may”), the newest dramatic work from David Simon and Eric Overmyer. Two of the creative voices behind one of the best television programs of all time have turned their focus from Baltimore to New Orleans and lost none of their dramatic resonance, delivering an incredibly rewarding show that will have viewers tapping their feet to the rhythm of a city that doesn’t just “enjoy” or “play” music, it needs it to survive.
Television Rating: 5.0/5.0
Unlike a lot of programs or films about musical cities (the many Motown stories, even most musician biopics, etc.), the healing and communicative power of music is not merely the background for melodrama on “Treme”. In a show named after a musical section of New Orleans, it is a part of the fabric of the lives of every single character. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
***This review discusses some of the plot points in Valentine's Day.***
When someone looks at a poster or sees a trailer for some celeb-packed movie, he or she will almost invariably think, “Well, with a cast like that, how bad could it be?”
The new answer to that hypothetical question? “As bad as Valentine’s Day.”
Schlock-meister Garry Marshall — who once referred to his films, with no irony whatsoever, as “warmedies” — has given us an ensemble piece that contains fewer laughs than it has Oscar winners. I had always thought of Love Actually, this movie’s obvious antecedent, as a pleasant diversion, but next to Valentine’s Day, it’s a cerebral epic on par with Robert Altman’s Nashville.
The upside of movies with a patchwork quilt of characters is that if you don’t like who’s currently on screen, there’s just a short wait until they cut to someone else. »
Did you know that Jamie Foxx holds the record for most Golden Globe nominations in one year? "Extra" has compiled a list of fun facts about the awards ceremony before the 2010 Golden Globes air Sunday, January 17 on NBC!
Fun Facts About the Golden GlobesL.A. Love
The first telecasts of the Globes were from 1958-1963 — but were only aired locally in Los Angeles.
The first national telecasts of the awards were during a »
House of 1000 Corpses, Dogtown, Come Back to the Five and Dime Jimmy Dean Jimmy Dean, Capricorn One, Nashville, The Day of the Locust, The Great Gatsby, Five Easy Pieces, Easy Rider, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh In, The Best Years of Our Lives, Weird Science, The Hills Have Eyes, The Hills Have Eyes Part 2, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and From Russia With Love. These are just some of the movies and television shows the cast of Evil Spirits have been in prior to taking on this 1990 release. This amazingly talented cast is set adrift in a story that never manages to live up to its potential – either for fear or for camp.
Karen Black runs a boarding house where her roomers sign over all their government checks – they are all on disability or Social Security and she cashes them gleefully and pockets the money. Once a »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (John Porter)
18 items from 2010
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