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RIP Gene Wilder

"He was everything and his Wonka is such a formative performance for me. RIP." -Ryan T

"Young Frankenstein has got to be one of the best comedy classics of all time. RIP." - Brandz

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Entries in Avatar (12)

Thursday
May192016

On This Day: Marilyn Mania and Sarah Connor x 3

May your 19th be beautiful.

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1536 Anne Boleyn is beheaded. Her tragedy is later reenacted by hundreds of actresses on tv, stage and film including Natalie Portman, Vanessa Redgrave, Helena Bonham Carter, and Genevieve Bujold (Oscar nomination).
1836 Cynthia Ann Parker is kidnapped in Texas during an Indian raid after her family is slaughtered. That's a tough break but not many people get to live on in history through multiple classics albeit under pseudonyms like "Debbie Edwards" (Natalie Wood in The Searchers) and "Stands With Fist" (Mary McDonnell in Dances With Wolves). 
1925 Malcolm X is born. 67 years later Denzel Washington wins his second Oscar playing him (Shut up! This is our preferred version of history because Al Pacino in Scent of a Woman. Ugh, really?)
1941 Nora Ephron is born spewing witticisms.

1958 Attack of the 50 Foot Woman is released in movie theaters.
1962 Marilyn Monroe, who looms larger than 50 Feet in the American consciousness, sings happy birthday to President John F Kennedy 
1978 Thank God It's Friday released. Out-discoed in collective disco-movie memories by Can't Stop the Music, two years later.
1982 Rebecca Hall is born. Remains underappreciated 34 years later

1984 It is a very very bad day to be named "Sarah Connor" in Los Angeles. Unless you're unlisted. [src]
1989 Legendary bad movie Road House opens in theaters
1992 Sam Smith is born. 24 years later he tortures global audiences with an off-key rendition of a song no one likes and Hollywood hands him the Oscar -anything to make him stop.
1999 Star Wars: the Phantom Menace opens in theaters which is something like discovering a razor blade in your Halloween candy. Jar Jar Binks is the razor blade. Nostalgia is the candy.
2017 Baywatch: The Movie opens. God help us all.

and finally...


2154 Jake Sully will arrive in his wheelchair on Pandora and meet his Avatar. Just in time for James Cameron to be cryogenically unfrozen and announce that he's starting production on Avatar 2 and Avatar 3. For real this time, promise.

Thursday
Jan212016

come with me if you want to link

Huffpo The story of the first trans Oscar nominee, Angela Morley in the 1970s
Gothamist This will be such a sad day in Manhattan. The last remaining gala premiere type single screen movie theater in Manhattan is closing in a couple of weeks for good. Goodbye Ziegfeld Theater where I first saw Michelle Pfeiffer in the pflesh, where I first laid eyes on Moulin Rouge!, where so many filmmakers and actors premiered their films.
The Film Stage Taylor Sheridan who wrote Sicario is looking to make his directorial debut with his new screenplay Wind River 


Variety Ettore Scola, the Italian director has died at 84 years of age. Among his best known films were three Foreign Language Film Oscar nominees: A Special Day (1977), The Family (1987) and Le Bal (1983) 
Coming Soon Jennifer Lawrence will star in Marita about Fidel Castro's young lover who became involved in an assassination attempt on his life. (Finally a role she's basically the right age for!)
AV Club Kevin Spacey to play JD Salinger's mentor in a Rebel in the Rye (what a title, eh)
MNPP David Lynch's surreal use of animals in his work - damn my favorite one is missing. The talking bird from Twin Peaks. "Leo, no!" 
BuzzFeed The Hateful Eight as the meanest film in Tarantino's filmography. I haven't actually read this piece -- I'm so tired of this movie -- but people keep tell me it's the best piece on the film. 
/Film The polar bear cartoon Norm of the North is our first 0% of 2016 on Rotten Tomatoes. Everyone hates it!
Guardian Kenya thinks Netflix will lead to 'declining moral values'. (I mean... tif you bingewatch bad tv and movies then, sure, yes)

Franchise Watch
Guardian Terminator Genysis sequels have been cancelled. Be grateful for small miracles. That franchise's first two films were amazements but diminishing returns with all the xeroxing
Decider can Margot Robbie's Harley Quinn save the DC film universe from its self? (That's a lot to place on one ensemble player, even if she does carry a baseball bat) 
/Film Christmas 2017 showdown: Avatar 2 and Star Wars VIII now scheduled to open on the exact same day. But the hilarious thing about this article is they call Avatar 2 an "unmovable force" even though James Cameron never makes his release dates. LOL. Expect that one to movie for sure. 

Today's Watch
The Sky in Sicario. Do we think there's any chance Emmanuel Lubezki doesn't win for The Revenant (which would be his third consecutive win -- which has never happened before -- and if so) 

 

Sky in "Sicario" from Ordog on Vimeo.

 

Monday
Apr132015

Q&A Part 1: Avatar the Musical (Not Really) & Instant Classics

For this week's "Ask Nathaniel" party, I asked people to be inspired by the theater (Tony season is upon us) or by the science fiction genre. I promised 10 questions. 10 answers but that's too long. So here's part one of two: 4 questions today. 6 tomorrow. here we go...

I started drawing myself as a Na'vi but got bored when I realized my lack of hair meant I couldn't ride dragons. Unfinished.STEVE: Do have fear that the million Avatar sequels that will happen will ruin the magic of the original for you?

NATHANIEL: I love Avatar but it will ruin itself. Technological breakthroughs rarely age well because there's always another technological breakthrough around the corner to make the previous one look antique. The exception is something like Star Wars because its success wasn't really about how "new" it looked. In fact, it was successful because it was so good at being an old thing (adventure serial) and using old techniques in improved new ways like models and matte paintings and whatnot. I think it's quite funny that the upgrades when they "fixed" the Star Wars trilogy later on actually made them seem less timeless. Computerized Jabba the Hut for example totally places you in the exact moment of when CGI looked like that. Puppet Jabba is forever.

Plus will those three Avatar sequels actually happen despite the current plans? James Cameron has only made two films in the past 20 years and he's already 60 years old. I realize he's planning to shoot them simultaneously but if he weren't he'd be wrap up a full Avatar quadrilogy in 2044 or so and then retire and/or die at 90.

JAMES: What witches do you think Meryl Streep was offered when she turned 40?

OMG I LOVE THIS QUESTION. I have ignorantly never questioned this  despite the fact that Meryl Streep has been quoted about this a few times. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun112014

Linkenstein Monster

The Wire has a funny report on new Chris Martin / Gwyneth Paltrow rumors
i09 the greatest Bride of Frankenstein poster ever
/Film Andrew Stanton on the John Carter sequels that will never be 
My New Plaid Pants suggests that we all rewatch Alexander because Oliver Stone's new cut vastly improves it

Guardian Sigourney Weaver will appear in all three Avatar sequels continuing her fruitful collaboration with James Cameron 
CHUD on the Dumb and Dumber To poster
Guardian the trailer to the beautifully shot Lilting starring Ben Whishaw and one of the most handsome actors you've never heard of (I reviewed it at Sundance)
Antagony & Ecstasy one of our most loyal Best Shot supporters finally got around to Pocahontas!
The Dissolve sees a statue of Napoleon Dynamite
Vice's summer fiction issue features a short story about Lindsay Lohan by James Franco
Empire Josh Brolin will co-star with George Clooney in Hail Caesar!  a new comedy for the Coen brothers about 1950s Hollywood about scandal coverups of the stars
/Film David Fincher and Rooney Mara may reunite for Red Sparrow, a spy thriller 

Today's Watch
Though perhaps you saw it late last week (what? I can't be everywhere at once). Matt McGorry, the adorable confused soon-to-be father from Orange is the New Black "auditions" for Magic Mike 2

 

Sunday
Jan122014

Little Miss Cat Lady, Avatar Land, and Other Links

Coming Soon Quentin Tarantino is doing another western (The Hateful Eight) with Christoph Waltz. Sad face. Was hoping he'd try new genres with new stars. 
Film Doctor Her and the intimacy machine
The Guardian a questionnaire for A:OC's Abigail Breslin. Turns out that Little Miss Sunshine herself is a crazy cat lady. Yay! 

Carpetbagger Suzanne Vega is the latest musician to come out with having issues about the portrayal of the music scene in Inside Llewyn Davis
MNPP another fan of Scarlett Johansson's sensational work in Don Jon -- I tell you people... it's so embarrassing that this performance didn't get any Oscar traction!
Just Jared check out Evan Rachel Wood's singing pipes. Wowza. There's another actress to cast in movie musicals

Predictable Sequel News of the Moment
Cinema Blend Terminator Genesis which is already on two strikes (first you don't reboot a series based on time travel which already allows do-overs without pretending originals didn't happen / second they already practiced exceptionally uninteresting casting by getting TV girl badass to play movie girl badass) is now looking for the male lead. I hated the latest Die Hard but Jai Courtney is super nice to look at so can I root for him?
/Film Avatar Land  begins construction in Florida. James Cameron is helping design it because, you know, anything to slow down his filmmaking. I am only interested in going to a land like this if they really amp up virtual technology and you get to be actually inside the body of a huge blue alien with great abs and have hot virtual sex with hair braids

I feel like you could charge a lot of money for that. The park plans an opening to coincide with the Avatar sequels in 2016/2017... or if I know James Cameron, 2019/2020.

Unpredictable Sequel News of the Moment
Did you hear they're making a sequel to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? The whole cast (except Tom Wilkinson *sniffle*) will return and Richard Gere and David Strathairn will join them.

Today's Watch
If you haven't yet seen Todrick Hall's Mean Girls parody, Mean Boyz. It's tres gay

 

My favorite bit is the "small pizza" punchline. Yours?

Monday
Dec162013

Linkomaniac

Pajiba Frozen/Star Wars poster mashup
Total Film
now that the Weinsteins have access to their Miramax back-catalogue expect sequels. Shakespeare in Love 2 is coming at you (no, this is not a satirical Onion style post)
Variety Disney is planning a Jesse Owens biopic centered around the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Rich subject though it will obviously be easy to slide into pandering "inspirational"
/Film
at press conference James Cameron compares his Avatar sequels to The Godfather trilogy. Oh Jimmy. I love you more than just about anyone but less talking (you're no good at it!) and more filmmaking (you're great at it!)
Cinema Blend
first teaser for Gregg Araki's White Bird in a Blizzard with Eva Green and Shailene Woodley
In Contention Kris Tapley's top ten list featuring Mud, All is Lost, The Place Beyond the Pines and more

small screen and miscellania
Towleroad first images from Ryan Murphy's adaptation of The Normal Heart
Slate
on the big problem with Masters of Sex. I absolutely agree with this but for me the show is great enough to overcome it... which is saying a lot since Bill Masters (Michael Sheen) is the lead
BuzzFeed 24 reasons why Cher is the Queen of Twitter 

Today's Best Movie Anything!
God bless Screen Daily for uncovering this gem...

In a week when American film critics organization have been tripping over each other to bestow awardage which, even when thoughtful can feel totally boring, a Danish Film Critics group have shown the world how it's done. They've mocked themselves up in character posters a la Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac to promote their awards (on February 1st) - note their outlet instead of character name on the posters. Nymphomaniac will be eligible for their prizes since it opens for Christmas in Denmark. This makes me want to read every single damn one of these critics weekly so a job well done!

Friday
Apr052013

Four Reasons Why Jurassic Park's Visuals Still Amaze

by Tim Brayton

Twenty years ago – an eon in filmmaking years – Jurassic Park was the shiniest new toy on the block. Now it’s getting an anniversary release as a bona-fide classic, having existed for more than the entire lifespan of the teenagers that make up the target audience for splashy popcorn fare. Those twenty years have seen the computer-generated visual effects that were so radical in 1993 become more commonplace and utilitarian than ever seemed plausible back then; we live in an age when even romantic comedies and family dramas have CGI work in them. Summer tentpoles of the Jurassic Park lineage exist only in computers to such a degree that it’s really little more than convention that makes us refer to them as “live-action”.

You’d think, with all that time gone by to refine the technology, that Jurassic Park would look hideously outdated, or at best charmingly quaint. After all, the effects showpiece DragonHeart, released just a couple of years later, more resembles a cartoon now, than anything aiming for photorealism. It took less than a decade for Spider-Man to look a bit flimsy and thin; the later Harry Potter movies already seemed a bit wan when they were still in theaters. But Jurassic Park is as impressive now as it was all the way back then.

With just this one exception:

more after the jump

Click to read more ...