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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

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Entries in Yes No Maybe So (216)

Monday
May232016

YNMS: Beauty and the Beast

For better or worse, the Disney live action adaptations are here to stay. We bemoan the risk of bastardizing our classics, but it is easy to forget that some of these stories have a long history of screen iterations from their fairy tale roots. Beauty and the Beast has been seen as legendary Cocteau classic and 80s TV cheese before Disney musicalized the legend into its most popular version. Naturally, Disney has another one on deck.

While the quality of these reboot/rehashes has ranged from the unexpected delights (Kenneth Branagh's Cinderella) to the outright nightmares (Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland), the predictably high box office returns of each guarantees that your personal favorite will eventually get the live action treatment if it hasn't already. The just released teaser for Bill Condon's hints at a very literal take on the musical, but is that a good thing or bad? 

Click to read more ...

Thursday
May122016

YNMS: "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk"

Not to be outdone by all the Cannes buzz starting this week, we have our first teaser trailer for Oscar hopeful Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Ang Lee follows up his Oscar winning Life of Pi with this film about a young veteran's Victory Tour after fighting in Iraq. Like Pi, his new work blends a flashback narrative with technical wizardry: Lee utilized a high frame rate to create hyperreal action, aiming to create unprecidentally real 3D.

Backed by a massive ensemble including Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Chris Tucker, Ben Platt, and Steve Martin, the master director looks to be back in the Oscar hunt once again.

Let's break down the highs, lows and inbetweens of the first look:

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Monday
May092016

Yes No Maybe So: Southside With You

Manuel here. Seeing as today seems to be the first day where New York City seems to have finally begun to embrace Springtime, it's no surprise I found myself lured by the warm, sunny vistas in Richard Tanne's first trailer for his Sundance flick Southside with You. The film follows the first date of an African-American couple in Chicago. Not just any couple, mind you. It's the Obamas' first date. That obviously raises the stakes though from the looks of it (and from the notices out of Sundance) the film still plays like a low-key romantic drama focused more on the couple's dynamics with a pair of eye-catching performances at its heart.

And so, let's put the trailer through our patented Yes/No/Maybe So format after the jump to see whether Tanne's film is ready for its close up.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Apr232016

YNMS: Magnificent Seven, Girl on the Train, Cafe Society

It's a triple trailer mini breakdown. Are you a Yes, No or Maybe So on these three pictures?

Girl on the Train Trailer

YES. Emily Blunt deserves a big hit and she's always so watchable. Also: How is Allison Janney always so perfect? It's one of the great mysteries of the universe. The supporting cast is filled with solid players: Justin Theroux, Rebecca Ferguson, Luke Evans, Lisa Kudrow.
NO. Seems like the kind of picture that will be ruined before it opens with spoilers
MAYBE SO. Tate Taylor directed The Help which is better than people give it credit for being. Can he handle the thriller genre? That's quite a different skill set.

Magnificent Seven Trailer

YES. Chris Pratt being adorable again. He really sells it in this trailer. Denzel is reliable... even when he isn't trying (though we always wish he would try). The other cast members get no time in this trailer but Peter Sarsgaard is the villain and he deserves a showy role again. Also we welcome more Byung-hun Lee in our lives.
NO. Guns. guns. guns. Hollywood is like its own gun lobby really. All guns all the time. I bet like 40% of all movie posters have guns on them or something.
MAYBE SO. Is it is good as the film its remaking The Magnificent Seven (1960) which was itself a remake of The Seven Samurai (1954)

Cafe Society Trailer

YES. Jeannie Berlin looks fun as Jesse Eisenberg's mom and the premise has so much potential. Also Parker Posey as a platinum blonde sarcastic writer? Yes please. 
NO. Mobsters and showbiz? Good luck living up to Bullets Over Broadway. Dangerous film to reference cuz it's so damn funny and Woody movies haven't been that funny since. 
MAYBE SO.  Jesse Eisenberg says he's "half bored half fascinated"... even if that's true of the movie that's a win for modern day Woody pictures. We'll take half fascination. I don't know what any actor can bring to the stock hooker part anymore but if there's anyone that can maybe Anna Camp?

Thursday
Apr212016

Yes No Maybe So: Jason Bourne

The Bourne Identity. The Bourne Supremacy. The Bourne Ultimatum. The Bourne Legacy. Miss Bourne If You're Nasty. Universal Pictures correctly assumes "You know his name" which is a brilliant tagline for the forthcoming fifth* entry in the franchise, titled Jason Bourne. In fact, it could well be a tagline for 60% of the franchises out there (the other 40% are led by concepts/groups, created "universes", or in YA dystopia cases >gasp< a young woman).

The question is are we excited to go another round with Matt Damon's leaping, punching, kicking, shooting, indestructable action man and the Oscar-nominated suits that are always trying to hunt him down? Let's find the answer together with our Yes No Maybe So game... 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr132016

YNMS: The Lost City of Z

Laurence here. Many people were disappointed by the way James Gray's The Immigrant went mostly unnoticed beyond critics' groups. From the story to the stars, it seemed like a fairly strong prospect to garner Gray some mainstream awards attention, but the Weinsteins never seemed confident in it. Now Gray is making a decidedly more bombastic play to voting members with his new film, The Lost City of Z. This time he's paired up with Jennifer Aniston's former production company, Plan B, which has become very good at producing Best Picture nominees.

Based on David Grann's non-fiction bestseller of the same title, The Lost City of Z stars Charlie Hunnam as Percy Fawcett, a British explorer in the 1920s who led an expedition to the Amazon rainforest in search of a mysterious lost city. Grann's book chronicles the numerous attempts over the years to follow Fawcett's footsteps, with evidence emerging in 2005 that the city perhaps did, in some form, exist. The film seems to primarily function as a biopic of Fawcett, whose obsession with Z's existence led him to the heart of darkness. 

Let's break down the now hard-to-find trailer after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr132016

Doctor Strange is a Tease

Here's your Doctor Strange poster. He's looking very transparent with a hint of Asgardian rainbow bridge psychedelica. We'll wait for a full trailer to do the Yes No Maybe So but this teaser suggests a mishmash of two Chris Nolan pictures (Inception and Batman Begins) with The Matrix mentor-student head trip ("I know kung fu!") filtered through Marvel's clean and/or sterile (depending on how you like it) design aesthetic. We hoped to not be reminded of other movies for something with "Strange" in the title but alas...

 

Also: Why is Benedict Cumberbatch so suprised that Tilda Swinton gives him an out of body experience? That's just what happens to the audience every time she shows up onscreen.