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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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Dreamworks Animation Pt 2: The Fall

"I loved this article. It reads like vintage EW, back when they relished the behind-the-scenes stories of Hollywood and the studios." -John T

"Dreamworks should not have oversaturated the animation market. Home is Dreamworks 31st animated film. Do you know what is Walt Disney Animation's 31st film? Aladdin. It took Disney over 5 decades to get there." -Chinoiserie

Part 1 here if you missed it

 

 

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Entries in Posterized (28)

Friday
Mar272015

Posterized: Noah Baumbach

While We're Young, a two couples collide comedy with Naomi Watts, Ben Stiller, Amanda Seyfried and Adam Driver opens today. It's the 7th official feature film from 45 year old writer/director Noah Baumbach.

His first feature, Kicking and Screaming (1995), starring a who's who of hot indie actors from the mid 90s (shout out to chris eigeman and parker posey!) came out a full 20 years ago so he got started young. He got started just in time too. His brand of talkie neurotic intimate comedy burst forth during the 90s, the golden age for the American indie. Perhaps no one knew it was the golden age for indies while living through it but in hindsight it definitely was. So many directors we still enjoy burst forth in those particularly fertile circumstances of the marketplace.

So with that one in theaters, let's look back at his first six films as director (he wrote or co-wrote all of them, too). The marketing departments got really hung up on all white posters for him for awhile... but it suits his films somehow and the Greenberg poster is straight up ingenious "he's got a lot on his mind" with its empty space. So... Kicking & Screaming (1995), Mr Jealousy (1997), The Squid and the Whale (2005, a hit, making about twice as much as his films usually do), Margot at the Wedding (2007), Greenberg (2010), and Frances Ha (2012... released in 2013). 

We haven't a clue what happened to him between 1997 and 2005 (quarter-life crisis?) though there was one additional film in 1997 that he apparently took his name off of called "Highball" which could explain the coming fallow period and in that long stretch he also co-wrote Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic and made a short film.

How many have you seen and which is your favorite?
 

Friday
Mar202015

Posterized: Shailene Woodley

Shailene breaking glass againWith the excruciatingly titled The Divergent Series Insurgent upon us -- and already garnering terrible reviews even before one of those shameless audience-hating cash-grab two-parters -- it's probably time to talk about the slightly mystifying rise of its leading lady Shailene Woodley. While she's certainly easy to look at (but aren't most actors?) that doesn't really explain the career. I've been mostly quiet about this because I'm aiming for positivity in 2015 but I believe I'm developing a severe allergy.

Let's discuss why and her six major performances (How many have you seen?) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar132015

Posterized: Director Kenneth Branagh

Cinderella reuniteds director Kenneth Branagh with his former star and ex-lover Helena Bonham-Carter (in the fairy godmother role)Though Kenneth Branagh had acted in three movies in the 1980s before his international breakthrough, he arrived as a star in a quite a multihypenate way. His adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry V (1989) won him instant celebrity as an actor-writer-director. Here's a fun fact -- all five of his Oscar nominations are in different categories: Actor (Henry V), Supporting Actor (My Week With Marilyn), Director (Henry V), Screenplay (Hamlet), Live-Action Short (Swan Song). People forget this now when they wonder about how easily he won a nomination for playing Oscar's beloved Laurence Olivier in My Week With Marilyn but it was something of a inevitability and a cute narrative. Branagh had been compared to Sir Laurence Olivier right from his supernova start in 1989 since Sir Laurence Olivier was also an actor/director who thrilled modern audiences in his time with interpretations of Shakespeare plays for the movies.

Branagh's movie stardom has long since taken a backseat to his directing work -- in truth it began to dwindle as soon as his magical partnership with Emma Thompson crumbled -- but with his 14th movie, Disney's live action Cinderella (2015) opening today, let's look back at his time in the director's chair through movie posters.

How many of these 14 films have you seen? 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar062015

Posterized: Judi Dench 

Today marks yet another onscreen reunion of besties & Dames Maggie and Judi: The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel opens in limited release (it goes wide next weekend). They shared a dressing room at the Old Vic in the 1950s and they've been tight ever since.

Dame Judi & Dame Maggie in 2014

They're both Oscar Royalty of course, among the most beloved actresses to ever live, but Judi Dench's story is particularly interesting since it took her so long to cross over into full stardom. Long a valued commodity in the UK, America was slow to discover her. Perhaps it started with the international hit and Best Picture nominated A Room With a View (where she & Maggie played spinster friends - they both won BAFTAs for their roles, Maggie in Lead, but only Maggie went on to an Oscar nomination with a demotion to supporting). By the time Judi got her first true lead film role in Her Majesty Mrs Brown, Maggie was already a two-time Oscar winner, with five nominations under her belt. 

So Judi's late life success is a unique story. Let's look at her career since her stateside breakthrough. How many of these 24 Judi Dench films have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec202014

Posterized: Reese Witherspoon

Pink is also her signature colorWe haven't done a Reese episode of Posterized yet?

I OBJECT!

America's one time sweetheart (we go through them rapidly) is currently courting hearts again, albeit in much thornier and more adult settings. She's uptight and deskbound, if not quite straight-laced, as Deputy D.A. Penny Kimball in Inherent Vice and wandering and raggedy as the grieving Cheryl Strayed on the Pacific Crest Trail in Wild. The latter is expected to bring her Nomination #2 for Best Actress (more on that category tomorrow) and the former reunites her with Joaquin Phoenix, who helped her to Oscar win #1 in Walk the Line.

Since her Oscar win, Reese has been doing her own sort of wandering... away from the A list. Not really -- you can't really rub that off you when you're as charismatic as she! But a wandering away from something. The films weren't grabbing people and Reese didn't seem as dazzingly invested. Apparently she'll be discussing her career's most quiet period tomorrow night on 60 Minutes claiming that post-Phillipe-divorce (2008)...

I spent a few years just trying to feel better ... you can't really be creative when you feel like your brain is scrambled eggs, 

Hence this year's "Reeseurgence" which had a wee preamble with the indies  Mud and The Devil's Knot last year. Wild went wide this weekend adding over 900 screens (I love it and hope you'll go see it) and it seems like a great time to glance back as Reese makes such a memory-filled trek onscreen...

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN? 
Reese's filmography in chronological poster form after the jump 

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct242014

Posterized: Best Documentary Winners of the Past 30 Years

THE TIME OF HARVEY MILK (1984), a true classic. Have you seen it?
If there's anything that makes me feel unsophisticated when it comes to the cinema it's my general relationship to documentaries. Like your average movie consumer (non cinephile division) I only see them if the subject matter interests me. If there were a narrative equation wouldn't that be "i'll only see this or that genre"? And ewww, that's not the way to be. Variety is always best when consuming art. Man cannot live by multi-quandrant blockbusters OR art films alone. 

Over the years as The Film Experience has expanded we've given more space to documentaries largely because Glenn & Amir are obsessed with them. So for today's Posterized, a special edition surveying the last 30 years of the Best Documentary Feature category. I went back that far because The Times of Harvey Milk (1984) is basically one of my favorite things that I've ever seen in my life and I wanted to know if YOU have seen it. I enjoyed Milk (2008) a lot when it came out but it was very deja vu since so much of it was in this great film.

Anyway, I'm taking an informal survey to gauge your interest in this type of movie (and it's adjacent Oscar category) in the comments so do tell. How many of these Oscar winners have you seen?  There's actually 31 of them in the past 30 years since there was one tie. I have only seen 10 which I am embarrassed to admit as an Oscar pundit but there it is. I am not a total completist each year. Most of these films are available on DVD still though sadly not many are streaming.

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct172014

Posterized: Naomi Watts

It's good to be Naomi Watts right now which is something of a surprise since last year it wasn't. But then the blonde Aussie's career has always been like that. Let's investigate.

Naomi Watts photographed by Mark Abrahams for More magazine

In the Posterized series, now beginning a new season so expect one each Friday, we look back at a star's career through their movie posters. Sometimes it's their giant sized faces and sometimes they don't appear on the poster at all. Such are the vagaries of stardom and advertisements.

In Naomi's film debut she didn't even get a name. The then 18 year old actress was billed as "Leo's Girlfriend" I couldn't find a movie poster of that one so we begin five years later when the actress, after a few TV stints debuted properly opposite her best friend Nicole Kidman in Flirting (1991) a terrific Australian coming of age movie you should seek out. A few random TV stints sprinkle her filmography but it's been mostly movies ever since. Out of kindness I'm not including Movie 43 (I'm assuming the hundreds of stars in that one want to forget it, right?) so let's look at the other 39 films. 

HOW MANY HAVE YOU SEEN? 

Click to read more ...