10 items from 2015
Lovers of odd and neglected vintage cinema can rejoice in the repackaging of Michael Ritchie’s weird sophomore title, Prime Cut. With all the menace of a Dick Francis novel and a perverse comedic streak akin to the tastes of John Waters, this misbegotten feature hasn’t received the notable following it deserves for one glaring reason—it’s increasingly warped treatment of women, which may have seemed enlightened for the period, but eventually only adds to the problematic misogyny that never abates. As far as its handling of more sensational, exploitational elements, Ritchie and screenwriter Robert Dillon manage to smooth its edges with breakneck pacing, sarcastic repartee, and a handful of impressively orchestrated face-offs.
- Nicholas Bell
The United States is “my country, right or wrong,” of course, and I consider myself a patriotic person, but I’ve never felt that patriotism meant blind fealty to the idea of America’s rightful dominance over global politics or culture, and certainly not to its alleged preferred status on God’s short list of favored nations, or that allegiance to said country was a license to justify or rationalize every instance of misguided, foolish, narrow-minded domestic or foreign policy.
And now more than ever we seem to be living in a country poised at the edge of some sort of transition, with all the attendant tension and conflict and intense conviction that can be expected on either side of the chasm that prevents us from a true state of national togetherness. Just last week we celebrated a Supreme Court decision that finally offered legality (and legal protection) to the »
- Dennis Cozzalio
At a loss for what to watch this week? From new DVDs and Blu-rays, to what's streaming on Netflix, we've got you covered.
New on DVD and Blu-ray
Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart team up in this comedy about a rich hedge-fund manager who is sentenced to San Quentin; desperate for tips on how to survive prison, he looks for help from a black businessman, assuming he'll know what to do. That's not racist at all! As it turns out, Hart's businessman has never even had a parking ticket, so it's the blind leading the blind. The Blu-ray has tons of extras, including an unrated cut of the film, a gag reel, deleted scenes, and these featurettes: "Just Put Your Lips Together and Blow," "Get Hard Line-o-Ramas," "The Kevin Hart Workout," "Face Off with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart," "-Ferrell Fighting," "A Date with John Mayer, »
- Gina Carbone
Amazon Prime is continuing its quality hot streak by offering some exceptional TV shows and films through July. The new streaming options will include classics like "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid," as well as newer additions like "The Skeleton Twins" and "Behind the Candelabra." Check out the full list of titles below, along with Indiewire's picks on what you have to watch. Read More: Amazon Prime Adds 'Taxi Driver,' 'Listen Up Philip' and 16 Other Titles in March Available 6/30 “Under The Dome" Season 3 (2013) Available 7/1 “Downton Abbey" Season 5 (2014) “Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid” (1969) “Drive Me Crazy” (1999) “The Day The Earth Stood Still” (2008) “Thumbelina” (1994) “Bulworth” (1998) "Heidi” (1937) “Wayne’s World 2” (1993) “48 Hrs.” (1982) “The Bad News Bears” (1976) “The Brady Bunch Movie” (1995) “The Butcher’s Wife” (1991) “Cadillac Man” (1990) Indiewire Pick: "Dirty Dancing" (1987)We »
- Sarah Choi
It happened, and I didn't notice it. I've been hoodwinked, bamboozled. Someone made an end run, and it worked? Oh, my god, I'm Elmer Fudd. I got took. And honestly? Couldn't be prouder. For the most part, when I write about Film Nerd 2.0, I'm writing about both Toshi and Allen, both of my sons, and when it comes to showing them movies, I try to keep them both involved as much as possible. Toshi turns ten just a few months, though, and there's really no comparison between the way he digests media now and the way Allen does. Toshi's begun talking to me about storytelling in a way that suggests that when he's done watching or reading something, he's not done thinking about it. He came to me recently to tell me that he's "got a character." The other day, he and Allen were playing, and I was sitting in the other room. »
- Drew McWeeny
Toshi tends to start a movie night with a sort of weird meditative state he goes into while standing in front of the bookcase full of his Blu-rays. He can stand there for a half-hour reading titles and asking me questions, and it always entertains me to hear him slowly circle in on the thing he wants to see. Just because there have been some R-rated titles in the mix recently doesn't mean it's become a free-for-all, and there are plenty of things Toshi would like to watch that I still believe he's not ready to see, leading to some tense negotiations. What I find most interesting about those negotiations is how vividly I remember holding them from the other end of the equation. When I wanted to see a film as a kid, if my parents had any problem with it, I would turn into Clarence Darrow. I would »
- Drew McWeeny
It’s not necessarily a novel observation, but “Pitch Perfect,” the Universal studio comedy about the world of competitive college-level a cappella, a surprise 2012 hit, is modeled after a classic sports comedy picture. The girl-powered sing-along comedy had the exact same paradigm: there’s an reluctant outsider cajoled into joining a foreign, often “uncool” world (think Jackie Earle Haley in “The Bad News Bears”) and the team sport personnel is a rag tag group of misfits that can’t get it together. Of course the disinclined outlier is always the missing link that helps the team discover their voice and identity. Outside of the too-colorful color commentators — a more contemporary trend lifted from films like “Dodgeball” and “Best In Show” — the surprisingly diverting but enjoyable “Pitch Perfect” followed the classic sports movie formula to the letter. But if the charming and lighthearted original film hit all the right notes, then »
- Rodrigo Perez
Is this heaven? Nope, it’s Opening Week.
It all started Sunday night with the Cardinals at the Cubs with St. Louis winning 3 to 0.
To celebrate the first pitch of Opening Week, here’s our list of the best Baseball movies.
One of the best baseball biopics to come along over the years, The Rookie, starring Dennis Quaid, tells the true story of Jim Morris, a man who finally gets a shot at his lifelong dream-pitching in the big leagues. A high school science teacher/baseball coach, Morris’ players make a bet with him:if they win district, »
- Movie Geeks
My criteria for movies to include in "best of the year" lists are very loose, as compared to various critics' organizations and other film-awards groups. For example, I would never disqualify Birdman from Best Score because it includes music from other composers. (Otherwise I'd never be able to qualify my all-time favorite score, from The Bad News Bears, but I digress.) The point is to present an interesting list of notable movies I saw in/around 2014, not to nitpick.
So my "notable films of 2014" list includes movies that were released in 2014, no matter when I saw them, as well as movies I saw in 2014 even if they haven't had a theatrical release. And, you know, whatever the hell else I want. If I'd done a 2013 list I probably would have topped it with A New Leaf (1971) because that was by far the best movie I saw that year. (It's on Amazon Prime and Blu-ray. »
- Jette Kernion
Actress Timothy Blake has been named the recipient of the 2015 Ralph Morgan Award, the highest honor awarded to a member by the Los Angeles local of SAG-aftra. It will be presented February 8 at the local’s annual membership meeting at the Sportsmen’s Lodge in Studio City.
Named after the first president of the Screen Actors Guild, the award honors a member or staff for their “devotion to the cause of members, courage to fight for their rights, and sacrifice of self for others.”
Blake, who acting credits include The Bad News Bears, Laverne & Shirley, The Mod Squad and many other films and TV shows, is a former SAG VP, former SAG Foundation recording secretary and a trustee and executive officer of the SAG Pension & Health Plans for almost 30 years. She also co-chairs the SAG-aftra Film Society.
“Timothy Blake is the embodiment of a union member – she gives her time to the union, »
- David Robb
10 items from 2015
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