Happy New Year Everyone

Here’s to a terrific 2008. See you at the movies… -Craig

Reflections on ‘No Country for Old Men’

Note: This post assumes you have seen No Country for Old Men and it contains significant spoilers. It’s bad enough you’re missing one of the best movies of the year, don’t compound the tragic error of your ways by ruining it before you see it.   When my mom died in 1994, I think the person it (read…)

Living in Cinema 2007 Readers Top 10

You’ve seen what the so-called experts have had to say and now it’s your turn. Presenting the first annual Living in Cinema Readers Top 10. Beginning tonight, I’ll be accepting readers’ submissions for the best movies of 2007. The poll will remain open for at least 2 weeks and probably more. I want to give (read…)

Review: Romance and Cigarettes (2007) *** 1/2

Susan Sarandon gives it her all in Romance and Cigarettes  If The Honeymooners‘ Ralph and Alice Kramden broke into pop songs to articulate feelings beyond their working class grasp of language, the result might be something like John Turturro’s Romance and Cigarettes. It’s got a certain shaggy quality to it, a little like a drunken night at a (read…)

Brad Bird on Writers

As the WGA strike continues, Brad Bird would like you to know that even animation doesn’t get done without writers. In an interview with Steven Gaydos in Variety, the writer/director of this year’s terrific Ratatouille (as well as Iron Giant and Pixar high-water mark The Incredibles) asserts that “there isn’t a giant difference between animation (read…)

National Film Registry Selections for 2007

The National Film Preservation Board, which was established by the US Library of Congress in 1988 to preserve “culturally, historically, or esthetically important” films, has announced the 25 new films to be added to the National Registry for 2007. The oldest film on the list is Henry King’s Tol’able David (1921) noted for its influence on subsequent films (read…)

2008’s Coming Attractions

I’m not quite ready to look back and sum up 2007 with a Top 10 list yet. Instead, Hedwig has inspired me to look ahead at 21 movies that are planned for 2008. Many of these don’t even have release dates yet and the ones that do are subject to change, but we don’t like (read…)

Review: There Will Be Blood (2007) *****

From the start, there’s a primal, biblical, form-out-of-chaos feeling to There Will Be Blood, the new film from Paul Thomas Anderson. It begins with a low synthesized moan on the soundtrack that rises to an eerie wail as the camera tilts up to an otherwise ordinary pair of desolate, rocky hills. It’s an ominous opening that (read…)

There Will Be Previews

Don’t worry. Spoiler free. This scene was trimmed from the film. Charlie Rose and Terry Gross after the jump

Christmas Forecast

I’m dreaming of an oily Christmas The Christmas holiday has the movie schedule all ass over tea kettle so we’re hauling out the trusty old Weekend Forecast on Christmas Eve There Will Be Blood (NY, LA 12/26). Hey, did you hear? One of the best movies of the year opens on Wednesday. Paul Thomas Anderson (read…)

Awards Tally Update

The new and improved, faster loading Awards Tally with lemon fresh scent has been updated with the winners of the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle. The Sooner State fell for No Country for Old Men, George Clooney, Ellen Page, Javier Bardem, Amy Ryan, Ratatouille, King of Kong and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

Thank You Roger Ebert

Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca: The First of Roger Ebert’s ‘Great Movies’  Great movies belong to everyone really, but for the better part of 10 years film critic Roger Ebert has been making it his business to ensure we know about them. In 1996, in addition to his duties as a film critic reviewing roughly 250 new releases each year, he began (read…)

There Will Be Blood…I Promise

In lieu of my delayed review, here’s some day old There Will Be Blood news: The film opens in New York and LA on December 26th, but those of you living in select cities won’t have to wait until the middle of January. There are going to be midnight preview screenings on December 29th. Check (read…)

2007 Awards Tally

No Country for Old Men makes off with a satchel full of awards  Here’s a tally of how the awards are stacking up as of 12/21/07. In the case of a tie, each winner is awarded a half point. In the cases where awards are split between Comedy and Drama categories or between Original and Adapted Screenplay (read…)

Indiewire 2007 Critics Poll: There Will Be Blood

Indiewire polled 106 North American critics regarding their favorite movies and performances of 2007. Some of the results are a nice surprise. Of course #1 and #3 are great picks, but because they’re not getting nearly enough recognition, I’d call your attention to #2 Zodiac, #4 Syndromes and a Century, #7 The Assassination of Jesse James (read…)

Guilds Have Their Say – SAG Up First

The winners won’t be known until January 27, but the Screen Actors Guild announced their nominees for movie and television performances this morning. There are many familiar names including Daniel Day-Lewis and the ensemble for No Country for Old Men but also a few surprises like Ryan Gosling and the ensemble for 3:10 to Yuma. Sweeney Todd (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 12/21/07

Johnny Depp is Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street There are a bunch of wide releases this week so I’m rolling out the Weekend Forecast a day early in order to get them while they’re as fresh and hot as one of Mrs. Lovett’s meat pies: Charlie Wilson’s War. Mike Nichols directs this (read…)

Pitt: From Malickesque Western to the Real Thing?

Apparently undaunted by the frosty critical and box office reception of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (the superb arthouse Western that bore more than a passing resemblance to a Terrence Malick film),  Brad Pitt is currently in talks to star in Malick’s Tree of Life according to Variety.  I don’t (read…)

Hey, tired of awards yet?

Too bad. Here are a bunch more: The African American Film Critics Association picked The Great Debaters as best film of 2007 (No Country for Old Men was #5 and There Will Be Blood was #10). The Alliance of Women Film Journalists picked No Country for Old Men for Best Picture, the Coens as Best Directors (read…)

Francis Ford Coppola’s Declaration of Independence

“I’m no longer dependent on the movie business to make a living. So if I want to make movies as other old guys would play golf, I can.” – Francis Ford Coppola, Vanity Fair December 2007 Many filmmakers work on small independent films with dreams of one day making it big in Hollywood, but Francis (read…)

Review: Youth Without Youth (2007) ***

Tim Roth and Alexandra Maria Lara in Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth  As Tim Roth is unchained from the constraints of aging in Francis Ford Coppola’s Youth Without Youth, so too is Coppola himself gleefully freed from the demands of box office and critical reception with his new film. The result is a beautiful (read…)


The awards frenzy continues unabated:   The International Press Academy (Satellite Awards), the Dallas/Fortworth Critics Association and the Southeastern Film Critics Association all picked No Country for Old Men as the best film of the year. Thanks once more to eagle-eye Alison for bringing all this to my attention. For the record, the Southeastern Film Critics’ homepage isn’t yet updated with their 2007 (read…)

AFI Awards 2007

Thanks again to Alison for the heads up on AFI’s movies of the year: Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead The Diving Bell and the Butterfly Into the Wild Juno Knocked Up Michael Clayton No Country for Old Men Ratatouille The Savages There Will Be Blood I have to say I liked Knocked Up quite (read…)

More Critical Bloodlust

It’s early yet, but Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood continues to draw a 100% Cream of the Crop rating at Rotten Tomatoes. I’m only skimming reviews until I finish my own, but one theme keeps popping up in review after review: On the surface, There Will Be Blood is unlike anything Anderson has (read…)

Review: Waitress (2007) ***

It has recently come to my attention that there just aren’t enough good movies about women. I hope I can be forgiven for not noticing this sooner. You see, I’m one of those people who pee standing up and one of my chromosomes is missing a leg. I don’t know. Maybe it affects my brain. (read…)

Women Film Critics Circle 2007 Awards

Sarah Polley’s Away from Her and Kasi Lemmons’ Talk to Me  By way of Alison Flynn, via Awards Daily and courtesy of Movie City News (gotta love the internet!), I bring you another round of crtical praise, this time from the Women Film Critics Circle. In their own words, “The Women Film Critics Circle is an (read…)

Policies and Promises

Just a few words before we head into the weekend: I’m making an adjustment to my star-rating policy. I’d originally decided never to give a new movie a perfect 5-star rating because it seemed the height of foolishness to put a movie I’ve only seen once into the pantheon of greats that have stood the test (read…)

Chicago Film Critics Jump on the Coen Bandwagon

Critical accolades are piling up for No Country for Old Men. I’d be bored with the whole thing if I didn’t already believe it was the best movie of the year.  Picture: No Country for Old Men Foreign Language Film: 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days Director: Joel & Ethan Coen, No Country for (read…)

Weekend Forecast: 12/14/07

  It’s wide release schedules like these that make a guy want to stop writing about movies. Then again, if you  haven’t seen No Country for Old Men yet, now’s the time to catch up with best film of 2007 according to the New York Film Critics’ Circle. Alvin and the Chipmunks. When I was a (read…)

Metropolis 2.0

Studio Pinhead #1: How’s that remake going? The one with the evil midgets or creepy little kids or whatever? Development Weasel: The Brood? Great, great. We’ve got the rights and were just working on a script now. Studio Pinhead #2: Fine, fine, but we’re going to have to change that title, I don’t even know (read…)

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