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14 articles


Ask Nathaniel

2 hours ago

I recently hosted a gay book club where we talked "Call Me By Your Name" and the one guy who'd seen the movie refused to say anything about it. Argh. So that forthcoming adaptation is foremost on my mind. What's on yours? Give me some questions to answer, won'cha? Bonus points if the topics are romantic films and/or book adaptations. I'll select two handfuls to answer in forthcoming posts.

[Convalescence update: as some of you have heard I somehow threw my back out which accounts for the spare posting of late. It's hard to sit and type when you're in pain but I think I'm coming out of it now and dying to get back to movies. You can only watch so much This is Us and Younger and Defend--nah, that's too boring -- and eat so much ice cream and alternate so many heat pads and ice packs before you start to lose your Gd mind.] »

- NATHANIEL R

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Emmy Review: Drama Supporting Actress

12 hours ago

We've been reviewing various Emmy categories as the Academy completes their voting (ballots due Monday). Here's Spencer Coile...

It is an exciting change of pace to see the Drama categories actually become competitive this year. No race demonstrates this better than the Drama Supporting Actress category. After last year's batch of mostly Game of Thrones ladies (with Maggie Smith still sleepwalking her way to another victory), the six ladies this year feel fresh, new, and all worthy of discussion. Uzo Aduba is the only returning nominee (after missing the year before), so all six of the contenders in this category feel viable for the statue. Only one can be victorious »

- Spencer Coile

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Soundtracking: "The Bodyguard"

16 hours ago

Whitney: Can I Be Me debuts this Friday on Showtime. Chris Feil takes a look at the icon's biggest soundtrack...

The Bodyguard doesn’t deserve its iconic mega-selling soundtrack. Granted, most of us have never pretended that that the film was even a whiff as good as all that glorious vocal dexterity Whitney Houston lays into her six tracks. But rest assured: the movie itself is even worse than you remember.

Among its many sins, the most egregious is how it ignores its own musical assets. The Bodyguard exists in a world where you can enter someone’s home and just happen upon an extended dance sequence being shot for a music video - but it also presents a world where that isn’t anywhere near as fun as it sounds. It spends the first act under the illusion that we give a crap about five or six things more »

- Chris Feil

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Emmy Review: Outstanding Period/Fantasy Costumes

18 hours ago

by Nathaniel R

The television Academy split up the costume categories at the Emmys just a few years ago. Given that all awards bodies default to period work over contemporary work if they have a choice between the two (sigh) it's good that they did this. Now contemporary costumes will be able to actually win prizes! This period category, then, feels more like a continuation of the original Emmy category "Outstanding Costumes for a Series"

The nominees are »

- NATHANIEL R

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The Top 100 Comedies: Screwball Dames and Male Auteurs

22 August 2017 5:37 PM, PDT

by Seán McGovern

The limit of list culture is the absolute bias of the person compiling it (except of course the Dewey Decimal System which is without imperfection). To compile theirs, the BBC polled 253 film critics - 118 women and 135 men -  from 52 countries to determine what exactly are the "100 Greatest Comedies".

It's good to look at these lists to remind ourselves that since the majority of films are made by men, so too is the work that's considered both the funniest and the best. Right-on caveat aside, some great, female-centred comedies make the list: 2016's Toni Erdmann at 59; Mean Girls, which we can now call a modern classic, at 57; and Clueless (iconic) at a very healthy 34 »

- Seán McGovern

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link to the feeling

22 August 2017 1:00 PM, PDT

• Film Doctor UK good interview with a action film storyboard artist

• IndieWire David Ehrlich makes a great case that Oscar needs to change their rules about Original Song. "Cut to the Feeling" from Leap is not eligible (incidentally for the same reason "Come What May" wasn't eligible... originally written for something else and then unused for that something else)

• Variety Morgan Freeman will be this year's SAG Lifetime Achievement Recipient

• Nyt and Lat remember the career of movie & television star Jerry Lewis (Rip)

• Av Club more drama for that Han Solo movie. Michael K Williams, currently Emmy nominated for The Night Of, has had his entire part cut out.

• Deadline another new role for Roland Møller (in the action film Skyscraper). The Danish actor is hot hot hot after Land of Mine. You'll understand if you've seen that Oscar nominated picture

• The Guardian we're promised a definitive victor in the »

- NATHANIEL R

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Emmy Review: Best Actress, Limited Series or Movie

22 August 2017 10:30 AM, PDT

We've been reviewing Emmy categories. Voting concludes next Monday with the ceremony on September 17th.

by Eric Blume

Entertainment writers have been crowing for a while about this category, claiming that it looks more like a Best Actress Oscar list than it does an Emmy list.  And it’s true, this year’s six nominees include four women who have already won that Oscar, along with two of television’s biggest names.  It’s an embarrassment of riches: six interesting, surprising, deep performances from six formidable actors »

- Eric Blume

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Doc Corner: The Awe and Wonder of 'The Farthest'

22 August 2017 8:31 AM, PDT

by Glenn Dunks

There is a reason that filmmakers keep going back to space. The very concept of an ever-expansive mass of significant nothingness can inspire the mind in infinite ways. But whereas for many, the immediate idea is to resort to fireballs, aliens and standard hero versus villain storylines, I find myself far more attracted to those who turn towards the stars with a sense of wonder and awe. It is perhaps why I respond so well to documentaries like Roman Kroitor and Colin Low’s Universe (the short that inspired Kubrick’s 2001), Al Reinert’s For All Mankind, and now Emer ReynoldsThe Farthest, one of the year's finest.

Celebrating the 40-year anniversary of Nasa’s 1977 mission to send two Voyager satellites into space, this Irish documentary is a work of stunning beauty. A film that grapples with the concept of not just what this giant science experiment is, »

- Glenn Dunks

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would you rather...?

22 August 2017 5:00 AM, PDT

Time for another silly 'let's fantasize about hanging out with celebrities' game. Would you rather...

• visit South Africa with two of its most famous exports Charlize Theron and Trevor Noah?

• cheer Ashley Judd's cat on as it fully recovers from a near fatal attack?

• do goat yoga (there are so many kinds of yoga!) with Marisa Tomei?

• watch the eclipse with Diane Keaton, Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, and Mary Steenburgen?

• bask in the afterglow with Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally?

• mother kittens with Kristin Bauer?

• hang in Brooklyn in your pjs with Anna Kendrick?

• wish John Stamos a happy birthday suit?

pictures after the jump to help you decide. »

- NATHANIEL R

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Emmy Actors - Who Would You Vote For?

21 August 2017 7:18 PM, PDT

Though we've been reviewing various Emmy categories our team isn't nearly big enough to cover everything and who should suffer. Why the men of course since they just aren't as exciting as the actresses. But let's not just ignore them all together. That would be rude!

Who would you vote for in the male drama acting categories? Make a case for them in the comments. Let's discuss after the jump »

- NATHANIEL R

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No More Mara "Magdalene" This Year

21 August 2017 3:52 PM, PDT

Chris here. We've been dying to see Rooney Mara in Garth Davis's Lion follow-up Mary Magdalene ever since those set photos emerged of her smoking in costume. But unfortunately the wait is about to be longer: the Weinstein Co. just pushed the film off this year's release calendar. We suspected this news might be coming when the film wasn't showing up in any festival lineups, but now the news in confirmed.

However, this doesn't mean that Mary Magdalene is headed towards the same fate as their delayed-into-oblivion titles Suite Francaise and Tulip Fever (which will finally open wide Sept. 1 - allegedly). Weinstein Co. has simply pushed the film back to March 30, which will be appropriately timed for Easter weekend. Perhaps opening on the holiday will be a smart cash grab given the relevancy with the subject.

But the Weinstein's aren't giving up that prime November release date after the »

- Chris Feil

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Beauty vs Beast: Burbank in the Bubble

21 August 2017 10:26 AM, PDT

Jason from Mnpp here - just this morning I wished director Peter Weir (one of my favorites) a happy 73rd birthday on my own site, and it struck me that hitting up his 1998 classic The Truman Show (which at almost 20 years old can rightly be considered a "classic" now, can't it? God I am old) would make for a very fine installment of our "Beauty vs Beast" series. On the left we have Jim Carrey's second greatest performance as the manic man in the bubble Truman Burbank, and on the right we have one of Laura Linney's funniest supporting turns as his pretend wife turned hostage Meryl. And I know you all lean Lovely Linney (as a religion) but it's awfully hard to root for Meryl if you ask me...

Previously I'm actually a little bit surprised that you guys gave last week's Strangers on a Train competion »

- JA

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The Furniture: Who Should Win the Emmys for Production Design

21 August 2017 6:00 AM, PDT

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Last year, I made a pitch to the Academy of Television Arts and Science on the subject of production design. Hopefully you also remember that amazing table tennis parlor from Penny Dreadful. But what you might not remember is that not a single one of the nominees I recommended actually won. Not even Lemonade, about which I am still annoyed.

But here I am, one year later, trying again. Here’s who should win each of the five production design Emmys. (At least Game of Thrones isn’t eligible this year, or they’d be winning for the fourth year in a row.)

Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Contemporary or Fantasy Program (One Hour or More)

The Young Pope is almost dizzyingly lush. It’s here as a “contemporary” program, »

- Daniel Walber

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Weak Weekend Box Office - Did You Go To the Movies?

20 August 2017 7:52 PM, PDT

It was a rather tepid week and weekend at the box office aside from some milestones further down the list. Wonder Woman continues to break records despite falling out of the top 15. In its 12th weekend its just passed by Sam Raimi's Spider-Man (if you don't adjust for inflation) making it the top grossing origin story superhero film. In other happy news for fans, both Girls Trip and Baby Driver passed the important $100 million mark this week. The Girls Trip figure isn't as unusual as the internet seems to be  pretending -- how quickly people forget that The Color Purple, Hidden Figures and The Help, which all centered on black women, were megahits and two of those in the very recent past! But the Baby Driver milestone is rarer. It's a first for director Edgar Wright who has had a devoted fanbase for years but never quite crossed over in this way. »

- NATHANIEL R

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