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Entries in Debra Winger (9)

Friday
Mar302018

New Mantra: "Miranda July Heist Movie"

Chris here. If that headline didn't already give you a moment of chrystalline mental clarity, perhaps the fact that it's not just fantasy will. That's right, the multi-hyphenate artist Miranda July will be returning to cinemas for her yet untitled third feature, this time with a genre bent. Those unfamiliar with the indie darling would do well to research her performance art and writing, but her filmography is as good a start as any of her other works. Her first two idiosyncratic films were 2005's whimsically sad Me and You and Everyone We Know ("... forever.") and 2011's The Future, which was narrated by a stray cat. Both films are touching and deeply original, so don't expect standard heist fare.

But maybe this could be her most mainstream film yet given the enticing cast she's already assembled: Evan Rachel Wood, Debra Winger, Gina Rodriguez, and Richard Jenkins. Wood will play Old Dolio (!), whose scheming parents (Winger and Jenkins) bring an outsider into their major heist plans, with big ramifications for Old Dolio. Expect something oddly moving and unlike anything else released that year.

Friday
Jun302017

A League of Their Own, Pt. 2: Mae Swings, Evelyn Cries, Jimmy Rants

25th Anniversary Four-Part Mini Series Event

Previously in Part 1: "Dollies" who could also play ball were recruited to save America's Favorite Pastime while the men were at war. But these athletic women didn't realize that they'd still be met with such sexism despite the chance to show their gifts. The final piece of this movie's puzzle was the manager and the job was offered to Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) and that's where we pick back up. How will the Rockford Peaches handle their new arrogant alcoholic boss? 

Batter up...

Part 2 by Nathaniel R

33:40 "Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the first game of the All American Girls Baseball League"... In this case via the establishing shot (Penny Marshall makes good use of those throughout) 'ladies & gentlemen' is a small plural; the stands are mostly empty. 

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Wednesday
May312017

HMWYBS: Wonder Woman: The Feminine Mystique (1976)

For this week's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot with Warner Bros Wonder Woman (2017) finally hitting movie theaters, we're taking a trip back to the mid 70s when the world's most famous superheroine made her most famous trek into live-action. Lynda Carter first came to fame by winning a national beauty contest in 1972 (the awkwardly titled "Miss World America") and Wonder Woman was her big break after a few low profile gigs. She starred as the Amazon princess for three seasons stretching from the pilot's airing in November 1975 through the finale in September 1979.

We're looking at a two part episode "The Feminine Mystique" for this week's 'choose your favorite image' exercize because they're well remembered episodes and because they co-star 80s movie star Debra Winger who is currently back onscreen in The Lovers. Ready? Board your invisible jet and meet me after the jump...

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Sunday
May072017

Arthouse Box Office... Go see "The Lovers"

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (reviewed) opened huge as expected, and is now #2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in terms of this highly specific metric: Most box office improvement over the opening of the first film. Number 1 in this regard is still Captain America Winter Soldier. With the mainstream box office being totally dominated by two franchises featuring action heroes of scant relation deploying the word "family" as frequently as rounds of ammo, let's turn our attention to the films in limited release. Richard Gere is the unexpected leader with not one but two films (The Dinner and Norman) in the top five.

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Friday
May052017

Debra Winger in "The Lovers"

by Murtada

Allow me to tell you a story about Debra Winger and the ever lasting effect she had on a 9 year old boy. That is how old I was when I rented An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) from my local video store. I was so enthralled that I hid the tape - since I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated flicks - and watched again and again, refusing to return it as the late fees piled on. I didn’t even fully speak or understand English at the time, but I got everything that Winger was conveying. As an impressionable young gay you’d think I’d be more interested in Richard Gere. And sure I found him attractive, but it was Winger I identified with. Something about the mix of pride and anguish she had as Paula, the small town factory girl trying to break free to a better life, enchanted me and I became an eternal admirer.

Imagine my excitement then to see her in a film for the first time in years. Directed by Azazel Jacobs and co-starring Tracy Letts, The Lovers is about a long married couple who are both in serious affairs (with Aiden Gillen and Melora Walters). They find themselves inexplicably once again attracted to each other, re-igniting a passionate physical relationship that has serious ramifications for everyone in their lives. Winger has a prickly but earthy presence that makes one understand why these two guys are so into her. As someone who is involved in two affairs, she has to lie a lot and what a bad liar she is. She forgets the lie the second it leaves her mouth which means everyone knows she is a liar. Winger makes that running joke endearing and funny yet also spikes it with a devil may care shrug that fits the sharp woman she’s playing. It’s a joy of a performance.

Winger is well matched by Letts who amuses as a man who is exasperated by almost everyone in his life. His realization that the wife he doesn’t see anymore might be the one after all, is poignant and full of heart. The relationship and foibles are well realized and take us to surprising places, and the two leads are hard to resist even as their characters hurt themselves and others.

In recent interviews Winger mentioned that the reason for her intermittent work in the last two decades, is that she got interested in other stuff beyond film. She lately started watching more, especially on tv, and that's how she found Jacobs's previous film Terri (2011). She loved it and wrote him a letter saying "If you ever think of me for anything, I'd love to work with you because your touch was pretty sweet." And that is how they came to collaborate on The Lovers.

Debra, please watch more and definately write more letters to the directors you like. We’ve missed you.

The Lovers opened today in limited release in New York and LA.


Tuesday
Nov012016

Now Streaming (Prime): Rocky, Bond, and Brad as "Joe Black"

It's that time of the month again. Streaming! Here are the new titles on Amazon Prime. As is our practice we'll freeze frame some at random to see what comes up -- no cheating! Will you be watching any of these? Do you remember them?

Russian Coach: He's nothing, he's soft
Swedish Dolph Pretending to be Russian: He's not a man. He is like a piece of iron.

Rocky IV (1985)
Remember when America was totally obsessed with Dick-Measuring with Russia. Oh wait... we're back there again only with a really gross twist (sigh). Side note: Most but not all of the Rocky films are avaiable for streaming but the not all point kind of defeats the purpose doesn't it? See also: James Bond movies.

Speaking of...

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