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100 Best of the 21st Century?

"Carol >>>>>>>>>> most of these movies" - Clarence

"The more I see these snooty lists, the more I get turned off of by film critics. What about Lord of the Rings, The Hours, The Devil Wears Prada..." -Jono

"Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - The movie you're hoping to see every time you go in the cinema" - Jeremy

 

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Thursday
May082014

Open Thread. What Movie Thing Makes Your Eyes Roll?

This week's banner theme was chosen by James T who won a recent 'say what' contest. He selected 'eye rolls'. I have no idea why he chose it but it's appropriate for today since I am feeling so over it (one of those days). It was hard to think up actors for the banner. My queen of cinematic eye-rolls is totally Noni Ryder but I couldn't find a pic. But nevermind all that.

What cinematic trope/cliché, actor, movie-anything makes your eyes roll every time? Groan away in the comments! Perhaps other readers share your pet peeves. 

Thursday
May082014

Links

Salon "Dear serial tweet-favoriter: you are a coward" lol. a must read for anyone with a Twitter account
The Uncool Cameron Crowe's agonizing search for a title for Almost Famous (2000)... in notepad form
Film School Rejects two members of the staff watched "the 50 best movies of all time" and here are their takeaways from that two year process
Antagony & Ecstasy on King Vidor's The Crowd (1928) at the great end of silent filmmaking
Kenneth in the (212) shares a pretty great X-Men related Graham Norton wherein Fassy & McAvoy see gay fan art of themselves


MNPP tries to rekindle his love for George Clooney with his three favorite Clooneys. Good choices
Variety asks where the kids movies are this summer in the absence of Pixar
The Wire "Zac Efron hits bottom by accepting life advice from Tom Cruise" haha. I'm linking that for the title alone 
i09 see what your favorite webcomics would look like animated 
Cinesnark terrific examination of why Captain America films are what Superman films have failed to be 

news bits
Empire the ever employed Liam Neeson joins A Monster Calls... the new feature from the director of The Impossible. I can't wait until it's retitled something dull like "Dark River"
Cinema Blend The Flintstones getting a new animated feature because no franchise is allowed to ever die
In Contention The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby will be released in three different versions. It's a neat experiment but it fills me with horror. Goodbye final cut and "definitive" versions. That's a thing of the past (Malick, Lucas, and Scott have been trying to force that on us for years with their "oh, i'm sorry did i say i was finished i wasn't finished" tinkering so I'm sure they're thrilled.)
Guardian Andrea Arnold to direct first US film, a road trip called American Honey. I hope she casts professional actors this time. 

Thursday
May082014

Say What, Jess & Tom?

Behold, Jessica Chastain and Tom Hiddleston on the set of the new Guillermo del Toro thriller Crimson Peak (in costumes by Kate Hawley who also did the clothes for 'Pacific Rim'). This begs for a "say what?" so amuse us with a caption or dialogue. I'll choose a winner soon. After the jump see the winners of the last 'say what double feature' starring inexhaustible Nicki Kidman.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May082014

*smh*

Thursday
May082014

Review: Tom Hardy is "Locke"

Here's Michael C. with a new review...
 

Is it too early to declare Tom Hardy in possession of one of the all time great movie voices? As the title character in Steven Knight’s Locke, Hardy speaks in an elegant Welsh timbre that brings to mind a slowly unraveling Richard Burton. It is an endless pleasure to listen to, which is fortunate since we have little else to latch onto through Locke’s 85 minute running time. The story begins late one night with Tom Hardy’s Ivan Locke leaving work in his BMW and follows him in real time on one long fraught drive to London. Just a man in his car trying to prop up his crumbling life, armed only with his voice and the digital Rolodex on his dashboard.

It seems like a twisted joke to cast Tom Hardy in such a role. From Bronson to Warrior to Dark Knight Rises, Hardy has proved himself to be one of our most intensely physical actors. Trapping him in the front seat of a car for the whole running time might as well be putting him in a straight jacket. Yet the casting turns out to be a masterstroke since that caged animal energy charges what might otherwise be a tedious stylistic workout with a surprising amount of tension...

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Wednesday
May072014

First Round Oscar Predix Continue: Sound & Visual FX

The Oscar chart construction must continue. Maleficent was asking and you don't want to keep her waiting. 

Visuals Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come
You'll find early predictions for Visual F/X and the always confounding Makeup & Hair category. For Visual F/X I'd love to push Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes higher up the charts but I'm still trying to wrap my head around Oscar's complete disinterest in a) superhero movies that don't feature a man in a batsuit -- and that wouldn't confound me at all if they didn't have such deep abiding love for the Transformers franchise of all things which is surely less reputable than Marvel movies --  and b) Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) which won hugely favorable reviews and surprised virtually everyone in its year and seemed like a likely finalist in several Oscar categories but only ended up a VFX nominee. Will Oscar turn its nose up at those damn dirty apes and their stinking paws on round two (which is really round eight)?

Sound Chart - In Progress. More Categories To Come.
I'm very willing, nay, desperate to hear your thoughts on which films might have Original Songs. I'm super curious about Sound Mixing this year as well in that it's a category that loves blockbusters, musicals, potential Best Picture nominees, and films involving lots of water and there are quite a few films that fit at least one of those categories this year. Regarding music movies or traditional musicals: by my count it's quite a robust year iin that there are at least five on the way from obvious contenders like Into the Woods and Get On Up to less prestigious or smaller players like Annie, Begin Again, and The Last Five Years

As for Best Song, also added to the chart, Bret McKenzie won an Oscar for his last go round with The Muppets (we interviewed him). I think he's less likely to get nominated this year now that the novelty has worn off but if he is the Celine Dion/Miss Piggy ballad "Something So Right" seems most likely but my favorite song in the movie is the delightful nonsense of  "I'll Get You Want You Want (Cockatoo in Malibu)"

If the new song doesn't sound out of place within its classic song score, it seems unlikely sight unseen sound unheard that any song other than the new Stephen Sondheim / Meryl Streep Into the Woods collaboration (previously squealed over) need show up on the big night. 

Previously
Supporting Actress | Animated Film | Lead Actor | Movies To Watch For 

Wednesday
May072014

A Year with Kate: Stage Door Canteen (1943)

Episode 19 of 52 of Anne Marie's chronological look at Katharine Hepburn's career.

In which Katharine Hepburn, Tallulah Bankhead, and a stripper walk into a bar…

Ain't you heard? There's a war on! Two years into the Second World War, Americans were fulfilling their patriotic duty, finding ways to serve and protect. The message at the front: fight back the enemy. The message at home: support our troops! But how does a movie star fulfill her patriotic duty? The answer came in the form of the Stage Door Canteen (and its West Coast cousin the Hollywood Canteen, which would get movie treatment in 1944). Any serviceman in uniform could come to the Stage Door Canteen, eat and dance for free, and maybe catch a glimpse at the stars, who volunteered to bus tables, play host, and entertain the servicemen free of charge. Stage Door Canteen was produced by the American Theatre Guild (distribution by RKO), and boasted 48 huge stars and 6 boisterous big bands to entertain the troops and boost morale at home.

Unfortunately, time marches forward, and of the 48 stars formerly so easily recognizable, most have been forgotten to time and old Looney Toons caricatures. Even I, expert though I am, as knowledgeable as I am humble, only can name about half without first scouring IMDb. However, I know that all of you are just as geeky as I am--if not moreso. So, instead of just listing my top 10 favorite cameos from this film, I've created a brief quiz. How many of these 11 stars can you name? (The first one is a gimme.)

Click to read more ...