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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in List-Mania (91)

Tuesday
Jul152014

Tues Top Twenty: Halfway Hotties (Best of 2014)

The power of list compels me! Yes, yes, I need to move on from halfway mark madness (we've previously covered best visuals, best acting, best sounds, and best movies) since they're already out of date and it's been so busy what with chart updates (in progress), Emmy nominations, Smackdown panel announcements, Dawn of the Planet and Apes, Boyhood. We need to be back in THE NOW. But I'm dragging my feet mostly because I really like what 2014's been giving. I'm crushing on it hard and thinking about asking it to go steady. 

This is the final halfway mark list. A shorter version of it was published in my column at Towleroad which happens to be "a site with homosexual tendencies" but I've significantly altered it for you because you are all movie mad and the best moviegoers are polysexual when it comes to lusting after big screen beauty.

Why aren't old favorites in this list?
This list is dedicated to Steve Rogers' impossibly broad shoulders and Natasha Romanoff's awesome cleavage (it was generous of Scarlett to unzip for that helicopter scene, don't you think?) but here's the thing. Doing the same shtick over and over again is not sexy. It's like choosing between missionary style and horizontal with man on top. So I've determined that people are totally ineligible if we've seen them do their character multiple times so no franchise babes that aren't newbies or signifantly altered.

Why isn't Marion Cotillard's Immigrant on this list?
Because we'd feel guilty if we lusted after beautiful Polish immigrants who are tricked into becoming sad whores to provide for their sickly sister.

20 HOTTEST ACTOR/CHARACTERS OF 2014 

 

20 Tom Hiddleston as “The Great Escapo” in Muppets Most Wanted
Boyfriend Material?: Great sense of humor. Into light bondage to spice things up. Looks fiiiiine in a pair of longjohns. Is, to date, the only performance in the Muppets 35 year franchise that’s likely to cause pervy crotch-focused gifs on the internet.
Dealbreaker: Probably in a Russian gulag for a reason

 

19 Nick Thurston as “Blue Eyes” in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
Boyfriend Material?: "Blue Eyes" is right... so soulful. This one's for the plushies... but not the bears. Blue Eyes hates the bears. Easily manipulated (a plus for you control freaks). Plus scars can make you strong / give you character. 
Dealbreaker: Limited conversationalist. Daddy issues.

18 more AFTER THE JUMP...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun252014

List Mania

Two interesting lists came out in the past couple of days which are worth discussing / poring over / loving deeply / fuming at for various reasons.

Three LGBT Films I'm Always Wishing More People Had Seen. Paris is Burning (#3), Lilies (#64), and Show Me Love (#168)

• The Advocate crowd-sourced the 175 Essential LGBT Movies list which is a mix of non gay movies that gays love and actual queer films. Brokeback Mountain (2005) tops the list and the top ten is really cool and varied though it's obviously skewing toward historically important cinematic breakthroughs (regardless of quality) which I suppose explains the high ranking of Philadelphia (1993) which is not a good movie and so so timid and Making Love (1982), just outside the top ten which is interesting and way less timid than many movies which came after it (how's that for an odd turn of events) but it's also stiffly made. I've seen all but 34 of these pictures but some of the choices are... unfortunate. The foreign classics are shoved toward the back of the list (Almodóvar is present of course but woefully underrepresented and poorly ranked) but basically every popular American gay film from the last 25 years that actually sucks is accounted for; it's a myth that gays have good taste!

P.S. My Beautiful Laundrette, which we were just discussing, comes in at #21. 

 

And now a more mainstream list...

Only 5 live action musicals made the list. No Cabaret (1972)? I weep.

• The Hollywood Reporter surveyed industry types like Oscar winners, studio chiefs, and TV personalities and came up with a list of Hollywood's Favorite 100 Films of All Time. As a very mainstream list that only grazes Old Hollywood with the most iconic pictures (All About Eve, Gone With The Wind, On the Waterfront - that sort of thing) and heavily favors New Hollywood (roughly the 70s forward) it's fun. But you have to know what you're getting into. Most interesting to me is how beloved the year 1994 is with Pulp Fiction, Shawshank Redemption and Forrest Gump all in the top 15 !!! The most recent picture listed is Inception (2010) which... gross. Spielberg, Coppola, Hitchcock and Nolan all have multiple entries. Curiously Hollywood only loves modern animated movies - nothing made earlier than Beauty & The Beast (1991) which comes in at #86. Brokeback Mountain (2005) comes in at #76 (Crash is nowhere to be seen. I think Hollywood was embarrassed about that Best Picture win as soon as the morning after if not as soon as Jack Nicholson read the card).

P.S. Since we were just surveying 2004 I think it's worth noting that Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is the only picture from that year listed... none of the actual Best Picture nominees made the cut, not even Million Dollar Baby

What should we make lists of here at TFE? Summertime is obviously ideal for movie lists since nothing is actually happening at the movies (besides, you know, CG robots, monsters, and explosions) 

 

Thursday
Jun192014

Only Linker Left Alive

Screen Crush Top Secret the making of an 80s comedy classic 
The Playlist celebrates Chinatown's 40th Anniversary 
MNPP David Oyelowo twelve times 
The Wire a rumor roundup on Doctor Strange and what's going on

The Movie Scene takes a different tack on those "halfway mark" lists that are starting round the web, merely ranking the films that were new to him this year on DVD... classics mixed with brand new things. I've never been able to compare different eras well in terms of "rank" - give me year to year contests or decade lists but otherwise... too tough! 
Row Three I haven't listened to this yet but I love the concept: a podcast devoted to one movie soundtrack an episode with a new person interviewed about what the soundtrack meant to their life. This episode is Dirty Dancing
/bent Lupita Nyong'o on the cover of Vogue for July. Only the second African (though some African-American entertainers have made the cover) 
The Wire remembers the Broadway-to-screen adaptations prior to Jersey Boys which brought the stage actors to the screen. As you can see this practice has decidedly mixed results - when it works it's magic but when the people are way too old for the roles on the big screen... 

first official image of Jamie Dornan in 50 Shades of Grey (2015)

Great Question
The Guardian is doubtful that 50 Shades of Grey could do it but with a history of horny films asks 'what could bring the erotic thriller, a long dead genre that peaked in popularity with Fatal Attraction (1987), back to the cinemas?'

Off Cinema
Gayest of All Time "Kitty Bro Five" -'Dat Be Cute' is right!
Pitchfork MoMA will host a Björk retrospective next year
Autostraddle every character from Orange is the New Black as they appeared on guest stints in Law & Order -- as much as I blame that show for so much that is wrong with television, I recognize it kept food on the table for countless thespians
Mr Dan Zak true life story that inspired the nun's arc on OITNB

Finally...
Our 'Halfway Mark' articles are coming up in a week or two surveying the year in progress but Indie Wire started early and polled critics about the best of the year thus far (I always forget to vote on these things). Grand Budapest Hotel, Under the Skin, Only Lovers Left Alive, and Ida are the top four. Their combined domestic gross is $65 million OR what Fault In Our Stars and 300:Rise of an Empire earned in their first week. (Le sigh)

Tuesday
Jun172014

22 Link Street

VF Wyatt Russell, son of Kurt & Goldie, on his 22 Jump Street experience
Digital Spy Mark Ruffalo talks the future of the Hulk. Solo movie, Avengers, so on. (BTW and unrelated: did you see Mark Ruffalo riding a unicycle on Graham Norton?)
MNPP wonders wtf Jude Law is wearing
/Film "40 things I learned on the set of Transformers: Age of Extinction"


Film Doctor has 10 notes on 22 Jump Street
Gothamist recommends 5 drive-in movie theaters near NYC. Holy hell. I didn't realize any were left nearby. I am so going. If uh... well, I don't have a car because I live in NYC. Never mind.
Pajiba an open letter to a kid at the theater watching How To Train Your Dragon 2 (spoiler heavy)
Empire whoops. Just days after that awful teaser, Paddington has lost his voice as Colin Firth exits
The Blot Michael Musto names his 10 greatest female movie stars of all time with the most recent addition being Cate Blanchett. A couple of strange choices. Of note: His three way tie (Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Judy Garland -I can't see what connects them) features three indisputables but that makes it a top 12

WTF?ness
Hollywood.com posted a list of 20 remakes that prove "original isn't always better" -- is it a prank that The Stepford Wives (2004) begins the otherwise kinda okay no wait kind of respectable but  random no wait insane list?

A Forever Must Read
"How to Deal With Criticism" - this piece from The Toast made me laugh so so much - the cave story is just. gah! -- and was also so inspiring. I've done some of these self-sabotage things. Listen, nobody is ever going to love everything you do. But you gotta do you. Chin up. Back to work.  

Sunday
Jun152014

Podcast: 2004 Anniversary Party w/ Top Ten Lists

For this hour long special edition of the podcast, we took Joe Reid's suggestion and are having ourselves a theme party. The theme is 2004, and on its tenth anniversary Nathaniel, Nick and Joe marvel at what a rich cinematic year it was and how well the highlights have endured. 

We begin with movies we think we should revisit or have shifted in our memory and then compare top ten lists. Movies discussed include but are not limited to: Dogville, Bad Education, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Tarnation, Before Sunset, Blissfully Yours, Shaun of the Dead, Sideways, House of Flying Daggers, Primer, Vera Drake, and Maria Full of Grace among others. 

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download the conversation on iTunes. Continue the conversation with your own 2004 memories and revisits in the comments.

 

2004 Top Ten Party

Tuesday
Jun032014

Links: Feat. the Totally Awesome 80s

Movie Mezzanine 'History of Film: Best of the Sixties.' They polled lots and lots of film critics including me. And you can see our individual lists. I appear to be the only person who listed West Side Story but some of my other choices are appropriately snooty if you need that.
THR most tweeted tv shows and events. Naturally the Oscars are #1 for specials (Golden Globes in #3 behind the Grammys).  
VF Hollywood celebrates the 25th anniversary of Dead Poets Society (1989) by getting all up in preppy nostalgia

/Film Whaaaaa? The War of the Roses (1989) is getting a sequel. Pity that we can't have Kathleen Turner back but that would be impossible. Unless it's also a supernatural sequel
Serious Film how many of these Eternal Sunshine details have you noticed on your multiple views? 
/bent blog Kyle Turner looks at the roles of mothers in the films of Xavier Dolan
Hero Complex Sigourney Weaver reminisces about her time as Lt. Ellen Ripley in the Aliens franchise
Michigan Live Detroit gets its official RoboCop bronze statue today and RoboCop will also throw the first ball at the Detroit Tigers game tonight.  He's come a long way since his 1987 debut.
Variety The next Woody Allen film (with Joaquin Phoenix - who is really getting around with the auteurs! - and Emma Stone) starts shooting in a couple of months. In Rhode Island. More cast tba very soon.

Stage Door
Can you believe the Tonys are on this weekend? So fast. 
Adam Shankman announces his cast for Hair at the Hollywood Bowl in August. Given the names (Kristen Bell, Benjamin Walker -- yaasss, and various TV stars) I'm guessing they don't do the big 'entire cast gets naked for one song' thing that most productions do.
Boy Culture Crazy story about an audience heckler at a California production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof unfortunately leads to actors departing the show and bad blood with producers. As a regular theatergoer, I would have applauded the actor who left the stage to handle this. An unruly audience member can really ruin a play.

Today's Watch
And this is unexpected but delightful. Bianca Del Rio, the Queen of Mean, wants to star in a feature film comedy about a teacher who is fired for being gay. For revenge he returns to the school as a mean "lady" and gets hired again. Shades of Tootsie only without the you know, Oscarworthy acting or depth.

But still! As a huge fan of Bianca, I approve of this becoming a movie though in truth I was hoping for a sitcom. I guess I should've dreamed bigger. 

Wednesday
May282014

Top Ten: The Aughts

Last year I was throwin' up quickie top ten lists for each decade for archival and discussion purposes and tonight wI realized that I'd never finished the run skipping the Aughts and the 1920s and the 1910s (the latter two because I'd hoped to see more silent films before top ten'ing it). So herewith a revisit / rework of a "best of the aughts" list originally published in 2010 but many of you have joined us since!.

Care to share yours?


01 Moulin Rouge! dir. Baz Luhrmann (2001)

The party of the decade. The inspired mashup conductor (Baz) and his darling stars (Nicole, Ewan, Jim) put on the messiest craziest livelest funniest tearjerking "Spectacular! Spectacular!" show on earth. I'd never claim it's a perfect movie but flaws are endearing when you love madly and deeply. and Love Is All You Need.

02 Brokeback Mountain dir. Ang Lee (2005)
A love story for the ages. And one that quietly enrages.

03 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind dir. Michel Gondry (2004)
The Eyes: a singularly imaginative visualist in Gondry. The Brain: the twisty intellect of Charlie Kauffman. The Body: a great acting ensemble operating as one powerful machine. The Heart: a comic (Jim Carrey) positively aching with true drama. The Soul: one of the most elemental faces and emotional forces in cinematic history (Kate Winslet); It's the collaborative miracle movie of the decade, all its parts made greater by their interconnectedness.

04 Dancer in the Dark dir. Lars von Trier (2000)
The story of the Aughts for this particular moviegoer was the rebirth of the musical. To yank the dead genre from its unfortunate grave, fearless visionary filmmakers and prodigiously gifted musicians were required. The impish deconstructionist (von Trier) provoked such genius from a totally modern composer (Björk) that a decade later you can still be transported with just a bar of "New World" or "I've Seen It All".

 

05 Far From Heaven dir. Todd Haynes (2002)
Of all the things we have to thank Todd Haynes for: new ways of looking at Barbie dolls, Bob Dylan splintered, restless experimentation as cinematic life-blood, a mini Douglas Sirk revival, Ewan MacGregor naked and covered in glitter... this is the gift I cherish most: Julianne Moore in a purple scarf, waving love goodbye.

06 In the Mood for Love dir. Wong Kar Wai (2000, released in 2001)
In a perfect world, I would always be fetching noodles or trying on cheomsangs with Maggie Cheung. Either that or writing wuxia and smoking with Tony Leung Chiu Wai. I'd gladly pay the price of heartbreak in the end.

07 Talk To Her  dir. Pedro Almodovar (2002)
So imaginatively structured, exquisitely controlled, and enigmatically moving that it's nearly impossible to wrap your head around in one go. It's a good thing then that Pedro's movies miraculous improve with repeated viewings... even when they were brilliant to begin with. "Cucurrucucú paloma, cucurrucucú no llores."

08 Rachel Getting Married dir. Jonathan Demme (2008)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change... like the fact that so many people don't love this movie. Their loss. I'm ready to dive back into this immersive, noisy, eclectic, spontaneous, superbly acted, wonderfully sustained, bleeding heart of a movie right this very second. Pass me the DVD.

09 Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon dir. Ang Lee (2000)
Ang Lee is the only filmmaker with two movies in the top ten.  How glorious was/is this utterly transporting adventure?

10 A History of Violence dir. David Cronenberg (2005)
In the past I've likened this movie to a machine, it's so finely calibrated and efficient. But that doesn't get at its emotional fire, its guttural poetry, and its savage eroticism. It's more like a cyborg.

 

ten other beloveds
Requiem for a Dream, Mulholland Dr, There Will Be Blood, The Lord of the Rings, Vera Drake, Y Tu Mama Tambíen, WALL•E, Volver, The Class, The Hurt Locker, and Before Sunset.

Previous Top Ten Quickies
1930s | 1940s1950s | 1960s1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s (thus far)  
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