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Entries in Year in Review (141)

Monday
Dec312012

Year in Review: The Best LGBT Characters

Over at my weekly (okay, bi-weekly) column at Towleroad, I put up my annual review of the best queer characters of the film year. The year's most acclaimed gay narrative feature was obviously Keep the Lights On but since I didn't personally respond to that one I had to look elsewhere for my favorite gay characters. Likewise, many will wish for more love for that dandy Cloud Atlas couple of Sixsmith and Forbrisher.

But I made room for films as diverse as On the Road, ParaNorman, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. The most controversial bit of the top ten will probably be the section I like to call "The 'Are They Or Aren't They?' Box Set" which begins like so..

With the ever increasing number of gay-identified characters it's less of a parlor game to imagine the characters who might well be queer than it used to be but it's still fun: Tomboy does not always equal lesbian but regardless of her orientation  "Princess Merida" in Brave really shakes up the heteronormative Disney fairytale world merely by being utterly uninterested and even opposed to that Someday When Her Prince Might Come; The chorus of townsfolk who continually sound off on "Bernie" in Bernie argue about whether he's cruising for men on the sly or sleeping with rich widow Shirley Maclaine but both sound pretty gay to me...

...READ THE REST @ TOWLEROAD

 

Previously on 'Year in Review' 
James Bond Mania -Bond Girl Reader Ranking. (+ Silva)
The Year in of Snow White the apple muching fairest of them all was everywhere
Overrated Amy Adams, superheroes, film critics, and more
Worst of 2012 Cloud Atlas, The Amazing Spider-Man, and more
Summer Crushes Pt. 1 and Summer Crushes Pt. 2

Best of the Blog from...
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October and November

Monday
Dec242012

Worst of the Year (Pt 2). My Eyes... My Eyes... My Very Soul!

Previously in the Year in Review we visited Snow White and the Overrated, Misjudged, Miscast Tomorrow the joyous positivity starts but until then, we purge. Let's rush through this final bout of negativity.

WORST FOREVER-TREND: BAD MOVIE POSTERS

Now I know how the vampires of True Blood feel whey they cry... My eyes! My eyes!

These three posters for To Rome With Love, Quartet and Marvel's The Avengers probably do not represent the absolute worst movie advertisements of the year but they are indicative of three subspecies of Horribilus Posterus: To Rome With Love shoves its cast into  multiple little boxes, a common technique that is nearly always hideous on posters but that never stops designers from trying. To make matters worse they've selected color palette so bland that it seems to be advertising air-conditioned nap time, oatmeal breakfast at a theater near you, and A Film By Nancy Meyers all at the same time; Quartet represents the Indecisive Nonsensical brand of bad poster since its retro 80s color blocking suggests period comedy romp (No, sort of, and no) and then it's like oh "every diva deserves an encore" but the movie actually fights against this (I shan't spoil it if you're inclined to suffer through); The Avengers is appropriately colorful but belongs to the most populated subspecies of bad poster, the No One on This Poster Was Ever in The Same Room Together disconnect. Photoshop has become such a crutch for everyone that marketing departments seem to believe that no one values authentic connection in imagery anymore and I absolutely don't believe that's the case. You're paying stars millions of dollars to appear in a movie but you can't require in their contract that they pose together for promotional materials? 

Worst Miscellania and 5 Worst Movies of the Year after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Dec232012

Lump of Coal, Anyone? Cinematic Shame (Pt 1)

YEAR IN REVIEW

I plan to get all joyously positive from Christmas Eve through January 9th as I share my take on the Best of the Film Year That Was. But I make no promise about my mood come January 10th...  That's the fateful morning when 6,000 Academy voters play puppet master and yank my fragile psyche about with abandon. But until then... And before the Year End Best of hits, we purge.

MOST "OVERRATED" ANYTHING

I know that people quibble with this word and wish it dead and buried. But that's only because they take it far too seriously. It's a silly adjective but silly is fun. One should always take things for what they're worth. No matter who is using the word "overrated" it only ever means:

Other people are under the mistaken impression that this thing I think is merely okay is really great! They are quite wrong."

Unsatisfying performances, miscasting, bad moves in good films and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec202012

And the Oscar Goes to... Snow White?

YEAR IN REVIEW BEGINS NOW! Many Best ofs and Film Bitch Awards to follow...

Did you know that today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of the controversial "Die Kinder und Hausmärchen (Children's and Household Tales)" by the Brothers Grimm? (Google is celebrating) The book, a collection of fairy tales both pre-existing in oral form and original, has a complicated legacy in Germany and outside of it. But modern pop culture would be unthinkable without its existence. I mean without Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and the rest you'd have no "Into the Woods", no Grimm or Once Upon a Time, no gingerbread houses, and no global Disney Empire as we know it!

But today, when it comes to the legacy of the Brothers Grimm, I'm thinking about Snow White. If you're reading any list on "Entertainers of the Year" for 2012 and Snow White isn't present, there is a problem. Or if not Snow White (who has, on occassion, defined The Bland Protagonist), than the Evil Queen Stepmother. The Former Fairest of Them All nearly always pulls focus and ends up the defacto star of each iteration.

Earlier this year we celebrated the 75th anniversary of Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) with an animated edition of "Hit Me With Your Best Shot"  and the cinema gave us not one not two but three new movie versions of the classic tale... [more]

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec192012

National Link Registry

The Hollywood Reporter  A former sitcom writer "kvells and kvetches" about The Guilt Trip and Parental Guidance starring Babs and Bette
PopWatch Mark Harris on Hollywood's love of gun violence. I highly recommend reading this but I highly caution NOT reading the comments because as per usual the gun crazies come out. They'd have us all packing and I so don't want to live in their preferred world.
Cinema Blend Katey & Eric on 12 Unfairly Overlooked Movies of 2012 from Hello I Must Be Going (Yay, Melanie!) through Cosmopolis

Awards Daily Whoa. Ann Dowd is footing the bill for her own Oscar campaign.
The Hollywood Reporter talks to Emayatzy Corinealdi on her breakthrough in Middle of Nowhere. You know. I've been trying not to talk about this because I can't figure out a way to say it that doesn't sound indelicate but in some ways I really hate falling in love with new black actresses in the same way that falling hard for new theater actors can be nerve-wracking. Chances are (unforgivably) strong that no one will give these gifted performers another plum opportunity after their breakthrough and that truly sucks. So I'm crossing my fingers for Corinealdi but I'm still waiting for something real to happen for Pariah star Adepero Oduye, last year's breakthrough actress of color. And I'm still trying to wrap my head around the non-career of the brilliant Kimberly Elise so... 

The Carpetbagger on screenwriter Lucy Alibar's (Beasts of the Southern Wild) crash course in cinema
The Onion "Top Movies of 2012"
David Poland gives himself a new nickname. Or adopts one given.
Vanity Fair Barbra Streisand talks about her legendary duet with Judy Garland in the 60s. Really interesting comment from Babs I think.  
MNPP joins the Zero Dark Thirty fan club 

Oooh, look Quentin Tarantino pays tribute to Pedro Almodóvar saying that his filmography is "the one to beat" -damn straight! Nobody else in the modern era compares.

Finally, I want to extend my annual congratulations to the 25 films that are newly announced for preservation by the National Film Registry. They are:

  • "3:10 to Yuma" (1957)
  • "Anatomy of a Murder" (1959)
  • "The Augustas" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Born Yesterday" (1950)
  • "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" (1961)
  • "A Christmas Story" (1983)
  • "The Corbett-Fitzsimmons Title Fight" (1897)
  • "Dirty Harry" (1971)
  • "Hours for Jerome: Parts 1 and 2" (1980-82)
  • "The Kidnappers Foil" (1930s-1950s)
  • "Kodachrome Color Motion Picture Tests" (1922)
  • "A League of Their Own" (1992)
  • "The Matrix" (1999)
  • "The Middleton Family at the New York World’s Fair" (1939)
  • "One Survivor Remembers" (1995)
  • "Parable" (1964)
  • "Samsara: Death and Rebirth in Cambodia" (1990)
  • "Slacker" (1991)
  • "Sons of the Desert" (1933)
  • "The Spook Who Sat by the Door" (1973)
  • "They Call It Pro Football" (1967)
  • "The Times of Harvey Milk" (1984)
  • "Two-Lane Blacktop" (1971)
  • "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1914)
  • "The Wishing Ring; An Idyll of Old England" (1914)

As per usual that's a lot of titles that I know nothing about but I'm most thrilled by The Times of Harvey Milk which is one of the most moving and important documentaries ever made. And on a sillier note, can we talk about how ever-watchable the female baseball comedy A League of Their Own is? Sometimes I pine for the 1990s. It's tough to imagine that movie breaking $100 million now but the 90s were a good time for girlpower narratives.  

If you're a fan of A League of  Their Own (who isn't?) I want to know which scene just popped into your mind when you heard that it made the list!

 

Thursday
Dec132012

Djackman Unlinked

Hugh Jackman was honored at the Museum of the Moving ImageReviews Under the Influence on Pitch Perfect. I LOL'ed. Hence the share
Movie|Line talks to Christopher Nolan at the tribute to Hugh Jackman at MoMi
ET Amanda Seyfried on Channing Tatum "everybody wants to have sex with him" and her own reputation. Amanda is fun!
/Film Clint Mansell will score Noah for Darren Aronofksy - YES
Ultra Culture hates on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and its drip-fed storytelling; only nine hours until the protagonists meet the antagonist!
Hollywood Reporter Sean Penn is mouthing off again. Not that he isn't partially correct. He just doesn't have enough of a sense of humor about his self-seriousness to always pull it off.
Advocate Our beloved Sir Ian McKellen's long battle with prostate cancer.
Gawker Hunger Games themed reality tv is on its way. Without the death. But still, i don't think we're that far away from a Series 7 world, do you?

Today's Watches
Quentin Tarantino's epic introduction to Django Unchained here in NYC. Courtesy of Gothamist.

Tarantino from katie sokoler on Vimeo.

 

and Amy Poehler & Tina Fey's first promo for the Golden Globes

List Mania
Eric Kohn at Indiewire Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning & Amour. Yes, they can co-exist on a list
Film Doctor chooses his worst films of the year from Savages to Battlefield (poor Taylor Kitsch!)
Stale Popcorn on the best movie posters of the year from The Paperboy to Gayby
New Yorker terrific year-in-review via Anthony Lane. Love the shout-out to Eva Green in Dark Shadows

Awards Mania
Split Sider The Globes ignore all your favorite comedies again
In Contention looks at category fraud. I'd love to believe I coined the term and maybe I did since I've been the loudest voice complaining about it for 11 years but who knows.
In Contention Sony still thinking Amour is going to happen. Me too.
Oscars the 104 eligible Motion Picture Scores and some composers have multiple chances including Alexandre Desplat (4) and Danny Elfman (4), and James Newton Howard (3)