My in-laws have been spending the week with us. Mostly this is just swell as they are wonderful people who have been very kind to me in the 14 years that I’ve been involved with their daughter. They make great sitters for my daughter as well. It really is nice to have them around, but it does wreak havoc on parts of my life. This is especially true of my entertainment consumption. There are lots of things I cannot watch when they are around. Part of this is simply that I’m in the middle of a series and they won’t
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This week's releases include a highly acclaimed science fiction movie, several complete television collections, an HBO special, and more.
Something to pick up with that money you get from returning inwanted Xmas gifts.
Criterion starts 2014 with four new releases. Three are by directors who see an increase of their work added to the Collection. Those titles are Rainer Werner Fassbinder's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant, Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg, and Preston Sturges' The Palm Beach Story. Expanding the number of female directors, Lucrecia Martel makes her Criterion debut with her feature-film debut, La ciénaga. Also scheduled is the high-definition digital restoration of Kihachi Okamoto's The Sword of Doom. The Sword of Doom (#59) out Jan 6 in Blu-ray Editions Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune star in the story of a
The film matched all of the promise of the concept.
I like the idea of X-Men more than I usually like the execution. The mutant concept with all of the different and interesting powers coming from genetics is really neat. I also love that the ideas behind the mutants can be connected philosophically to our fights against racism and homophobia, but can also connect to anyone, individually, who doesn’t fit in. It's comic book heroes with an important message that’s also super cool. Unfortunately, the execution of this concept hasn’t always paid off for me. I’ve seen all the Hollywood movies and while I’ve enjoyed them as big blockbuster summer-type
What scary movies will you be watching?
When the sun goes down on Halloween things will get very dark as EPIX’s “DreadFest” Halloween Marathon presents a series of blood-curdling horror films from 8:00 pm ET Friday, October 31st until 8:00 pm ET Sunday, Nov. 2nd. The scares begin with the 1976 classic, The Town That Dreaded Sundown, followed by the World Television Premiere of the newest version of the film, from horrormeisters Ryan Murphy (American Horror Story) and Jason Blum (Paranormal Activity). The flicks and treats continue with World War Z, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, I, Frankenstein, Carrie (2013), You’re Next, Texas Chainsaw, The Cabin in
Check out the trailers for two upcoming Disney releases.
At the New York Comic Con, attendees of the Disney panel got to see presentations for upcoming releases for Tomorrowland and Big Hero 6, and now they are available for all to see below. Tomorrowland Official Boilerplate: From Disney comes two-time Oscar-winner Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, a riveting mystery adventure starring Academy Award® winner George Clooney. Bound by a shared destiny, former boy-genius Frank (Clooney), jaded by disillusionment, and Casey (Britt Robertson), a bright, optimistic teen bursting with scientific curiosity, embark on a danger-filled mission to unearth the secrets of an enigmatic place somewhere in time and space known only as
I can't wait for my little girl to grow up with me and movies.
There is a fairly constant discussion in my home over the television. Or rather how much of it my child should be watching. There are lots of studies, blogs, and opinions on the matter with a great many who will tell you that she shouldn’t watch any. TV is the opiate of the masses, the boob-tube, a bad babysitter, etc. It rots the brain. My wife and I sometimes side with those thoughts and try to not let her watch any. Except when we do. Which is often. Sometimes you just have to. Like when you are trying to clean
The truth? Who can handle the truth?
Focus Features has just debuted two riveting new clips from their upcoming film, Kill The Messenger. Based on based upon the books Dark Alliance by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb, and Kill the Messenger by Nick Schou, the official synopsis of the new dramatic thriller set for release on October 10th, 2014 reads: Two-time Academy Award-nominee Jeremy Renner (The Bourne Legacy) leads an all-star cast in a dramatic thriller based on the remarkable true story of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Gary Webb. Webb stumbles onto a story which leads to the shady origins of the men who started the crack epidemic
The theme this year will explore how cinema has shaped how we view - and remember - history.
Turner Classic Movies (TCM) has set March 26-29 for the 2015 TCM Classic Film Festival, the sixth annual gathering of legendary stars, award-winning filmmakers and classic movie fans from around the globe. TCM has also unveiled the theme for the four-day event, which in 2015 will explore History According to Hollywood. Passes for the latest edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival are set to go on sale this November. TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will once again serve as official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM's Ben Mankiewicz introducing various events. Many of the
Alex Trebek Looks at Africa through Hollywood's Eyes As Host of TCM's Friday Night Spotlight in October
What is programming for armchair travelers in October?
Award-winning television host and passionate world traveller Alex Trebek is going to take classic movie fans on a trip through Africa, as seen through Hollywood's eyes, when he hosts Turner Classic Movies' (TCM) Friday Night Spotlight in October. Four Fridays during the month, the longtime host of Jeopardy! will introduce a collection of films set in the sprawling continent, from beloved classics like The African Queen (1951) and Casablanca (1942) to more contemporary favorites like Out of Africa (1985), The English Patient (1996) and, making its first appearance on TCM, Gorillas in the Mist (1988). Each night of Friday Night
Love usually leads to trouble.
Adapted from Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel of the same name, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's next film finds him reteaming with Joaquin Phoenix in a comedic mystery set in Los Angeles 1970. Private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello (Phoneix) gets involved in the disappearance of land developer Mickey Wolfmann (Eric Roberts), the married boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston). The film premieres at the New York Film Festival on October 4, is set for an award-qualifying limited release beginning December 12, and then goes wide on January 9, 2015. After watching the star-studded trailer, let us know your reaction
I'm not at all a foodie, but I'd like to be.
In college, I had a friend who majored in theater. One day he hit me up to help him out with a project. It was for his directing class and I was to be his actor. It was no big deal, he assured me, as I wasn’t meant to really act. This assignment was all about staging - where to place bodies to create an interesting picture from the audience. I didn’t need to memorize lines or nothing. I agreed and my friend Kellie and I spent a couple of days with Charlie learning where to stand when we said
Cartoon fans will rejoice at the latest offerings from the Archive.
Warner Archive Collection (WAC) and Warner Archive Instant (WAI) continue to serve as hosts to some of the most treasured animated productions of the past half-century. The most seasoned animation fan can find plenty of WAC and WAI offerings to their liking, running the gamut from Blu-ray releases of recent super hero favorites like Young Justice, Beware the Batman and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, to classic 1950s and 1960s cartoons like Hanna-Barbera’s Loopy Da Loop and the landmark anime series Marine Boy, to the playful silliness of the 1980s with Shirt Tales and Gilligan’s Planet. All of these
Will you answer the call?
Rust never sleeps and netiher does Neil Young, who has released a brand new studio recording titled, "Who's Gonna Stand Up?," via NeilYoung.com. It is featured on his upcoming album, STOREYTONE, which will be released this November. The song was originally performed at a Crazy Horse show in the U.K. this summer and more recently was part of Young's solo acoustic set at Farm Aid this past Sept 13th, at Walnut Creek Amphitheater in Raleigh North Carolina. The audience did indeed stand up and sing along in unison in support of the song's plea to end our dependence of fossil
Check out the great slate of movies SMC has planned.
Creatures of the night take over October, as Sony Movie Channel unleashes a “Killer Thursdays” block loaded with tricks and treats every week at 10 p.m. ET. The lineup features genre icon Tony Todd in the Clive Barker classic CANDYMAN (October 2); Tom Atkins fights alien parasites in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (October 9); Stephen King’s feline terror SLEEPWALKERS (October 16); Tobin Bell in BOOGEYMAN 2 (October 23); old favorites get a modern twist in the ‘06 thriller WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE: THE NEXT GENERATION, starring Matthew McConaughey and Renée Zellweger (October 30); and more. The
Some Christmas present options for the cinephile in the family.
In December, Criterion offers new 2K digital restorations of Liliana Cavani's bizarre love story, The Night Porter, and Terry Gilliam’s time-travel fantasy, The Time Bandits. It also welcomes to the collection Todd Haynes' acclaimed second feature, Safe. The latest addition to the Eclipse Series is Kinoshita and World War II, a five-film set of Japanese director Keisuke Kinoshita's early work, which includes collects Port of Flowers, The Living Magoroku, Jubilation Street, Army, and Morning for the Osone Family The Night Porter (#59) out Dec 9 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions In this unsettling drama from Italian filmmaker Liliana Cavani (Ripley’s
The Exorcist: The Complete Anthology and Halloween: The Complete Collection Are the Picks of the Week
As Halloween creeps near its time to start bringing out the big horror collections.
A couple of years back I decided to finally sit down and watch the notoriously graphic horror movie A Serbian Film. My wife was at work so she couldn’t complain and my daughter was maybe 9 or 10 months old and also unable to protest. I like horror movies. I have since I was a teen. I even dig some of the really gory stuff. Or at least I like to be able to say I've watched the grossest of the gross. So it was with A Serbian Film. Its reputation as one of the nastiest films ever made only
An assortment of movies from the classic Hollywood era with the spotlight shining on Rita Hayworth, the Durango Kid, and spooky films.
getTV conjures a monster marathon loaded with witches, ghosts, vampires, and a slew of genre icons, on Friday, October 31. The mayhem begins at 7 p.m. ET, as James Stewart becomes bewitched and bewildered by Kim Novak in BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE; bombs resurrect Bela Lugosi in THE RETURN OF THE VAMPIRE; Peter Cushing gets back to business in THE REVENGE OF FRANKENSTEIN; THE WEREWOLF goes on the prowl; and a family moves in with 13 GHOSTS in the original William Castle classic. Thursdays in October, getTV pays tribute to the incomparable Rita Hayworth, with a special block every week
David Lynch's bizarre, brilliant masterpiece gets the Criterion make-over.
People always carry on about how wonderful children are - how amazing and beautiful they can be, how they change your life and show you what love truly is. Mostly I find all that crap to be B.S., but there is some truth in how they change your life. Before I had a kid I actually had a life. Now I spend every waking moment feeding, cleaning up after, bathing, changing, and otherwise taking care of the little rugrat. I love my daughter more than anything in this entire universe, but I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days
Despite not liking a good number of his books, I can't help but love Nick Hornby.
I first heard of Nick Hornby through the movie version of his musically obsessed book High Fidelity. The film stars John Cusack as Rob, a down-on-his-luck, record-store owner whose entire life has been influenced by pop songs and who tends to spend his day making mix tapes for pretty girls and Top Five lists of favorite every things. After watching that film, pretty much all of my friends turned to me and mentioned that it must have been based on my life. That’s not true, of course, but it could have been. Certainly large chunks of my life have been
Please read and comment upon my TIFF itinerary.
The 39th Annual Toronto Internationa Film Festival runs from Sept 4-14, and I, your humble correspondent, will be heading to the Queen City for a few days to feast on films. The titles listed below, accompanied by brief synopses, are the ones I plan on attending. Follow me on twitter at ElBicho_CS for snap judgements and witty reactions to the films and other goings-on at the festival. Full reviews will be posted on the site at a later date. Which of these sound interesting to you? Sunday September 7 The New Girlfriend - After the death of her best friend,
Are you free on Fridays?
Every Friday in September, Turner Classic Movies (TCM) is heading back in time to the pre-Code era, before American films fell under the censor's eye and began to avoid topics and situations that were considered morally dubious. TCM will shine a light on this freewheeling cinematic period, presenting a weekly 24-hour festival of pre-Code movies, with award-winning actor Alec Baldwin and TCM's Robert Osborne set to introduce the primetime lineups as part of TCM's Friday Night Spotlight. Pre-Code Hollywood is the era in the American film industry between the introduction of sound in the late 1920s and the strict enforcement
This week brings some good TV and some classic monsters.
It seems like forever since I’ve had a really challenging pick of the week. Hardly at all this summer have I had to really choose between two or three items that I was really interested in. More than once the picks have been between something kind of interesting and something else that might be ok. It not that there hasn’t been anything that I think will be good, and looking back on the things I did pick I recognize there’s been some really nice releases. But I don’t recall a week where I was blown away by all the great
Throughout the month of September, “The Stephen King Collection” will feature some of the author's most memorable films.
ENCORE presents “The Stephen King Collection” featuring 19 different, uncut films dedicated to one of the most prolific horror writers of all time - Stephen King - every night starting Monday,September 1st at 8pm ET/PT only on ENCORE. ENCORE kicks off the month long celebration with the 1980 classic, The Shining starring Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall. The horrifying month-long showcase will also celebrate King’s 67th birthday with an all-day Birthday Marathon on Sunday, September 21st beginning at 7:50am ET/PT. Throughout the month of September, “The Stephen King Collection” will feature some of the most his most memorable films including
getTV offers an assortment of movies from the classic Hollywood era.
getTV pays tribute to film legend Mickey Rooney with a special block every Thursday in September at 7 p.m. ET. The retrospective highlights Rooney’s impressive range in a lineup featuring musicals SOUND OFF and ALL ASHORE (September 4); crime tales HE’S A COCKEYED WONDER and DRIVE A CROOKED ROAD (September 11); military comedies EVERYTHING’S DUCKY, with Buddy Hackett, and OPERATION MAD BALL, with Jack Lemmon (September 18); and BLIND DATE and THE COMIC, with Dick Van Dyke (September 25). The month kicks off with an eight-film marathon, on Monday, September 1, at 1 p.m. ET. Spend an evening with one
First you control the babies then you control the world.
Picking up directly after Criminal Macabre: The Eyes of Frankenstein!, Criminal Macabre: The Third Child is written by Steve Niles (Breath of Bones, 30 Days of Night). Christopher Mitten provides the art and the colorist is Michelle Madsen. The first issue goes on sale September 17. The official synopsis from Dark Horse reads: Cal’s changed . . . and maybe not for the better. Locked away and drowning himself with booze and aspirin, Cal feels the evil consuming him. Will he be able to withstand its pull or will he become the monster war’s greatest weapon of destruction?.
P.G. Wodehouse's wonderful characters make it to the small screen.
I can’t remember when I first heard of P.G. Wodehouse. He seems to just always exist in my memory. I do remember the first time I read one of his books - I wasn’t particularly impressed. His writing was good and there were lots of funny parts, but nothing very much really happened. The plot was as light as a puff pastry just out of the oven. This threw me at first, but after reading a couple more I learned to just let go and enjoy the wonderfulness of his prose. The thing to me about Wodehouse is that he’s
The Alien universe expands in this new Dark Horse Comics series.
Prometheus: Fire and Stone by Paul Tobin and artist Juan Ferreyra, with cover art by David Palumbo, ties directly into the motion picture Prometheus, directed by Ridely Scott. The first issue goes on sale September 10. The official synopsis from Dark Horse reads: When the Prometheus never returned from her fateful journey to LV-223, the questions surrounding the origins of man went unanswered. Now a new team of explorers seeks to uncover the dark mystery that holds not only the fate of the original mission, but possibly their own damnation.
This week sees two foreign releases from Criterion and some excellent television.
Some folks wax nostalgic about the days when MTV actually played music videos; I get all teary eyed thinking about the days when Bravo showed independent and foreign films commercial free. It was there, on this channel that is now full of Top Chefs and Real Housewives, where I got my first taste of world cinema. As a teenager who had grown up watching family-oriented blockbusters like The Goonies, The Karate Kid, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, seeing art-house films from places like Italy, France, and Sweden was an exotic revelation. I don’t know that I really understood what
Get your Xmas shopping for the movie fan in your life done a month early.
In November, the Criterion Collection offers a new restoration of Michelangelo Antonioni's L’avventura. Debuting in the collection are two westerns by Monte Hellman The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind, two classic comedies in Frank Capra's It Happened One Night and Sydney Pollack's Tootsie and a collection of 14 documentaries in Les Blank: Always For Pleasure. The Shooting / Ride in the Whirlwind (#734/735) out Nov 14 in Blu-ray & DVD Editions In the mid-sixties, the maverick American director Monte Hellman conceived of two westerns at the same time. Dreamlike and gritty by turns, the two films would prove their
I’m always interested in seeing the films Colin Firth is in because even if the film's rubbish, you can count on his performance.
My wife, like all red-blooded women (and more than a few red-blooded men) loves Colin Firth. She practically drools anytime his name gets mentioned and goes weak in the knees when he appears on screen. This is mostly due to his appearance as Mr. Darcy in an old A&E miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. I’ve tried to watch that thing several times myself, but can never get more than half an hour in before I’m digging my eyes out with a salad spoon out of sheer boredom. But I can see what she means about old Colin. He has