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Entries in Mad Men (87)

Wednesday
May182016

Henry & Eleanor, Frank & Bram, and The Breakfast Club

On this day in movie related history... 

1152 King Henry II marries Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their romance is later fictionalized in the ever popular play/movie The Lion in Winter which we've written about several times

1897 Frank Capra is born in Italy. He'll immigrate to the US at five years old and become one of the most famous film directors of all time.  Across the ocean in London a public reading of Bram Stoker's new novel "Dracula, or, The Un-dead" is staged. Frank Capra never makes a movie influenced by Dracula but everyone else does.

Meredith Wilson writing music1902 There's trouble right here in River City Mason City when Meredith Wilson is born. He'll later write The Music Man but not before accruing Oscar nominations for film scoring (The Little Foxes, The Great Dictator)

1912 The first Indian film Shree Pundalik is released in Mumbai. Thousands upon thousands upon thousands of movies will follow in its wake from the ever prolific Indian film industry, better known as "Bollywood". Over in the US, Richard Brooks is born and will go on to become a famous screenwriter and director. Four must-sees from his filmography: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), Elmer Gantry (1960), In Cold Blood (1967), and Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)

1931 Robert Morse is born, becomes darling cross media actor winning 2 Tonys and 1 Emmy.

...Unfortunately Emmy, given the opportunity to reward him with a career capping statue, robs him blind decades later for his unforgettable farewell on Mad Men

1970 Tina Fey is born so that we might have 30 Rock and Mean Girls.

1985 Simple Minds hits #1 with Don't You Forget About Me" the theme song from teen classic The Breakfast Club. Oscar forgets about it in the Best Original Song category. Do you think it deserved to knock one of these songs out? Let's readjudicate the race in the comments.

Oh come on you know you want to!

Illustration to the right by Johanna The Mad

2003 Musical sensation Les Misérables closes on Broadway after 16 years and 6,680 performances. Becomes super-divisive big-grossing Oscar-winning movie 9 years later. Is nominated for Best Original Song

Friday
Apr222016

Shine On, Beautiful Murder

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Jason on "A Kind of Murder" and "Always Shine"

I know it's blasphemy in these parts to speak ill of Mad Men (cue 90% of you automatically clicking away in disgust) but I could never really get into it because it felt too slavishly obsessed with 60s posturing - I love Mid-Century Design as much as the next Eero Saarinen disciple but I couldn't ever see the forest for the tulip chairs. That said, the new Patricia Highsmith adaptation A Kind of Murder (from the 1954 book The Blunderer, kind of a suburban copycat criss-cross of Strangers on a Train) makes Mad Men seem positively restrained in its period affectations - how you manage to turn a walking talking charm like Patrick Wilson into a walking talking turtleneck I'll never figure.

The turtlenecks! The martini glasses! The heavy salmon drapes and stone fireplaces! There were moments of such monumental airlessness, as if a plastic sofa cover was wrapped over every scene, where I felt it might be purposeful - where I thought of Todd Haynes' [safe] and the way that movie was built to make the audience hyperventilate while watching it... but A Kind of Murder is no [safe]. What it is is is an occasionally jazzy low-key thriller, with Eddie Marsan skulking about effectively making his case as our modern day Peter Lorre or Raymond Burr. But it ends up more of a put on, a face of perfectly applied make-up cast halfway in noirish shadow, than any sort of artful smear. Grade: C

Part of me wishes I had seen Mackenzie Davis and Caitlin FitzGerald in Sophia Takal's Always Shine before having seen Elisabeth Moss and Katherine Waterston in Alex Ross Perry's Queen of Earth last year, because while I'm more inclined towards Takal's smoky and sinister edged film... that's a whole lot of Persona riffing in the space of twelve months.

Always Shine tells the tale of two actresses in one of those friendships so fraught with complications it would have doctors reaching for the defibrillation paddles - the pendulums of success and resentment, professional jealousy and personal affection, flinging through space so close that something's bound to rub off and muck up everything. 

And inevitably, muck. In this case the the muck under the misty cliff-faces and mossy canyons of Big Sur, California, an L.A. getaway close enough that when the sun sets the shadows from the Hollywood sign are yet still the first harbingers of nightfall. Here these ladies make their escape, a weekend coffee klatsch under the guise of nursing emotional distance, their carry-on's stacked with comedy and tragedy masks, plus sundresses. Inevitably, tragically, the two women end up flashing their SAG cards in each other's faces instead of laying bare their hearts, a battle of wiles not wills.

You know, actresses. And who doesn't love a movie about actresses? I think I'm preaching to the choir here. The performative commingling of these two still fresh talents is a blast - Davis I've already fallen head over for on Halt and Catch Fire (please tell me you're all watching that show) and FitzGerald is always fine despite a frustratingly written role on Masters of Sex; here these two fold into and under each other in smart - and, in this movie's true blessing, in unexpectedly funny - ways. Grade: B+

Thursday
Jan072016

Costume Designer's Guild Nods: Sandy Powell x 2. And More... 

It's Guild Week. The week when many artists get their hopes up for nominations since the guilds have so many categories for their particular craft unlike Oscar's mere 5 for the altogether. But since we love costumes, the more the merrier. Congratulations to the nominees who we'll discuss after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct222015

Jon Hamm is ready to become a movie star

Here's Murtada with news on what's next for Jon Hamm post-Mad Men.

He finally won his much deserved Emmy and now that Mad Men is behind him, it seems Jon Hamm is set on becoming a movie star. This week came the announcement that he’s joining Ansel Elgort, Lily James and Jamie Foxx in Edgar Wright's next movie Baby Driver. He’s reportedly playing “a former Wall Street trader turned cop killer” ie. the big baddie.

Driver is one of a few upcoming Hamm movies. Already in the can is the comedy Keeping Up with the Joneses alongside Zach Galifianakis in which he plays a government spy hiding in the suburbs. Maintaining the espionage angle he’s set to play a US diplomat working with a CIA agent (Rosamund Pike) in 1970s Beirut in High Wire Act which was announced a couple of months ago but who knows if it’s still happening. He’s currently shooting Marjorie Prime in which he plays a holographic recreation of an ailing woman’s (Lois Smith) dead husband as he looked in his 30s.

An intriguing mix of movies, genres and lead/supporting parts. Perhaps chosen to compensate for the failure of his first foray into leading man territory with last year’s box office bomb Million Dollar Arm. He’s got the talent and he’s got the looks. Lines between TV and movie stardom are getting more blurred everyday with more actors and directors straddling both mediums. Still a bonafide movie star has much more clout than even the most successful TV star. Hamm seems to want that as he pointedly has chosen not to work in TV. Understandably, there’s nowhere to go on TV after the huge succes and endurance of an iconic part like Don Draper.

Do you think Hamm has what it takes to become a big crossover star a la George Clooney?

Tuesday
Oct132015

DVD/Blu-ray: Pick a Disney Prince, Redistribute Mad Men Emmys

Eight questions for the comments related to this week's DVD and BluRay releases. Please do play along with your answers. The more the merrier. We want to see inside your movie brain!

Who is the hottest raven-haired Disney Prince?
Li Shang (Mulan)
Eric (The Little Mermaid)
Aladdin (Aladdin)
Kocoum (Pocahontas)
Naveen (The Princess and the Frog)
Poll Maker

 

 

Aladdin the Disney classic is rereleased
Q1 Rank the raven-haired Disney Princes* 
Aloft Starring Jennifer Connelly who is five years older than Cillian Murphy and plays his mother.
Q2 Can you explain Jennifer Connelly's career post-Oscar?
Dope the Sundance hit about geek teens obsessed with 90s hiphop. Very funny if too long / scattered
Q3: Favorite 90s hiphop artist?
The Gallows in which a high school play is the key catalyst for horror
Q4: Aren't they all? 
San Andreas Disaster strikes California
Q5: The Rock is on his way to rescue you. Describe the scenario!
Tomorrowland In which optimism about the future via Americana of the past struggles to make a grand movie in the present. 
Q6: On a scale of 1 to 10 how much do you hate it when characters narrate their own adventure direct to camera? 

TV Seasons: Wayward Pines (S1), The 100 (S2), Bates Motel (S3), The Following (S3), Mad Men (Final Season) 
In 8 seasons Mad Men won just 16 Emmys. Which sounds like a lot until you realize that of the other three dramas which are tied for first place with four wins, it's almost the least awarded (Hill Street Blues: 26; The West Wing: 26; LA Law: 15). Hell Game of Thrones which has only won Drama once and been on fewer seasons than Mad Men already has 26 Emmys so maybe it'll be the most Emmy-winning ever by the time it completes its run.
Q7: f you had to redistribute Mad Men's 16 Emmys in house where would they go? 

S1: Six Emmys - Drama Series, Writing, Art Direction, Cinematography, Hairstyling, Main Title Design
S2: Three Emmys - Drama Series, Writing, Hairstyling 
S3: Four Emmys - Drama Series, Writing, Casting, Hairstyling
S4: Two Emmys - Drama Series, Hairstyling
S5: Zero Emmys
S6: Zero Emmys
S7.1: Zero Emmys
S7.2: One Emmy - Lead Actor

*Yes Kocoum counts. He was supposed to become the chief which is basically the ruling class which is the Princes.

Sunday
Sep202015

Best Emmy Night Tweets

Too exhausted from travel for the typical live blog so we'll just share the best tweets from celebrities, friends and awesome people for the night. So refresh on occasion... 

But first of all here's "Taystee" herself Danielle Brooks. TWIRL, GIRL! 

more after the jump

Click to read more ...