Defending Your Life (1991) - News Poster

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A Matter of Life and Death (aka Stairway to Heaven) (4K restoration) movie review: paradise on Earth

MaryAnn’s quick take… One of the most beloved British films ever is now even more lush, more gorgeous, more humanist in a glorious new restored edition. I’m “biast” (pro): loved the movie before it was restored

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

A Matter of Life and Death, from the legendary writing and directing team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is one of the most beloved British films ever made. And it’s easy to see why: It’s a deliciously preposterous romance between two gorgeous people whom you cannot help but root for as their love is threatened. It’s a profoundly humanist fantasy about our place in the universe and the importance of living a full life. And it’s a dazzling visual spectacle that is deeply viscerally satisfying even as it deals with big ideas and big emotions.
See full article at FlickFilosopher »

Let’s Talk About How Good the Movie “Defending Your Life” Is

This film gives a very unique look at the afterlife and what people would no doubt like to think it’s actually like. When you really think about it the truth is that humanity does in fact fear a great deal throughout their average day and many people refuse to face up to those fears in order to move on with their lives. The part about only using a small percentage of our brains doesn’t seem right, but it would still go a long way towards explaining why people seem so afraid to just stand up and move on. When Daniel

Let’s Talk About How Good the Movie “Defending Your Life” Is
See full article at TVovermind.com »

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey

The Best Movies About the Afterlife — IndieWire Critics Survey
Every week, IndieWire asks a select handful of film and TV critics two questions and publishes the results on Monday. (The answer to the second, “What is the best film in theaters right now?”, can be found at the end of this post.)

This week’s question: In honor of David Lowery’s “A Ghost Story,” what is the best movie about the afterlife?

Kate Erbland (@katerbland), IndieWire

It will come as no surprise to anyone that, as a child, I watched a lot of television. A lot. I was mostly obsessed with HBO — our single movie channel, number 2 on the dial; yes, my childhood TV had a dial, don’t ask — with intermittent deviations into mostly inappropriate mini-series (thus explaining my rarely disclosed expertise on “The Thornbirds”), and was pretty much given free range to watch whatever the hell I wanted, whenever I wanted. This is why my favorite
See full article at Indiewire »

Joe versus the Volcano

“May you live to be a thousand years old, sir.” Still the most widely unheralded great movie on the books, John Patrick Shanley’s lightweight/profound fable is an unmitigated delight. See Tom Hanks at the end of the first phase of his career plus Meg Ryan in an unacknowledged career highlight. How can a movie be so purposely insubstantial, and yet be ‘heavier’ than a dozen pictures with ‘big things to say?’

Joe Versus the Volcano

Blu-ray

Warner Archive Collection

1990 / Color / 2:35 widescreen / 97 min. / Street Date June 20, 2017 / available through the WBshop / 21.99

Starring Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, Abe Vigoda,

Dan Hedaya, Barry McGovern, Amanda Plummer, Ossie Davis

Cinematography Stephen Goldblatt

Production Designer Bo Welch

Film Editors Richard Halsey, Kenneth Wannberg

Original Music Georges Delerue

Produced by Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, Steven Spielberg and Teri Schwartz

Written and Directed by John Patrick Shanley

I think I found
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Lee Grant to Receive Split Screens Festival’s Inaugural Legacy Award

Lee Grant: splitscreensfestival.com

Actress, director, and author Lee Grant will be honored this year at the Split Screens Festival. According to an announcement from the television fest, Grant will receive its first Legacy Award, which pays tribute to “an individual whose career has had a lasting impact on television.” Split Screens will present the award to Grant on June 5, in partnership with AMC Networks.

One of Grant’s first films, 1951’s “Detective Story,” earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress. But her success was short-lived. In 1952 the House Un-American Activities Committee — aka the Communist Witch Hunt Club — ordered Grant to testify against her husband, playwright Arnold Manoff. She refused and was blacklisted as a result.

Luckily that wasn’t the end of her career. She won an Emmy in 1966 and for her turn as Stella Chernak on nighttime soap “Peyton Place” and an Academy Award for her supporting role in “Shampoo.” After making her comeback as an actress, she shifted gears. She “channeled her political awareness into a career as a director of socially aware fiction and nonfiction films, tackling such hot-button subjects as workplace discrimination (‘A Matter of Sex’), transgender identity (‘What Sex Am I?’), poverty and Reaganomics (‘Down and Out in America’), and sexism in medical treatment (the TV movie ‘Nobody’s Child’)”, the Split Screens website details. She won a Director’s Guild Award for “Nobody’s Child,” becoming the first woman ever to receive the honor.

Lee Grant is the history of television,” Split Screens Creative Director and TV/film critic Matt Zoller Seitz told Women and Hollywood. “She’s one of the most important trailblazing women in both film and television, and the way she remade herself over and over again is inspiring.” “Lee has done it all,” he added.

Mulholland Drive,” “Dr. T & the Women,” and “Defending Your Life” are among Grant’s other screen credits. In 2014 she published her memoir, “I Said Yes to Everything.”

The Split Screens Festival is June 2–8, 2017 at the IFC Center in New York City. Head over to the fest’s website for more information.

Lee Grant to Receive Split Screens Festival’s Inaugural Legacy Award was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
See full article at Women and Hollywood »

Take a Number and Wait: Bureaucracy in the On-Screen Afterlife

According to the movies, death looks a whole lot like the Dmv.Beetlejuice (1988)

Applying to grad school can feel a lot like limbo. Like being stuck in a waiting room, clutching a call number with wingdings on it, praying you dotted all your i’s correctly. You’d be forgiven for thinking your curriculum vitae was being weighed on a scale against the feather of Ma’at, Egyptian deity of minimum Gpa requirements. It feels just about as esoteric.

Divine judgement, like academia, has a bureaucratic bent to it; an adherence to policy and procedure at odds with any human tendency towards sense-making. That’s a particularly humorous metaphor: that complex administrative systems are as inscrutable and baffling as divine ones, that something so nefariously human could be otherworldly. It’s a relatable, “so taxes are like, literally hell, huh?” The joke’s longevity extends at least as far back as Virgil’s Aeneid, where
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

From the People Archives: Celebrate Author Robert James Waller’s Legacy with a Look Back at the Bridges of Madison County Movie

From the People Archives: Celebrate Author Robert James Waller’s Legacy with a Look Back at the Bridges of Madison County Movie
Celebrated author Robert James Waller has died at the age of 77. Take a look back at People’s 1995 cover story on Meryl Streep and her emotional role in the film adaptation of Waller’s The Bridges of Madison County.

In the final days of the five-week shoot of The Bridges of Madison County last fall, Meryl Streep did one of the many things she does better onscreen than anyone else: she cried. Filming an emotional scene in which her character struggles to say goodbye to her lover, the actress would show up on the set in Winterset, Iowa, at 9 in
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Review: Is 'The Good Place' a heavenly new comedy for Kristen Bell & Ted Danson?

  • Hitfix
Review: Is 'The Good Place' a heavenly new comedy for Kristen Bell & Ted Danson?
Michael Schur's choice of TV subjects started out very small, growing over time until his latest show is about life, the universe, and everything. Schur started out writing for Greg Daniels on The Office, telling obscure stories about obscure people whose lives and dreams rarely grew beyond a paper company branch office in Scranton. Then he and Daniels created Parks and Recreation, which began almost as small, focusing on the staff of an Indiana town's parks department, before expanding outward until Leslie and Ben both had prominent national government jobs (one of them perhaps becoming President by the end). Then he and Dan Goor did Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is about New York cops, focusing mainly on squadroom goofiness but occasionally showing the detectives taking down drug rings, mobsters, and even a serial killer. Now, though, comes the Schur-created The Good Place (it debuts Monday at 10 on NBC with back-to-back episodes,
See full article at Hitfix »

The Good Place Review: Kristen Bell's New Comedy Is Almost Heaven

The Good Place Review: Kristen Bell's New Comedy Is Almost Heaven
What happens when we die? It’s a big, complicated question that doesn’t really lend itself to a jokey sitcom. But NBC’s breezy new comedy The Good Place (previewing Monday, Sept. 19 at 10/9c, before calling Thursdays at 8:30 home) manages to tackle thorny issues like morality and religion while still delivering the most laughs of any new series this fall. In short, it’s a godsend.

Kristen Bell stars as Eleanor Shellstrop, who opens her eyes in a pristine white room and is informed by the kindly Michael (Ted Danson) that she has just died. (In an embarrassing
See full article at TVLine.com »

Fall TV Preview: The 17 Most Anticipated Comedies of 2016

  • Indiewire
Fall TV Preview: The 17 Most Anticipated Comedies of 2016
“Mary + Jane”

September 5 on MTV

What Is It? From the writer/directors behind the cult favorite “Josie and the Pussycats” adaptation, this series follows two “ganjapeneurs” who run a weed delivery service in Los Angeles.

I’ll Like It If I Like… The “Broad City” influence is pretty clear, as the show is focused on the tight friendship between Jordan (Scout Durwood) and Paige (Jessica Rothe) and their stoner antics.

Why Should I Care? Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont’s unique approach to satirizing La hipster culture really help this show stand out from the pack of other female-led comedies, while also promising a more surreal touch. Durwood and Rothe also make for an enjoyable pairing. For fans of the pot comedy genre, it’s an easy sell.

Atlanta

September 6 on FX

What is it? Donald Glover of “Community” fame returns to TV in his most ambitious project yet, which he produces,
See full article at Indiewire »

Fall TV Preview: The 17 Most Anticipated Comedies of 2016

Fall TV Preview: The 17 Most Anticipated Comedies of 2016
“Mary + Jane”

September 5 on MTV

What Is It? From the writer/directors behind the cult favorite “Josie and the Pussycats” adaptation, this series follows two “ganjapeneurs” who run a weed delivery service in Los Angeles.

I’ll Like It If I Like… The “Broad City” influence is pretty clear, as the show is focused on the tight friendship between Jordan (Scout Durwood) and Paige (Jessica Rothe) and their stoner antics.

Why Should I Care? Deborah Kaplan and Harry Elfont’s unique approach to satirizing La hipster culture really help this show stand out from the pack of other female-led comedies, while also promising a more surreal touch. Durwood and Rothe also make for an enjoyable pairing. For fans of the pot comedy genre, it’s an easy sell.

Atlanta

September 6 on FX

What is it? Donald Glover of “Community” fame returns to TV in his most ambitious project yet, which he produces,
See full article at Indiewire Television »

You Have 1 Day to Watch These Movies Before They Disappear From Netflix

Netflix giveth, and Netflix taketh away. Although September will yield a ton of fun additions to the streaming platform, there are quite a few titles that will go away throughout the month. So if you're not done sobbing over A Walk to Remember or quoting Zoolander, you better get cracking. Time is ticking. Expiring Sept. 1 2 Fast 2 Furious A Walk to Remember Anywhere but Here Avengers Confidential: Black Widow and Punisher The Bridge on the River Kwai Call Me Crazy: A Five Film The Color Purple Crocodile Dundee Days of Thunder Defending Your Life Double Jeopardy Everybody Loves Raymond, seasons one to nine Exporting Raymond Flight of the Intruder Girl Rising Hachi: A Dog's Tale Hardball The Haunting Nick Cannon: Mr. Showbiz Our Man in Tehran Primal Fear Roboshark Roman Holiday S.W.A.T. Sins of My Father Spanglish Traffic The Weather Man The Wood Zoolander Expiring Sept. 4 Melissa and Joey,
See full article at BuzzSugar »

It Came From The Tube: Salem’S Lot (1979)

Stephen King adaptations are very hard to pull off successfully. For every Misery, there’s a Graveyard Shift; Carrie soars while Cujo stalls. The small screen has had it just as bad—the elephantine The Stand benefits from its four-night rollout, while no amount of time could save The Tommyknockers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg—at last count, there were 91 King adaptations (I’ll need to double-check those figures) across all media. For this blurry-eyed cathode ray kid, however, nothing has yet to match the two-part graveyard dance known as Salem’s Lot (1979).

Originally airing on CBS on Saturday November 17th and 24th, Salem’s Lot was a huge success for the network; there was even talk of turning it into a weekly series. Alas, that never came to be. However, we were gifted with 183 minutes of measured, chilling suspense and terror helmed by none other
See full article at DailyDead »

Destiny

Death doesn't take a holiday in this, the granddaddy of movies about the woeful duties of the Grim Reaper. Fritz Lang's heavy-duty Expressionist fable is as German as they get -- a morbid folk tale with an emotionally powerful finish. Destiny Blu-ray Kino Classics 1921 / B&W / 1:33 flat / 98 min. / Street Date August 30, 2016 / Der müde Tod / available through Kino Lorber / 29.95 Starring Lil Dagover, Walter Janssen, Bernhard Goetzke, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Georg John. Cinematography Bruno Mondi, Erich Nitzschmann, Herrmann Saalfrank, Bruno Timm, Fritz Arno Wagner Film Editor Fritz Lang Written by Fritz Lang, Thea von Harbou Produced by Erich Pommer Directed by Fritz Lang

Reviewed by Glenn Erickson

The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari takes the prize for the most influential work of early German Expressionism, but coming in a close second is the film in which Fritz Lang first got his act (completely) together, 1921's Destiny (Der müde Tod). A wholly cinematic
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

Looking For Albert Brooks In The Netflix World

In the hierarchy of significance in what made news this past week, the sudden availability of the entirety of Albert Brooks’ output of feature films as a writer-director via Netflix Streaming may not carry the urgency of, say, the alarming continuance of African-American deaths under police fire, the attack on a peaceful protest against police violence by shooters who killed five law enforcement officers and wounded several more in Dallas, the ongoing partisan bloviating inspired by the FBI’s decision to not charge Hilary Clinton with federal crimes, or the frightening clown circus of offenses that characterizes the dawning of each new day in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. But art can, among many other things, provide a momentary respite from pain, sometimes even while examining some of the more frustrating, self-centric and petty dissonances within our own, or someone’s else’s worldview, and in this Brooks’ films at
See full article at Trailers from Hell »

New to Streaming: ‘Green Room,’ Albert Brooks, ‘Cemetery of Splendor,’ and More

With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.

The Films of Albert Brooks

We can think of no better way to celebrate the holiday weekend then curling up with the hilarious, often touching films of Albert Brooks. All of his directorial features — Real Life, Modern Romance, Lost in America, Defending Your Life, Mother, The Muse, and Looking For Comedy in a Muslim World — have now been added to Netflix. What are you waiting for?
See full article at The Film Stage »

Watch: Albert Brooks Resorts to Nefarious Methods to Stream His Films on Netflix

Watch: Albert Brooks Resorts to Nefarious Methods to Stream His Films on Netflix
Albert Brooks is probably best known to younger movie fans as Marlin in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory,” but thanks to a recent deal, Netflix is reminding everyone of the comedian’s long history in film. In a humorous new clip, Brooks announces that Netflix will host seven of his movies starting July 1.

Read More: Louis C.K. & Albert Brooks Co-Writing & Starring In Animated Pilot For FX

The lineup will include “Real Life,” “Defending Your Life,” “Modern Romance,” “Lost in America,” “Mother,” “The Muse” and “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” Brooks wrote, directed and stars in each film.

Until now, the movies haven’t been streaming online and were only available for purchase or rental. In the promotional video, Brooks jokes that he may have resorted to unsavory means to secure the deal with Netflix. “I’m not advocating kidnapping in any situation. It is a federal crime,
See full article at Indiewire Television »

Watch: Albert Brooks Resorts to Nefarious Methods to Stream His Films on Netflix

Watch: Albert Brooks Resorts to Nefarious Methods to Stream His Films on Netflix
Albert Brooks is probably best known to younger movie fans as Marlin in Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory,” but thanks to a recent deal, Netflix is reminding everyone of the comedian’s long history in film. In a humorous new clip, Brooks announces that Netflix will host seven of his movies starting July 1.

Read More: Louis C.K. & Albert Brooks Co-Writing & Starring In Animated Pilot For FX

The lineup will include “Real Life,” “Defending Your Life,” “Modern Romance,” “Lost in America,” “Mother,” “The Muse” and “Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World.” Brooks wrote, directed and stars in each film.

Until now, the movies haven’t been streaming online and were only available for purchase or rental. In the promotional video, Brooks jokes that he may have resorted to unsavory means to secure the deal with Netflix. “I’m not advocating kidnapping in any situation. It is a federal crime,
See full article at Indiewire »

Netflix makes a big deal about adding the Albert Brooks filmography, as they should

  • Hitfix
Netflix makes a big deal about adding the Albert Brooks filmography, as they should
"I have seen the future, and it is a bald-headed man from New York!" Has there even been a specially-produced commercial announcing that Netflix was adding the library of a specific writer/director? I think this might be the first, and it feels appropriate that it’s done in spectacular dry Albert Brooks fashion. Tomorrow, the streaming video service will add all seven of the feature films that were written and directed by Brooks, and that is reason to rejoice whether you’re intimately familiar with all of them or new to them completely. I would argue that he’s made three perfect comedies and four films that all feature work that is smart and personal and carefully-observed. Modern Romance is a terrific movie that flies in the face of everything we know about how romantic comedy works, charting the ups and (mostly) downs of a relationship between Brooks and Kathryn Harrold.
See full article at Hitfix »

Netflix To Stream Albert Brooks' Films

Comedian and actor Albert Brooks had a long career before he became known as the voice of Marlin in the "Finding Nemo" films, one aspect of it that doesn't get discussed as much as it should are his efforts at directing.

Kicking off with 1979's "Real Life," Brooks penned and directed seven theatrical features which include 1981's "Modern Romance," 1985's "Lost in America," 1991's "Defending Your Life," 1996's "Mother," 1999's "The Muse" and 2005's "Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World ".

Starting tomorrow (July 1st), Netflix has revealed it will make these films available to stream for the first time ever, although sadly they will be available only to Netflix's U.S. subscribers. Brooks even shot a special piece for the announcement which you can see below:
See full article at Dark Horizons »
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