9 items from 2013
The past couple years have seen a healthy stream of fantastic documentaries focused on the world of music. More precisely, Searching for Sugar Man, Paul Williams Still Alive and Sound City all entertained and enlightened by offering viewers a glimpse into stories from the past about people that today’s audiences have forgotten. The upcoming Drafthouse Films release, A Band Called Death, aims to do the same by re-introducing the world to a little-known but much respected punk/rock band from the early ’70s. They preceded bands we do remember but were forgotten to the ravages of time. It’s not just their timing that makes them stand out from the Caucasian crowd though… Check out the first trailer for A Band Called Death below. Nice. Before Bad Brains, the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones, there was a band called Death. Punk before punk existed, three teenage brothers in the early ’70s formed a band in »
- Rob Hunter
In the interest of brevity, I'll ignore this week's new releases (helpful hint: you should, too!) and go straight to the impressive lineup of special screenings.
Few film franchises are more impressive than Michael Apted's Up documentary series. Debuting in 1964 with Seven Up, which introduced viewers to 14 British 7-year-olds, the groundbreaking series has followed the progression of their lives with a new movie every seven years. They're now 56, and the latest installment, 56 Up, is screening Monday and Tuesday at the Stateside to kick off the new Stateside Independent film series.
Film fans old enough to remember the Seventies (and younger fans who, for reasons not well understood, think the Seventies were cool) shouldn't miss Paul Williams Still Alive (pictured above), Stephen Kessler's acclaimed documentary about the songwriter and pop cultural icon's phenomenal career and difficult personal life. Paul Williams Still Alive screens on Monday (and also on Saturday, »
- Don Clinchy
Pick Of The Week: New Paul Williams Still Alive (Virgil Films) Let’s get one big fat caveat out of the way first: Stephen Kessler, the director of Paul Williams Still Alive, goes the Michael Moore/Morgan Spurlock route and inserts himself into this otherwise inspiring documentary about songwriter/actor/professional celebrity Paul Williams. Kessler is a huge distraction, hectoring his subject relentlessly when he isn’t manufacturing drama where it doesn’t exist. But Williams is a gem of a human being, sweet and self-deprecating, and Kessler succeeds in piecing together a life lived in the spotlight. Williams’ inability »
Peter Pan (Diamond Edition) Disney is releasing their classic animated adaptation of Peter Pan on Blu-ray this week and looking over the complete selection of titles hitting shelves today this really looks to be the best of the lot. Granted, Criterion has The Ballad of Narayama coming out and the next title does interest me, but overall this is just not a week to be buying movies.
House of Cards Trilogy: The Original UK Series Along with releasing the new miniseries "House of Cards" on Netflix Instant last Friday, Netflix also has the complete original BBC adaptation streaming online. So why would you spend money to buy the Blu-ray edtion? I really don't know, but it's coming out and I've heard it's great. So if you can find the time, maybe stroll on over to Netflix and add it to your queue as well or if you have deep pockets purchase it. »
- Brad Brevet
"Argo" F...yourself! Ben Affleck's "Argo" was the big winner at the 18th Annual Critics' Choice Movie Awards. The film won Best Picture with Affleck, infamously snubbed by the Academy, took home the Best Director award. I say...Yay!
Voted by the Broadcast Film Critics Association, of which I'm a proud member, the Critics' Choice Movie Awards have been regarded as a better Oscar predictor than the Golden Globes. Heck, we even give talented directors their well-deserved praise! Ha!
Affleck received the loudest standing ovation after winning the Best Director award for "Argo." Also receiving standing ovation was Daniel Day-Lewis for his Best Actor win for "Lincoln." Jessica Chastain won Best Actress for "Zero Dark Thirty," while Philip Seymour Hoffman took home the Best Supporting Actor trophy for "The Master" and Anne Hathaway (another hurray!) received the Best Supporting Actress Award for "Les Miserables."
"Lincoln," which received a record-breaking 13 nominations, »
The Broadcast Film Critics Association (Bfca) -- an organization of which I am a member -- held the 2013 Critics' Choice Awards tonight and while I wasn't able to be in attendance, I voted on these awards so I had some measure of a vested interest in how they turned out. Ben Affleck may have been snubbed for Best Director at the Oscar nominations this morning, but he took home Best Director at the Critic's Choice Awards and saw Argo win Best Picture. I wasn't able to be in attendance, but folks on Twitter relayed his Best Director acceptance speech where he said, "I would like to thank the Academy... I'm kidding, I'm kidding this is the one that counts." Director and Picture would be the only two awards Argo would take home while Silver Linings Playbook was the leading winner with four, three of which came from the comedy categories where it won Best Comedy, »
- Brad Brevet
From about the age of ten, I have been inexplicably fascinated with the Academy Awards. If pressed to explain the foundation of this obsession with an awards show from what is ultimately just an arbitrary body of members with vastly varying tastes across the many different disciplines it requires to put a competent movie up on the silver screen, I’m not sure I could muster up a satisfactory response.
I suspect at the time my Oscar obsession grew from what seemed like the perfect marriage between the art of cinema and the competition of sports, but even now, these many years later, after hours of voluntary studying of countless Oscar books (to the point where I can name every Best Picture winner chronologically from memory), I still can’t explain it in any way that doesn’t make me sound like some freakish Oscar junkie. Nevertheless, between the Oscar season and the NFL playoffs, »
- Christopher Lominac
Photo: RopeofSilicon / AMPAS
Tomorrow morning at 5:30 Am Pst the Academy will announce the 2013 Oscar nominations and if you've been with me over the course of the last five months or so, you know I've been tracking Oscar predictions the entire time and it's finally time to come to a final decision on the following 21 categories. I have included a few thoughts on several of the categories as well as links to where you can find my full field of presumed contenders and how I've ranked them. You can also click here to visit my Oscar predictions homepage for a snapshot of all 21 categories in one place. I have ranked each of the categories to where the nominee on the #1 line is my current presumed winner. Once the nominations are announced I will be adjusting all the categories accordingly and we will continue on toward Sunday, February 24 when the 2013 Oscars will be held. »
- Brad Brevet
The Critics’ Choice Movie Awards are days away. I can’t wait, not just because I’m escaping my baby duties at home for a few days and enjoying the bash in person, but because My Vote Counts, as a member of the Broadcast Film Critics’ Association (Bfca),
Winners to be announced live on the CW Television Network from the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on January 10, 2013.
Here is your guide to understanding the ballot, when it says “Your Vote,” it actually means, “Jeff Bayer’s Vote.” I hope that clears it up.
Your Vote: Moonrise Kingdom
Your Vote: Daniel Day-Lewis – Lincoln
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Your Vote: Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Best Young Actor/Actress
Your Vote: Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Best Acting Ensemble »
- Jeff Bayer
9 items from 2013
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