14 items from 2014
The movie equivalent of a mean girls’ game whose only goal is the humiliation of its protagonist, for your entertainment. Also: a failed parable of the twistedness of the 1 percent. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing
I’m “biast” (con): nothing
(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)
So I was at this party one time in high school, and a bunch of mean girls thought they could trick me into embarrassing myself. The game was: I put a blanket over my head, and then I had to hand them stuff that was on my person until I hit on the one secret item that they had it in their heads that they wanted me to give them. I can’t remember what the first thing I gave them was — something innocuous, like my watch or a shoe, neither of which was the secret thing, of course. »
- MaryAnn Johanson
Director E.L. Katz‘s Cheap Thrills was the first movie to get picked up for distribution at this year’s South by Southwest, and it’s also the third movie in a row actor Pat Healy has had at the festival, following Compliance and The Innkeepers. All three movies have featured Healy in a starring role, but, according to Healy, that doesn’t mean he still isn’t crashing on people’s couches to make it to a film festival. Healy has been acting for quite a while now, making small appearances in Payback, The Assassination of Jesse James, to, who could forget, Home Alone 3. Even with a steady stream of working coming his way recently, Healy still struggles, and and that struggle is something Cheap Thrills is very much about. When I sat down with Healy in Austin he was playing with his sweater, which was made by his brother’s clothing company, Toddland »
- Jack Giroux
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 13 Mar 2014 - 05:44
Our voyage through history's underappreciated films arrives at the year 2011, and a great year for lesser-seen gems...
Even a cursory glance at the top 10 grossing films of 2011 reveals something strange: nine of the entries are sequels. Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 brought the fantasy franchise to a close with a staggering $1.3bn haul. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon wasn't too far behind with just over $1.1bn. On Stranger Tides continued the Pirates Of The Caribbean series' wave of success, despite mixed reviews.
Elsewhere in the top 10, you'll find another Twilight, a fourth Mission: Impossible, a second Kung Fu Panda, a fifth Fast, another Hangover, and further Cars. Standing alone on the list is The Smurfs, the adaptation of Peyo's Belgian comic strip. In fact, 2011 saw the release of no fewer than 28 sequels - the most we've yet seen in any given year. »
When you have passion for movies but find yourself covering the circus that is the Oscar race every year, you're constantly searching out that zen patch of land, away from, maybe even above, the fray. There are a couple of things I've asserted in all my years of doing this. "No one needs awards coverage this deep," as quoted by New York Magazine in an article last week, is one. "Don't take this too seriously" is another. On the latter, I can't really force that stance on anyone, nor should I. If you want to take the Oscars seriously, as something indicative of greater truth, as something — because of the show's position on the "world stage" — with the potential of illuminating the human condition, or the milestones of artistic history, that's fine. I leave that in the hands of the artists and the art, not the voters and the contest. »
- Kristopher Tapley
We’re getting closer to Hollywood’s night to shine – the Oscars. This year’s nominations are a bevy of brilliant films, performances and crafts, the motion picture industry at its best.
The Academy Awards is the gold standard by which every other awards show is measured, because when it comes to the biggest night in film, nobody does it better than Oscar!
In anticipation of the star-studded night at the Dolby Theatre, the gang at Wamg has chosen their favorite nominees – from the Best Picture and Best Acting categories to the technical categories, here’s a close-up look at our Top 10 Favorite nominees.
Best Picture – American Hustle
By Jim Batts
The Best Picture Oscar usually goes to the film that shines a light on a social injustice, a historical event, or individuals battling injury or disease. The most wildly entertaining (sorry Marty and Leo, but three hours of arrogant »
- Movie Geeks
In December of last year, New York's Museum of the Moving Image expressed some doubt as to whether a revival screening of Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" would draw a crowd. It did, and they had to book another day to accommodate the interest. The American Cinematheque here in Los Angeles thought the smaller Aero Theater in Santa Monica would be a better venue for the program. They ended up selling out the larger Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood for a screening Saturday night, quite rare for a repertory program there. The "Jesse James Revival" has »
- Kristopher Tapley
Odd List Ryan Lambie Simon Brew 6 Feb 2014 - 06:08
Our series of lists devoted to underappreciated films brings us to the year 2007, and another 25 overlooked gems...
For some reason, the number three was a common factor in several blockbuster movies of 2007. The third film in the Pirates Of The Caribbean series (At World's End) dominated the box office, Spider-Man 3 marked Sam Raimi's last entry as director in the series, while Mike Myers went for a hat trick of hits with Shrek The Third.
I Am Legend was the third and most financially successful attempt to bring Richard Matheson's classic novel to the big screen, Rush Hour 3 marked Jackie Chan's last action pairing with Chris Tucker, while Zack Snyder's musky sword-swinger 300 was notable for having the number three in the title.
Iffy attempts at numerology aside, 2007 was also a superb for year for movies in general - particularly underappreciated ones, »
Nominated for an Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Denis Villeneuve’s Prisoners was photographed by the great Roger Deakins — whose work you’ve undoubtedly admired in O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and The Shawshank Redemption. The cinematographer brought his A-game to Villeneuve’s thriller about two missing girls and the father desperately searching for them. Deakins’ chilly palette creates a haunting air about the ordinary. Landscape shots become psychological and casual conversation is captured with subtle unease. A fellow cinematographer who admires Deakins’ work, Matthew Scott, has dissected several of the scenes in Prisoners, analyzing the setups with fascinating...
- Alison Nastasi
Sam Rockwell is one of the greatest actors working today. If you’re not already in agreement with me, look over his diverse body of work. Rockwell has killed roles, both lead and supporting, in movies as weird as Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, as shattering as Conviction, and as breathtakingly original as Moon. Along the way, he’s played integral parts in classics like The Green Mile and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He’s one of my favorite actors because, no matter how many great roles I see him in, he just sells it every time.
A Single Shot, a relentlessly bleak and atmospheric noir drama, is no exception. As hunter John Moon, who accidentally shoots and kills a young woman, only to uncover a huge amount of money she was guarding, Rockwell is absolutely terrific. It’s a very physical part for the actor, »
- Isaac Feldberg
Most Academy Awards hand out five nominations apiece. Some awards only hand out three; a few years ago, the Academy opened up the Best Picture race to like a million nominees. But the specific number doesn’t really matter. Most races inevitably come down to some kind of face-off between two nominees: Frontrunner vs. Dark Horse, Beloved Veteran vs. Dynamic Newcomer, Megahit vs. Beloved Smaller Film, Dark Tale Of The Modern World vs. Sentimental Nostalgia Bait.
Each year, though there are races that defy any easy binary rendering. These are the categories that stacked almost too high with talent. Sometimes that’s clear right away, »
- Darren Franich
By Mark Pinkert
One of the most popular Oscar hopefuls this year is Bruce Dern, who has gotten a lot of love from critics and from his peers for a great performance in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. But, other than the role itself, what has made his story so special is that he’s had an extremely prolific film career–mostly as a supporting actor–and is finally getting Oscar recognition for the first time at the age of 77. (Dern did get nominated for Best Supporting Actor thirty-five years ago for Coming Home (1978).) Even getting a nomination, though, will be an uphill battle, as he’s in a tight race with the likes of Tom Hanks, Leonardo DiCaprio, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Matthew McConaughey.
Unfortunately for Dern, he’ll also have to squeeze past another 77-year-old, Robert Redford, who is due for a win as well. Surprisingly, this iconic actor »
- Mark Pinkert
The American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) has revealed the nominees in the theatrical motion picture category of the 28th Annual Asc Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
.Our members believe these cinematographers have set the contemporary standard for artful, theatrical motion picture cinematography,. says Asc President Richard Crudo. .They have mastered a complex craft which contributes vitally to the storytelling process, and augments the intentions of everyone involved with the production..
In other words, the cinematographers pick who they think created the most beautifully and thematically constructed movies of 2013!
And in a year full of great movies, even the Asc was having a tough time narrowing their choices. Normally, they select five nominees, but there was a three-way tie this year that resulted to seven contenders.
The winner will be revealed on February 1! Here's the complete list of Asc nominees:
Sean Bobbitt, Bsc for 12 Years a Slave
After winning last year's American Society of Cinematographers award for his stunning work on Skyfall, director of photography Roger Deakins has been nominated again for the 28th Annual Asc Awards honoring cinematography for films in 2013. Joining Deakins and his nominated work on the thriller Prisoners is Sean Bobbitt for 12 Years a Slave, Barry Ackroyd for Captain Phillips, Philippe Le Sourd for The Grandmaster, Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity, Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis, Phedon Papamichael for Nebraska. It's surprising that American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street were left out of this race, but it was clearly a competitive year since a three-way tie led to seven nominees. What's truly impressive is that this marks Deakins' 12th nomination for the Asc Award after being previously winning for The Shawshank Redemption and The Man Who Wasn't There, and getting nominated for Fargo, Kundun, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, No Country for Old Men, »
- Ethan Anderton
The American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) has announced nominations in the theatrical motion picture category of the 28th Annual Asc Awards for Outstanding Achievement.
The nominees for Outstanding Achievement in Feature-Film Cinematography:
Barry Ackroyd (Capt. Phillips)
Sean Bobbitt (12 Yrs a Slave)
The winner will be revealed at the awards ceremony on February 1, at the Hollywood & Highland Ray Dolby Ballroom.
“Our members believe these cinematographers have set the contemporary standard for artful, theatrical motion picture cinematography,” says Asc President Richard Crudo. “They have mastered a complex craft which contributes vitally to the storytelling process, and augments the intentions of everyone involved with the production.”
Traditionally, the organization selects five nominees, but a three-way tie this year boosts that number to seven.
This year’s nomination brings Deakins’ total to 12. He won last year for Skyfall, »
- Michelle McCue
14 items from 2014
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