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Entries in Robert Zemeckis (16)

Monday
Jul162018

Beauty vs Beast: Never Trust A Dame In Sunglasses

Jason Adams from MNPP here on the 111th anniversary of my favorite lower-case dame's birthday - Barbara Stanwyck was born Ruby Stevens in Brooklyn NY on this day in 1908 and a rough-and-tumble 19 years later found herself making movies. Cut to 1944 she was one of the biggest stars there was or ever will be when she got what's probably her most famous role and the one that carved the Femme Fatale Archetype in stone - the unhappy wife with murder on her mind Phyllis Dietrichson, who wrangles the wranglable insurance salesman Walter Neff (a gloriously against-type Fred MacMurray) into doing her dirty work. And Billy Wilder's Noir classic Double Indeminity was born.

PREVIOUSLY Forrest Gump couldn't run fast enough last week to outrun his Jenny Girl - Robin Wright took 65% of your vote on the now controversial Oscar winner. Said Doctor Strange:

"I have hated Forrest Gump since it premiered, so I'm hardly a johnnie-come-lately hater. I find it manipulative, simplistic, and just plain unbelievable from beginning to end. It's got some very good performances that almost save it... but it's mostly a succession of cheap shots. I'm a boomer myself, but I was never blind to its self-aggrandizing convservatism and retrograde sexual politics."

Monday
Jul092018

Beauty vs Beast: The Gump Generation

Jason from MNPP here with this week's "Beauty vs Beast" fun-time poll extravaganza - it feels, in the legendary words of Stephanie Tanner, HOW RUDE, to wish Tom Hanks a birthday today with what's come to be seen as his most divisive role, that of the lead character in Robert Zemeckis' 1994 Oscar-magnet Forrest Gump. "We hate that movie now," screams the internet echo chamber.

Except... I kind of don't? I've always been plenty privy to its gross conservative streak - I went to film school in the late 90s, we talked about it a whole bunch, don't worry. I get that it takes a feather-lite tickle to nostalgic Boomer bullshit when a hand grenade might've been more helpful. I was always rooting for Jenny (Robin Wright) and have always found the film's liberal ladling of degradation onto its independently-minded female character, in the words of here and now, hella probelmatic.

And yet despite all that if I stumble upon the film on TV I'll always get sucked in. Zemeckis spins his fable of Straight White Americana with soda-pop commercial zeal, and everybody's so good, iconic really, in their roles. Perhaps we can one day find a middle-ground, watching the movie as an under-amber representation of a vacuum-sealed culture's last gasp; this is the way America saw itself once, lucky and dumb, constantly blundering forward into the next morass without thinking and then making a pretty story out of the good parts.

PREVIOUSLY Speaking of curdled American Dreams last week's I Tonya contest gave Tonya her gold medal at last - Margot Robbie kneecapped statue-hog Allison Janney with 68% of your vote. Said Suzanne, echoing most of your comments since y'all still mad about last year's Oscars:

 

"Laurie Metcalf should have won. (And if anyone were going to beat her, it should have been Lesley Manville.) It's Tonya for me."

Friday
Jun222018

Yes No Maybe So: Welcome to Marwen

by Salim Garami

What's good? The trailer for Robert Zemeckis' new film Welcome to Marwencol just dropped and it's quite the interesting mix of live-action and animated. It loosely follows the true story of Kingston artist Mark Hogencamp's terrifying attack by neo-Nazis and his attempts to rebuild his life in the aftermath. Turning to his creativity he built a 1/6-scale model town based on WWII Belgium and filled it with his friends and assailants. Zemeckis' film not only dramatizes the real-life tale of Hogencamp trying to pull himself back together but overlaps it with animating the dolls with his usual inclination towards effects-work. It's also the second time Hogencamp's story was commit to film after the 2010 documentary Marwencol.

Let's break down the Yes No Maybe So after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr302018

Voila ~ the April Foolish Predictions are Complete!

by Nathaniel R

Whew. Can y'all give me a round of applause? Somehow I finished the April Foolish charts in all the early doable categories (i.e. all but documentaries and the three shorts categories) before April was done! Let this be a new leaf turned as we need lots of new leaves while we reinvent ourselves FOR 2018.

The freshly baked charts...

PREDICTION INDEX |  PICTURE | DIRECTOR | ACTOR 

And the charts that previously went up, some of which we've discussed on the blog....

ACTRESS | SUPPORTING ACTOR | SUPPORTING ACTRESS | SCREENPLAYS | FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM | VISUAL CATEGORIES | MUSIC AND SOUND CATEGORIES | ANIMATED FEATURES

As you can see if you peruse them, they're filled with all sorts of narrative possibilities. Some of those stories they tell are in direct opposition to one another. I urge all of you to try this year in advance thing at home some year. It's incredibly confusing because each time you place a movie here you have to figure how it might affect things over there since there are distinct patterns to the way things happen. 

Steve Carell in "The Women of Marwen" based on the story that also informed the documentary "Marwencol"

It's like trying to construct a crazy intricate jigsaw puzzle without the final image to work from! You can make it up as you go along but what the hell kind of picture are your fingers forming?  And no matter how careful you are some things never end up making any sense...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr212017

OTD: Annie, John Cameron Mitchell, and Field of Dreams

On this day (April 21st) in history as it relates to showbiz...

Anthony Quinn

1904 Oscar winning cinematographer Daniel L Fapp (West Side Story and Desire Under the Elms, among many films) born in Kansas City

1914 Cinematographer Gilbert Taylor born in England. Though he was BAFTA nominated Oscar never bit despite high profile films and collaborations with famous directors. Credits include: Repulsion, The Omen, Dr Strangelove, Star Wars, Frenzy, Dracula (1979) and MacBeth 

1915 Oscar's all time favorite Mexican actor Anthony Quinn born (Lust for Life, Viva Zapata, Wild is the Wind, Zorba the Greek, La Strada, etcetera)

1918 "The Red Baron," the famous German fighter pilot, shot down in World War I. Snoopy in Peanuts fantasizes about him repeatedly and he's also been a character in many films including Wings, Hell's Angels, and Darling Lili 

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Saturday
Nov262016

Review: Allied's Old School Beauty

by Eric Blume

The lovely opening image of Robert Zemeckis’ new film Allied has Brad Pitt falling slowly and soundlessly into the North African desert via parachute.  As he walks across the spine of an endlessly long sand dune, the film evokes the luxurious opening of The English Patient and of course the granddaddy of desert films, Lawrence of Arabia.  And Pitt’s arrival into Casablanca, Morocco tees up memories of the Bogart-Bergman classic.  Zemeckis positions us exactly where he wants us to be:  open to the possibility of the pleasures of those highly-romantic, old-school pictures that we truly don’t see anymore...

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