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"While there was imagination to Swiss Army Man, I am on the hate side of it." -Chris

 "I watched 10 Cloverfield Lane on a long flight Tuesday. It felt like a cross between Misery, Room and an end-of-the-world sci-fi horror B movie. I liked it." -Paul

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Entries in Hit Me With Your Best Shot (225)

Friday
Jun192015

HMYBS: Magic Mike (Part Two)

Did you know that Magic Mike (2012) won TFE's Bronze Medal for Best Picture of 2012?Hit Me With Your Best Shot is looking at Magic Mike (2012) before strapping on possessed ballet slippers for The Red Shoes this coming Wednesday.

Due to some scheduling snafus / switcheroos this week we ended up divvying up our look back at Steven Soderberg and Channing Tatum's still undervalued but much enthused over Magic Mike (2012). So you got it in three parts, the first visual roundup (8 early bird participants), this roundup and my own choice, this weekend when I finally get myself together. It's been a looooooong week for me off blog.

The first batch of shot choices included a few takes on the Dallas/Kid training scene, and two surreal shots involving Dallas and Ken. This time it's the act of watching (Cody), the love of being watched (McConaughey), and the commodification of bodies / people.

Magic Mike (2012)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh; Cinematography by: Steven Soderbergh as "Peter Andrews"

BEST SHOTS
(Pt 1) 7 Images
...and now (Pt 2) 9 Images a couple NSFW so it's all after the jump...
click on the images to read the corresponding article -- really good articles this week, I think. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun102015

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Amadeus" (A Visual Index)

For this week's Best Shot topic, Milos Forman's scrumptious musical duet between jealous Salieri and genius Wolfgang. It was called Amadeus and it was very very good and very very popular -- raking in big box office, too. Though it never landed in the box office top five it had major legs and ended its reign as the 12th highest grosser of 1984.

The music drama won 8 Oscars (from 11 nominations) but curiously one of the prizes it lost was cinematography! The DP was Miroslav Ondrícek who had also been nominated for the previous Milos Forman picture Ragtime (1981).

Amadeus is so visually luxurious that I figured it would be a hard assignment and these eight images surprised me and I can't wait to dig into the articles. Unfortunately I had a computer mishap -- something is not working about my screengrab program (argh-the timing) -- so my own pick for Amadeus will have to wait. But please do read these articles and consider the visual choices. I'm not even going to attempt to put these in chronological order. It's a massive three hour film with lots of performances and difficult to place shots from the luxury overload. Today's Best Shot choices, from brave cinephiles round the web who dare to play this game, are presented in the order in which they were sent to me.

11 BEST SHOTS - AMADEUS (1984)
click on the photos to be taken to the corresponding article 
Next Wednesday: MAGIC MIKE (2012)... grab your singles and pick a shot to shove them into 

Forman wisely draws a visual (and comedic) parallel between the two appearances of the mask.
-The Entertainment Junkie 

When all you can do is seethe in your utter failure...
-Drink Your Juice Shelby 

In a film with such a lavish production, a quiet, almost bare scene caught my eye...
-Sorta That Guy

Hard to pick a shot because its best visual moments come from clever cutting and juxtapositions...
-Coco Hits NY

'It seemed to me that I was hearing the voice of God...'
-54 Disney Reviews

Thematically, I can't think of a more blunt message statement... 
-Antagony & Ecstasy

VIDEO ENTRY
-Movie Motorbreath 

If every Oscar winner was as loose and irreverent as Amadeus...
-Serious Film 

This resplendent film earned every one of its 8 statues.
-Film Actually

The perfect metaphor for the movie's dynamic...
- The Expert Newbie *first entry* 

"I'm frightened!!!" Yet she was fearless. Cynthia Nixon at 18
-Paul Outlaw

Finis

Friday
Jun052015

Visual Index ~ The Bold Giddy Pop Art of "Dick Tracy" 

Hit Me With Your Best Shot S6.E11: DICK TRACY (1990)
Director: Warren Beatty; Cinematographer: Vittorio Storaro

 

Big Boy: YOU! How do you want it?

May I step on to the screen and interject and answer? Breathless Mahoney (Madonna) is at a very brief loss for words anyway since Big Boy Caprice (Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) just killed her gangster sugar daddy. I won't distract from the action. I'll wear something purple, designed by Oscar-nominated Milena Canonero, with a "Press" card sticking out my fedora so I fit right in to the six-color bluntly labelled production design schemes.

So how do I want my comic adaptations?

Nathaniel: [Excited... Breathless, really]. Want it Graphic. Want it Colorful

Breathless: ...Well I look good both ways. 

That you do, Madonna. That you do.

And as befitting your singular femme fatale position in the most absurdly colorful homage to the mostly black and white noir genre, you're the only person that the genius costume designer won't dress in colors.

Breathless: I'm wearing black underwear.

Dick Tracy, Warren Beatty's expensive primary-colored movie adaptation of the 1930s era Chester Gould comic strip celebrates its 25th Anniversary this month. Though the movie's loud blockbuster arrival in the summer of 1990 during the Blonde Ambition phase (and arguable peak) of Madonna's career, and its subsequent winning Oscar night (3 statues) guarantees that we'll always think of Madonna first and composer Stephen Sondheim second when thinking of this summer hit (you don't wanna know how often I listened to Madonna's "I'm Breathless" cassette tape that year!) I chose this image of Dick Tracy, solo, as the film's Best. 

Why this image?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

My New Link Parts

Benjamin Walker: still waiting for the mainstream breakthroughPajiba If you needed some contrarian Grace & Frankie critique try this. I love Dustin but he actually thinks that Grace & Frankie are the problems with Grace & Frankie. Say what? Is this opposite day?
The Dissolve Xavier Dolan's Tom at the Farm getting US distribution two years late. (sigh) So weird that it took so long since it's a) good b) marketable being of the thriller genre and c) only 90 minutes long (that's practically a "short" by the standards of the Dolanverse)
People Actress Jennifer Grey (Dirty Dancing) honored her legendary dad Joel Grey (Cabaret) at a recent event
Broadway World The awesome but still relatively unknown Benjamin Walker (aka 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson' Himself and Former Streep-Son-in-Law) will star in American Psycho: The Musical on Broadway next spring.
Towleroad Tony Award predictions
Gold Standard predicts Best Drama Series at the Emmys - suggests that Breaking Bad dominance will continue with Better Call Saul. NOOOooooooo

Today's Must See(s)

Color me so impressed that this site did a video entry for "Hit Me With Your Best Shot". Why didn't I think of that? Maybe it'll inspire others to join us! *crossing fingers* Now go read Movie Motorbreath and subscribe totheir YouTube channel (I hope STinG does this every week). 

This short video is like Action Filmmaking 101. And obviously a lot of action directors working in Hollywood need to go back to school since John Seale (cinematographer) and George Miller (director) and Margaret Sixel (editor) just reminded everyone how it's done. This video describes one of the main reasons that Mad Mad Fury Road is so incredibly exciting without ever being disorienting. (Hat tip to Polygon for bringing this to our attention.) 

Superhero Link Quota
Heroic Hollywood looks at Marvel/Netflix's Defenders plans post Daredevil success. The proposed Black Widow series is never happening though, get real. ScarJo is too much of a movie star to settle
Comics Alliance Luke Mitchell promoted to series regular for Agents of SHIELD S3. (I liked him a lot but I'm done with that show. It's just far too incoherent and inferior to other Marvel product out there - Agent Carter runs circles around it for one and you can't watch everything.)

Show Tune To Go!

 

Musical hater Jason would not approve of me commemorating his baby My New Plaid Pants's 10th birthday this week by sharing a showtune but that's why I have to. Otherwise this would be way too sentimental because MNPP is my personal favorite blog (4realz). It's always hilarious and sexy and puts a smile on my face when I'm down and Jason is genius. So go and wish him well. For his tenth anniversary he counts down the ten hot movie stars he's posted about the most over the years. Naturally Jake Gyllenhaal wins but the order is interesting and for the show tune to go I've selected features Bachelor #8 Dominic Cooper's Bathing Suit from Mamma Mia! I can't imagine most TFE readers aren't already aware of Jason's blog (since he posts here regularly, too) but if you aren't, get familiar. There's something for everyone: cinephiles will love "The Moment I Fell For..." and "Five Frames From..." and his succinct reviews; Horny admirers of the male form \will love NSFW stuff like "Gratuitous" and "Anatomy IN a Scene" and "Do, Dump, or Marry"; if you're a horror fan you'll be way more at home over there since he has totally gross but inspired series like "Ways Not To Die," too.

So happy anniversary and keep making the internet a better place with "nonsense incarnate," everyone!

Wednesday
Jun032015

A Portrait of Everyone Trying To Decide What To Write About "Dick Tracy" For HMWYBS

Perfect right? Thanks Kathy!

I totally forgot that Kathy Bates was in this movie. And that she's amusingly mystified when asked to transcribe Mumbles confession. Or maybe she's distracted thinking 'Misery comes out in 5½ months and then you'll see what I can do!'

I'm currently mulling over 23 screengrabs for Dick Tracy (1990) trying to choose just 1 for its 25th anniversary. This movie is so good looking, in a super-saturated drunk on the color wheel way. So if you're also struggling or forgot that Best Shot was returning today after hiatus (I know several people did) I'll extend the BEST SHOT deadline to tomorrow night.

But in the meantime cue up Madonna's "I'm Breathless" CD and remember how good those Stephen Sondheim songs are as you check out these entries from blogs that finished in time! (Consider it appetizer and main course and tomorrow night dessert for any latecomers to our weekly Visual Party.)

Coco Hits NY - selects a clever moment of cartoon logic
The Entertainment Junkie - on converging visual elements
Film Actually - loves the film noir long shots
Dancin' Dan - goes understated for a loud movie 
Antagony & Ecstasy - admires the graphic storytelling
Paul Outlaw- wants to reverse Madonna & Beatty's positions in this potent frame 

And don't forget that next Wednesday night June 10th is Amadeus (1984) and there won't be any extension of that deadline because the film leaves Netflix Instant Watch very soon and it's three hours long (but oh so good) so you might want to get a headstart on your selection for that one. Yours truly hasn't seen it since the 80s and is so excited to revisit it.  

 

Monday
Jun012015

'Any Mike, Dick, or Wolfgang... Any Mike, Wolfgang or Dick ♪ ♫ '

HIT ME WITH YOUR BEST SHOT RETURNS WEDNESDAY NIGHT. Our cinematography-loving series, returns from hiatus on June 3rd. Here are your first three movies so get to watchin' em! Spread the word, rent the pictures, pick a shot and join our more-the-merrier visual party.

DICK TRACY (1990)
Wednesday, June 3rd

Before live action takes on illustrated fiction were regular, and definitely before they were respectable, Warren Beatty brought his terrific eye to this pop colored live-action conjuring of the classic syndicated detective comic with outlandish looking villains and femme fatales. (Like Sin City minus the gruesome machismo and way more color / fun.) Nominated for 7 Oscars including Cinematography (Vittorio Storaro), the all time best haul for a comic adaptation outside of The Dark Knight. and still the record holder for most wins (3). [Netflix  | iTunes | Amazon]

AMADEUS (1984)
Wednesday, June 10th

Right before this leaves Netflix Instant Watch let's dive deep into arguably the best biopic ever made, Milos Forman's lush battle of wills and talent between Salieri (F Murray Abraham) and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Thomas Hulce) the last film ever nominated for two Best Actor Oscars (before category fraud campaigning rendered those a thing of the past). Nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Cinematography (Miroslav Ondrícek) though it lost that one despite 8 wins elsewhere. [Netflix | Amazon

MAGIC MIKE (2012)
Wednesday June 17th

Before the XXL sequel hits theaters for the 4th of July holiday, let's stuff some dollar bills into Channing Tatum's G string in Steven Soderbergh's overachieving male stripper drama. Soderbergh's love of yellow filters (he does his own cinematography as "Peter Andrews") can grate, but this movie is worth drooling at, excuse me looking at again. Nominated for Zero Oscars because... it's a male stripper drama. But obviously this is the one Matthew McConaughey should've won his Oscar for. [Netflix | iTunes | Amazon]

Wednesday
May062015

Best Shot Special: The Orson Welles Centennial !

HMWYBS: Mid Season Finale 

Orson Welles  burst on to the cinematic scene in 1941 with Citizen Kane, which has led numerous film polls across the decades as the 'Best Film Ever Made'. (Kane's nearest rivals for the title in frequent pollings here and there seem to be Vertigo and The Godfather) It famously lost all but one of its Oscar nominations (Orson Welles and Herman J. Mankiewicz his co-writer took the Original Screenplay prize, Welles' only competitive Oscar) but genius is rarely fully appreciated in its time. Incredibly, the writer/director/actor was only 26 at the time but he was no one hit wonder adding several more classics to his filmography before his death at 70 years of age in 1985. For today's Hit Me With Your Best Shot episode, our midseason finale (the series returns on June 3rd), I asked participants to choose between Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942, my personal favorite of his), and The Lady From Shanghai (1948) depending on what they felt like watching.

Gawk at beautiful screengrabs from those movies from 10 Best Shot participants. Click on any of them to be taken to the corresponding article singing that shot's praises...

Click to read more ...

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