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Entries in Steven Soderbergh (39)

Saturday
Aug192017

Review: "Logan Lucky"

by Chris Feil

Steven Soderbergh’s cinematic return begins with an apt statement that reflects the experience of his most entertaining films: Channing Tatum’s Jimmy Logan tinkers away at his truck as he tells his daughter Sadie a fantastical tale about the John Denver tune on the radio. When she asks what makes the song so special to him, his matter-of-fact response is that sometimes you just “like the song because of the song.” For all of Soderbergh’s conceptual refinement and polemical subtlety buried within his most mainstream features, sometime you can’t just help love the song.

Logan Lucky is another one of those films for the director, and another of his spectacular ensembles. Tatum is one of three protective Logan siblings along with Adam Driver’s amputee Clyde and Riley Keough’s no-bullshit hairdresser Mellie.  In order to stay a part of his daughter’s life after losing his construction job, Jimmy hatches a plan to rob a NASCAR motorway of its subterranean cash stash. For added muscle the Logans recruit the mischievous Bang brothers, led by current convict and hard-boiled egg enthusiast Joe, played by an inspired and loose Daniel Craig.

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Tuesday
May302017

YNMS: "Logan Lucky"

Chris here. Tucked away in late summer is Steven Soderbergh's Soderbergh's official return from cinematic retirement Logan Lucky. Why is this return so quiet with little fanfare? Well, probably because we always knew that retirement wasn't going to last long anyway - and maybe if Soderbergh is back, he'll stay low-key.

However, from the looks of the first trailer, Logan Lucky will be anything but a low-key romp. Soderbergh is back to the ensemble heist capers he turned into big hits with the Ocean's films, this time even more broadly idiosyncratic and silly. This film's heist seeks to pull one over on NASCAR, with the lovable thieves a set of goofy oddballs that sound more at home in the land of Coens than Soderbergh. Take a look at the first trailer, and we'll discuss the Yes No Maybe So after the jump...

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Thursday
Jul072016

Steven Soderbergh's Comeback

Steven Soderbergh is retired no more. The director, who had previously announced Side Effects (2013) as his last feature film, is making two movies in the next year or so. It was just announced that he will be directing a feature film about The Panama Papers, the leaked documents which revealed how many of the super-rich employ legal, but dodgy accounting systems to avoid taxation. Even some luminaries in the film world (Emma Watson, Pedro Almodovar and the estate of Stanley Kubrick) were named in that scandal. The film will be based on Secrecy World, a to-be-published book by the Pulitzer prize-winning reporter Jake Bernstein. The adaptation will be written by frequent Soderbergh collaborator Scott Z Burns (Contagion, Side Effects, The Informant!).

Sounds like another Contagion, no? Taking a global incident and examining it from different points of view. Before that he will make Ocean’s Fourteen -- well not exactly, but Logan Lucky is a crime thriller with an all star cast set in one location. Sound familiar? This time there’s no Clooney or Pitt but we will get Channing Tatum, Daniel Craig, Adam Driver, Katherine Heigl, Hilary Swank, Riley Keough, Seth MacFarlane and Katherine Waterston and the NASCAR race in North Carolina as the heist location.

Soderbergh never really retired of course. He became prolific on TV, directing The Knick and gifting us with Behind the Candelabra. He recently produced The Girlfriend Experience which raised Riley Keough’s profile so it fits that she’ll be part of his new movie. And let's not forget that he was the cinematographer on Magic Mike XXL. But with these two projects announced he’s now a full time feature films director again. Are you excited for his return?

Wednesday
Dec232015

HBO’s LGBT History: Behind the Candelabra (2013)

Manuel is working his way through all the LGBT-themed HBO productions.

Last week we dipped our toes into Todd Haynes’s Mildred Pierce only to find that it’s oddly divisive, as is its leading lady, Ms Kate Winslet. Who knew? This week we look at a high profile project that was intended for the silver screen but given the current film market found itself in the not too shabby quarters of HBO: the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, written by 2016 WGA Ian McClellan Hunter Award honoree Richard LaGravenese and directed by Steven Soderbergh.

Released in 2013, the project was perhaps the gayest project on HBO’s roster since Kushner’s Angels in America. Indeed, if you’ve been following us these past few weeks you’ll notice we’ve dealt with low-key flicks like Bernard and Doris and Cinema Verite. Documentaries it’s where it was until Soderbergh brought his glittering film to the Home Box Office. Upon its release (it premiered at Cannes), the film was showered with praise not only for Soderbergh’s visual flair but for its central performances, with Michael Douglas earning some of his best reviews in years. [More...]


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Wednesday
Aug122015

New DVD: The Knick, Hot Pursuit


Still annoyed that Reese Witherspoon blew her post Wild goodwill on Hot Pursuit, to be honest. Was hoping for a Legally Blonde level mainstream comedy, though that's an admittedly high bar to clear. It's too strenuously acted to be truly fun though it might well play better on cable and DVD when it will likely be seen in pieces because some of it is funny. Its part of this week's DVD/BluRay batch which includes:

But the big news this week is that The Knick's 1st Season is finally available which means that if you don't get Cinemax you can finally see what the fuss was about Steven Soderbergh's series and why TFE was so thrilled to have Cara Seymour guest blogging earlier this summer to celebrate her terrific work as a tough talking complicated nun

It's a hospital show but not, thankfully, a procedural. Instead it's about scientific advances, urban madness, and the state of public heaelth and medicine at the turn of the 20th century. Clive Owen plays a brilliant Chief of Medicine who is also a junkie. It's an uneven show all told (though the design team does a super 1900s New York, not all of the performances are eager to go for period texture so it sometimes feels out of time) but when its on it's really on. Perhaps the show aired too long ago to catch Emmy's attention or perhaps Emmy votesr just won't look at Cinemax when they're too busy with HBO and Showtime series, but it did win a Globe nod for Clive's performance and one Emmy nomination for Soderbergh's direction of the pilot. 

Friday
Jun192015

HMYBS: Magic Mike (Part Two)

Did you know that Magic Mike (2012) won TFE's Bronze Medal for Best Picture of 2012?Hit Me With Your Best Shot is looking at Magic Mike (2012) before strapping on possessed ballet slippers for The Red Shoes this coming Wednesday.

Due to some scheduling snafus / switcheroos this week we ended up divvying up our look back at Steven Soderberg and Channing Tatum's still undervalued but much enthused over Magic Mike (2012). So you got it in three parts, the first visual roundup (8 early bird participants), this roundup and my own choice, this weekend when I finally get myself together. It's been a looooooong week for me off blog.

The first batch of shot choices included a few takes on the Dallas/Kid training scene, and two surreal shots involving Dallas and Ken. This time it's the act of watching (Cody), the love of being watched (McConaughey), and the commodification of bodies / people.

Magic Mike (2012)
Directed by: Steven Soderbergh; Cinematography by: Steven Soderbergh as "Peter Andrews"

BEST SHOTS
(Pt 1) 7 Images
...and now (Pt 2) 9 Images a couple NSFW so it's all after the jump...
click on the images to read the corresponding article -- really good articles this week, I think. 

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