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Entries in Mars Attacks! (7)

Wednesday
Mar202019

Take Three: Extra-Terrestrial Abduction Day

by Nathaniel R

There's a holiday for everything. Did you know that today, March 20th, is "Extra-Terrestrial Abduction Day"? The more you know. Whoosh. (You're picturing a shooting star which is appropriate in this sci-fi context.) Whenever we think of this topic (thankfully not often) the movie Fire in the Sky (1993) comes to mind. It contains the single most terrifying alien abduction scene ever put to film...

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Tuesday
Dec132016

Happy "Annette Bening Is Awesome" Day

by Jason Adams

When was the first time you took note of Annette Bening? I had probably seen her play Dan Ackroyd's wife in the John Candy comedy The Great Outdoors in 1988 but it was the next couple of years after that made a movie star out of her, coming to a head when she coupled up with Mr. Beatty for Bugsy. That film was released in theaters on this very day in 1991, meaning she's more or less been "a name" for precisely 25 years to the day.

And coincidentally five years after that - to the day! - Tim Burton's film Mars Attacks! came out, in which Annette gave what was up until this year my favorite performance of hers. As the space-cadet Barbara Sand she's a comic riot, tapping into the sometimes flightniess of her voice - Bening's voice has always been her secret weapon, switching between high and low registers with ease; one second she's confused, the next she's deep-throated with determination.

I wish that 20th Century Women was coming out today not only because I would love to go see it a third (and a fourth, and a fifth) time right this minute, but because it'd be a swell coincidence, making December 13th a lucky charm for the actress. 20CW isn't out until Christmas Day. But we'll sing its praises anyway! Nathaniel ain't alone in adoring the movie - I cannot get enough of it, and The Bening's performance as Dorothea has already in my mind shoved all of her other work out of the way and taken the acting crown. May Oscar feel the same!

Monday
Oct052015

Beauty vs Beast: Marriage Among the Ruins

Jason here, taking a little break between New York Film Festival screenings to give you this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast" -- this past weekend Danny Boyle's film Steve Jobs screened at NYFF to sold-out crowds and from what I gathered very good notices (stay tuned for TFE's take soon; I took that picture to the left myself at the press conference), and I heard that on Saturday night Danny Boyle led the crowd in a rousing rendition of "Happy Birthday" to birthday girl, beloved actress, Oscar winner, and icon Kate Winslet.

Kate turns 40 today! We have been worshipping Kate ever since she helped bash in her girlfriend's mother's head with a brick in Peter Jackson's Heavenly Creatures, and we've never wavered... well okay we had no idea what anybody was thinking with Labor Day either, but other than that, not ever. Here on her 40th birthday let's give love to one of her best recent performances, one that just happened to coincide with a reunion with the Bogie to her Bacall, Leonardo DiCaprio, who was doing very fine work right across from her.

PREVIOUSLY Last week in anticipation of Ridley Scott's The Martian's looming box office boom we faced off our favorite pair of Red Planet invaders -- well it was Tim Burton's little green men that zapped their way into our hearts, to the tune of nearly 80% of your vote. Sorry Tripods, better luck next invasion. Said Denny:

"ACKACKACKACKLOLOLOLOL The martians from Mars Attacks win for their Frankenstein-ian experiments ALONE. "

Monday
Sep282015

Beauty vs Beast: Fourth Rock From the Sun

Hi there everybody, Jason from MNPP here with this week's edition of "Beauty vs Beast," wherein we ask you to choose your poison -- good against bad, hero versus villain. Well... except this week. We're using the occasion of Ridley Scott's film The Martian, which is out in theaters on Friday, to take a look back at two of my favorite movie visitors from Mars...

And as it turns out they're all positively wicked, the lot of 'em. Whatcha gonna do? Man and movie-kind's been almost always terrified of that red dot in the sky since time immemorial. So I guess think of this week's question this way -- who do you think you'd stand a better chance against? The Tripods from War of the Worlds (you're fine with either version) or the Martians from Tim Burton's Mars Attacks? And tell us why in the comments...

PREVIOUSLY Last week we wandered dreamily around a Tokyo hotel with Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson in Lost in Translation - but who'd we end up bringing back to our room? By the narrowest of margins (less than 2%) it was Bill we wanted whispering in our ears. Said STinG:

"I feel like when a movie that is semi-autobiographical to Sofia Coppola still intellectually favors the Bill Murray character for his unspoken existential pains than her still interesting surrogate in Charlotte. Well, it's no contest for me. Bobs all the way!"

Tuesday
Jul282015

Curio: Evanimals

Alexa here. I was thrilled to see the announcement today that Evan Yarbrough is having his own solo show at Gallery 1988.  I've posted about Evan's prints before; among other things, he specializes in letterpress portraits of pop culture animals (hence his Twitter handle).   The show continues this theme, and opens this Friday.

Evan has been offering some tantalizing sneak peaks on his Intagram, making for a fun game of guess-the-film... After the jump, some peeks at a few 'Evanimals'. Which do you recognize?

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Tuesday
Jul012014

Tuesday Top Ten: Unconventional Fourth of July Movie Selections

Glenn here with this week's Tuesday Top Ten. Wikipedia tells this Australian that the Fourth of July, Independence Day, is a day usually celebrated with “fireworks, parades, barbecues, carnivals, fairs, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions and political speeches and ceremonies.” Curious that they don’t include movies since, at least since 1991 when James Cameron’s Terminator 2: Judgement Day premiered to one of the then biggest opening weekends of all time, the big July 4th blockbuster is an annual trend with the likes of Independence Day, the Transformers franchise, Superman Returns and seemingly anything starring Will Smith.

With the holiday this Friday, most lists of movies to watch over the long holiday weekend will feature masculine, almost brutish titles that celebrate America’s achievements in war and rah-rah bravura (The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, Top Gun) or the coming of age of a nation and its people in almost gooey fashion (Field of Dreams, Forrest Gump, The Grapes of Wrath). So let's have fun and mix it up. Some of these titles are a bit off of the beaten path and others are outright bonkers, but I think they perform a somewhat patriotic service in one way or another.

TEN UNCONVENTIONAL 4TH OF JULY RECOMMENDATIONS

10. Mulholland Drive
David Lynch loves America. If we all lived in his world then people in small towns would never have to dream of moving to New York or Los Angeles because they’d all be just as interesting as each other. In Lynch’s world – predominantly the (overlapping?) universes of Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Lost Highway and this, arguably his magnum opus – America is full of weird people doing weird things and he wouldn’t change a thing. Mulholland Drive is the film of a director who loves his home and wants everyone to be as entranced by it as he. In Lynch’s world, the magic of the American dream is alive and well, and even if it doesn’t work out (as, let’s face it, it rarely does) then he’s going to portray it with as much dreamy, sensual beauty as possible.

9 more after the jump...

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