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Entries in Posterized (29)

Friday
Apr102015

Posterized: Alex Garland of "Ex Machina" Fame

My schedule has been in complete disarray so I haven't yet seen Ex-Machina, opening today in limited release, but I've heard many thumbs up from the critical community. 

 As an early adopter of this year's "it" girl, Alicia Vikander, I'm excited to see her as a cyborg or whatever she plays in the movie. But we'll get around to Alicia and her men (Domnhall Gleeson & Oscar Isaac) after we see the picture.

Ex Machina (2015) marks Alex Garland's directorial debut but his name is already a familiar one at the movies from adaptations of two of his novels, and as a screenwriter himself. He has also served as an executive producer on a few movies, not pictured here like 28 Weeks Later (2007) which of course spun off from the film he wrote, and this summer's Big Game (2015) an action film starring Samuel L Jackson as the President of the USA. 

HOW MANY GARLAND-RELATED FILMS HAVE YOU SEEN?

THE BEACH (2000) based on his novel
28 DAYS LATER (2002) original screenplay
THE TESSERACT (2003) based on his novel
SUNSHINE (2007) original screenplay
NEVER LET ME GO (2009) his screenplay adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro's novel
DREDD  (2012) his screenplay adaptation based of the comic strip character Judge Dredd

If you've read any of his novels -- the only one that hasn't been adapted for the screen is "The Coma" -- you win bonus points, and must share your feelings. It's the law.

 

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 ...