Melancholia (2011) – Happy 30th Birthday, Kirsten Dunst

Melancholia (2011) Written and directed by Lars von Trier. Kirsten Dunst as Justine and Charlotte Gainsbourg as Claire (not pictured). Justine: The earth is evil. We don’t need to grieve for it. Claire: What? Justine: Nobody will miss it. Claire: But where would Leo grow up? Justine: All I know is, life on earth is (read…)


This week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude is Richard Wagner’s Prelude to his opera Tristan und Isolde as used to such spectacular effect by Lars von Trier in the apocalyptic opening of Melancholia (2011). The opening is so striking and hauntingly surreal that the first time I saw the film I was a little disappointed the film (read…)

Black Narcissus (1947)

Black Narcissus (1947) Produced, written and directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Deborah Kerr as Sister Coldagh and Flora Robson as Sister Philippa. Sister Philippa (explaining why she wants to leave Mopu): I think there are only two ways of living in this place. Either you must live like Mr. Dean or… or like (read…)

What’s Up Doc? (1950)

What’s Up Doc? (1950) Story by Warren Foster. Directed by Robert McKimson Bugs Bunny voiced by Mel Blanc. Bugs Bunny (singing): Mehhhhhh, what’s up, Doc? What’s cookin’? What’s up, Doc? Are ya lookin’ For Bugs Bunny Bunting? Ducky’s gone a-hunting Just to get a rabbit skin, But now the rabbit’s gone again. What’s up, Doc? (read…)

#1. Goodbye, Columbus (1969) – Happy 90th Birthday, Jack Klugman

Goodbye, Columbus (1969) Directed by Larry Peerce Jack Klugman as Mr. Ben Patimkin Mr Patimkin: You kids. The way you look at us while we’re out batting our brains out trying to make a living. Like we’re a bunch of freaks and you’re something special. Let me tell you something. When I was your age, I (read…)

#2. 8½ (1963) – Happy 80th Birthday, Anouk Aimee

8½ (1963) Directed and co-written by Federico Fellini Anouk Aimee as Luisa Anselmi and Marcello Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi (not pictured) (in Italian) Luisa: Go ahead. Make your movie. Guido : No, I won’t. Luisa: Indulge yourself. Stroke your ego. Guido: No, no, no… Luisa: Go make everyone think you’re so wonderful. What could you (read…)

Broadway Danny Rose (1984)

Broadway Danny Rose (1984) Written and directed by Woody Allen. Woody Allen as Danny Rose and Mia Farrow as Tina Vitale. Tina: You know what turns me on? Danny: No. Tina: Intellectual. Danny: Really? Tina: I mean, I’m not just saying this to make you feel good or anything. You’re a smooth talker. Danny: Yeah? (read…)

Ace in the Hole (1951)

Ace in the Hole (1951) Directed and co-written by Billy Wilder Kirk Douglas as Chuck Tatum and Porter Hall as Jacob Q. Boot Tatum: I’m a pretty good liar. I’ve done a lot of lying in my time. I’ve lied to men who wear belts. I’ve lied to men who wear suspenders. But I’d never (read…)

Director Douglas Tirola on his documentary “All In: The Poker Movie”

Documentarian Douglas Tirola has had an incredibly diverse career in the film industry, dating back to 1989 as production assistant on When Harry Met Sally. In the decades since, Tirola’s career in numerous aspects of directing, writing, and producing studio and independent films have led him to found 4th Row Films, where he is currently (read…)

What’s Up, Doc? (1972) – Happy 70th Birthday, Barbra Streisand

. What’s Up, Doc? (1972) Screenplay by Buck Henry, David Newman and Robert Benton. Directed by Peter Bogdanovich. Barbra Streisand as Judy Maxwell and Ryan O’Neal as Howard Bannister (not pictured). Howard: (Opens bathroom door to find Judy in the tub, drops pajama bottoms in surprise) Judy: I believe you dropped something. Howard: What do (read…)

Gidget (1959) – Sandra Dee’s 70th Birthday

Gidget (1959) Directed by Paul Wendkos Sandra Dee as Francie “Gidget” Lawrence and Mary LaRoche as Mrs. Dorothy Lawrence. Francie: Do you find that there’s anything… weird about me? Mrs. Lawrence: Francie! Francie: Mommy, gee, I’m serious! Here I am almost 17, the same age as Nan and the rest of them. Why don’t I (read…)

The Watercooler in America (woah-oh)

After the 1970s, the 1980s were a pretty terrible time for movies, but it was a good time to be a teenager who loved movies, especially movies about teenagers. I’m not talking about junk like Porky’s or Private Resort, but movies about teens who were pissed off. Of course there was the entire career of (read…)

Soylent Green (1973) – Happy Earth Day

Soylent Green (1973) Directed by Richard Fleischer Edward G. Robinson as Sol Roth and Charlton Heston as Detective Thorn (not pictured) Sol: There was a world once, you punk. Thorn: Yeah, so you keep telling me. Sol: I was there. I can prove it. Thorn: I know, I know. When you were young, people were (read…)

The Heartbreak Kid (1972) – Happy 80th Birthday, Elaine May

The Heartbreak Kid (1972) Directed by Elaine May. Screenplay by Neil Simon. Cybill Shepherd as Kelly Corcoran and Charles Grodin as Lenny Cantrow. Lenny: Here’s the deal. The marriage is off. It was just one of those dumb things I rushed into like joining the army, except this time I’m not gonna wait around three (read…)

New releases for the weekend of 4/20/12

It’s time once again to take a look at what’s new in theaters. As always, check out the Now Playing page for a more comprehensive list of your movie going options Darling Companion As of this writing, the latest from Lawrence Kasdan is currently getting worse reviews than Battleship. That’s too bad because it’s a (read…)

Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams (1981) – Happy 420!

Cheech & Chong’s Nice Dreams (1981) Directed by Tommy Chong. Written by and starring Tommy Chong and Richard ‘Cheech’ Marin. Chong: Hey man, that dude looked kinda straight to be buying dope. Cheech: Hey man, don’t worry about it. I checked him out myself, man. He ain’t a cop. I can smell cops a mile (read…)

“Body Heat” writer/director Lawrence Kasdan on his 11th film “Darling Companion”

Lawrence Kasdan on the “Darling Companions” Set Photo by Wilson Webb, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics Over the course of thirty-plus years, the career of Lawrence Kasdan has included co-writing some of the highest-grossing movies of all time (The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark), co-writing and directing (read…)

Victor/Victoria (1982)

Victor Victoria (1982) Written and directed by Blake Edwards Julia Andrews as Victoria Grant and Robert Preston as Carole “Toddy” Todd Victoria: Ohhh God, I’ll never make it. Toddy: Now, listen to me. From the beginning we’ve had two major obstacles to overcome…. Victoria: My bosom. Toddy: …First, to convince everyone that you’re a man. (read…)

Steven Soderbergh’s “Magic Mike”

Darling Companion (2012)

Diane Keaton and Kasey in Lawrence Kasdan’s Darling Companion Photo by Wilson Webb, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics “Love is love. It doesn’t matter if it’s a dog.” So says Diane Keaton during an argument with her husband Kevin Kline in Lawrence Kasdan’s unassuming, stripped down and altogether lovely new film Darling Companion. The dog (read…)

Director Michael Tucker on his new Mixed Martial Arts doc “Fightville”

Documentarians Michael Tucker and Perta Epperlein became well-known within the documentary community upon the 2005 release of their first film, Iraq war documentary Gunner Palace. The film received mainstream press and attention for receiving a “PG-13” rating, despite over forty uses of the infamous f-word. Tucker and Epperlein documented the war from a series of (read…)

High Anxiety (1977)

High Anxiety (1977) Directed by Mel Brooks Cloris Leachman as Nurse Charlotte Diesel Nurse Diesel: Dinner is served promptly at eight in the private dining room. Those who are tardy do not get fruit cup.

Chimpanzee (2012)

“When I grow up, I want to be just like Dr. Zira.” It seems impossible the folks at Disneynature could’ve taken such wonderful nature cinematography and made such a horrible film out of it, but the results are there for all to see in their latest release Chimpanzee. Alastair Fothergill and Mark Linfield (the folks (read…)

The Bad Seed (1956)

The Bad Seed (1956) Directed by Mervyn LeRoy Patty McCormack as Rhoda Penmark and Henry Jones of Leroy Jessup Leroy: Do you know the noise the electric chair makes? It goes “Zzzt!” And when that juice hits you, it parts your hair neat! “Bzzzt!” Like lightnin’ struck ya! Rhoda: Oh, go on with your lawn (read…)

Jackson’s DVD Review of Steve McQueen’s “Shame” starring Michael Fassbender

After making its global premiere at the Venice Film Festival and winning the festival’s Best Actor award for Michael Fassbender (Inglourious Basterds), Shame was picked up by Fox Searchlight and tapped for an almost immediate awards season release. Shame went on to become a critical darling of sorts, with Fassbender, director Steve McQueen (Hunger), and (read…)

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)

She’s Gotta Have It (1986) Written and directed by Spike Lee Spike Lee as Mars Blackmon and Tracy Camilla Jones as Nola Darling Mars (talking on the phone): Yo. Happy birthday, Nola. It’s me, Mars. Nola: (laughs) Thank you, but I’m sleeping. Mars: Sleepin’? It’s your birthday, Nola! Let me ride my bike over there. (read…)

O Watercooler Boy

This week’s Watercooler Musical Interlude is Irish tenor Frank Patterson singing “Danny Boy” with a Tommy gun accompaniment by Albert Finney. According to David Morgan’s interview with Miller’s Crossing composer Carter Burwell in his book Knowing The Score: Film Composers Talk About the Art, Craft, Blood, Sweat, and Tears of Writing for Cinema, the Coens (read…)

The Cabin in the Woods (2012)

Eeegyahh! Zombie rednecks! Kept on the shelf for three years amid the turmoil of MGM’s financial woes, the Joss (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) Whedon-scripted Cabin in the Woods finally arrives in theaters fresh-faced and a little bit sassy. Dusting off the tired tropes of the teen slasher picture and knowingly reconfiguring them into a spryly (read…)

You Can Count on Me (2000)

You Can Count On Me (2000) Written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan Laura Linney as Sammy Prescott and Kenneth Lonergan as Father Ron. Sammy: Anyway, I don’t know what the church’s official position is on fornication and adultery these days. I felt really hypocritical not saying anything to you about it before, so… what is (read…)

All A Bir-r-r-d (1950)

All A Bir-r-r-d (1950) Directed by Isadore “Friz” Freleng Tweety voiced by Mel Blanc Tweety: Don’t I know you from somewhere?

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