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REVIEW - Last Christmas

"Just saw a 7:00pm Thursday night show in Los Angeles. As flawed/imperfect as the film is, its quite winning due in a large part to some heavy lifting by Emilia Clarke. She’s got a real Sandra Bullock/Julia Roberts star power on full display here.-HardyofHearing

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Entries in Oscars (90s) (227)

Tuesday
May212019

Aladdin Pt 2: Manic Magical Improv, Sight Gags, and "Prince Ali"

In Part 1 of our re-watch of Disney's Aladdin (the proper one, from 1992, not the live-action thing coming out this weekend) Ben got us through the introductions to good-hearted "street rat" Aladdin, frustrated princess Jasmine, and up to the mouth of the Cave of Wonders. We enter as Aladdin takes his first step into a whole new world…

 

Part 2 by Tim Brayton

0:28:04 – Let's take just a minute to appreciate the atmospheric concision of this descent into the cave. First, we had a shot of Aladdin stepping over the tiger-god's teeth, dissolving into this beautiful wide shot of him (below) at the top of an impossible flight of stairs, a tiny bright dot in the overall gloom that shifts from cold blue to hot, threatening red as our eye glides down the lines of the composition.

Then another dissolve takes us to the foot of stairs, with Aladdin about to step into the heart of the cave. It's a swift, visually-driven way of taking us down into… Hell? It's hard to say just yet, but it creates a terrific sense of mystery, both promising and foreboding...

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Wednesday
May012019

John Singleton (1968-2019)

by guest contributor Alfred Soto 

Few young filmmakers get their scripts approved and direct a film in which most things go right, and John Singleton did with Boyz n the Hood. The 1991 depiction of life in blighted South Central L.A. starring a mesmerizing Ice Cube became the kind of phenomenon that absorbs cultural currents and creates new ones; for a few years pop music and MTV took their cues from Boyz n the Hood. It made $60 million and, in one of the Motion Picture Academy’s occasional gob-smacking beau gestes, earned Singleton a Best Director nomination, the youngest in history and, more crucially, the first nomination for a black director. 

Please consider the times...

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Monday
Mar112019

25th Anniversary: "Four Weddings and a Funeral"

by Deborah Lipp

Four Weddings and a Funeral turns 25 today. This is probably not also the number of times I’ve seen it, but it might be. I’m sure if you add the times Professor Spouse and I have each seen it, we exceed that number.  To say, therefore, that this is a beloved movie is a ridiculous understatement.

Here’s what we’re going to cover after the jump to celebrate its birthday...

  • Four Weddings is highly quotable
  • It features the best use of "fuck," and its variations, this side of Get Shorty
  • Screenwriter Richard Curtis excels at movies that are kind-heartd and generous
  • Four Weddings isn't perfect, but I will teach you the trick of making it perfect

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Wednesday
Feb202019

Soundtracking: A "Titanic" melody and Oscar memory

by Chris Feil

Aren’t we all happy now that the Best Original Song nominees are staying on the ceremony? Now that the uproar is settling, perhaps it’s a safe time to reflect on why removing them from the telecast never should have been up for debate. What better example of music’s inextricability from the movies and their intertwined cultural impact than Titanic?

“My Heart Will Go On” was its own inescapable beast in 1997 aside from Titanic itself, the dominance of the film and song fueling each other’s fire in tandem...

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Thursday
Jan032019

Was 1993 the Best "Best Supporting Actor" Lineup Ever?

To celebrate the 25th anniversary of a rather amazing Oscar lineup, here's Ben Miller...

There have been several iconic Oscar nominee lineups throughout the years.  Best Actor 1967, Best Actress 1939, Best Director 1975... a wholly fearsome lineup comes around but once every couple of decades or so.  One of them is celebrating its 25-year anniversary this season: the 1993 lineup for Best Supporting Actor.

Before we get to the nominees, look at who just missed the lineup...  

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