8 items from 2010
Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of John Hughes' death due to a sudden heart attack at the age of 59. Having just watched the documentary Don't You Forget About Me last night (which wasn't particularly great), I was thinking about how most of his films have truly withstood the test of time, and how disappointing it is that he simply stopped making them. Although it's pretty difficult to single out just one of his movies, I'm putting the question to you Film Junkies: is there one that stands out above all the rest? I'm also including some of the noteworthy films that he wrote, even if he didn't direct them. Cast your vote in this week's poll, and feel free to discuss the career highlights of Mr. John Hughes in the comments below. Online Surveys  & Market Research   http://www.vizu.com  http://answers.vizu.com/market-research.htm
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In five short days, the four remaining contestants of American Idol's ninth season will hit the stage and tackle "Songs of the Cinema" under the watchful eye of guest mentor Jamie Foxx. Still, judging from the list of 34 potential genre tracks Idol has posted on iTunes (and listed after the jump), the theme could just as easily be called Tragic Treacle Week. I mean, come on now, how are these cats supposed to sound "current" or "relevant" tackling tracks like "Eye of the Tiger" or "Beauty and the Beast" or that Tina Turner jam with the word "Thunderdome" in it? »
- Michael Slezak
"American Idol" announced during the Top 5 results show that the next theme would be Songs of the Cinema and the mentor would be one Jamie Foxx of "Ray" fame. He was also last year's Rat Pack theme mentor.
We were initially trepidatious about this theme because in the past it has yielded many bad performances of "Against All Odds," but then we remembered Paige Miles' debacle and felt relieved that we wouldn't have to sit through that song again. The worry came back, however, when we saw this week's list of song choices.
"Idol" might as well have called this Cheesy '80s Songs week or Kenny Loggins Songs week. The list is like six songs long and most of them are completely unusable by the Idols for various reasons -- there's nothing to be done but karaoke (most of the list), other Idols have killed them ("Over the Rainbow, »
The death of musician Alex Chilton in the middle of last March brought an untimely end to a very unusual career. Only 59 at the time of his death, his years as a professional musician began all the way back in 1966; he was only 16 when, as the lead singer of The Box Tops, he made it to the top of the charts with "The Letter." After the dissolution of that band, whose music was largely dictated by outside writers and producers, the Memphis-born Chilton attempted a solo career before hooking up with young Memphis musicians Chris Bell, Andy Hummel, and Jody Stephens to form Big Star. To say that this band created what came to be known as "power pop" is, in this former music writer's opinion, rather too kind to most of the groups put under the "power pop" rubric. And since this is a film website and not a music website, »
We thought we could beat the team from Emmanuel College, Cambridge. We were wrong
I have just seen Alex Guttenplan and his Emmanuel team swat aside their opponents, St John's College, Oxford, to win this year's University Challenge trophy. I sympathise with the defeated students; I was a contestant on this year's show. My Jesus, Oxford, team exited in the quarter-finals following a heavy defeat to the eventual victors.
We did not see it coming. Emmanuel had started terribly, scraping through to later rounds via a play-off system. They were not going to stand in our way – but we would humour them. In the green room before filming, we made polite small talk – "So what brings you here? You always ruined your family holidays by repeating endless lists of trivia? Me too!" – while trying to psych out our opponents. They were all pleasant but quiet. Guttenplan kept himself to himself, »
We run down a few of the reasons why the late writer/producer/director inspired a touching Oscars tribute.
By Susannah Gora
Photo: Paul Natkin/WireImage
At Sunday's Oscars, the late writer/producer/director John Hughes received a rare special tribute — something that his fans agree was a richly deserved validation of his work. Although Hughes made great movies about adults ("Planes, Trains and Automobiles") and children ("Home Alone"), he will be forever associated with teenagers — and for good reason. The movies he made in the 1980s about teens, including "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club," "Pretty in Pink," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" and "Some Kind of Wonderful," did nothing less than revolutionize the youth film genre.
These films permanently changed how Hollywood makes and markets teen movies, but more than that, they made a great sociological impact, changing the way many young people think about everything from love and friendship to sex, »
The 15th Annual Critics Choice Awards were held on Friday night, and Death Cab for Cutie were in the house to play a special tribute song to John Hughes. The tender quartet played one of the most iconic tracks of the 1980's, Simple Minds' "Don't You Forget About Me," as clips from Hughes' films flowed behind. Granted, it's a tough track to tackle, considering its beloved melody has been forever burned in millions' brains. But frontman Ben Gibbard obviously struggled with its opening strains, while the band was trying to bring new emotional impact to it's oft-repeated riffs. HitFix awards blogger »
- Katie Hasty
The producers of the VH1's Critics' Choice Movie Awards owe Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock big time, for had the two Best Actress winners not interlocked lips, there would have been practically nothing to remember last night's show by. But when Streep and Bullock tied for the Actress award, for Julie & Julia and The Blind Side, respectively, the two took matters into their own hands and rescued the sinking ship. Actually, if you re-watch the moment, it appears that Bullock initiated the lip-to-lip contact, as Streep hesitated for a second before Bullock basically yanked her head in for the delivery. »
- John Young
8 items from 2010
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