January 21, 2012
January 17, 2012
January 9, 2012
January 8, 2012
January 1, 2012
2011 presented a nice eclectic view of cinema we haven’t seen throughout the years. If we summed it up to a ‘theme’ for the year, “silence” or “origins of cinema” would come to mind. Films like Michel Hazanavicius’ “The Artist” and Martin Scorsese’s “Hugo” would fall in line with those thoughts.
When creating my ballots for the Best of the Year, the are obvious categories that are stacked to the brim which would be inevitable for some omissions that in other years would either make the shortlist or be the clear front winner. I’ll address all of these as the week’s ‘Year-In-Review’ winds down but I’ll be curious to hear the thoughts of our readership.
Listed below is the Honorable Mention films ranking my #20 through #11 along with the unranked citations of certain films from the year.
Categories: Community, Editor
Tags: arthur christmas, Best of the year, Bridesmaids, Carnage, Certified Copy, Crazy Stupid Love, Hugo, Like Crazy, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Midnight in Paris, pariah, Super 8, Take Shelter, The Descendants, The Muppets, The Tree of Life, Top Ten, Top Tens, war horse, Warrior, Winnie the Pooh
December 29, 2011
Tags: Berenice Bejo, Drive, Elizabeth Olsen, Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close, Hanna, Hugo, jean dujardin, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Michel Hazanavicius, Phoenix Film Critics, Precursors, Saoirse Ronan, Super 8, the artist, The Help, The Muppets, The Skin I Live In, The Tree of Life, thomas horn
December 19, 2011
December 17, 2011
December 10, 2011
The American Film Institute will be unveiling their top ten films of 2011 tomorrow and I couldn’t be more excited. This particular group doesn’t have a huge impact on the race like it should but they do often present some eclectic choices. Last year they named every Best Picture nominee except for Oscar Best Picture Winner “The King’s Speech.” Go figure.
In 2002, the group started citing the best performances of the year along with their top ten lists which was very enjoyable but the group has not done since. 2002, one hell of a year for acting in general had the likes of Russell Crowe, Halle Berry, and Denzel Washington, all of which were nominated by the AFI. Also cited was the incredible works by Billy Bob Thornton in The Coen Brothers classic, “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” Brian Cox in the controversial “L.I.E.,” and Frances O’Connor who was the heart and soul of Steven Spielberg’s “A.I.: Artificial Intelligence.” The group has shied away from that type of awards recognition and is simply sticking with the normal set of ten. This year we should have a different range of films from the group.
Categories: Article, Editor
Tags: American Film Institute, arthur christmas, Article, Drive, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Midnight in Paris, Precursors, predictions, Rango, Shame, Take Shelter, The Adventures Of Tintin, the artist, The Descendants, The Help, The Ides of March, The Tree of Life, tinker tailor soldier spy, war horse
December 4, 2011
Categories: Circuit Round-Up
Tags: another happy day, Brad Pitt, Carnage, Circuit Round-Up, Ellen Barkin, Friends with Benefits, Hugo, J. Edgar, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moneyball, National Board of Review, New York Film Critics Circle, Shame, The Descendants, The Help, tinker tailor soldier spy, war horse
November 29, 2011
They bitched, they moaned, and after all this about David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo not being screened in time, the New York Film Critics ignore the film completely. The big win of the day was Michel Hazanavicius’ The Artist which landed a Picture and Director win respectively. I felt when I first saw the film that it would be a Sideways-type of affection among critics throughout the season but then Alexander Payne’s The Descendants swooped in and started gaining a lot of momentum. The film, which garnered three four-star reviews from our own writers here at the site, was looking signed, sealed, and delivered for some true awards attention. Clooney even failed to get a mention today and he’s one of the best things to come out of an actor’s performance this year.
Editor briefly recounts "Martha Marcy May Marlene," "Moneyball," and "J. Edgar."
November 27, 2011
Helmed by a powerful lead performance by Elizabeth Olsen, Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene dribbles right on the edge of thriller and suspense without coming off gimmicky. Olsen evokes and drowns herself in her character keeping the questions right on the surface and not losing sight. Though the film’s narrative never fully develops and fails to explore the deepest parts of this cautionary tale, the full commitment from the directing style and its performers transform a seemingly A-typical story to something new and dynamic. Co-star John Hawkes shines once again in a new villainous and demented turn which remains one of the great supporting male works this year. A notation for Hugh Dancy is worth mentioning in a presumably vacant character but effective and taunting performance.
Categories: Editor, Film Reviews
Tags: armie hammer, Bennett Miller, Brad Pitt, dustin lance black, Editor, Elizabeth Olsen, film reviews, Hugh Dancy, J. Edgar, John Hawkes, Jonah Hill, judi dench, Leonardo DiCaprio, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moneyball, naomi watts, Sean Durkin, Snippet Reviews, Stan Chervin, Steven Zaillian
November 27, 2011
Categories: Academy Idol
Tags: Alexander Payne, Bennett Miller, David Fincher, David Yates, Drive, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Jonathan Levine, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Michel Hazanavicius, Midnight in Paris, Moneyball, Nicolas Winding Refn, Sean Durkin, Shame, Steve McQueen, Steven Spielberg, Terrence Malick, the artist, The Descendants, the girl with the dragon tattoo, The Tree of Life, tinker tailor soldier spy, tomas alfredson, war horse, Woody Allen
November 16, 2011
While the cat could not make it a trifecta, “Puss In Boots” nearly upended Adam Sandler’s “Jack And Jill” for second place, missing the runner-up position by a scant $275k and rolling past $108 million in domestic box office receipts. Soaring above all of the competition was innovative director Tarsem Singh’s third film, “Immortals”, which served as his widest opening film to date and banked $32.2 million in its opening weekend. While some have reported this as a mediocre or even disappointing opening, some people were projecting “Immortals” to finish second or third with a mid-$20 million gross. Relativity Media are ecstatic at how the film was received and their implementation of having a market-by-market determination on critical screenings seemed risky, but ultimately did not hurt the film’s opening numbers.
November 8, 2011
In box office prognostication, sometimes the only thing ever for sure…is that nothing is ever for sure. No one anticipated that DreamWorks’ “Puss In Boots” would not only win the weekend over the much hyped action comedy “Tower Heist”, but would also set a record for the smallest drop ever for a fall movie release (non-holiday). The precocious little swashbuckling cat banked another $33.1 million, raising its 10-day totals to $75.5 million domestic/$114.5 million worldwide and finishing a substantial distance in front of the #2 movie of the weekend. Well on its way to making back its $130 million budget, “Puss In Boots” looks to rule the family movie roost for one more weekend until a suffocating avalanche of family films arrive with “Happy Feet Two” releasing on November 18 and “Arthur Christmas”, “Hugo”, and “The Muppets” all opening on November 23 in advance of the Thanksgiving holiday. For those bemoaning a lack of family friendly titles at the box office, your cup is about to runneth over for certain.
So what led to the disappointing start for “Tower Heist” and did audiences warmly receive a third “Harold and Kumar” film? Did any Oscar hopefuls and independent titles make any news? Details and more after the cut!
October 26, 2011
“Paranormal Activity 3″‘s victory at the weekend’s box office was about as easy and obvious a prediction as anyone could make. The horror movie trilogy, which effectively silenced the “Saw” franchise and rekindled a “found-footage” horror film phenomenon in the last few years, not only opened at #1 this past weekend, but decidedly re-wrote the record books at the same time. With a total opening weekend of $52.6 million, “Paranormal Activity 3″ saw an opening of historic proportions.
How many records did “PA3″ actually break? Does this have the legs to be a massive success? How profitable is it already? Did anyone care about some Mighty Macs, Musketeers, or buffoonery from an English spy? Found out the answers to all of these questions and a ton more from the weekend that was…after the cut!
October 24, 2011
Categories: Circuit Round-Up
Tags: another happy day, Best Actress, Circuit Round-Up, comedies, dancing with the stars, golden globe predictions, Leap Year, Martha Marcy May Marlene, oscar predictions, Oscar race, Paranormal Activity 3, Rampart, Real Steel, Red State, Texas Killing Fields, The Awards Circuit Staff, The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence), The Thing
October 22, 2011
Apologies for the delay in reporting the newest films this weekend, readers, but the Navy will be requiring a lot from me in the next few weeks. I’ll do my best to keep up with you, but it will be difficult for a while. Please bear with me:
I’ve never been a huge fan of the Paranormal Activity franchise, but I will always be grateful to it for dethroning the execrable Saw films as the annual Halloween movie event. This third installment has Catfish duo Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost directing a prequel story about how Katie and Kristi first made contact with the supernatural entity that would eventually destroy them both. Critics – including our own Mike Ward – seemed to have enjoyed the surprising thrills and atmosphere, implausible as some of them may be. There’s really no other film that has a shot at conquering this weekend. Midnight screenings have already topped the previous film’s record, and I’m fairly confident in predicting a $40-45 million opening. Read more on Weekend Openings (October 21-23)…
Categories: Weekend Openings
Tags: based on a true story, Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, crimes against art, Johnny English Reborn, Margin Call, Martha Marcy May Marlene, oranges and sunshine, Oscar contenders, Oscar hopefuls, Paranormal Activity 3, The Mighty Macs, The Three Musketeers, Weekend Openings
October 21, 2011
Some studios have made their 2011 Awards or For Your Consideration sites LIVE. They’re up and running and it’s so fun to look at them when considering what films will or will not be on Oscar’s radar. Not everyone is up yet and some aren’t listing categories but it’s good to see the roster that some of these studios have on their hands. Weinstein has a squad this season. Another Weinstein Oscar ceremony? We’ll see. Check em’ out below.
The Weinstein Company:
20th Century Fox:
Sony Pictures Classic:
Categories: Editor, News
Tags: anonymous, arthur christmas, Beginners, Cars 2, disney pictures, Editor, focus features, For Your Consideration, Hanna, Hugo, Jane Eyre, Kung Fu Panda 2, Like Crazy, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Moneyball, My Week With Marilyn, news, pariah, pirates of the caribbean, puss in boots, Rango, rio, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Shame, sony pictures, Super 8, The Adventures Of Tintin, the artist, The Debt, The Descendants, the girl with the dragon tattoo, The Help, The Ides of March, The Iron Lady, The Tree of Life, the weinstein company, tinker tailor soldier spy, transformers, undefeated, war horse, Warrior, Win Win, Winnie the Pooh, Young Adult
Author: John H. Foote
October 21, 2011
The next time the suits in Hollywood get together, they should really sit down and have a good long talk about the sort of movies they are making for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Perhaps they will decide (when hell freezes over) that rather than spending $150 million on the next sequel to something stupid, or film of an old TV show, they might instead hand out $2 million to some aspiring filmmakers, directors, and writers who have made an impressive short or documentary or artists in the music video world. Rather than one terrible film that cost $150 million, we would have seventy-five low budget films, at least half of which would be at the very least watchable, with some of them being very good. The amounts of money wasted on bad movies these days is obscene when we have so many gifted directors and writers trying to get funding for their films to no avail. Not everyone can go the Kevin Smith credit card route (brilliant as it was), and frankly not everyone wants to do that. The studios simply must start looking for stories rather than only what the film is going to make for them. So much emphasis is placed on box office I fear the suits in Hollywood have forgotten what it is they are supposed to be doing.
October 17, 2011
This weekend sees the release of the highly anticipated thriller (and possible Oscar contender) Martha Marcy May Marlene. Many pundits, including our own Anna, Mike, and myself are predicting that Elizabeth Olsen will be among the nominees for Best Lead Actress. Beyond starring in an acclaimed indie gaining serious publicity momentum, Olsen is also young and pretty, which as we all know the voters love. But is there another element to her performance that would give her an Oscar-baiting advantage? Well, in the film, Olsen plays a young woman plagued by memories of her time spent with an abusive cult in the Catskill Mountains, and there’s her additional advantage. When a large portion of a young woman’s performance is in explicit pain, Oscar usually isn’t far behind.
Looking at the past ten years of Best Actress nominees, over half of them were for characters that go through overt forms of physical and/or mental torment. The last lineup was a very comprehensive example of this. Collectively, you had depression, poverty, physical assault, marital woes and public humiliation spread among the four nominees. The winner, Natalie Portman, spent almost the entirety of Black Swan in perpetual distress from a laundry list of inward and outward ailments including possible incest. Read more on Best Actress: Make Sure They See You Suffer…
Author: John H. Foote
September 14, 2011
There is cancer in my house, the bad kind: brain cancer. It is incurable. This cancer just sits, ever growing, hiding in the recesses of the brain too far down for the surgeons to cut out, waiting for the chance to erupt once again. This one is one of the least-understood forms of cancer, so the doctors know little about it. My wife has struggled through radiation and is now struggling through aggressive chemotherapy to treat what we have been told is a very malignant form of cancer in her brain. We figure we could sit around and cry about our plight, but instead we choose to laugh, or, as Renton suggests in Trainspotting (1996), choose life. What alternative is there, really?
50/50 (***) hit home with me in a very powerful way. Admittedly, I was concerned about seeing the film. When you are living the experience portrayed in the film, one tends to judge it in comparison to their lives. That might be an unfair standard to place on the film, but that’s the way it is with such subject matter. Thankfully, director Jonathan Levine and screenwriter Will Reiser have made an excellent, powerful and deeply moving film that permeates with the one thing we feel each and every day when all seems lost…hope. Read more on John’s TIFF Diary: Day Six…