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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in DVD (78)

Tuesday
Feb022016

Spielberg's Best Pictures and New DVDs

Time to check in to see which movies we all can check back in with or catch up with now that they've hit the home market. The big title, Oscar wise is Steven Spielberg's 10th Best Picture nominee as a director, the cold war drama Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both doing fine work as a lawyer and the spy he must bargain with for a prisoner of war trade. Only one of Spielberg's directorial efforts has ever won Best Picture (Schindler's List, 1993) but which is your favorite? I'd rank them like so...

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. Schindler's List (1993)
  3. Jaws (1975)
  4. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Lincoln (2012)
  6. The Color Purple (1985)
  7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
  8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  9. Munich (2005)
  10. War Horse (2011)

With the disclaimer that everyone knows I'm not a Spielberg aficionado really (the top three are the only ones I'm completely wild about from this list with Close Encounters of the Third Kind also a favorite but Best Picture was not among its 8 (!) nominations. [Trivia Aside: It's tied for second place with The Dark Knight and some other films for 'most nominations without Best Picture,' though the expanded Best Picture field will probably insure that no more films join said list. The all time record holder is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) which is completely amazing film but somehow missed a Best Picture nomination despite 9 other bids for the gold.]

ICYMI Murtada just got done ranking the Spielberg Nominated Performances so we're in that sorta mood you could say

Also New on DVD or BluRay

Burnt Bradley Cooper is a chef. And lots of actresses orbit him
Chi-Raq Spike Lee's randy funny raging update of Lysistrata (See: Best of 2015)
Downton Abbey (Final Season) which I'm loving as it airs
Freeheld in which Julianne Moore & Ellen Page fall in love and fight for their rights
Goosebumps in which monsters come to life and Jack Black and kids fight them
Our Brand is Crisis a rare flop for Sandra Bullock as a campaign manager
Suffragette Mulligan, Streep and Bonhman-Carter fight for their voting rights
Truth Cate Blanchett and her fabulous curls fight a losing battle to bring down President Bush with his sneaky draft-dodging

New to Netflix Instant Watch

Better Call Saul (S1) in which Breaking Bad lives on to hold on to its Emmy slots. Now Streaming on Netflix.
Lila & Eve Viola Davis goes vigilante. February 6th.
Love (Gaspar Noe) in which Gaspar Noe splooges into the camera (in 3D!). This explicit sex drama should have really been something but Christ it's a bore. February 4th. 
Mad Men (S7.2) in which we try to be all zen while saying goodbye to the greatest TV show of all time. February 5th.

READER'S CHOICE
We might start doing a poll where you choose which old movie, just released to Instant Watch, you want to force Nathaniel to watch and write up and discuss with y'all. What'cha think? Some of this month's new/old options are Charlie's Angels (2000), Cruel Intentions (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Jennifer 8 (1992... I used to be really into this one because: Uma), Losing Isaiah (1995), Stardust (2007), Teen Witch (1989), and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

Tuesday
Jan192016

Newish: A Walk with the Teenage Martian Outta Compton

It's time for the irregular 'newish for home viewing' list. If you've been trying to catch up on 2015 hits & misses (no judgments -- we're all for movie consumption of multiple kinds and whenever people can get to them) it's worth noting that a lot of things hit DVD, Blu-Ray, and Streaming over the past three weeks. Here are some highlights. (Links go to related articles here).

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan092016

Podcast: Anomalisa & Great Films to Stream Right Now

Previously on Pt 1: The Hateful Eight and Comedy Performances of 2015

Pt 2 is here now. Joe, Katey and Nick --soldiering on awesomely without Nathaniel at this week's recording session -- are talking Anomalisa, and streaming recommendations to complete your film year. I hope you enjoy their conversation as much as I did! 

36 minutes 
00:01 Charlie Kaufman and Duke Johnson's Anomalisa has attracted obsessed fans. Do Katey, Joe and Nick number among them? Find out. 
14:40 Reader Question: Great performances in not so great films? When actors do all the work themselves. 
20:10 Catching up with 2015 films we missed. Streaming recommendations!
34:30 Goodbyes & Plugs & Happy New Year

Films discussed include but are not limited to: Phoenix, The Man From UNCLE, Blackhat, and Goodnight Mommy  

Further Reading
Joe's Decider column on future cult classics
Nick's new giant Actress project 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes

Anomalisa, Phoenix, and More...

Thursday
Jan072016

Sicario's Hell in Harmony

Chris here. Available this week on DVD/Blu-ray is Denis Villeneuve's Sicario, a controlled descent into the cartel battles being waged between the Mexican and American borders. Like the ongoing war on drugs, Villeneuve's film presents a complex landscape of violence wherein rulebooks have been forsaken - and on both sides. It's a masterful piece of filmmaking (recently nominated by the PGA, ADG, and WGA), and Villeneuve has assembled an intimidating group of craftspeople working harmoniously to create a living hell.

Front and center is Emily Blunt's idealistic and by-the-book agent Kate Macer, straining composure and grasping for opportunity while in over her head. Blunt is ferociously present and flummoxed, giving as much subtlety and nuance as she has in her broader roles like The Devil Wears Prada. She's so believably rattled that you're reaching for fistfuls of cigarettes along with her. It's a performance that deserves to be right in the thick of the Best Actress conversation, even in such a deep field as this. While many have claimed her to be far too passive, her lack of control is just another element of Villeneuve's all-pervasive synthesis.

more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Dec152015

Mission: Impossible - trying to catch up with all the new movies

We've opted to do the home viewing news bi-weekly so as not to clog the feed up with lists of product. Some weeks are awfully spare. But here's what's new or newish on DVD/BluRay and streaming if your TV is big.

New DVD or BluRay
Ant-Man -In which Paul Rudd steals a magic suit and Becomes a Better Man. (Tim's review)
Downhill Racer -The 1969 Robert Redford / Gene Hackman skiing drama gets the Criterion treatement
Fantastic Four -If only it were streaming because everyone deserves the opportunity to see how terrible this is ...without paying for it. My only "F" of the year and that is not a cute play on the title. (Tim's slightly more generous review)
He Named Me Malala -Currently seeking a Best Documentary Oscar nomination.
Maze Runner The Scorch Trials -Please don't tell me that there are a ton of books and they're going to split the last one into two movies
Minions -Despicable Me sure created a monster. Well, millions of tiny yellow pop culture devouring monsters. (Tim on the phenomenon)
Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation -one of the year's most enjoyable surprises. Although we shouldn't have been surprised since Ghost Protocol was also topnotch. (Tim's Review)
Speedy - Harold Lloyd's last silent comedy gets the Criterion treatment
Ted 2 -Mark Wahlberg makes a sequel to his magic teddy bear blockbuster and curiously, despite slobbering all over the first one, no one cared

TV Seasons
Hannibal (S3 Final) in which Hugh Dancy and Mads Mikkelsen draw bloody hearts around each other's names in their notebooks
Extant (S2 Final) Can someone please stop the casting of Halle Berry in genre fare. Genre acting is not remotely within her acting skill set. Ladies and gentlemen, I present as evidence: X-Men franchise, Catwoman, and S1 of Extant. I rest my case.
Transparent (S2 on Amazon Prime Streaming) In which we return to the emotional chaos of the Pfefferman children and their trans father Maura (birth name Mort) played by Emmy-winning Jeffrey Tambor. Have you watched S2 yet? I'm trying to slowly savor it after loving every second of Season 1.

The endearing emotionally slippery family of Transparent

New Streaming on Netflix
Phoenix - One of the biggest German hits in recent years. Weird that they didn't submit it for Oscars last year instead of Beloved Sisters. Read Jose's Nina Hoss interview
The Ridiculous Six -- the first film in Netflix's mega multi-picture deal with Adam Sandler
Tangerine - the best comedy of 2015, regardless of what the Globes or Critics Choice claim. Watch it with friends and donuts over Christmas. You'll be so on trend. (Nathaniel's Review)
Xenia - Greece's LGBT Oscar submission about two brothers searching for their birth father

Monday
Nov302015

BluRay/DVD: Get high with Kristen & Jesse

Since we haven't done one of these in awhile here is what is new or newish on DVD and BluRay as you try to catch up for your personal year-in-review mania.

American Ultra - Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg headline this pot-smoking action comedy. Which begs the question...


Amy - Glenn recently wondered aloud about the ethics of posthumous privacy invasions but that hasn't stopped audience and critics from rallying around this one.
Cooties -It only took this horror comedy two years since its Sundance premiere to show up for home entertainment.
Goodnight Mommy -Jose interviewed the directors of this Austrian horror film, one of the most unusual Oscar submissions for 2015. It's done well at the arthouse, breaking the increasingly difficult 1 million mark
Grace of Monaco - what a long and tortured ride this biopic starring Nicole Kidman has had, huh? We've been covering it for 3 years! A year and a half since its Cannes debut and one cable premiere later and only now is it on DVD?
The Man From U.N.C.L.E. -This franchise hopeful adaptation of the spy TV series was a pleasant summer surprise featuring Guy Ritchie's best work in ages, heaps of style, and a disgustingly beautiful cast.
Meru - An Oscar seeking documentary abou t
Mississippi Grind - Ryan Reynolds & Ben Mendlesohn are pool sharks

Mistress America - The latest divisive comedy from Noah Baumbach & Greta Gerwig. I didn't like it much but Jason loved it. As stated, divisive.
Outlander S1 - Somehow I fell off this series after that super hot super costumed Wedding episode. Should I tune back in?
Ricki & The Flash -in which Meryl Streep does some of her best and most relaxed work in ages as an aging unsuccessful rocker ... naturally there was little audience reaction and no Oscar buzz as a result! They like to see her sweat for it. Anyway... I liked it. How about you?
Shaun the Sheep - It shall remain a mystery why this hilarious & sweet Aardman animation effort didn't get US families into theaters to see it (it earned three times as much abroad) considering the absolute garbage parents will take their kids to. The new question is will it be Oscar nominated given the strangely low number of qualifying films in that category this year?
Stanford Prison Experiment -This ensemble indie (filled with a ton of promising young male actors) about the infamous titular study didn't really catch on but years from now people might look back on it as a "look how many stars are in this!" petri dish.