Thursday, July 31, 2014

Every frame, like the pages of a good book...


Sometimes you start watching a movie and you are instantly transported to another time, another place, and you just know that the film is doing its job.  You’re invested.  Other times, you put on a film and you’re brought to another time and place in relation to your own life.  You’re given this nostalgic feeling that coats the way you embrace the film.  It touches you because it causes you to remember fonder times.  Still, other times, you put on a film and it transports you to another time and place with regard to cinema itself.  It recalls a past era of filmmaking, a time when films were crafted differently.

‘The Immigrant’ kind of does all three of those things.

For me, ‘The Immigrant’ reminds me very much of a period film made in the 80’s.  There is this overcoat of steamy, almost palpable sensuality that reminds me a lot of the soap operatic tones of many 80’s films.  It isn’t theatrical, but then again most of those films weren’t either.  They were suppressed in a way, and yet they exuded this cinematic sweat, if you can call it that.  The cinematography, use of light and color (all that yellow and orange) also call to mind the 80’s.  There is a musky vibrancy, an almost muted light that actually glistens on every frame.  There is no denying that the film takes place in the 20’s, for the world, that time, is captured with such authenticity, and yet the filmmaking feels like an homage to a much later time, when filmmaking was beginning to shift.

Growing up in the 80’s, early 90’s, I found myself recalling those night, nestled on the couch with my older sisters, as we secretly took in all those films my parents deemed too heavy for us.  I felt myself overcome by that warmth, that nostalgia.

You’re just somebody that I used to know; I think…


They say that everyone has a doppelganger.  They say that out there you have a double.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to meet them?

Oh wait, I’m mixing up my ‘double’ movies.  This isn’t ‘Enemy’.

Let’s start over.

Have you ever walked up to someone all excited, calling out a name, only to find that that person is not who you thought they were?  We’ve all done it.  I do it almost every week when my wife decides she’s going to wander Target and I have to try and locate her with three kids in tow.  But, I’m not really talking about that “they have the same color hair and I think that’s the shirt my wife was wearing this morning” kind of mistake.  I’m talking about those moments where you see someone from afar…you see their FACE…and you know that they are someone who they eventually wind up not being.  What if you swore it was someone who has died?  What if it was your dead husband?

Monday, July 28, 2014

The Ten Most Interesting Actresses Working Today


As with any list, this isn’t an exact science and it is something that could easily be altered tomorrow, but for some reason, I decided that I wanted to put down in writing a list of the ten most interesting actresses working in Hollywood today.  Note, this is not a list of the ten BEST actresses working today (although some of them would certainly constitute as such) but a list of the ones that I find the most interesting.  These are the actresses that I find to be challenging themselves from role to role; exploring new and fresh directors and characters.  They are actresses who I admire for their sheer aggression towards their craft.

So, while the rest of the world is swooning over Jennifer Lawrence and Shailene Woodley, I present to you the ten most interesting actresses Hollywood has to offer.

Oh, and before we get the rants from those suggesting that this list is too white and blonde, I just want to toss the conversation out there.  Finding women of color who are producing continually intriguing work is hard.  That isn’t to say that they aren’t out there, but they aren’t garnering the attention they deserve, thus not landing the roles they should be getting.  And while Zoe Saldana is certainly attempting to branch out, she’s not there yet, and Kerry Washington, who would have made this list a few years ago, is devoting her time to television pursuits, and this is about film.

But here’s to hoping that Lupita Nyong’o, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Carmen Ejogo and even Saldana can change things in the near future!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Winter is the best time of year to tell tall tales, right?


Back in July of last year I read and reviewed a book by the name of ‘Winter’s Tale’.  This 1983 cult classic by the author Mark Helprin was one of, if not THE, most rewarding reading experiences of my life.  Glistening with such profound insight, backstory and spiritual subtext, this science fiction novel of the supernatural kind was such a surprise for me.  Sitting down and opening up to page one, I had no idea what this story was about.  All I knew was that it had to do with true love, a flying horse and a villain that Russell Crowe was going to be playing in a movie sometime in the near future.

Yes, Crowe was my inspiration for seeking out the novel.

Now, I am not a stranger to the concept that film adaptations of complex novels are just never as good as the novel from which they stemmed, and so I was pretty much aware before I even sat down to watch ‘Winter’s Tale’ that it was going to pale in comparison.  I even made mention of that inevitability when I reviewed the novel last year.  I knew halfway through reading this book that there was just no way it could truly capture the grandeur, the majesty and the importance of this truly inspired and revolutionary tale.  I braced myself for epic disappointment, and based on the barrage of truly vitriol reviews, I had a feeling my premonitions were going to prove all too ‘on the nose’.

This movie is NOT awful.

Boarding the crazy train...


It feels weird to say that, when all was said and done, ‘Snowpiercer’ felt like the ‘Hunger Games’ for adults, without the Reality TV overtones, shot like an extended hallway sequence from ‘Oldboy’ (you know, the one where that guy kills all those people with a hammer) and an odd climax that reminded me of ‘The Matrix’.  What’s even weirder to me is the fact that this strange amalgam actually worked.  It is flawed, yes, and the more I reflect on those flaws the more they feel prominent, but I can’t help but feel like ‘Snowpiercer’ is one of those films we’ll all look back on fondly in years to come; a film that will establish a justified cult following and will become this tentpole for future ‘intelligent’ science fiction releases who want to deliver something unique and inspired to the audience.

With all the hoopla made over the trashy way that Weinstein Co. handled this distribution, I have to say that I’m seriously baffled he didn’t make a bigger deal of this film.  It has everything it needed to be a major blockbuster this year.  It has the reviews, the cast and the premise.  This is so much smarter than the barrage of senseless action flicks targeted at teenagers these days.  This has a political/social bite that makes it feel poignant, even when the plot holes are making the development of those themes feel somewhat incomplete.

But really, an apocalyptic action flick (because, this is pretty action packed, and the action is inspired and impressively shot) with a cast littered with box-office pulls (Evans, Swinton, Spencer, Harris and Bell all have their fan bases, but really…we all know that Captain America himself could have carried this to impressive heights).

But enough about that.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Twice a Best Actor Bloggers Roundtable: Marlon Brando


We’ve reached the week that I’ve personally been waiting for.  MARLON BRANDO!  Marlon Brando has a reputation that is one of the best in the business, and while his final film output can be seen as hokey and ridiculous, it’s a shame for any young film lover to watch something like The Island of Dr. Moreau and then decide that Brando was a hack.  Marlon Brando was one of the finest actors of any generation, and his ability to evoke such human emotion helped change the face of acting.

Now, I’ll be honest.  I was hoping that Brando would win this series.  I had my fingers crossed that the seemingly undefeatable Daniel Day-Lewis was come in second place, because at the end of the day Marlon Brando is just one of my all-time favorites.

I’m not so sure that happened…

If only he had won for A Streetcar Named Desire, like he so richly deserved…

Once again, our esteemed panel!

Alex from And So It Begins
Andrew from The Films the Thing
Drew from A Fistful of Films
Mario from Two Dollar Cinema
Shane from Film Actually

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nymphomaniac; the gift that keeps on giving!


Look what I just found!  What I want to know is, where is the eroticon for quivering bush?  

Trailer Break x's 5!!!

Let's cut a trailer!
So, while the rest of the world is collectively masturbating to the new Fifty Shades of Grey trailer, let's take a few minutes to remember that we forgot that movie was even being made and talk about five other trailers floating around the web right now and collecting some varied attention.  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: Under the Skin


Alright, my participation in this wonderful series has been so embarrassingly spotty, but I couldn't NOT participate this week.  I almost forgot (not sure if I'm late yet) but thanks to Sati's glorious post, I was reminded that this was due today.

I'm just going to get into this.  If you haven't seen this film, see it now.  If you have seen this film, then you know why anyone who hasn't seen it needs to see it now.  There are few films I can recall that are this visceral, this haunting.

For me, it was really easy to select my favorite shot.  In fact, while watching the movie there was one moment, one look, one 'shot' that I knew when I saw it that it would last with me forever.  The reason for this is that it, for me, marked the film's thematic evolution.  It was this pivotal moment when everything that came before suddenly shifted into what was about to come.

And here it is...

Monday, July 21, 2014

2013 Fisti Awards are COMPLETE!

Hugs of comfort all around when Ejiofor and Nyong'o realized they were 12 Years a Slave's only nominations...
Well, I've been posting here as I get my ballots up, but I decided to just buckle and post all of the techs today.  They are all up and ready for your eyes!  I'm so excited to hear your thoughts on all the categories.  I know that it's late in the year, but I finally got around to seeing everything I plan on seeing from the year, at least for now.  So hop on over, give it a gander, and comment away!

Fisti Awards for 1987, 1971 and 1997 are currently in the works, so be on the lookout for those as well.

A Fistful of Thoughts...about icons who have left us, interesting movie buzz and some TV awesomeness!


You know the drill by now.  Let's just get into it!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Twice a Best Actor Bloggers Roundtable: Fredric March


It's Friday, which means that it is time for another episode of Twice a Best Actor!  I hope you've been following along during this series, but if you haven't, just click the link above for access to all of the previous posts.  We are nearing the backside of this series, and it has really been a lot of fun.  So much fun, in fact, that I'm tempted to ask these amazing bloggers to do this with me again...

;-)

This week we are talking about the lesser known Fredric March.  This isn't to say that people don't know his name, but of all the Two Time Lead Actor Oscar winners, he's probably the one that the least amount of people have seen the films from.  I think what I love most about this pairing is the fact that these two performances are SO incredibly different.  I'm not professing love for either of these performances (you'll have to read through for my grades) but I do love the fact that these performances at least show some range.

Once again, our awesome panel:

Alex from And So It Begins
Andrew from The Films the Thing
Drew from A Fistful of Films
Mario from Two Dollar Cinema
Shane from Film Actually

Thursday, July 17, 2014

6 Degrees of Separation Blogathon


Nostra, over at My Filmviews, has yet another exciting blogathon for his fellow bloggers to engage in!  This time, he tackling the concept of '6 Degrees of Separation'.  Basically, the theory is that you can link anyone to any person in the world using six steps.  

Didn't this all start with Kevin Bacon?

Anyways, Nostra has pre-assigned six bloggers the task of connecting two movie related items (actors/directors/films) and then they will take the endgoal and use that as the start of another pairing, passing the baton to another blogger.  

This is such a cool idea, and I'm really honored to have been selected for this.  It doesn't hurt that Nostra assigned me a really cool pairing (so different) and my starting point happens to be one of my favorite things about film, period!

So let's get this started.

Trailer Break: Mommy


Any follower of this site will know that I am an absolute lover of Xavier Dolan.  I've made this clear over the past year as I swooned over his last film, Laurence Anyways (technically, Tom at the Farm is his last film, but that has of yet to get a stateside release).  Since the rapturous Cannes reaction for Mommy, I've had this as my #1 anticipated film in whatever year it actually gets released over here.  This trailer has me hooked.  I've heard that the music isn't used in the film, and I will admit that the choices seem odd (although I love me some Ellie Goulding) but who cares.  This movie looks beautiful!

Of note, the film is shot at a 1:1 ratio, unlike most films that are released in theaters at 1.85.  Here is some insight, straight from Dolan's mouth, as to why he decided to shoot this in that square format.

Blind Spot Series 2014: Brief Encounter


I wasn't planning on watching this film this early in the month, but it just happened.  I couldn't resist.  As soon as I finished my entry for last month, I wound up starting this movie and about two minutes in turned it off and told myself to be strong.  I was strong, for a spell.

I'm just going to jump right into this one.  This was just an astonishing film, and one that I feel a very strong urge to watch again, tonight.

For reference, here are my previous Blind Spot entries:

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

2013 Fisti Awards: Lead Performances


I've already posted them on the 2010's Fisti Page, but let's take a few minutes to talk about my personal picks for the best of the best in the Lead Acting categories.  This year was so rich in these categories that it became really hard to narrow these down, but at the end of the day, I'm really happy with these ballots and these wins.  Of Oscar's nominated ten, I've seen all but three (Dern, Dench, Streep) and I personally nominate four (two in each category).

Defining Lead can be full of gray areas, sure, and some will balk at my Lead Actor win because he was considered Supporting all year long by so many, but I never bought it.  It is also one of those rare times when a truly romantic/comedic performance takes the gold from some much heavier roles.  

Maybe there is some bias there, but whatever.

Let's just look at the ballot!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

2013 Fisti Awards: Supporting Performances


First, I just want to say that finding a non-pornographic gif of Lea Seydoux was nearly impossible.

Moving on.

So, it's time to explore the Supporting categories for the Fisti Awards.  I had very different reactions to each of these categories.  In Supporting Actress, I had a clear top three who I absolutely loved, and then a rotation of about six or seven performances that I liked but didn't really LOVE in the same way.  It was hard to decide which ones to nominate because I wasn't wholly passionate about them.  They are all very good performances, so it's not like I hate my nominees, but it was a very different feeling than finalizing Supporting Actor, where I struggled to narrow my list of twelve down.  In fact, narrowing the list to twelve was hard enough.

The category was bursting with exceptional performances.

So, let's just take a crack at this:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Twice a Best Actor Bloggers Roundtable: Jack Nicholson


We've finally reached the middle of our Bloggers Roundtable!  We've discussed four actors double wins so far (Day-Lewis, Hoffman, Cooper, Sean Penn) and we have four more after today (March, Brando, Hanks, Tracy).  So, today, with Jack Nicholson, we are smack dab in the middle!

It's been a really fun time getting together with some awesome bloggers to rewatch (or watch for the first time) and review the Oscar wins of some very prolific names in the acting community.  We don't always agree (you know, except for last week), but we always have a great time, and the varied opinions have only made this panel so much fun to work with!

So, let's talk about Jack Nicholson.  Jack is one of the most famous faces in Hollywood, and for good reason.  He's an incredible presence in film.  Feel how you may about his brand of acting, but you'll never forget his face or his swagger (yes, he has swagger).  He just consumes every film he's in.  Sometimes this is a blessing, sometimes a curse.

But let's talk about the times that Oscar fell for him!

Again, our panel:

Alex from And So It Begins
Andrew from The Films the Thing
Drew from A Fistful of Films
Mario from Two Dollar Cinema
Shane from Film Actually

Thursday, July 10, 2014

I present to you, Oscar's 2014 Best Picture winner!


I've been saying this since my very first predictions, but Unbroken is going to SLAY with the Oscars (I predicted 9 noms and 5 wins back in April).  Since then, I haven't wavered a bit.  Unbroken is, as far as I'm concerned, way ahead of the pack.  So many have raised concerns regarding it's chances (Too Oscary to succeed!  Unproven director!  This isn't the 90's anymore!) and yet I've stuck to my guns.

Watch the damn trailer.

I not only still believe that this is taking Picture and Director in a WALK, but we're looking at another Screenplay win for the Coen brothers, Deakins' and Desplat's first Oscar wins, some sound Oscars and, if the stars align correctly (which I have a feeling they could), a very Brody-esque win in Lead Actor for Jack O'Connell.  He looks incredible here, and the scope of this character (BAIT!) is going to be undeniable.  If Into the Woods bombs (and it very well could), watch out for this to sweep, with wins for Costume and Art Direction as well.

I've been calling it since the year's beginning, it's about time you join me.  


A Fistful of Thoughts...about really hot actresses, really bad ideas and the future of the movies!


So, on this week was fun.  I had no idea what I was going to talk about outside of possibly Joel Edgerton's eye-liner and that new Tusk poster (which is incredible) and then today happened and a lot of stuff fell into place and the poster got bumped (but we will always have time for Edgerton) and we now have a Top Five that I'm particularly excited to talk about.

And for the record, Kirsten Dunst and Katie Holmes are BORING!  I mean, Kiki gets blasted for being anti-feminist and she simply laughs it off, and Holmes has the chance to dish big time on how crazy her ex-husband is and all she can do is say she's a devoted mother.  Yeah, I was going to talk about you but...

Moving on:

2013 Fisti Awards: Screenplays


So, we're pushing forward with the Fisti Awards for 2013 with the screenplays.  These were hard for me to narrow down this year, especially in Original Screenplay.  There was just so much to choose from, and so many smartly crafted screenplays that touched on subjects that are common in film yet rarely broached with such depth.  I could have gone for a top nine in Original Screenplay rather easily.

A few clarifications to the way that I look at screenplays before getting started.  I don't consider sequels to be Adapted, thus the exclusion of Before Midnight in the Adapted Screenplay category.  In all honesty, I almost fudged my own rule because I wanted to nominate it, and for me Adapted Screenplay was much weaker this year than Original (and there was just no room in Original Screenplay for it).  Now, I do consider Frozen to be Adapted (no matter how loosely), as well as Short Term 12 (which was an extension of a short film made two years prior).

With that said, here are my nominees:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

2013 Fisti Awards: Film Editing


Moving along in the Fisti Awards, let's take a minute to talk about Film Editing.  A film is truly made or broken in the editing room, because this is where the whole tone of a film can be created.  If scenes are too long they can lose their impact, but if they are too short they can lack all impact desired.  It takes a really keen eye, one attune to what the director is looking for, to make something stellar out of the miles of film they are given.

Oscar tends to go for the VERY flashy here, or default to the Best Picture frontrunners, but as you'll see from my lineup, I only nominate two of my Best Picture nominees here, and none of my nominees are particularly flashy (with one notable exception).  While films like American Hustle and The Wolf of Wall Street had a lot of style gracing their scenes, they were films that suffered from a little too much film.

Also, I want to note that for a while I was taken in by the severe editing style used for Captain Phillips, and it was a nominee (and a contender for the Fisti) for quite some time.  But then I rewatched the film and it became clear to me that the editing, while edgy and very notable, was just not enough.  The film needed a tighter rein.  I love the movie, but it's about twenty minutes too long, especially on a second watch.

So, this is what I came up with:

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Your skin is dripping with subtext...


I’m just going to be honest with everyone for a minute.  If I was walking alone on a road in the dead of night and a white van that looked suspiciously like the ones child molesters and rapists drive pulled up alongside me and it was revealed that Scarlett Johansson was behind the wheel, dressed like a prostitute, and she began to inquire about my home life, where I was from, if I lived with anyone (that sort of thing) and then she offered me a lift and we wound up back at her place, I would pretty much know that I was about to die and yet I would still readily walk inside, take off all my clothes, and strut my stuff.

It’s Scarlett Johansson.  You don’t say no; ever.

All joking aside, the above paragraph is pretty much what happens for the first half of this film and yet for some reason it still works in a way that completely entranced me and has me thinking that I’ve finally seen the first REAL masterpiece of 2014.

Get into position and take it like a man...


I find it a little amusing that lately, the topic of Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy has come up between my wife and I and our families.  The conversations have never stemmed from this movie, but the fact remains that they have been had, and quite frequently.  While most cases reported of this type of abuse come in extreme forms, or at least those are the kinds that we tend to talk about, I couldn’t help but recall this movie every time the conversation came up.

Less direct, just as damaging.

Basically, MSbP describes the exaggeration, fabrication or deliberate inducement of physical or psychological harm to those who are in their care.  Mostly, this is associated with parent/child treatment and the need for attention the parents feed off of, causing them to abuse their children in order to remain in the limelight. 

“Look how much suffering I’m enduring for the sake of my child!”

Monday, July 7, 2014

Poster Break: Fathers and Daughters


So, it's still 2014 and this year's Oscar race hasn't even started yet, but that has never once before stopped us from talking about Russell Crowe, aka God.  I've been silently awaiting news on Fathers and Daughters for months now, since the idea of this film and the Oscar prospects it could bring Crowe's way delights me.  Now we finally have a poster.  At first glance, it is rather simple.  Two heads, light undiscernable backdrop, crying child.  Still, there is something here that screams BACKSTORY and it is really pulling me in.  That backstory obviously involves the mental breakdown that Crowe's character undergoes in the film (OSCAR!!!) and so I'm all for finding it all out.  Gabriele Muccino may not be the most reliable director, but he has a style that could sway towards Academy voters.  He directed Will Smith to an Oscar nomination back in 2006, and his films back in his home country of Italy have received better ink than his American fare.  The last thing he directed was that panned Playing for Keeps, but this premise and cast is promising.  I'm holding out all hope for Crowe's eventual reunion with Oscar.  He deserves it.

2013 Fisti Awards: Best Director


Well, I'm slowly but surely getting around to composing and publishing my personal awards (the Fistis) for 2013.  I know that I'm late to this, but whatever.  If you caught my post (and poll) last week, you already know my lineup for Best Picture.  Now, I put to my readers the idea of extending my personal ballots to six nominees instead of five, considering that my Best Picture lineup consists of six this year, but since the results were not swayed heavily either way, I've decided to keep the norm at five.  Now that the glass ceiling has been shattered though, we may see some 'exceptions' to rules more often.

So, now that we've discussed Best Picture (and if you haven't weighed in, please click the above link and do so), let's talk about my nominated directors.  I've posted them on my 2010's Fisti Page, but for the sake of this post, here they are:

Trailer Break: Gone Girl


Yeah, this looks incredible.  Fincher is in it to win it.  I still feel like Unbroken is walking away with everything, but a friend likened this to The Departed after seeing this trailer and I'm started to wonder if that could be the case.  Could AMPAS actually consider rewarding Fincher for going back to his roots and showing everyone how it's done?  I've already moved over to predicted Pike as our Best Actress winner, so if this becomes a huge commercial success then I could see it pulling in far more than initially expected, especially since I was so skeptical of even his chances at a nom earlier this year.  

But dare I get my hopes up?

The Ten Most Influential Directors of All Time...


I've been waiting to get my hands on this particular relay race.  I love exploring a director's body of work and seeing how influential they have become to the masses of new age directors coming up to take the reigns.  So many incredible directors have paved the way for the influx of inspired directors we have making movies today.  P.T. Anderson, Joe Wright, David Fincher, Steve McQueen, Xavier Dolan, Rian Johnson, Sophia Coppola...the list goes on and on.  One day (and possibly even now) these newish directors will be influencing their own followers, but for now we can focus on the directors who spent a lifetime (sort of) making it possible for these new guys to step up to the plate.

Now, this relay was started by John over at Hitchcock's World, and since then we've seen it take shape in unexpected ways.  I like the way that this is shaping up.

I'm going to go ahead and rank the current ten, so as to make my decision clearer.

Five for the Fifth: my answers to Ruth's questions...


Every month, on the fifth of the month, Ruth over at Flixchatter has a special post entitled 5 for the Fifth, where she asks us five entertainment related questions to gather our opinions on them.  I generally try and respond with my own post exploring my answers to those questions, mostly because it's fun to elaborate and her questions are always so interesting.   is special, for she asked me to be a quest for her post and so I got to ask a question!

Wait for it...

Friday, July 4, 2014

Twice a Best Actor Bloggers Roundtable: Daniel Day-Lewis


So, we’re back from our week hiatus and coming full force with the one we all knew was going to pretty much blow away the competition (until Marlon Brando week comes around).  Yes, Daniel Day-Lewis week is here!  Now, this was hard for me.  I, personally, find Daniel Day-Lewis to be one of the most overrated actors out there, and had he won for some of his other nominations (like Gangs of New York or In the Name of the Father) I could have easily expounded on that overrated status…but alas, this isn’t about the actor but the performances he actually won for, and those performances were pretty outstanding.

Now, we aren’t going to discuss his win for Lincoln, because this is about becoming a TWO-time Lead Oscar winner.

Again, here is our panel!

Alex from And So It Begins
Andrew from The Films the Thing
Drew from A Fistful of Films
Mario from Two Dollar Cinema
Shane from Film Actually

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Sadly, that one thing was missing...


Last year I promised to indulge myself in the many documentaries that were getting buzz and good ink throughout the year.  The documentary is a genre that I often unfairly ignore, and I understand that in order for me to embrace film as a whole, I need to embrace all avenues.  Just like my gradual warming to the Animated Film genre, it took me a while to fully embrace the Documentary, but once I did my love truly soared.

What I found this year were a number of documentary features that tried unique ways to explore a troubled past/present, and three of them found themselves with Oscar’s stamp of approval (all of them losing to those soul singing sistas).  ‘The Square’, which was my favorite of Oscar’s nominees, was the most conventionally told documentary in the mix, but it explored the current political unrest in Egypt with such passion and understanding.  ‘The Act of Killing’ was not a film that really sat well with me.  Exploring the Indonesian atrocities from a truly cinematic and artistic vantage point seemed like an inspired idea, and yet it didn’t really strike the chords I think it wanted to; at least not for me.

‘The Missing Picture’ rests somewhere in the middle.

The Ten Biggest Stars of Classical Hollywood Relay Race


Well, John over at Hitchcock's World must be a machine, because he's been churning out blogathon after blogathon lately, and now he's added an interesting Relay Race to the mix.  This one follows the same formula as the one's we've all seen circling the web (and been awaiting our turn to participate in), but this one deals with the actors and actresses who started the whole Hollywood era!  

Yup, the only requirement here is that the actors or actresses included had to have had their heyday (or at least their start) during that classical period of 1930-1960, and what a bounty of riches is to be found there!

So far we've had the participation of Hitchcock's World (obviously), Dell on Movies and The Cinematic Spectacle.  Josh has been so kind as to lend to baton to me, and I'm totally running with this one, because I instantly knew who I was going to add, and who I was going to remove.

Let's do this!

A Fistful of Links...


A great post comes in all shapes and sizes.  Here are some of my favorites, for various reasons...

JDBRecords delivers some July 1st tunes!

Keith & The Movies runs down his top five films of the year so far.  What do you think?  I've only seen two of his top five, but I really liked both of them.

And So It Begins delivers a great Top Fifteen...the most unreliable narrators in cinema.  I just love his blog!

My Filmviews wants to know if you've ever had a hard time reviewing another movie.  I know I have.  Sometimes a film is just...unreviewable, right?

Flixchatter shares with us her favorite scores by John Powell.  I love it when the spotlight is shed on a name we may not be familiar with, but should be!

Fandango Groovers discusses the BBFC rating for Black Swan, the complaints from parents and the similarities to the vastly superior (in my eyes) The Red Shoes.

Rambling Film hate watches True Blood and runs down her feelings on the first season of Fargo!

The Matinee celebrates Canada Day with the best films Canada has to offer.  Three times the Sarah Polley!!!

Cinematic Corner breaks down the visual parallels of Sleeping Beauty and Melancholia.  Brilliant post, for sure.

There are so many reviews floating around the blogosphere every week.  Here are some of my favorites:

Film Actually reviews the 1963 classic, Cleopatra.  Yeah, I said classic.  No, I didn't mean it.  But really, it's rather beautiful and Burton and Harrison give tremendous performances!  

The Soul of the Plot reviews High Noon!  Yup, the same High Noon we've been talking about here on the bloggers roundtable.

Two Dollar Cinema just posted his endless post for Endless Love.  I think I'm in love.

Girl Meets Cinema takes on the underrated gem of 2013, Saving Mr. Banks!

Surrender to the Void reviews...UNDERCOVER BROTHER!  O.M.G.  It's been years since I've seen this shameless guilty pleasure.

Flick Chicks are rounding up the month of June by posting a trivia page for all the films they've reviewed this month.  I love this idea!  I can't wait to keep up with these posts!

There are so many blogathons and bloggers relays and blogging roundtables blogging polls taking place right now, but here are a few to keep track of!

The Cinematic Spectacle just passed the baton to me over at the Ten Biggest Stars of Classical Hollywood Relay Race.  I can't wait to tackle this.  I already know who I'm adding (and I'm sure he does too).

Dell On Movies has just started the Against the Crowd Blogathon.  This is going to be a lot of fun.  Time to rip Forrest Gump a new one!!!

The Film Experience has made Hit Me With Your Best Shot a permanent part of the blog, and I love this idea (although sadly I don't get to participate in so many of them), so I'm linking his upcoming lineup to hopefully light my own fire, and yours as well.

French Toast Sunday is inviting all to participate in Spielberg in July!

Tit for Tat continues his rundown of the MTV VMAs for Best Female Video with 2012!  Um, Rihanna and Rihanna and more Rihanna please.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

2013 Fisti Updates (and a poll)


Well, it's finally time to announce the official Fisti Awards for the year that was 2013.  I'm always late to publishing these because it takes me so long to see everything I want to see before finalizing my awards.  I've seen 101 films, and have reviewed them all here.  My review for The Missing Picture (film #101) will be up by the end of the week.  So, now that I have met my quota it is time to compile my awards and publish them on the 2010's Fisti Awards Page.  

To begin with, let's talk Best Picture.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July Oscar Predictions!


So, this month has quite a bit of change happening in the predictions.  First, The Imitation Game is rising in the ranks due to the response from the last screening and the comparisons made to A Beautiful Mind.  Notices for Cumberbatch were huge and the overall response was very positive.  It looks like this could be Weinstein's pony and NOT Big Eyes, which had a very mixed response and looks to be very divisive, leaning towards the ridiculed.  I'm also losing a bit of faith in Macbeth's overall pull with Oscar, considering the director and the subject (when was the last time Shakespeare did well with these guys) and yet, something about it makes me really want to root for it (OK, everything about it makes me want to really root for it).

The real change this month comes in the form of Selma, the Martin Luthor King Jr. biopic being released in time for Oscar play.  I started off extremely skeptical, but this could really be a HUGE player with Oscar, and so I'm warming to it.

The poster released yesterday for Foxcatcher has me thinking that Tatum is going to be pushed in the Lead category after all, but I'm leaving him in Supporting for now.

For now.