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100 Best of the 21st Century?

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

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Wednesday
Apr302014

Tribeca Is a Wrap for The Film Experience

Thanks for following along with our Tribeca adventures and remember to follow Glenn, Diana, Jason, Abstew and myself on twitter for continual movie madness. Here are the 40 films we reviewed this year in alpha order...

a still from Der Samurai

5 to 7 (Diana)
About Alex (Glenn)
Alex in Venice (Glenn)
The Bachelor Weekend -Irish comedy (Nathaniel)
Bad Hair -Venezuelan childhood drama (Nathaniel)
Beneath the Harvest Sky (Glenn)
Boulevard -with Robin Williams (Nathaniel)
Bright Days Ahead (Abstew)
The Canal -horror (Jason)
Chef -starry indie from Jon Favreau (Abstew)
Dior and I (Glenn)
Electric Slide -hipster 80s crime drama (Nathaniel)
Every Secret Thing -mystery with Dakota Fanning (Nathaniel)

Extraterrestrial - horror (Jason)
Gabriel - with Rory Culkin (Abstew)
Glass Chin - with Corey Stoll (Diana)
Goodbye To All That (Diana)
In Your Eyes - Joss Whedon online film (Jason)
Indigenous -horror (Jason)
Just Before I Go -Courteney Cox directing (Glenn)
Life Partners (Jason)
Loitering With Intent -starry indie (Nathaniel)
Lucky Them (Abstew)
Mala Mala -drag documentary (Glenn)
Match - with Patrick Stewart (Nathaniel)
Ne Me Quitte Pas (Diana)
Night Moves -from Kelly Reichardt (Glenn)

Jack O'Connell (300: Rise of an Empire, Starred Up, Unbroken) is the next big thing Now: In the Wings of the World Stage -Kevin Spacey & Shakespeare (Abstew)
The One I Love (Glenn)
Preservation (Jason)
Der Samurai -queer horror (Nathaniel)
Something Must Break (Jason)
Starred Up -prison drama (Abstew)
Summer of Blood -hipster horror (Jason)
Third Person (Diana)
Vara: A Blessing -foreign melodrama (Nathaniel)
Venus in Fur -Roman Polanski's adaptation (Glenn)
X/Y (Glenn)
Zero Motivation -Israeli military comedy (Diana) 
Zombeavers -horror (Diana) 

previously in festival coverage:
forty-two films from Sundance
next:  Amir @ Hot Docs / Diana @ Cannes

Wednesday
Apr302014

A Year with Kate: Keeper of the Flame (1942)

Episode 18 of 52 of Anne Marie's chronological look at Katharine Hepburn's career.

In which I'm not entirely sure what's going on but it seems to involve boy scouts and fascism.

So, you’re a major studio with a bona fide hit on your hands. You’ve thrown two Academy Award winners, neither a matinee idol in their own right, into a romantic comedy, and the sparks between them burst with unexpected chemistry. The result is a commercial and critical smash that will garner two Oscar nominations and one win (for Best Screenplay). Clearly, another movie between Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn is desired. The next question is: how do you follow an immediate classic?

If your answer is “with a heavy-handed, jingoistic melodrama about fascism,” then you’re crazy, but you’re also right. The tonal about-face from the lighthearted Woman of the Year to Tracy and Hepburn’s next film, Keeper of the Flame, is severe enough to cause whiplash. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr302014

"I know what you're thinking: Home schooled kids are freaks!"

[Our Mean Girls week concludes with a really fresh angle I think you'll love. Here's Tim on being a home schooled freak. - Nathaniel R]

Tim here. I can't tell you how many times I, a perpetually overweight, underemployed, thirtysomething male, have looked at Lindsay Lohan and thought to myself gosh, she's just like me! But I can tell you the time it struck closest to home was when I first peered into Mean Girls a decade ago. Look at any appreciation, vintage or current, like the ones we have going for our Mean Girls Week, and you're going to encounter the sentiment that the film understands deep and universal truths about the public high school experience, but the kinship I feel with Lohan's Cady Heron is of an entirely different sort - the exact opposite, in fact.

Mean Girls, after all, isn't just a movie about any old bright teenager entering a new school and being partially devoured by the social order she finds there: it's about a bright teenager who has spent her life to that point being home schooled, thrust for the first time into a world full of people her own age. And like Cady, I spent my share of time being home schooled, though it wasn't because my parents were awesome zoologists who took me with them for a decade-plus research trip in Africa (it wasn't for fringe religious reasons either, I want to make that very clear). And unlike Cady, I never did get to experience the magical horror show of American high school. But I did get to have that same brutal, abrupt shift from being essentially solitary, driven only by my own sense of discipline, to be thrown into a terrifying world of people and schedules when college and dorms came upon me. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr302014

Link Wars: Episode VII

For those looking for the new Oscar charts, I promise it's the top priority now once all this surprisingly busy April madness wraps tonight.

More Intelligent Life on badass Angelina Jolie and Maleficent
Press Play how modern actors struggle with Marlon Brando's legacy
The Perceptive Eye on military suicides, PTSD and The Hurt Locker 
Pajiba how many romcom tropes can David Wain shove into one movie? The trailer of They Came Together with Amy Poehler and Paul Rudd

Guardian on Bob Hoskins (RIP). "five foot six cubic and bursting with brilliance"
Variety uh oh. Harvey Weinstein and Olivier Dahan STILL fighting over Grace of Monaco two weeks before its Cannes debut
The Dissolve looks back at the 80s comedy classic A Fish Called Wanda
The Sheila Variations returns to Young Adult and Charlize Theron's brilliance therein
Boy Culture Tom Hardy's recent magazine pictorial (which we discussed) regif'ed
MZS. "Advice to Young Film Critics" good advice, too.
Coming Soon Fox has cancelled Almost Human, the cyborg cop show that I kinda liked. I never really wrote about it so I didn't have a chance to talk about Karl Urban's John Wayne voice. Ah well...
Queerty in literal cock-tease news, Zac Efron claims he's willing to show it all on film after all the wet underwear, and horizontal peeing and so on... I guess he's figured out what people like about him. (Save your money, Zac!)
Pajiba 'did someone call for a Tom Hiddleston puff piece?'
Rambling Film 7 things that should happen on True Blood's final season (the 7th). I stopped watching but I concurred with most of these even two years ago. Since Buffy also ended as season 7 is this now the standard for vampiric shows? Does this mean we can be rid of The Vampire Diaries in 2015?

Mean Girls Mania
'we're not just a regular blog, we're a cool blog'...

But we're not the only ones celebrating Mean Girls for it's 10th anniversary today. It's EVERYWHERE. On Amanda Seyfried's twitter feed (do you think Lindsay will mention it today on hers?), in a brief EW group oral history, Vanity Fair's best fashion moments, Boy Culture's reminiscence of interviewing cast members, and probably on any pop culture website you click on today. Important note... This wasn't planned since Netflix's Instant Watch service is all contractual based in terms of timing but the Tina Fey high school classic actually expires today. So it's 10th anniversary is the last day you can watch it on Netflix if you don't own it while listening to our Movie-Long Podcast Commentary while you're streaming it!

You go Glen Coco! 

Casting News
HitFix and every other site on earth has the news: the Star Wars Episode VII sausage party cast has been announced. John Boyega, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Max von Sydow and since all visual fx spectacles are required to have him (well, he is awesome) Andy Serkis. Those newbies will join the old cast who are reprising their roles in capacities large or small. There is one new girl Daisy Ridley who we are unfamiliar with. Did she get the part Lupita Nyong'o was rumored for? The Guardian did some mild digging into this actress unknown and here's everything they found.

Today's Spotlight Illustration
Glen Hanson, one of my favorite illustrators, posted this on his Instagram. No idea what film he's doing costume sketches for but me likey...

 

Wednesday
Apr302014

Tribeca: "Glass Chin," A Glossy Neo-Noir

Here's Diana with our final Tribeca Film Festival 2014 review

It’s a chilly, damp night in a small urban city. On a nightly jog, a sweatpant-outfitted man and his dog trudge and bound respectively through the empty streets, with rain-drizzled lampposts to light the way and Laura nyro’s “Gonna take a miracle” playing to set the mood (both diegetic and nondiegetic). The pair slow down at a red-lit alleyway and stop at a hole-in-the-wall bakery. After a breather on the song’s bridge “It’s gonna take a miracle, yes, it’s gonna take a miracle,” the man takes out his earbuds to order a pain au chocolat. The shop owner tells him it’s the last one on the house and the jogger assures him that he’ll pay up soon. He is a man on-the-outs, not truly desperate but not nearly satisfied with the cards he was dealt and picked up along the way.

Bud “The Saint” Gordon (Corey Stoll) is a former professional boxer, whose post-retirement restaurant flopped and who didn’t have a Plan C lined up. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr292014

April Showers: The Paperboy

waterworks at eleven, here’s Andrew with a brief one

Would anyone be willing to stand with me when I declare The Paperboy to be the best thing Lee Daniels has done? The movie is undeniably crazy, out-of-control, off-centre, you name it. But, it’s this very tendency for excessiveness and divergent tones that makes it such a fine representation of Daniels’ skills as a filmmaker. The Paperboy, from its most hilarious moments to its most obscene, is completely a Lee Daniels in the best way possible. It has as many important things to say about race and social constructs in its era as much as Precious or The Butler but uses pulp, the ridiculous and even the improbable to tell its story. Sometimes with pit-stops at randomness for the hell of it.

Case in point, this evening’s shower about midway through the film. Important moment of character development, or just a chance for a fun, rainy dance with Zac Efron in underpants? You decide.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Apr292014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Mean Girls (2004)

For this week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot, we're reairing one of the earliest of episodes. We invited new readers to select a shot if they weren't around in 2010 when "Best Shot" first began so this survey of Mean Girls best shots, as chosen by each participant (click on the link for the corresponding article) is an fusion of old and new pieces 'round the web. Here's my choice:

And what I originally wrote:

The camera tracks Regina through the hallway after she's hatched her brilliant revenge plan. She's regained control of the screaming rage we saw in the prior scene and she's just gliding through the hallways, with a neat hint of actressy athleticism. Gone is the sex kitten and in her place the marathon runner. 

The shot functions like a reverse Hansel & Gretel; the witch leaving a bread crumb trail. In the bookend shot that follows the camera is still moving, gliding away from her, but the witch isn't. Witness her hungry self-satisfaction while she watches the children gobble up the crumbs; They're already baking in her oven!

So, that's my choice. What's yours?

14 MORE BEST SHOT(s)
as chosen by 16 of the greatest people you'll ever know
click on the image for the corresponding article 

a blink-and-you-miss moment in the film... absolutely hilarious."
-Sorta That Guy 


The best performance of her career..."
-Coco Hits New York 


The conspicuous gap between them...
-Antagony & Ecstasy

No shot in the film makes me bust out loud laughing more..."
-Best Shot in the Dark 


I love to think about Regina...
-Intifada 


Each of "The Plastics" has great lines, but Karen takes the cake"
- Dean A 

This could not be more on point."
- I Want to Believe 


...captured the insanely fun spirit of the film but also encapsulated the plot really well."
- Awkward is What We Aim For 

And she's not just maintaining a place among North Shore royalty, she's threatening to take over..."
-Cinemamelie


She even describes herself as 'a woman possessed'..."
-Film Actually 


...a wicked Madonna from a Renaissance tableaux."
-Movies Kick Ass

The queen of the jungle..."
-The Entertainment Junkie 


Daniel Franzese, far and away the funniest part of Mean Girls"
- Serious Film 

Her flock who've come to worship..."
-Musings and Stuff 

 

My pick for Best Shot has actually accrued more meaning over time....
-Dancin Dan

 

Oh you girls keep me young I luv ya..."
-The Film's The Thing 

 

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Next on 'Hit Me With Your Best Shot' - JOIN US
05/06 Altman's strange / wonderful Three Women (1977) with Shelley Duvall & Sissy Spacek
05/13 Antontioni's mod classic Blow-Up (1965) Vanessa Redgrave and a mysterious murder 
05/20 Choose any or multiple Batman films. Pick and post your fav shot for his 75th