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Entries in Captain America (41)

Sunday
Mar222015

Link Slippers. They're Surprisingly Comfortable

Defamer Jessica Lange throwing shade Lady Gaga's way in an American Horror Story press event
White Noise wonders why Hollywood can't get hackers (and computers in general) right?
Salon Excellent interview with Daniel Franseze (Mean Girls) about his breakout Looking character, a complete rarity for TV, and HIV prevention 
Playbill has an updates on the musical version of Mean Girls that Tina Fey is working on
CHUD Bobby Cannavale says that there's a lot of comic improv in the Ant-Man film this summer 
Pajiba looks at "Jonathan" (aka Danny Strong) and how the Buffy super villain surprisingly became such a success story after the series. 

Comics Alliance Captain America: Civil War wants to start shooting in a couple of while while the various Avengers actors are still deep in promotion duties for Age of Ultron. (Marvel has definitely moved into "rush everything!" mode. It wouldn't seem to impossible if all the Avengers weren't in it but they seem to be.)
PressPlay has a video essay on what it means to be an auteur 
Playbill Liza Minnelli has reentered rehab after a recent back surgery
Black Maria has some recommendations on Warner Archive. I keep wondering if I should join this but I already spend so much $$$ on movies. Have any of you tried them out?
The Dissolve is horrified by forthcoming Robin Hood adaptations from Hollywood. Yes, there are five of them in development and they all sound quite dumb!
Pajiba omg you guys, did you see the Miley Cyrus wax figure? Yikes.
The Film Doctor looks back at Nightcrawler's "atrocity montage"
Women and Hollywood check on these horrifyingly sexist casting ads. Like this one... ugh:

There's something unnerving about her. Maybe she's read too many books?

Oscars are so far away but Oscar talk never is
Gold Standard Glenn Whipp on why the Academy shouldn't go back to 5 Best Picture nominees. Did I share this already? I might have shared this already.
Awards Daily One of our most high profile documentarians, Alex Gibney, has a possible contender this year in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief which hits HBO at the end of the month. (Seems like wishful thinking, Oscar-wise, to me since Hollywood has a lot of Scientologists that will undoubtedly be offended by it.

Cinderella is still spinning
i09 in our Cinderella retrospective we forgot about this oddity. Fairie Tale Theater's version with Matthew Broderick as Prince Charming!
Guardian attacks the new Cinderella for not being more like Frozen and selling feisty girlpower and for its "pinkification"... whatever that word means in this context. Sigh. This article and line of thought make me angry. Listen, I'm all for feisty girlpower but you know what's even better for men and women alike? diversity in representation. It's not good for boys to only have heroes that are physically intimidating and it's not good for girls to only have heroes that are anachronistic 'you go girl!' athletic types. There's more than one way to be an admirable film character that kids can look up to. I think this adaptation does wonders keeping the princess-to-be true to the material while also transforming her into a better role model. A protagonist that emphasizes fine-tuning your inner moral compass and positively affecting change through compassion and forgiveness is a protagonist that's still mighty heroic and worth emulating if you ask me. Not every "hero" needs to be able to kick ass.

Monday
Mar092015

Sing-Alongs & Fight Clubs, Divas & Heroes

Awards growing like mushrooms as we race like mad to finish out the film year that just was since we've already started the 2015 celebration.

Musical Sequences
With actual musicals like Muppets Most Wanted, Into the Woods and "performance" musicals like Begin Again, Beyond the Lights, and Get On Up it's a decent time to be a fan of musicals. And since some of the most memorable sequences in non-musicals are musically inclined (think The Lego Movie's boisterous kick-off) and so many non-musical films have the musical spirit via awesome soundtracks (think A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), we have a category for that, too. Musicals for everyone! Sing-along with these ten nominees. 

Action Sequences 
Guardians, Katniss, and a sniper may have reigned supreme at the box office but Captain America: The Winter Soldier housed the year's best action sequences albeit not quite the most beautiful. The most ravishing was, incongruously, the ones starring two nuclear-slurping insect like abominations and that lizard king of monsters, Godzilla.

Divas 
Two of them stop their films cold for self-important monologues. Three more regularly bring the house down. (Okay, sticklers, The Witch technically only brings the bakery door down but it's a figure of speech. Indulge me. And them; divas demand your full attention)

Heroes
2014 had not one, not two, but three moving odes to solidarity and everyman heroism in Pride, Selma, and Two Days One Night. But since this is the cinema there are heroes all over for us to live vicariously through, some of them "super," others historical. And we can't forget the year's most badass warrior, the "Full Metal Bitch" herself (Emily Blunt) in Edge of Tomorrow

"I just thought there would be more," you say? Well there is. Also added: Best Line Reading and Breakthrough of the Year nominees and Best Movie Poster. Which mean only 5 categories are left to announce and then the medals! 

Can you believe I'm actually going to finish the awards this year????? "TO VICTORY!"

Tuesday
Feb102015

Mandatory Spider-Man Posting

Is Nicholas Hammond busy?As you undoubtedly have heard, Marvel/Disney closed a deal with Sony last night and now Spider-Man goes totally bi. He'll be splitting his time between two giant corporate overlords in Sony & Disney. Spider-Man's solo franchise will continue at Sony without Andrew Garfield who will finally be freed to make the movies he was meant to make after breaking through in The Social Network (2010). Cue: roughly 8 million extremely obnoxious internet articles about the casting of the new Spider-Man. I'm steeling myself: It will be so much worse than that hideous landfill phenomenon of infinite speculative Doctor Strange casting thinkpieces.

As for the new Spider-Man --  I swear to god if they start with the origin story again I will never stop puking web fluids. Everyone knows it, dumbasses. It'd be like demanding that each Biblical epic start with a two hour Adam & Eve prologue. Peter Parker will get his next solo film on July 28th, 2017 but first he'll debut over in Marvel's Cinematic Universe. The prevailing rumor is that that's within the context of Captain America: Civil War (due May 6th, 2016) which is also the film that will introduce Chadwick Boseman's Black Panther. That film is getting crowded so one hopes they don't lose the title character in a sea of universe-building agenda.

May 6th, 2016 is a tight turnaround. The ink is still drying on the contract and presumably Sony and Marvel and Disney (that's a lot of executives to please) will all have to agree on a new direction, and a new actor, and that actor's pay scale over multiple films in both supporting and leading roles for seven years (the longest you can book an actor for). And they'll have to do that this summer since Civil War will have to start filming soon to make its release date; visual effects pictures don't come together as quick as Clint Eastwood movies.

For presumably non-competitive corporate appeasement reasons, this Spider-Man deal is pushing most of the post Civil War movies previously slated back about four months.

Monday
Jan052015

Best of the Year: Nathaniel's Top Ten

Previously we looked at ten runners-up -- practically an alternate top ten if you will the year was so good. Now on to the list you've been waiting for as our own awardage begins. 

The years best films marched in the streets in London and Alabama, cruised Scotland with nefarious intent, uncovered skeletons in Poland, and jogged around DC. They performed on the stages of Manhattan while also house hunting there; neither activity is for the faint of heart. Only two of them sprang from books though another cast its biggest spell while holding one. Two taught us about history in ways that felt absolutely relevant and useful to how we live now and one let us watch 12 years of it unfold. The thing that unites all ten is the imagination, fine judgement (when to employ a light touch and when to hit hard) and technical prowess of the filmmakers and actors, lifting their scenes, themes and stories however mundane, silly, deep or fanciful to greater heights that we could have reasonably expected.

With deep appreciation...

NATHANIEL'S TOP TEN FILMS OF 2014

CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER
(Anthony Russo & Joe Russo)
Disney. April 4th
138 minutes 

The public has been more than generous with Marvel Studios over the years as they stumbled into surprising glory given that they were playing with a half deck having sold so many key characters. Ten films in: perfection! Captain America: Winter Soldier artfully dodges nearly every typical superhero movie problem (as well as general sequel problems) with a stunning grasp of mood, total commitment to a "square" character, a smart choice of villain, and thrilling action scenes that feel authentically dangerous (a complete rarity in blockbusters) rather than like stop-and-gawk "setpieces" with no actual stakes. Add in Chris Evans and Scarlett Johansson both embracing their supersized charisma and physical perfection (while deepening their rapport and characterizations) and you have the year's best popcorn entertainment.

 

THE BABADOOK
(Jennifer Kent)
IFC Films. November 28th 
93 minutes 

You can't intellectualize away its terror, though reviews and many a future masters theses will try. This alarming horror film, a brilliant debut for Australian director Jennifer Kent, is as hard to shake as its title character whether you take it as a straightforward monster film, a mental illness or grief allegory, or get hung up on its minefield of taboos (mothers who don't much like their children / over-medication of children / weapons in schools). It's as rich and imaginative a study of depression in its own creepy-crawly way as Lars Von Trier's Melancholia so it's wonderfully apt that Jennifer Kent once apprenticed with the Danish provocateur

Eight with more than enough Great after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec312014

Interlinker

BBC News That's "Sir" John Hurt to you and "Dame" Kristin Scott Thomas. Woooo
They Live By Night Bilge Ebiri offers up a thoughtful defense of Interstellar and its portrait of restless Coop and the double edged sword of survival instincts
Reductress Brilliant send-up of Aaron Sorkin's recent sexist comments. These quotes are satiric but he has said that actresses aren't as good as actors so therefore he is MUCH stupider than his screenplays imply.
Pajiba Benedict Cumberbatch finally speaks about his "dance-off" with Michael Fassbender

Stage Buddy TFE's ocassional contributor Jose offers up his best theater of 2014
i09 lowest ticket sales year in quite some time for Hollywood
MNPP wishes you all a Happy New Year with a gallery of DILFs and their little ones from Channing Tatum to Cam Gigandet
Movies.com fun list of top hits from abroad that didn't make it to the States.  A few of this year's foreign film submissions are sprinkled in
Kenneth in the 212 wants an Emmy for Lisa Kudrow for Season 2 of The Comeback
Nerdist talks to Sam Raimi and he's quite candid about his recent artistic failures Spider-Man 3 and Oz: The Great and Powerful. Now if we can only get a movie as good as 
LitWit a book podcast celebrates the 50th anniversary of "The Chronicles of Prydain", a great young reader fantasy that Disney mucked up in the 80s with The Black Cauldron


Oscariffic
Interview Magazine a talk with ever gorgeous still undervalued Matthew Goode (The Imitation Game)
New York Times has a fine piece called "When the Red Carpet Is Rolled Up" about what happens to the previously unknown Oscar nominees after their moment of glory
Awards Daily Sasha named Rosamund Pike "Performance of the Year" but strangely in her top 11 best actress choices she says of #11 Essie Davis in The Babadook "arguably the best performance of the year". Why #11 then?
Critics Top 10 has been compiling list. It's fascinating to see how many lists each film tops no matter what run they occupy in the top 50. For instance The Grand Budapest Hotel has fewer #1 placements than several others but ends up at #2 overall.The highest ranking film with no #1 placements is Starred Up at #49
In Contention Kris Tapley does his annual best shots of the film year celebrating cinematographers: some of the selections include Godzilla, Interstellar, Mr Turner and Nightcrawler

Exit Video
The visual effects of Captain America: The Winter Soldier...

 

They'll have a tough road to a nomination given that AMPAS has been stingy with Marvel Studios films in this category unless Iron Man is around. But if they get nominated I'll celebrate even though this reel isn't particularly informative. So much destruction. But I love this movie. 

Tuesday
Dec232014

Scarlett Johansson, 2014's MVP

Year in Review. Two yummy look backs each day

Tim here. Among its many charms and disappointments, 2014 was an extraordinarily good year to be a fan of Scarlett Johansson.

No, I can go bigger than that: 2014 was a year that could make somebody a fan of Scarlett Johansson in the first place, or in my case, knock the dust off a fandom that had been growing stale over the last several years.

What makes it such a particularly interesting year to have watched the actress is the way that three of her four performances released in the United States in ’14 are variations on each other (the outlier is what amounts to cameo in Chef, more of a favor done for director Jon Favreau than a real part). Let’s take a quick look at each of them:

Under the Skin
In a holdover from the 2013 festival season Johansson played a non-human being in the human form of a gorgeous woman under the guiding hand of director Jonathan Glazer. Icy good looks married to a deliberately unknowable inner life pretty neatly describes the opinion that tends to be held on Johansson’s acting skills by people who don’t like her, which makes this, on the one hand, an easy casting decision. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec082014

Open Thread. Wanna Help with my Critics Choice Ballot? 

Nobody was more badass than Emily Blunt as the Full Metal Bitch ... no matter what you're calling the movie nowYesterday I shared the eligibility list (not-official, but Nathaniel-created) for an underdiscussed Critics Choice category "Young Actor/Actress" but that's not the only category that the BFCA has that isn't discussed enough to insure widespread careful consideration for a strong lineup. Here are some other categories you can help me with.

FYC your favorites in the comments for the following COMEDY & ACTION categories! We're only allowed 3 votes in each so there are some no brainers for yours truly: Rose Byrne for Comedy Actress (Neighbors) i imagine she's a longshot for a Globe nomination which pisses me off to no end; Emily Blunt for action actress (Edge of Tomorrow); Captain America: Winter Soldier for Action movie... and it's just no contest. Other movies: You got nothing on Cappy in that elevator. Sorry bout it!

BEST ACTION MOVIE
BEST ACTOR in an ACTION MOVIE - name AND film
BEST ACTRESS in an ACTION MOVIE - name AND film


BEST COMEDY
BEST ACTOR in a COMEDY - name AND film
BEST ACTRESS in a COMEDY - name AND film

BEST SCI-FI/HORROR MOVIE
For some reason this one doesn't get acting categories to go with it. I'm a member but the Critics Choice Awards sometimes feel poorly thought out in terms of categories. Either commit or don't, you know?