The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford
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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

11 items from 2015


Why 1998 Was the Best Year In Film History

27 April 2015 12:46 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

All week long our writers will debate: Which was the greatest film year of the past half century.  Check here for a complete list of our essays. Just one glance at the Oscar nominees for 1998 might make it seem less a questionable choice for “best year in film” — and more an insane one.   Instead of a 1974 – The Godfather II, The Conversation, Chinatown, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, etc – or even a 1994, where Shawshank, Quiz Show, and Pulp Fiction lost to Gump – you choose a year where the Oscars would allow Roberto Benigni to climb atop both the figurative and literal chairs of the Shrine?   Fine, step away from the Oscars. Would you still celebrate a year that saw not one, but two movies about asteroids threatening the Earth?  A year that saw such scars carved across cinematic history as Patch Adams, My Giant, Stepmom, and Krippendorf’s Tribe?   It bears repeating: Krippendorf’S Tribe? »

- Michael Oates Palmer

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Blart Attack: The internet is destroying 'Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2'

17 April 2015 12:52 PM, PDT | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

You might guess that "Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2" is the cinematic equivalent of a greasy paper plate that should be wadded up and thrown away outside a Sbarro, and you, sir or madam, are a good guesser. Critics and Twitter pundits agree that the new Kevin James flick is bad for humankind. But there's an upside here: Hilarious comments about bad movies are good for humankind. We've rounded up ten good (and/or just irreverent) takedowns of "PBMC2" and ranked them for your disgusted pleasure. 10. The philosophical take. "This oft-ridiculed screen giant is here to answer a question that has plagued mankind for decades now: what would a film be like if every single person involved made as little effort as humanly possible?"   -Tom Huddleston, Time Out London  9. Does Blart imitate life? "[Paul Blart] is barely anything at all; a stereotype of a stereotype; a half-remembered punchline; a stomach with a mustache and wheels. »

- Louis Virtel

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Watch the trailer for Sundance hit ‘Slow West’, starring Michael Fassbender

24 March 2015 1:40 PM, PDT | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize for World Cinema Dramatic films at Sundance, the first trailer has been released for Slow West, the revisionist Western from first time filmmaker John Maclean, and it’s anything but slow.

The young Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Road, Let Me In) plays a traveler from Scotland on a quest across the West to save his love from a “Dead or Alive” bounty placed on her life. Michael Fassbender is Silas Selleck, a mysterious drifter who accompanies him and teaches him about survival in this region. Slow West also stars Ben Mendelsohn and Rory McCann. Here’s the full plot description via IMDb:

Slow West’ follows a 16-year-old boy on a journey across 19th Century frontier America in search of the woman he loves, while accompanied by mysterious traveler Silas.

Two of our initial reviews out of Sundance, one from Dylan Griffin and another from Lane Scarberry, »

- Brian Welk

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Patricia Norris, Emmy-Winning Costume Director, Dead at 83

4 March 2015 11:57 AM, PST | The Wrap | See recent The Wrap news »

Costume designer Patricia Norris, who won an Emmy Award and was nominated for six Oscars, has died of natural causes at the age of 83. Norris died peacefully in her home Feb. 20 in Southern California, according to her representative. She was known for her frequent collaborations with director David Lynch (“The Elephant Man,” “Blue Velvet”) and Brad Pitt‘s production company, Plan B (“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “12 Years a Slave”). Also Read: ‘Grand Budapest Hotel,’ ‘Birdman’ and ‘Into the Woods’ Win Costume Designers Guild Awards The costume designer won an Emmy for the pilot episode of. »

- L.A. Ross

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Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83

4 March 2015 9:59 AM, PST | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer who helped craft distinctive looks for “12 Years a Slave,” “Scarface” and numerous other films, as well as TV’s “Twin Peaks,” died of natural causes on Feb. 20 in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 83.

Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian De Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”

Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win the Costume Designers’ Period Film Award. Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.

“At a time when women were new at the creative table, Patricia made a place for herself,” said Marcia Hinds, chair of the Art Directors Council at the Adg. »

- Pat Saperstein

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Costume Designer Patricia Norris Dies at 83

4 March 2015 9:59 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Patricia Norris, the Oscar-nommed and Emmy-winning production designer and costume designer who helped craft distinctive looks for “12 Years a Slave,” “Scarface” and numerous other films, as well as TV’s “Twin Peaks,” died of natural causes in Van Nuys, Calif., on Feb. 20. She was 83.

Working with noted directors including David Lynch, Terrence Malick, Robert Altman, Wim Wenders and Brian De Palma, she was Oscar-nommed six times, for “12 Years a Slave,” “Sunset,” “Victor, Victoria,” “The Elephant Man” and “Days of Heaven.”

Though she didn’t win the Oscar for “12 Years,” she did win the Costume Designers’ Period Film Award. Norris, who was known as Patty, was the only person to receive Lifetime Achievement Awards from both the Costume Designers Guild and the Art Directors Guild.

She had a longtime collaboration with Lynch. She designed the costumes for Lynch’s “The Elephant Man,” “The Straight Story,” “Lost Highway,” “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me »

- Pat Saperstein

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‘The Salvation’ delivers an all too rare successful Western

26 February 2015 9:01 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

The Salvation

Written by Anders Thomas Jensen and Kristian Levring

Directed by Kristian Levring

Denmark, 2015

Westerns have never recovered from the oversaturation of the genre that killed off viewer interest decades ago, but every now and then a gem pops up. Recent successes like The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, 2007’s 3:10 to Yuma and the Coen brothers adaptation of True Grit all did well because they tweaked the genre slightly, but director Kristian Levring goes with an old school approach. A faithful recreation of those revenge Westerns made so popular in the 1970s, The Salvation envelopes many elements of previous Clint Eastwood classics and wraps it into a tidy package.

The Salvation starts in on the central dilemma, joining Jon (Hannibal‘s Mad Mikkelsen) at the train station where he awaits the arrival of his wife and son. Jon and his brother, Peter (Mikael Persbrandt »

- Colin Biggs

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My Best of the Sundance Film Festival 2015

5 February 2015 6:50 AM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Getting to go to Sundance this year was an incredible experience, the weather was surprisingly not terrible, I had great conversations in line with people, and almost every film of the 20 that I saw was good to great. Some of them will likely stick with me all year and end up on my top 10 of 2015 list. Before we get to my top 5 of Sundance though, I do want to take a moment and give a shout out to some of the films that I hate myself for not seeing.

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Films I hate myself for not seeing:

The Witch 

Written and Directed by Robert Eggers

This was the only film at the festival that I wasn’t able to get in through the waitlist. That’s great for the film, but it broke my perfect record and I couldn’t see this film that had the festival going crazy for it. »

- Dylan Griffin

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Cinematographers pick the best-shot films of all time

4 February 2015 12:31 PM, PST | Hitfix | See recent Hitfix news »

Stumbling across that list of best-edited films yesterday had me assuming that there might be other nuggets like that out there, and sure enough, there is American Cinematographer's poll of the American Society of Cinematographers membership for the best-shot films ever, which I do recall hearing about at the time. But they did things a little differently. Basically, in 1998, cinematographers were asked for their top picks in two eras: films from 1894-1949 (or the dawn of cinema through the classic era), and then 1950-1997, for a top 50 in each case. Then they followed up 10 years later with another poll focused on the films between 1998 and 2008. Unlike the editors' list, though, ties run absolutely rampant here and allow for way more than 50 films in each era to be cited. I'd love to see what these lists would look like combined, however. I imagine "Citizen Kane," which was on top of the 1894-1949 list, »

- Kristopher Tapley

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Sundance 2015: ‘Slow West’ is a tense and thoughtful revisionist western

28 January 2015 12:57 PM, PST | SoundOnSight | See recent SoundOnSight news »

Slow West

Written and Directed by John Maclean

United Kingdom/New Zealand, 2015

After the film finished, writer and director John Maclean acknowledged how surreal it felt to be premiering a western at Sundance of all places. After all, John Ford filmed many of his classics in the state of Utah, making it a sort of mecca of westerns. This however is very different from the traditional western as it is seen through a foreign lens and with a postmodern knowledge. It calls to mind other revisionist westerns from this century such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition and Red Hill. The plot takes place in 1870 and follows 16-year-old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who has traveled from Scotland to the American west to find his love, Rose (Caren Pistorius). Accompanying him is a mysterious and formidable drifter, Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender).

Kodi Smit-McPhee already »

- Dylan Griffin

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Cinematographers Pick Top Five, Will Oscar Votes Go the Same Way?

7 January 2015 9:40 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Deakins is nominated for the 13th time for the American Society of Cinematographers (Asc) Award, which he has won three times, for Sam Mendes' "Skyfall" (2013), Frank Darabont's "The Shawshank Redemption" (1995) and the Coen brothers' "The Man Who Wasn’t There" (2002). His other nominations include the Coens' "Fargo" (1997), "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" (2001), "No Country for Old Men" (2008) and "True Grit" (2011), Martin Scorsese's  "Kundun" (1998), Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" (2008), Mendes' "Revolutionary Road" (2009), Stephen Daldry's "The Reader" (2009), and Denis Villeneuve's "Prisoners" (2014). He won the Asc's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011. (Read: Bill Desowitz's interview with him here. ) As expected, the nominees are: Roger Deakins, Asc, Bsc for Unbroken Óscar »

- Anne Thompson

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2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

11 items from 2015


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