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Entries in In the Loop (4)

Tuesday
Jul232019

The New Classics - In the Loop

Michael Cusumano here to mark the 10th anniversary of one of the great political satires.

 

Scene: The Meditation Room 
The political operators of Armando Iannucci’s In the Loop live in a world where issues don’t matter and the halls of power are filled with bureaucrats who would gleefully sell out their principles were they not held back by their own incompetence. In this universe, those sad few officials who do manage to take a moral stand are not merely defeated but negated entirely, their feeble protests turned into absurd jokes and swept away in a sea of media noise.

I should add that In the Loop is one of the funniest movies of the 21st Century, but then it would have to be to get away with painting a picture so grim...

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Saturday
Jul192014

Team Top Ten: Best TV to Film Adaptations of All Time

Amir here, to welcome you to another edition of Team Top Ten, a poll of all of the website’s contributors. The topic du jour given that it's Emmy season is Best Films Adaptated from TV Series.

For as long as film and TV have coexisted, their fates, stars, successes, failures and histories have been entangled. Their ever-shifting dynamic has had an immense impact on both industries. The complexity of their relationship made devising a list like this one quite difficult, beginning with the question of what really constitutes an adaptation. For example, The Holy Grail and Life of Brian are not adapted from Monty Python's The Flying Circus; they are inspired by it, but one is more inspired than the other, so we rendered the former film eligible and the latter ineligible. On the other hand, series like Mission Impossible and Naked Gun present a different type of challenge because the sequels are continuations of the original film, rather than the TV series, but we considered them eligible nonetheless. We faced another difficulty with franchises like The Addams Family and The Addams Family Values, based on a series that is itself based on comics. The extent to which the films were inspired by either source was taken into account and we considered only the former film eligible in this case though the latter has far more ardent fans among the team here.

And so on and so forth. The point is to take this list with a grain of salt and add your personal favourites in the comments below. Without further ado…

TEAM TOP TEN
BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME INSPIRED BY TV SERIES

10. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me
Unlike these days, David Lynch needed to make a film in order to portray all of the incest, rape, pedophilia, murder and drugs that his and Mark Frost’s television series mostly only alluded to. While Twin Peaks, which ran for two seasons in the early 1990s, was a woozy blend of murder mystery, soap opera, dark comedy and surrealist imagery, the film was an altogether different beast. A dark and often brutally ugly ‘horror melodrama’, it angered many fans and even filmmakers (Quentin Tarantino was not a fan). For people willing to take the plunge, however, into the dark recesses of Lynch’s mind, it is a compelling and tragic affair that remains one of the definitive directorial statements of the ‘90s. Plus, David Bowie as an FBI agent who may be a ghost. Or an alien. Or a shape-shifter. Who can tell? –Glenn Dunks

9. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Ghost Protocol
seemed like a squeaker eligibility-wise, with the show a distant, tenuously related memory and three other movies interceding between them. But the film is one of the great pop entertainments U.S. studios have produced in recent years, dynamically edited and gorgeously shot by Robert Elswit without the self-conscious handsomeness of There Will Be Blood or Good Night, and Good Luck. With set-pieces as stunning as the Kremlin infiltration, the sandstorm chase, and everything else that happens in, on, or around the Burj Khalifa, this is top-notch, exuberant, and imaginative action filmmaking.  I liked De Palma’s gimcrackery and Abrams’ more traditional and character-driven suspenser, but Ghost Protocol is the franchise’s happiest marriage of scene construction, silliness, and star charisma (not just from Cruise, but from everybody).  Its division into discrete, flavorful sequences gives it the roaming energy of a television serial. You want to binge four more movies afterward. –Nick Davis

8 more after the jump

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Wednesday
Jun192013

James Gandolfini (1961-2013)

Like the rest of the world I was stunned to hear that James Gandolfini died suddenly earlier today of a stroke while vacationing in Italy. He was only 51 and there was every reason to believe that more great work was ahead of him since male character actors of great reknown can work for as long as they'd like really in Hollywood's male-centric world.

My most recent fond memories of the actor were the gentle surprise of his comic timing when we meet him in a frisky scene in In the Loop (2009) in which he flirts with Karen Clark (Mimi Kennedy) by joking about bestiality

[more...]

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Thursday
Mar312011

Distant Relatives: Dr. Strangelove and In the Loop

Robert here, with my series Distant Relatives, where we look at two films, (one classic, one modern) related through theme and ask what their similarities/differences can tell us about the evolution of cinema.

 

Great and powerful leaders

The world is run by idiots. Here’s an observation that is not at all new in the history of comedy or for that matter, humanity. Political satire is more often than not based on the assumption that the people at the top are at best incompetent to enact the right priorities, at worst adamant in their pursuit of the wrong ones. There’s a line of thinking that suggests anyone with the desire to become a politician is, by that virtue alone, unfit to be one. Never is this assertion more comically rife than in times of war, when we’re all scared and confused and asking our leaders to help us through the fog of conflict.

Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and (cue the teasing female voice) Love the Bomb and In the Loop are two films during two times of war, one Cold the other Middle-Eastern, that aren’t exactly overt anti-war political statements. That is to say the films could, I suppose, get behind a war if the people promoting and running it were ever even slightly better than horrible human beings. But in their realities that could never be the case.

Fingers on the big red button

In case you’ve never seen it, Dr. Strangelove starts off with mad General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayden) giving an unauthorized go code to go nuclear (literally) on the Soviet Union.

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