8 Ball Bunny (1950) – Kissing another year goodbye

8 Ball Bunny (1958) directed by Chuck Jones Bugs Bunny voiced by Mel Blanc Bugs: Bon voyagee! Don’t take any wooden igloos!

A quiet movie New Year

There are no new wide releases this week and no new significant expansions of limited releases, so unless you live in New York or Los Angeles, this is a good weekend to stay home or to catch up on some of the flurry of films you may have missed. If you’re lucky enough to live (read…)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) directed by Steven Spielberg Henry Thomas as Elliot Elliot: I’m keeping him.

Marshall Curry on his Oscar short-listed doc “If a Tree Falls”

Documentarian Marshall Curry’s first film Street Fight, about a mayoral race in Newark, New Jersey, earned universal raves from critics and won awards all over the world, including an Oscar nomination for Best Documentary Feature in 2006. His follow-up, Racing Dreams, was released last year to the same critical response, and is being remade by (read…)

Empire of the Sun (1987)

Empire of the Sun (1987) directed by Steven Spielberg Christian Bale as Jim ‘Jamie’ Graham and Nigel Havers as Dr. Rawlins Jim (watching the American planes bomb the Japanese airfield): Wow! Haha! Go! P-51, Cadillac of the sky! Hahaha! Wow! P-51, Cadillac of the sky! Dr. Rawlins: Jim? Jim! Get off the roof! Jim! Jim: (read…)

The Iron Lady (2011)

“I’d like to thank the Academy…” Neither character assassination nor hagiography, The Iron Lady is doomed to displease movie lovers of both liberal and conservative stripes. Though it is admirable if unconvincing in its stab at humanizing Margaret Thatcher, it fails to illuminate her in any way except the most simplistic. In fact, the film’s (read…)

Pariah (2011)

On paper, Dee Rees’ Pariah (expanded from her 2007 short of the same name) sounds like Sundance bait. While the noted independent film festival indeed bought it hook, line and sinker, Pariah is no Precious even though they’re both coming of age stories about troubled young black girls in the big city. Instead of overheated (read…)

80-year-old Tarzan chimp “Cheetah” dies

Cheetah, the chimp who played Tarzan’s sidekick during the franchise’s 1932-1934 Johnny Weissmuller heyday, was shot to death in the alley behind a Miami brothel during a drug deal gone bad over the weekend. Ok, that’s a complete lie. Well, he really did die, but there was no shooting and no drug deal. Actually, he (read…)

“Hugo” tops with Austin film crickets

These things are ever so much more interesting when they aren’t just following the herd. Hugo is a great choice, as are Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain for Take Shelter. I Saw the Devil is also an unexpected and inspiring choice for Foreign Film. Senna is on a short list (along with Tabloid) of 2011 (read…)

Cinema turns 116 years old today

There’s no agreement on a single “inventor” of movies, but the first projection of a filmed moving image for a paying audience occurred in Paris on December 28, 1895 when brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière turned down the lights at the Grand Café on the Boulevard des Capucines and showed La Sortie des usines Lumière (read…)

84th Annual Academy Awards

Check out the full poster after the jump or at Oscar.org.

Munich (2005)

Munich (2005) directed by Steven Spielberg Eric Bana as Avner and Geoffrey Rush as Ephraim Ephraim: We have eleven Palestinian names. Each had a hand in planning Munich. You’re going to kill them, eleven men, one by one. They’re all in Europe now. You’ll stay there as long as it takes. Europe only, not the (read…)

2011 National Film Registry: Bambi, The Silence of the Lambs

Watch Saving the Nation’s Family Pictures on PBS. See more from Independent Lens. Each year since 1989, the Library of Congress has selected 25 films to be entered into the National Film Registry that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant, to be preserved for all time. These films are not selected as the ‘best’ American (read…)

Dublin Film Critics know who’s gonna “Drive” them home tonight

  Best Picture: “Drive” Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn, “Drive” Best Actor: Ryan Gosling, “Drive” Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, “The Tree of Life” Best Documentary: “Senna” Best Foreign Language Film: “A Separation” Best Irish Film: “The Guard” Best Irish Documentary: “Knuckle” International Breakthrough: Jessica Chastain, “The Help,” “Take Shelter” and “The Tree of Life” Domestic Breakthrough: John (read…)

Phoenix Film Critics likeThe Artist… they REALLY like The Artist

The Phoenix Film Critics Society has spoken and The Artist is more popular than Jesus, at least in certain parts of Arizona. I’m not sure how The Muppets gets best family film and not Hugo when Hugo makes their Top 10 list not to mention the fact that The Muppets is terrible, but whatever. TOP (read…)

Alison Willmore’s Best of 2011: Melancholia

(singing) One of these films is is not like the others. One of these films is not the same. (coughcoughWarriorcough). Otherwise a terrific list. Be sure to check out Alison’s notes on each pick over at Movieline. 1. Melancholia 2. A Separation 3. Into the Abyss 4. Take Shelter 5. Margaret 6. The Tree of (read…)

Edward Burns on his new $9000 indie “Newlyweds”

[Editor’s Note: Edward Burns’ Newlyweds is available through VOD, on DVD and by digital download as of 12/26] Since entering the world of independent film in the mid-nineties with The Brothers McMullen and She’s the One, Edward Burns has become a prolific writer, director, producer, and actor. After his initial success a filmmaker, Burns landed (read…)

Kenneth Branagh on playing icon Laurence Olivier in ‘My Week with Marilyn’

After achieving world-wide acclaim in 1989 for his Oscar-winning adaptation of Henry V, Kenneth Branagh has spent over twenty years delighting audiences and critics of stage and screen. Branagh has often followed in the footsteps of his hero Laurence Olivier, writing, directing, and acting in world-class adaptations of some of William Shakespeare’s most highly regarded (read…)

Touch of Evil (1958) – Marlene Dietrich’s 110th Birthday

Touch of Evil (1958) directed by Orson Welles Marlene Dietrich as Tanya and Al Schwartz as Mort Mills (not pictured) Mills: Well, Hank was a great detective alright. Tanya: And a lousy cop. Mills: Is that all you have to say for him? Tanya: He was some kind of a man. What does it matter (read…)

Online Film Critics Nominations: Tree of Life 7, Drive 6

I haven’t been posting nominations for the various critics groups that announce them, but since I belong to the OFCS, I’m posting these ones. All of these come directly from the press release. Best Picture: The Artist The Descendants Drive Hugo The Tree of Life   Best Animated Feature: The Adventures of Tintin Arthur Christmas (read…)

Requiem for a Dream (2000) – Happy 40th Birthday, Jared Leto

Requiem for a Dream (2000 ) directed by Darren Aronofsky Jared Leto as Harry Goldfarb Harry: I’m sorry for bein’ such a bastard. I wanna make it up. I mean, I know I can’t change anything that’s happened, but I want you to know that I love you and that I’m sorry and I want (read…)

Holiday Hangover

I’m pretty well caught up on new releases so I took a big fat vacation from movies and the computer this weekend. I’d planned to catch up with Mission Impossible and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, but it’s going to be a slow week between now and New Years so I’ll get up to speed (read…)

Life of Brian (1979) – Merry Christmas from Living in Cinema!

Life of Brian (1979) directed by Terry Jones John Cleese as Wise Man #1, Graham Chapman as Wise Man #2, Terry Jones as Brian’s Mother and Michael Palin as Wise Man #3 Brian’s Mother: So you’re astrologers, are you? Well, what is he then? Wise Man #2: Hmm? Brian’s Mother: What star sign is he? (read…)

The Foghorn Leghorn (1948)

The Foghorn Leghorn (1948) directed by Robert McKimson Foghorn Leghorn voiced by Mel Blanc Foghorn Leghorn: Looka’here son, I say son! Did ya see that hawk after those hens? He scared ’em! That Rhode Island red turned white… then blue. Rhode Island. Red, white and blue. That’s a joke son! A flag waver! You’re built (read…)

Oklahoma Crickets: “The Artist”

Not much to say about these picks from the Oklahoma Film Critics Circle other than to ask what they mean by “no-so-obviously worst” and how it is that The Hangover Part II‘s awfulness is not plain to see. In fact it’s much much worse than their “Obviously Worst” film Transformers: Dark of the Moon which, (read…)

Christina Hendricks in talks for Sally Potter’s “Bomb”

If she signs, The Mad Woman will join previously cast Elle Fanning and Allesandro Nivola in a 60s-set drama about a London-based writer (Nivola) and a teen (Fanning) caught between the Cold War and the sexual revolution. No word on what part Hendricks will play, but Annette Benning is also apparently eying a role. Hendricks, (read…)

Dan Aykroyd ain’t afraid of no Dog Fight, joins Ferrell and Galifianakis in political comedy

Despite constantly talking about it to anyone who will listen, Dan Aykroyd’s been having a devil of a time reviving Ghostbusters. The latest rumor (originally reported in The National Enquirer, so yeah, grain of salt) claims that Bill Murray, the sequel’s one stumbling block (or cinematic saint, depending on your perspective… I take the latter), (read…)

War Horse (2011)

Based on the 2007 stage adaptation of Michael Morpurgo’s 1982 children’s novel, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse tells an epic and episodic story of war and peace as seen through the eyes of Joey, a young thoroughbred horse who begins life in rural England on the eve of World War I. As Joey changes hands, he (read…)

The Holiday Forecast

There’s something good to see wherever you live this holiday weekend though the openings are all scattered across the week as kids are out of school and the studios jockey for your attention. As a result, several films have already opened, several more open today and still more open on Christmas Day. Opening dates for (read…)

Minority Report (2002)

Minority Report (2002) directed by Steven Spielberg Colin Farrell as Danny Witwer and Neal McDonough as Gordon Fletcher Danny: What kind of cop were you before this? Gordon: Treasury agent. Eight years. Danny: This would be your first actual murder scene? Gordon: Yeah. Danny: I worked homicide before I went federal. This is what we’d (read…)

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