Marathon Man (1976)

Marthon Man (1976) directed by John Schlesinger from a screenplay by William Goldman based upon his novel Laurence Olivier as Christian Szell Szell: Is it not remarkable? Simple oil of cloves and how amazing the results. Life can be that simple… relief… discomfort. Now, which of these I next apply, that decision is in your (read…)

Naked (1993)

Naked (1993) written and directed by Mike Leigh Leslie Sharp as Louise (not pictured) and David Thewlis as Johnny Louise: So, what happened? Were you bored in Manchester? Johnny: Was I bored? No, I wasn’t fuckin’ bored. I’m never bored. That’s the trouble with everybody. You’re all so bored! You’ve had nature explained to you (read…)

#2 East of Eden (1955) – John Steinbeck’s 110th Birthday

East of Eden (1955) directed by Elia Kazan from the novel by John Steinbeck Julie Harris as Abra and James Dean as Cal Trask Abra: Cal, can I ask you something? Cal: Yeah, go ahead. Abra: Well, these girls that you always go around with… you know, remember there was that little Mexican girl once? (read…)

#1 Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) – Elizabeth Taylor’s 80th Birthday

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) directed by Mike Nichols Elizabeth Taylor as Martha and Richard Burton as George Martha: Fix me another drink, lover. George: My God, you can swill it down, can’t you? Martha (in baby voice): Well, I’m thirsty. George: Oh, Jesus. Martha (angry): Look, sweetheart. I can drink you under any (read…)

Oscarcooler

Well, that’s that then. We’ve been talking about Oscar for like six months now and personally I’m about all talked out about it. So here are the winners: Picture: The Artist Director: Michel Hazanavicius, The Artist Actor: Jean Dujardin, The Artist Actress: Meryl Streep, The Iron Lady Supporting Actor: Christopher Plummer, Beginners Supporting Actress: Octavia (read…)

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) – Victor Hugo’s 210th Birthday

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939) directed by William Dieterle from the novel by Victor Hugo Maureen O’Hara as Esmeralda and Cedric Hardwicke as Frollo Esmeralda: It’s so quiet and peaceful here, almost quieter than in the woods where the birds chatter and sing when I come. You know, the birds and deer eat out (read…)

Your Grandmother Takes over The Independent Spirit Awards, Gives Oscar an Unseemly Lap Dance

Once a happy and more raucous alternative to Oscar, The Independent Spirit Awards have now completely capitulated to trying to be just like them. With a few bright spots, this is the absolute nadir of this group of awards since I’ve been paying attention to it. It’s the People’s Choice Awards for LA movie nerds. (read…)

Heaven Scent (1956)

Heaven Scent (1956) directed by Chuck Jones Pepe le Pew voiced by Mel Blanc Pepe le Pew: As a distinguished colleague of mine once noted, there is very little difference between men and women, but… vive la différence!

Oscar Predictions Part 4: The Big Ones

And so we’re down to the big awards: Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Actor, Actress, Director and Picture. There are a couple of categories perceived as possibly going a couple of different ways, but there really doesn’t seem like a lot of room for surprise or excitement at the top of the ballot. It’s tempting to (read…)

A Good Weekend to Organize Your Closets or Reshingle the Roof

There’s a real chance none of the below will be enough to get you into a movie theater this weekend, so by all means hit the Now Playing page with a longer list of interesting possibilities. Act of Valor. The drawing card of this action pic about a team of Navy SEALS is that it (read…)

Heathers (1988)

Heathers (1988) directed by Michael Lehman Christian Slater as Jason “J.D.” Dean and Winona Ryder as Veronica Sawyer Veronica: Oh my God. I can’t believe it. I just killed my best friend. J.D.: And your worst enemy. Veronica: Same difference.

Film Independent Co-Presidents Sean McManus and Josh Welsh on the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards

For the 26th year in a row, this Saturday, aka “Oscar Eve” will bring Film Independent’s Independent Spirit Awards, the afternoon picnic on the beach in Santa Monica that recognizes the best in independent film. This year’s ceremony, hosted by Seth Rogen, will air on the Independent Film Channel 10pm ET/PT. In anticipation, I recently (read…)

Oscar Predictions Part 3: The Fringe

Animated Feature Oscar nominee Chico & Rita Today I take a look at some of the most notoriously difficult categories to predict: Foreign Language Film, Animated Feature, Documentary Feature, Live Action Short, Animated Short and Documentary Short. If you can predict these correctly at your Oscar party, friends and loved ones will be in awe. (read…)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002) directed by Paul Thomas Anderson Adam Sandler as Barry Egan and Emily Watson as Lena Leonard Barry: I didn’t ask for a shrink, that must’ve been somebody else. Also, that pudding isn’t mine. Also, I’m wearing a suit today because I had a very important meeting this morning and I… don’t have (read…)

Old News is… Old News

Recent news stories involving Michael Fassbender, The Artist, Netflix, Orlando Bloom, Djimon Hounsou, Peter Greenaway, Antonio Banderas, Irish Myths, Elmore Leonard, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jennifer Aniston and Dennis Quaid. Michael Fassbender Confirmed for Ridley Scott/Cormac McCarthy’s The Counselor (Deadline) (2/21) The Artist and other Weinstein titles to hit Netflix before HBO Suck on that HBO, (read…)

Oscar Predictions Part 2: Music, Pictures and Words

After dispensing yesterday with the awards mostly like to inspire trips to the kitchen or bathroom, today I get into the higher profile technical awards: Song, Original Score, Editing, Cinematography, Adapted Screenplay and Original Screenplay.

Costume Designers Guild goes for W.E. over The Artist’s tuxedos and flapper dresses

I have to say, I would’ve predicted The Artist in the Period Film category. Since 2000, the eventual winner of the costume design Oscar was different from one of the CDG film picks 5 times, most recently in 2008 when Elizabeth: The Golden Age won the Oscar but Blades of Glory, Sweeney Todd and Golden (read…)

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979)

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (1979) directed by Allan Arkush Joey Ramone as Himself Joey: Things sure have changed since we got kicked outta high school.

Oscar Predictions Part 1: The Bathroom Break Awards

It’s been a pretty dull and inconsequential awards season this year. Once again Oscar seems headed toward the nice but resolutely middle of the road and ultimately forgettable. I’m not really complaining. The fact that The Tree of Life (my personal pick for the best film of the year) even got a nomination feels like (read…)

Dinner at Eight (1933)

Dinner at Eight (1933) directed by George Cukor Marie Dressler as Carlotta Vance Carlotta: What a city! I left the hotel at eleven this morning a young and lovely girl… now look at me.

President’s Day

It’s President’s Day, so here’s a clip of a movie with a president in it. Patriotic duty: done! Yes, I know that Peter Sellers’ Merkin Muffely is not the funniest part of Dr. Strangelove, but that’s exactly why I picked a clip with more George C. Scott in it. He owns every scene he’s in. (read…)

Robin Fryday on her Oscar-nominated short doc “The Barber of Birmingham”

To varying extents throughout the past several decades, the Oscar categories for Live Action, Animation, and Documentary Short have been little more than tie-breakers in Oscar pools and categories misunderstood and underappreciated by much of the telecast’s audience. In recent years, the nominated shorts have received growing theatrical distribution, an increased online presence, and screenings (read…)

Writer/Director Joseph Cedar on his Foreign Language Oscar-nominated “Footnote”

Footnote writer/director Joseph Cedar After being nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for Beaufort in 2008, Israeli writer/director Joseph Cedar has returned to the Oscar race with Footnote, Israel’s submission and a nominee for this year’s Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Footnote is both a father/son tragedy and a comedy of (read…)

Meet the Academy: White, old, male and rich

Though the official member rolls of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are a closely guarded secret, the LA Times supposedly identified 5,100 of the 5,765 voters and they’ve compiled some facts and figures that pretty much fall in line with what most people already believed: A majority of voters are rich, white, (read…)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986) directed by John Carpenter Chao-Li Chi as Uncle Chu (not pictured) and Kurt Russell as Jack Burton Uncle Chu: China is here, Mr. Burton. The Chang Sing, the Wing Kong, they’ve been fighting for centuries. Jack: What does that mean, huh? “China is here?” I don’t even know what (read…)

WGA, USC Scripter and Cinema Audio Society Awards

For the sake of completion: Writers Guild of America Original Screenplay: Midnight in Paris – Woody Allen Adapted Screenplay: The Descendants – Alexander Payne and Nat Faxon & Jim Rash Documentary Screenplay: Better This World – Katie Galloway & Kelly Duane de la Vega Hit Deadline for the TV winners Cinema Audio Society Motion Picture: (read…)

ACE Eddie Awards: The Descendants, The Artist

Blahdy Blah, no film has won an Oscar without an ACE Eddie nomination since Ordinary People, blah blah blah, and 8 ACE Eddie winners have gone on to win the Oscar since 2000, yadda yadda yadda. That’s all well and good, but we all already know The Artist is going to win so just wake (read…)

Mulholland Dr. (2001)

Mulholland Dr. (2001) directed by David Lynch Naomi Watts as Betty Elms/Diane Selwyn Diane: Here’s to love.

10th Anniversary Muriel Award – Best Film of 2001: Mulholland Dr.

A couple more Muriel Awards to report this morning including Best Film of 2001 (which I’m including here in full because the essay portion is by yours truly) and Best Web-Based Criticism. Edging out MUBI at #3 and Slant at #2, Mike D’Angelo’s takes this year’s Best Web-Based Criticism prize for his long-running The Man (read…)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Milos Forman’s 80th Birthday

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman Louise Fletcher as Nurse Ratched (not pictured), Jack Nicholson as Randall Patrick McMurphy, William Redfield as Harding, Sydney Lassick as Cheswick (not pictured) and Delos V. Smith Jr. as Scanlon (not pictured) Nurse Ratched: Do you want to say something to the group, Mr. (read…)





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