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Entries in sci-fi fantasy (123)

Friday
Dec282018

Review: "Bird Box" on Netflix

by Eric Blume

The new limited-theatrical-release / now-on-Netflix movie Bird Box is a puzzlement. It’s a post-apocalypse thriller directed by Oscar and Emmy-winner Susanne Bier, and stars Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Jackie Weaver, and Trevante Rhodes as survivors of a world-ending crisis.  A lot of talented people are involved in this film, so it’s a true curiosity that the whole thing ends up a gigantic shrug.

The details of this apocalypse are a little murky, but it goes something like this. Scary creatures (which we never see) are appearing around the globe, and they tap into your deepest fears somehow(?), and cause you to immediately commit suicide...

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Tuesday
Dec042018

Prime in December: Mrs Maisel, Hereditary, and All the President's Men

Time to play Streaming Roulette. Each month, to survey new streaming titles we freeze frame the films at random places. Whatever comes up first, that's what we share -- no cheating.  What does Amazon Prime offer us this month? Let's survey...

[Librarian voice on line] Mr Bernstein, I was wrong. The truth is I don't have a card that says Mr Hunt took any material. I don't remember getting -- I do remember getting material from someone but it wasn't Mr. Hunt. The truth is I didn't have any requests at all from Mr. Hunt. The truth is I don't know any Mr. Hunt. [CLICK]

All the President's Men (1976)
Winner of four Oscars including Best Screenplay for William Goldman (who we were just discussing). The best picture line up of 1976 is so delicious, isn't it? All the Presiden't Men, Bound for Glory, Network, Rocky, Taxi Driver. I mean most Best Picture lineups wish! 

-Moldy mildew mother of mouth-muck, dangle and strangle to death!
-Oh how rude!

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Thursday
Nov292018

Months of Meryl: Into the Woods (2014)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep.  

#48 —The Witch, a witch.

JOHN: In his reserved review of the original 1987 Broadway production of Into the Woods, Frank Rich summed up the plot of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s beloved musical as such: “Cinderella and company travel into a dark, enchanted wilderness to discover who they are and how they might grow up and overcome the eternal, terrifying plight of being alone.” Rich noted that, “in remaking Grimm stories, Mr. Sondheim's lyrics and Mr. Lapine's book tap into the psychological mother lode from which so much of life and literature spring.” Sondheim and Lapine’s dextrous, intertwined reimagining of classic Grimm fairy tales, from Little Red Riding Hood to Cinderella, offers a subversively adult version of these hallowed childhood fables and an artistic vision that seems fundamentally at odds with family-friendly Disney, the machine behind Rob Marshall’s 2014 screen translation.

When unhappy fans pressed Sondheim upon the film’s release to defend what felt like a compromised adaptation, he admitted that concessions were in fact happily made to secure a PG rating...

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Thursday
Nov222018

Months of Meryl: The Giver (2014)

John and Matthew are watching every single live-action film starring Meryl Streep. 

#47 —The Chief Elder, leader of a dystopian society.

MATTHEW: In Lois Lowry’s 1993 young adult novel The Giver, a society recovering from near-ruination divides its people into communities and, in the process, mistakes sameness for equality. In the 2014 film adaptation of Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning classic, a production team looking to make a quick buck on the under-18 set mistakes glossy superficiality for storytelling simplicity and basic filmmaking competency. Despite its undeniable following and long-held status as a formative literary staple for American adolescents, The Giver was somehow omitted from my middle school reading list. I’m positive Lowry’s tale has its merits, but whatever those may be, they are almost entirely undetectable in this version from journeyman director Phillip Noyce (Rabbit-Proof Fence, The Quiet American).

Noyce’s iteration centers around Jonas (Australian twink Brenton Thwaites), a 16-year-old who we are told possesses uncommon brilliance and “a capacity to see beyond,” assets that earn him the title of his community’s Receiver of Memory...

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Wednesday
Nov072018

goodness gracious, great links of fire

Variety Susanne Bier to direct Nicole Kidman in the miniseries The Undoing about a therapist whose husband goes missing
Paste Kyle Turner on the "literary drag" of Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Decider Julia Roberts 'queen of comebacks she never had to make'
Pajiba an ode to Missy on Big Mouth (also my favorite character on the show)
AV Club Emma Thompson wore sneakers to her damehood ceremony
IndieWire it's foolish to bet against James Cameron even if you think the idea of four more Avatars is insane

• Remezcla why was the Cuban submission Sergio & Sergei left off the Oscar Foreign Film list?
THR will Netflix caving on an exclusive theatrical window for Roma mean more films will get that treatment?
Vulture on the extreme closeups in this season's awards contenders
i09 interesting piece on why we need more utopian fiction (it's all dystopias out there currently)
Vulture unexpectedly good article "in defense of the medicore music biopic" on Bohemian Rhapsody, Great Balls of Fire, The Doors, and more...
People Idris Elba named "sexiest man alive" for 2018
Gizmodo MoviePass didn't kill the dream of subscription-based moviegoing. A new competitor Sinemia has lots of tiered pricing options and a $24 monthly charge if you want unlimited one non 3D movie a day.
/Film Nothing ever stays dead onscreen. Breaking Bad will now get a film version with Aaron Paul expected to return (as a sequel to the series)
Broadway World Angela Bassett and Cicely Tyson named honorary chairs of the 60th anniversary gala of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Post Election Blueishness
Slate offers a practical optimistic way to look at the election results yesterday
New Yorker "Putin Loses Control of the House" - funny piece!