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“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot!
The world forgetting, by the world forgot.
Each pray’r accepted, and each wish resign’d”
This writer is no romantic. As much as a need exists for romantic comedies there are few capable of breaching my cynical defences; less still which bear repeat viewing. Thankfully there are those who cater to the romantic realist, striking a balance between the fluff of Ephron and flim-flam which is Richard Curtis. Those are the ones I return to because few people intellectualise love like Allen in Annie Hall, while Kaufman’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is both love letter and warning shot for the unwary.
My primary reason for revisiting is simply one of fascination. Love is defined by scientists as a chemical reaction built through the sharing of collective experience. In filmic terms »
- Gary Collinson
A quarter-century after “Batman” ushered in the era of Hollywood mega-tentpoles — hollow comicbook pictures manufactured to enthrall teens and hustle merch — a penitent Michael Keaton returns with the comeback of the century, “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance),” a blisteringly hot-blooded, defiantly anti-formulaic look at a has-been movie star’s attempts to resuscitate his career by mounting a vanity project on Broadway. , that will electrify the industry, captivate arthouse and megaplex crowds alike, send awards pundits into orbit and give fresh wings to Keaton’s career.
See Also: Michael Keaton Bursts Into Oscar Race
Keaton was a controversial choice to play the Caped Crusader back in 1989, though the role was the best and worst thing that could have happened to the “Mr. Mom” star, who became world-renowned but never found another role of that stature — and who didn’t get nearly the same boost from working with Tarantino (on »
- Peter Debruge
Not a lot to say in the pre-amble to this week’s selection of titles. Should probably apologise for the negativity in advance because a lot of the below is dreck this week across any content provider apart from the occasional bright spot and a new Netflix exclusive. Hopefully you will be able to at least find something worth a look that floats your boat.
This week’s titles of note are as follows:
There really isn’t anymore praise that I can heap on Alfonso Cuaron’s outer space thrill ride that hasn’t been heaped upon it already. Upon repeat viewing what impresses more and more is the technical marvel that this film represents with Gravity being a massive leap forward in the use of virtual sets as well as animation that looks like real people.
There are apparently whole entire scenes here featuring Sandra Bullock and »
- Chris Holt
As you can probably tell, this list feels more arbitrary than others. That’s not by design, but the unfortunate premise of the list leaves some room for interpretation. As we move forward, we will start seeing the films that, if you asked a lay person to give an example, would probably be a response. In other words, more people have heard of them, which, in turn, often makes them more “definitive.” Don’t worry, though – there are still some underseen and underappreciated gems the rest of the way through.
40. Werckmeister Harmonies (2000)
Directed by: Béla Tarr
It’s certainly not the swiftest film on the list, but you can’t expect much quick plot development from Béla Tarr. Wreckmeister Harmonies takes place in a tiny Hungarian town surrounded by nothing. The winter is incredibly cold, but it never snows. Yet the townspeople are excited in the middle of town as »
- Joshua Gaul
If you haven’t seen Michael Winterbottom’s 2010 “The Trip,” stop everything right this second and watch it (hint: it’s on Netflix.) Initiated as a BBC television show, UK viewers have already been put in stitches by Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon’s antics therein. Playing fictionalized versions of themselves, not unlike John Malkovich in “Being John Malkovich,” while traveling the English countryside reviewing restaurants for UK’s The Observer, the pair's carrying on is similar to a fond memory of two instinctively funny acquaintances you’re not sure you’ll ever meet again. Luckily, Steve and Rob reunite for “The Trip To Italy,”and the effect amounts to déjà-vu, with the added bonus of seeing the resplendent Italian coast. After the surprising success of his first restaurant reviews for The Observer, Steve is now asked to visit six restaurants in six different Italian coastal cities, starting in Liguria and ending in Capri. »
- Nikola Grozdanovic
After successfully melding animation and documentary (two cinematic vocabularies that appear incompatible) in 2008’s "Waltz with Bashir," director Ari Folman returns to the big screen with "The Congress," a live action/animation mind-trip loosely inspired by Stanislaw Lem’s novel "The Futurological Congress." Taking a page from "Being John Malkovich" and "Cold Souls" (remember 'Cold Souls'?), 'The Congress' sends another movie star playing herself (Robin Wright) into a trippy sci-fi/fantasy landscape. Desperate to take care of her ailing son, Wright lets a dubious company scan her image and personality for a mysterious project. She eventually finds herself in a 2D-animated future world that resembles Ralph Bakshi’s manic 1970s style. Despite less than stellar reviews, which tend to praise the film’s visual inventiveness while criticizing its overcrowded philosophical ambitions, one hopes that it’s better than »
- Oktay Ege Kozak
Confession. I haven’t seen Galaxy Quest. I mean, I’m sure I’ve technically seen the whole thing in bits and pieces on cable (and my best friend’s dad in high school was a huge Star Trek nerd so he had the laserdisc of this on repeat at their house), but I’ve never actually sat down to watch the entire thing. I think this has a lot to do with the fact that it came out in 1999, a year in which I was an insufferable faux snob, only deigning to watch stuff like Magnolia, Fight Club and Being John Malkovich. I just didn’t have the time for a goofy movie with Tim Allen, Sigourney Weaver, Alan Rickman and Sam Rockwell. Turns out I was likely wrong, and I continue to pay the price. Time has been kind to Galaxy Quest in terms of cultural response, and »
- Evan Dickson
1999 was an amazing year of movies. One of the best ever. Being John Malkovich, The Matrix, Fight Club, Magnolia, Eyes Wide Shut, American Beauty, the list goes on and on. A film that also belongs on that list, but is rarely mentioned in the same space, is Galaxy Quest. The smart, hilarious send-up of […]
The post Everyone Involved With ‘Galaxy Quest’ Wants a Sequel appeared first on /Film. »
- Germain Lussier
John Cusack was once the oddball star of such classics as High Fidelity, Being John Malkovich and Grosse Pointe Blank, but 2014 has seen the actor knock out 4 films already with more to come by the end of the year. These aren’t the wonderful films Cusack used to put out but are instead a range of straight to DVD films, or films that share a limited theatrical run with an on demand release date. Reclaim is no different, with Cusack being a sinister guy who adopts out children for high prices, and then reclaims them in order to continue the scame. Ryan Phillippe plays an unsuspecting American who, along with his wife played by Rachelle Lefevre, become victims to the menacing Cusack, but will stop at nothing to get their recently adopted daughter back. It looks like a decent bit of action fluff, but surely Cusack must be running on empty by now. »
- Luke Ryan Baldock
Deadline reported Wednesday that HBO has officially greenlit Show Me a Hero, a six-hour miniseries from David Simon (co-creator of The Wire). The miniseries will star Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis, and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII) and Catherine Keener (Captain Phillips, Being John Malkovich). Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) is set to direct.
The series centers on Nick Wasicsko (Isaac), a big-city mayor who ends up in the middle of a racial controversy brought on when a federal court tasks him to build low-income housing units in the white neighborhoods of his city of Yonkers, NY.
Simon and Baltimore Sun journalist/The Wire writer William F. Zorzi have adapted Lisa Belkin’s nonfiction book of the same name, which focuses on the real life Yonkers mayor and the precarious situation that managed damage the local government and eventually wreaked havoc on his political career. »
- Randall Unger
Frank Darabont to direct ‘The Huntsman,’ formerly known as ‘Snow White and the Huntsman 2′ Universal’s Snow White and the Huntsman 2, now retitled The Huntsman, already has a 2016 release date. Huntsman Chris Hemsworth and Evil Queen Charlize Theron are in; Snow White Kristen Stewart and apparently Prince Charming — aka Prince William — Sam Claflin are out, unless they show up in star cameos. And as reported a few weeks ago, former The Walking Dead executive producer Frank Darabont (he was fired from the show in July 2011) has been set to direct the prequel to Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman. Darabont reportedly beat Gavin O’Connor (Warrior) and Andy Muschietti (Mama) following a pitch focusing on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman character. Thor in tights and with a Scottish burr? Frank Darabont movies Besides his The Walking Dead gig, Frank Darabont also happens to be the director of two major blockbusters »
- Zac Gille
Week in Review rounds up the best of the rest of film and TV news hitting the web this week. Check out the rest of the Sos Blog for more news updates.
Unless your name is Edgar Wright, it’s hard to imagine a superhero movie of any caliber and pedigree not somehow getting made in today’s day and age.
And yet in 1997, that’s exactly what happened. Tim Burton, many years after the success of his original Batman, was attached to direct Superman Lives, originally starring none other than Nicolas Cage as everyone’s favorite Kryptonian and adapted from a screenplay by Kevin Smith.
Just how in God’s green Earth did this brilliant, strange mash-up of talents in a movie never come to light is the question behind a documentary currently in production, The Death of Superman Lives: What Happened?
The film is being directed by Jon Schnepp, »
- Brian Welk
A topic worth thinking carefully over though this stream of consciousness must do for now.
Esquire claims that 1999 was the last Great Year of Movies. Several good points are made but Of Course the writer had to throw out that exhausting false equivalent "tv is better than film" argument again that actually has very little to do with the topic at hand. Stop people of the internet. Think before you type. The two art forms are not interchangeable - they have different strengths and weaknesses and the transcendent TV series are but a tiny sliver of the product on TV just as the most magical movies are a tiny sliver of films made. The best TV is not equivalent to cinematic blockbusters, what's equivalent to that if you must have your damn equivalencies are massively watched shows like The Big Bang Theory, The Voice, Duck Dynasty and Modern Family and »
- NATHANIEL R
Photos from the upcoming eighth series finale showcase that the episode is set to recreate the iconic scenes from the second Doctor serial "The Invasion" a full 46 years after the original.
The famous photo of Cybermen marching down the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral is being redone with the latest version of the Cybermen. [Source: io9]
BBC America has unveiled an extended trailer for its new sci-fi series "Intruders" starring John Simm, Mira Sorvino, Robert Forester and James Frain. Almost David Lynch-ian in its flat out cryptic nature and obtuseness, it kind of looks like an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" update.
The event miniseries follows the epic tales of Harry Houdini as he emerges as America’s first bonafide world-renowned superstar. »
- Garth Franklin
A group of Israel’s most prominent young filmmakers have publicly called upon the government of Israel to declare a ceasefire in its current conflict with Gaza, while Spike Jonze, who despite the conflict traveled as planned to the Jerusalem Film Festival, scrapped a scheduled masterclass meant to coincide with a screening of “Being John Malkovich.”
“Dear filmmakers and filmgoers, I apologize for not being there with you tonight. It felt like the wrong time for me to be talking about movies with everything going on,” Jonze said in a statement. “I hope you understand. I will come back and screen movies and talk film when the time is right. My heart is with you and everyone who is suffering right now.”
- Debra Kamin
Festival also moves Dancing Arabs screening indoors.
Spike Jonze has cancelled his Jerusalem Film Festival masterclass on July 16 because of the current conflict.
Jonze did travel to Jerusalem as planned but decided not to go ahead with the event. He said in a statement: “Dear filmmakers and filmgoers, I apologise for not being there with you tonight. It felt like the wrong time for me to be talking about movies with everything going on. I hope you understand. I will come back again and screen movies and talk film with you when the time is right. My heart is with you and everyone who is suffering right now.”
The festival said it appreciated Jonze coming to Jerusalem and understood his decision.
Noa Regev, director general of the Festival, said “We respect Mr. Jonze’s decision, and we apologize to the many people who we’re looking forward to this event.”
The festival »
- email@example.com (Wendy Mitchell)
I was still on the road to Jerusalem — where I had been invited to serve as a member of the documentary jury at this year’s Jerusalem Film Festival — last Thursday, when the first air raid siren sounded. “Can you hear it?” asked the driver charged with transporting me and two other American journalists from the Tel Aviv airport as he rolled down the window. Apparently, protocol in these situations is to pull over, exit the vehicle, and lie down on the ground. But our driver proceeded apace, noting with delight that there was now much less traffic on the highway.
Israelis seem sanguine about the rocket attacks. But the festival saw some guests cancel and the opening night gala had to be rescheduled. Otherwise the festival’s opening weekend went off without any visible hitches. To be sure, the mood has been occasionally tense: on Saturday afternoon, during an »
- Scott Foundas
Michael Sugar: " I have to sell it - so I have to love it."
The production and management company Anonymous Content that has backed any number of films, directors and TV series (among them Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind, Wild at Heart, Winter's Bone, and HBO's True Detective, recent recipient of 12 Emmy nominations (*) and the upcoming The Knick, from Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owen) has been the subject of a special focus at Karlovy Vary.
Under the direction of its founder Steve Golin, the veteran producer behind Being John Malkovich, and producer and partner Michael Sugar, the company represents directors such as Richard Linklater, Marc Webb, Steven Soderbergh and Nicolas Winding Refn, and actors including Emma Stone, Idris Elba, Samuel L. Jackson, Robin Wright and Ryan Gosling, among many others.
- Richard Mowe
Directors are among the high-profile international guests at this year’s festival.
The festival said in statement: “Despite the security situation, more than 100 distinguished international guests are on their way to Jerusalem…The Festival’s international guests have expressed their support of the non-cancellation of the Festival and are due to arrive in Jerusalem in the coming days.”
Jonze, who recently won an Academy Award for best original screenplay for his sci-fi romance Her, will give a masterclass following a screening of his Oscar-nominated fantasy comedy Being John Malkovich — which marks its 15th anniversary this year.
It is the first time Jonze, whose father was descended from a German Jewish family, has visited Israel.
Korea’s Park will also give a masterclass and participate in a panel on his country’s cinema »
By Jennica Lynn Johnson
After seeing the trailer for Warm Bodies (2013), I made a mental note to steer clear of it in movie theaters. Zombies-- although they have had their popularity throughout horror history-- have become significantly trendy within the horror community for the past decade with movies such as 28 Weeks Later (2007), Zombieland (2009), and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies (2012). By the time the third season of The Walking Dead aired in 2012, it was clear that the end of the current zombie craze could be upon us. I suspected that Warm Bodies would be the last nail in the coffin of what started out as a delightfully gory ride.
I’m not entirely sure why I expected Warm Bodies to be such a failure. Perhaps I feared that it would be another teen romance movie with just a dash of horror elements. Or maybe I thought the leading lady, Teresa Palmer, »
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