“Saturday night in the suburbs, that’s when you really want blow your brains out,” Don Draper griped in last season’s Mad Men episode “Signal 30.” It’s a crisis Matthew Weiner’s characters frequently encounter, despite their privileged, cocktail-filled lifestyles. In keeping with the spirit of the show, which aired its incredibly dark two-hour Season 6 premiere last night, here are ten of the best films that fan the flames of white-picket-fence… Read More
Described by critics as a “literary, gothic fairy tale,” Chan-wook Park‘s provocative thriller Stoker is the Korean director’s first English-language film. The dark drama about an enigmatic man who moves in with two women he claims are family opens in limited release today. Cult audiences are familiar with the filmmaker’s intense, violent revenge epics like Oldboy and Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, but it’s interesting to see how the director is being embraced by American critics for his stylish storytelling — this time featuring Hollywood talents Nicole Kidman, Mia Wasikowska, and Matthew Goode. Not every foreign filmmaker has seen similar praise when it came to their North American offerings. We explored this by examining the works of ten well-known, international directors and ranked their English-language debuts from best to worst. … Read More
Yesterday, we heard that David Fincher, director of Fight Club and The Social Network (among numerous other things), is considering signing on to direct the adaptation of Gone Girl, the thriller that took this year’s book world by storm. Fincher is great and all (and, as Deadline so awkwardly points out, “has handled female-themed Panic Room with Jodie Foster”), but we don’t think he’s the best man for the job. After the jump, we’ve taken a look at ten contemporary bestsellers, including Gone Girl, and picked the directors that we think would be the best at adapting them (even if, er, film versions have already been made). Click through to see our choices, and feel free to argue us down in the comments. … Read More
The dark days of winter are upon us, providing the perfect excuse to curl up with a good movie at home. If you still want to channel the crisp outdoor temperatures and get into the spirit of the season, we’ve selected some of the chilliest movies you can watch while warm and from the comfort of your own home. These wintry films feature snowy, icy settings that are integral to the powerful atmosphere of each story, existing as more than just a pretty backdrop. White blankets of winter weather reveal a dichotomy that filmmakers love to toy with, symbolizing the emotional mindsets of their characters, isolation and tragic circumstances, or the fragile beauty of a new love. Here are ten of our favorites that use snow as a filmic mirror and canvas. Share some of your picks, below. … Read More
As a general rule, we try to steer clear of “Oscar blogging” this far ahead of the game — it’s a subset of online film writing that too often amounts to announcing that any fall release that generates a fair amount of early-screening praise is suddenly an awards contender that is totally, unexpectedly changing the game. It’s become a pretty silly ritual that we all go through every fall, particularly as more moviegoers and writers come to realize that the Oscars are an essentially meaningless horserace that seldom if ever genuinely reflects what is actually the best of the current cinema.
But gauging trends among the fall prestige pictures — the best foot that Hollywood puts forward every year — can be valuable; it gives us an opportunity to read the tea leaves a bit, to see what studios are hoping to accomplish, and what they would at least like our perception of them to be. And that’s maybe why this year’s Oscar pre-nomination race has become so interesting: because it’s so dominated by big studio releases. … Read More
Ang Lee’s Life of Pi is a crowd-pleaser, in the very best sense of that phrase — which is often turned pejoratively. To be sure, Lee’s story (adapted by David Magee from Yann Martel’s bestseller) deals in matters that a lesser filmmaker might’ve slathered together into sentimental claptrap: leaving one’s home, losing one’s family, near-death experiences, bonds forged, faith questioned. These are, to put it mildly, easily manipulated elements. But doing it this well, working an audience’s emotions without showing the strings, is not an easy task. Lee is up to it. … Read More
With Thanksgiving approaching, our holiday anxiety is at an all time high — after all, this is a high-stress holiday, with family member and friends gathering to eat, drink (often a lot), and judge. That combination of elements makes it awfully hard to know exactly how to act on Thursday; luckily, as in most difficult situations, the movies are here to help. So we’ve assembled clips from the Thanksgiving scenes of 17 movies, and gleaned the advice they offer in order to create 15 Dos and Don’ts for Thanksgiving. Check out this exclusive supercut after the jump. … Read More
A couple of weeks back, we combed through our favorite quotes and offered up a few words from some of our favorite musicians about why they do what they do. That post was so well liked that we decided to seek out similar thoughts from some of our favorite moviemakers, to find out what drives them, what motivates them, and what pushes them to create. The best are collected after the jump; feel free to add your own in the comments. … Read More
1. The first full trailer for Ang Lee’s film adaptation of Yann Martel’s Booker Prize-winning novel The Life of Pi has arrived online, and while it doesn’t reveal much about the plot, boy oh boy is it pretty.