Film

New ‘Gone Girl’ Trailer Oozes Creepiness

A new Gone Girl trailer premiered last night, and it’s convinced us even further that the adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s… Read More

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10 Delightfully Subversive Movie Musicals

Today, the Criterion Collection issues a sparkling new DVD/Blu-ray special edition of All That Jazz, Bob Fosse’s mini-masterpiece. Based on its reputation (and, in a great part, thanks to the subsequent film version of Fosse’s Chicago, whose opening number provides the title), the casual viewer might presume it to be a standard, formulaic musical — when, in fact, it is anything but. After the jump, we’ll take a closer look at All That Jazz, and a few other musicals that buck the genre’s long-held traditions. … Read More

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How Homophobic is ‘Love is Strange”s R Rating?

Over the weekend, Ira Sachs’ lovely, heartfelt romantic drama Love is Strange performed quite well in limited release, claiming the top per-screen average for any film in theaters. But those numbers might have been higher, were it not one outside factor: the MPAA, bizarrely, gave the film an utterly disproportionate R rating. Since the film concerns a longtime gay couple and the troubles they encounter after getting married, a bit of a storm has erupted around the picture, with a general consensus emerging that the picture’s rating is proof positive of the organization’s inherent homophobia. And believe you me, there’s merit to that claim — but maybe not when it comes to the case of Love is Strange. … Read More

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Imagining the Quentin Tarantino-Directed ‘Natural Born Killers’ That Could Have Been

Twenty years ago today, moviegoers had their first opportunity to take in Natural Born Killers, Oliver Stone’s bloody, grim, and broadly satiric take on serial killers, celebrity culture, and tabloid media. But those who sought out the film on more obscure grounds were in for a disappointment. Quentin Tarantino was not yet a household name; he was still an acquired taste, thanks to the less-than-stellar box office of his 1992’s Reservoir Dogs (which he wrote and directed) and 1993’s True Romance (writer only). His small (yet rapidly expanding) cult following was thrilled at the prospect of a new Tarantino movie—but by the time Natural Born Killers reached the screen, it was no longer the movie Tarantino had penned. His screenplay had been so drastically rewritten, we were told, that he had elected only to take a “story by” credit. And that, presumably, was the last we’d hear about Mr. Tarantino’s Natural Born Killers. … Read More

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Films You Didn’t Know Had Two Directors

This weekend marks the long-awaited release of part two in the Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller Sin City saga, A Dame to Kill For. A bold creative team like Rodriguez and Miller must unify their vision into one cohesive voice in order for their films to be successful. Perhaps this is why siblings or spouses dominate filmmaker duos — they’re used to making compromises. Miller described his process with Rodriguez in an interview with film critic Simon Abrams:

I’ve always preferred my heroes to be grandiose, and think that Robert and I always saw eye-to-eye in that sense. I tended to stay hands-off and let Robert do what he wanted since the process of making movies was so foreign to me. We also didn’t have that many conversations about the characterizations because I trusted him with the material. I grew up with three brothers, and now I have a fourth.

The Coens and Wachowskis have been discussed to death when it comes to filmmaker collaborations. We explored ten other movies you might not realize were made by two directors. … Read More

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‘Sin City: A Dame to Kill For’ and the Woes of the Long-Delayed Sequel

When the first Sin City movie was released, George W. Bush had just begun his second term. Pope John Paul II died during its opening weekend; Hunter S. Thompson had taken his own life about six weeks earlier. People were talking about Terri Schiavo. Doctor Who had just returned to television after a 16-year absence, and Dan Rather and Peter Jennings had just anchored their final evening newscasts. The #1 single in the country was 50 Cent’s “Candy Shop.” Hitch, Million Dollar Baby, and Miss Congeniality 2 were still in theaters. Sin City opened against the Queen Latifah vehicle Beauty Shop, but neither film’s trailer was unveiled on YouTube, which would not launch until three weeks after their release date. In other words, the first Sin City came out a long, long time ago, and while the duration between that film and its sequel Sin City: A Dame to Kill For doesn’t fully explain the new film’s flaws, it’s quite instructive when examining the reactions to them. … Read More

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Why Can’t TV’s Beloved “Difficult Men” Make Good Movies?

Considering the kind of dancing in the streets that greets every new season of Mad Men (particularly now that we’re in the home stretch), you’d think Are You Here, the feature filmmaking debut of Mad Men creator/mastermind Matthew Weiner, would be accompanied by a bit more fanfare. But it’s getting a muted, multi-platform, limited release today, after a Toronto Film Festival premiere under a different title, to decidedly mixed reviews. If you see the film — and this is not much of an endorsement to do so — it’s easy to see why; Are You Here is a bit of a mess. But there’s an odd and interesting trend at work here, where genuinely gifted television creators, with distinctive voices and unique styles, try their hand at filmmaking and whiff that transition completely. … Read More

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Watch a Sexed-Up Shailene Woodley in the First Trailer for Gregg Araki’s ‘White Bird in a Blizzard’

When eternal iconoclast Gregg Araki cast Shailene Woodley in his adaptation of Laura Kasischke’s novel White Bird in a… Read More

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