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"Summer 1993. Just beautiful." - Sarah

"I saw Hereditary and honestly thought it was a masterpiece. Fun that it's so divisive." - Philip H

"The best movie I saw this weekend was on PBS' Man with the Orange Shirt a great romantic gay film" - Jaragon

 

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Saturday
Sep242016

Links: Separating Artists from Art, Studying Jake Gyllenhaal, Letting the Seven Samurai Go

Playlist on the complicated issues of "separate the art from the artist" in today's social media court of public opinion and 24/7 news cycles and Birth of a Nation's release
Gold Derby titles their article "OFFICIAL" and then claims to have inside intel on "hints" that Silence is actually opening this year despite no poster, trailer, release date, etcetera. This is not what the word "official" means. It will only be official when Paramount makes a statement. I'm hopeful, as the film has been in post forever, but it's definitely not official yet.
MNPP Jason offers to teach a course on "The Nudity of Jake Gyllenhaal 101" and we would like to audit the course -- Jake is always having nude breakdowns in showers.

The New Yorker has an interesting take on Bridget Jones's Baby's refusal to engage with some of the elements of the genre it helped define
Variety Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal will co-star in a movie called Wildlife based on the novel by Richard Ford about a boy witnessing his parent's marriage falling apart. The fun (?) part is that it's cowritten by real life couple Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano who we hope aren't falling apart. Dano will also direct
AMPAS they've uploaded all the speeches from the 2016 Student Academy Awards if you're interested. Perhaps one day some of these men and women will win normal Oscars? Does anyone have any stats on that?
E! Online congratulations to Idina Menzel who is engaged to her boyfriend Aaron Lohr (who had a bit part in the movie Rent) 
Interview talks to Zachary Quinto about Snowden and more 
I Like Things that Look Like Mistakes Kyle Turner on Sia's new video "The Greatest"
The Stake on the many remakes of Seven Samurai with The Magnificent Seven in theaters 
The New Yorker looks back at the obsessive photographer behind iconic 50s magazine Physique Pictorial  - was he the early Robert Mapplethorpe or the gay Hugh Hefner? 
Boy Culture Madonna reads ageist commenters to filth on her Instagram account. I have loved this woman so much and for so long that I find a kind of regular joy that she's so endlessly superior to all the litte minds that have been trying to bring her down for the past 32 years. But on the other hand, probably best for celebrities not to acknowledge all the people that hate them. Don't give them that power!
MNPP Thursdays Ways Not To Die' memorializes generic Christoph Waltz villain in The Legend of Tarzan 

Saturday
Sep242016

Tweetweek: Describing Yourself, Brangelina Fallout, Paulson Afterglow

More fun tweets from the past week including Emily Blunt, Sarah Paulson, Marion Cotillard, follow after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep232016

Foreign Oscar Watch: Bedouin Marriage, Persian Haunting, Slavic Space Program

Yesterday at an unusually tense and controversial Ophir Awards ceremony, Sand Storm won the Israeli Oscar and will thus be Israel's Oscar submission. The debut female director Elite Zexer, giving the last acceptance speech of the evening, spoke about how she employed Jews, Muslims, and Christians on the picture. 

Though I already think Israel should have won the Oscar in this category (for Late Marriage which was submitted but not nominated in the year of Amelie and No Man's Land) and they've had high quality films in the mix before, I'm a little cool on this particular picture. Ah well, you can't love everything!

The UK's submission is a horror thriller set in IranAs more and more titles are announced for the Foreign Oscar Race, the variety of genres keeps growing, too. We have animated films, horror thrillers, docu-fiction hybrids, political dramas, romantic comedies, crime films, as well as submissions from this particular category's three all time favorite subgenres: 1) WW II Anything, 2) Internationally Famous Auteur Made It, and 3) Emotional Journeys Featuring Young Child/Children Forming Bond and/or Travelling With Old Person/Persons. 

Beyond Israel's submission the past few days have brought us a Persian horror film submitted by the UK called Under the Shadow, Canada's third attempt at getting Oscar voters to love Xavier Dolan with It's Only the End of the World, Slovenia's docu-drama about America's interest in the Yugoslavian space program in the 1960s, Iceland's family drama Sparrows (which curiously marks the fourth year in a row that country has sent a film with an animal in the title), a big budget Pakistani effort about poets in two different eras called Mah e Mir, and Hong Kong's hit crime drama Port of Call starring Aaron Kwok. You can read about all 73 titles on the charts

We've reviewed 11 of the 73 titles announced thus far (with more reviews soon) In case you missed any of those reviews, here's the list:

With the caveat that i have MANY more submissions yet to see, my four favorites (to date) are the entries from Chile, Bosnia, Singapore, and Estonia

  • Death in Sarajevo - Bosnia & Herzegovina's politically-loaded hotel drama 
  • Mother - Estonia's black comedy about a very popular comatose man
  • Elle - France's twisted comedy about a woman who reacts strangely to a rape
  • Chevalier - Greece's satire on competitive masculinity
  • Sand Storm - Israel's feminist drama (their first submission entirely in Arabic) about women in unhappy marriages
  • Fire at Sea - Italy's documentary on the migrant crisis
  • A Flickering Truth - New Zealand's doc on a quite unusual subject: film preservation in Afghanistan
  • Apprentice - Singapore's prison drama on capital punishment
  • My Life as a Courgette - Switzerland's animated film about orphaned/abused children
  • As I Open My Eyes - Tunisia's youth drama about musicians struggling with the lack of freedom of expression they're allowed
  • From Afar - Venezuela's violent intergenerational LGBT romance

Four of the submissions this year are in theaters in the US or about to hit: Australia's Tanna and South Korea's The Age of Shadows are now in theaters in select cities; Sweden's A Man Called Ove opens next Friday; and on October 14th we get one of the most high-profile competitors in Mexico's Desierto starring Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Foreign Oscar regular / international star Gael García Bernal. (Bernal also leads Chile's excellent submission from Pablo Larraín called Neruda; we fully expect Larraín to have two films in the Oscar running since he also directed Jackie). Desierto is directed by Alfonso Cuarón's 34 yr old son Jonás, who co-wrote Gravity with his dad. Will you try to catch these films in theaters? 

Friday
Sep232016

The Greatest Magazine Cover of 2016

... good luck trying to top it, magazine editors. 

Friday
Sep232016

Thoughts I Had... The "Jumanji" Cast

Chris here. Do you remember 1995's Jumanji? That 90s kids classic still holds up today, so naturally we have a remake coming our way. Stars Dwayne Johnson and Jack Black are no strangers to family entertainment, and they're also bringing along the bankability of Kevin Hart and fan favorite Karen Gillan. Here's a first look at what they have in store:

... and I have some thoughts:

  • What is this Lara Croft ensemble Gillan is giving us? I'm no prude, but oversexualizing the only woman for a kids movie seems a bit much.
  • No seriously, she can't be wearing that little clothes because the jungle is so hot. Jack Black is wearing seventeen layers.
  • Does this crew go inside the game? The point of Jumanji is that the wild comes to you.
  • Johnson and Black have done plenty of family fare, but Kevin Hart is actually an inspired choice for this kind of entertainment. Can you believe The Secret Life of Pets was his first voiceover work?
  • Remember Johnathan Hyde's hunter villain in the original and how Hyde was seemingly the villain in all mid-90s movies? I wonder if we'll get another stock villain actor here too.
  • ... sigh What's Bonnie Hunt up to these days?

Jumanji opens next summer. Do you have fond memories of the original?

Thursday
Sep222016

Review: "The Magnificent Seven"

by Chris Feil

Drawing on the original iterations of Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai and the 1960 American remake by John Sturges, Antoine Fuqua's The Magnificent Seven arrives as another attempt to reanimate the American western.

Denzel Washington leads this bursting cast as Chisolm, corralling a ragtag mini-militia to help protect a small town from a violent and overbearing tycoon (Peter Sarsgaard). There are familiar faces (Ethan Hawke, Chris Pratt, Vincent D'Onofrio) and emerging talents (Byung-hun Lee, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, and Martin Sensmeier) rounding out the Magnificent bunch with more shared attention to each player than you might be anticipating...

Click to read more ...