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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 | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 

 

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Silence of the Lambs Retrospective

"Don't help the man with the broken arm! Don't get in his van! Too late... She does it every time. Which is why this is such a good movie: it really makes us care, and even when we know what's going to happen, we hope it won't."- Edward

"Such a great BP winner. I remember seeing it when I was a teenager and even then I noticed the eyelines being so close to the camera, and the way Clarice was framed in a male-dominated world as though she was being watched and judged." - MSD

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Entries in Steven Spielberg (51)

Tuesday
Feb092016

Lupita In Space

Jason from MNPP here with today's best movie news -- with #OscarsSoWhite (side-note: I accidentally typed "OscarsSoShite" at first, ha!) dominating the movie conversation these past few weeks, and with all eyeballs slowly rightfully side-eyeing over to the studios themselves to see what they're gonna do about it, the number of projects that have been attached to Selma director Ava DuVernay has been a heartening development of the past few months, at least. She seems very much in demand. But she also seems very picky (thank goodness) - Marvel's Blank Panther movie? Notsomuch!

Anyway THR is reporting today that she's maybe going to direct a sci-fi movie called Intelligent Life, which Steven Spielberg's producing and Jurassic World helmer Colin Trevorrow wrote, and in further "That's a Bingo" news the movie is set to star Oscar winner and baby fashion icon Lupita Nyong'o. YES I WANT THIS ALL OF THIS.

Intelligent Life is described as "the story of a low-level worker at the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs who accidentally makes first contact with a beautiful woman from another world." Three guesses who's the "beautiful woman from another world"? And thankfully, according to sources the alien is actually the leading role in the film. Let's just hope that Lupita's exquisite face is good enough, and we don't get any Star Wars style CG cover-up again. I wanna look at her, for goodness' sake.

Tuesday
Feb022016

Spielberg's Best Pictures and New DVDs

Time to check in to see which movies we all can check back in with or catch up with now that they've hit the home market. The big title, Oscar wise is Steven Spielberg's 10th Best Picture nominee as a director, the cold war drama Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and Mark Rylance both doing fine work as a lawyer and the spy he must bargain with for a prisoner of war trade. Only one of Spielberg's directorial efforts has ever won Best Picture (Schindler's List, 1993) but which is your favorite? I'd rank them like so...

  1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
  2. Schindler's List (1993)
  3. Jaws (1975)
  4. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Lincoln (2012)
  6. The Color Purple (1985)
  7. Bridge of Spies (2015)
  8. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
  9. Munich (2005)
  10. War Horse (2011)

With the disclaimer that everyone knows I'm not a Spielberg aficionado really (the top three are the only ones I'm completely wild about from this list with Close Encounters of the Third Kind also a favorite but Best Picture was not among its 8 (!) nominations. [Trivia Aside: It's tied for second place with The Dark Knight and some other films for 'most nominations without Best Picture,' though the expanded Best Picture field will probably insure that no more films join said list. The all time record holder is They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969) which is completely amazing film but somehow missed a Best Picture nomination despite 9 other bids for the gold.]

ICYMI Murtada just got done ranking the Spielberg Nominated Performances so we're in that sorta mood you could say

Also New on DVD or BluRay

Burnt Bradley Cooper is a chef. And lots of actresses orbit him
Chi-Raq Spike Lee's randy funny raging update of Lysistrata (See: Best of 2015)
Downton Abbey (Final Season) which I'm loving as it airs
Freeheld in which Julianne Moore & Ellen Page fall in love and fight for their rights
Goosebumps in which monsters come to life and Jack Black and kids fight them
Our Brand is Crisis a rare flop for Sandra Bullock as a campaign manager
Suffragette Mulligan, Streep and Bonhman-Carter fight for their voting rights
Truth Cate Blanchett and her fabulous curls fight a losing battle to bring down President Bush with his sneaky draft-dodging

New to Netflix Instant Watch

Better Call Saul (S1) in which Breaking Bad lives on to hold on to its Emmy slots. Now Streaming on Netflix.
Lila & Eve Viola Davis goes vigilante. February 6th.
Love (Gaspar Noe) in which Gaspar Noe splooges into the camera (in 3D!). This explicit sex drama should have really been something but Christ it's a bore. February 4th. 
Mad Men (S7.2) in which we try to be all zen while saying goodbye to the greatest TV show of all time. February 5th.

READER'S CHOICE
We might start doing a poll where you choose which old movie, just released to Instant Watch, you want to force Nathaniel to watch and write up and discuss with y'all. What'cha think? Some of this month's new/old options are Charlie's Angels (2000), Cruel Intentions (1999), Full Metal Jacket (1987), Jennifer 8 (1992... I used to be really into this one because: Uma), Losing Isaiah (1995), Stardust (2007), Teen Witch (1989), and I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)

Monday
Feb012016

Ranking the Oscar-Nominated Performances in Steven Spielberg's Films

Mark Rylance’s best supporting actor nomination for Bridge of Spies marks the 13th time a performance in a Steven Spielberg movie has been nominated for an Oscar. Which of course calls for a list, so without any further ado here's Murtada's ranking. 

Oscar Nominated Performances in Spielberg Films Ranked

13- Anthony Hopkins - Amistad (1997)
Other Nominees: Robert Forster – Jackie Brown, Greg Kinnear – As Good as It Gets, Burt Reynolds – Boogie Nights, Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting.
Winner: Williams

Did Hopkins have a big righteous courtroom speech? Must be, because why else was this performance nominated. The only thing I remember about it is that Hopkins robbed Rupert Everett of his nomination for My Best Friend’s Wedding.

Twelve more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan242016

Steven Spielberg's Les Misérables?

Do you think he ever fantasized about directing it? With lil' Christian Bale as Gavroche perhaps? 

Monday
Dec142015

The BFG Teaser Trailer

Manuel here. While we wait on baited breath to see if the “handsomely shot” Bridge of Spies breaks through with AMPAS next month—they do love themselves some Spielberg, who has helmed three Best Picture nominees in the last ten years, earning directing nods for two of them—Disney already wants us to look ahead at the director’s next release.

The film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG will be the director’s first family-aimed live-action project since 1991’s Hook. We finally got a first look at the film in the teaser below, and as always, Spielberg’s regulars seem to be in top form, from John Williams (perhaps too closely echoing another beloved Brit property he scored recently?), to Janusz Kaminski and Rick Carter. It also sadly marks the final film of screenwriter Melissa Mathison (of E.T. fame) whom we lost just last month.

“... And that is how our story begins.”

We get the tiniest look at recent double SAG Award nominee, Mark Rylance, as the titular character but it wouldn’t be a true teaser without leaving something to the imagination. The film comes out July 1st, 2016; does the teaser show enough promise to think the warm-hearted Spielberg will be a good fit the Dahl's more darker sensibility you think?

Thursday
Nov052015

RIP: Melissa Mathison (1950 - 2015)

Melissa Mathison, Oscar-nominated screenwriter of E.T., has passed away at 65. 

She gave us the film's iconic "E.T. phone home," but what connects each viewing is her rich understanding of the hearts and minds of children. She got to the part deep within all of us that was afraid of growing up and change, of trying to hold tightly to what would only be taken away from us. Adding this insight with natural and efficient dialogue, she turned uncomplex phrases like "Be good" and "I'll be right here" into primal moments loaded with childhood longing.

A mother of two herself, her grasp of the young mindset was also at play in her adaptations of The Black Stallion and The Indian in the Cupboard, and provided unique insight into the Dalai Lama for Kundun.

A natural fit to the fascinations of Spielberg, her gifts will be greatly missed. Coming in the year ahead, we will luckily have one last collaboration from the pair: the Roald Dahl motion-capture adaptation of The BFG. Material perfectly suited to her skills, it's a chance to celebrate her again.

RIP Melissa Mathison