It’s easy to see Hollywood as a detestable machine. Between the unnecessary remakes, sequels, prequels, talking heads, and the advertising onslaught, it’s enough to make a true cinephile scream. There are great things about Hollywood, though. Sometimes we’re treated to a tale that thrills us to the edge of our seat or touches us profoundly — and sometimes those stories happen off screen. The Internet is abuzz with a report about a terminally ill Trekkie. Director J.J. Abrams — who is normally extremely secretive about his projects — granted the man’s dying wish: to see the upcoming film, Star Trek Into Darkness. Abrams screened the unfinished movie for a fan named Daniel who has been diagnosed with cancer and only has weeks to live. According to Dan’s family, they “enjoyed it immensely as a film and as a gesture.” We rounded up other heartwarming stories that restored our faith in Hollywood. Grab a tissue or two, and meet us after the jump. … Read More
We recently came across an old list compiled by the British Film Institute, naming 50 films that every teenager should see by the age of 14. We can’t argue with many of their picks — classics like E.T., The Wizard of Oz, and others feel like true essentials. Still, we couldn’t help but notice a number of movies we have a hard time imagining most young teenagers watching of their own free will. We wanted to come up with a few alternatives to BFI’s picks and include some films we were surprised didn’t make the final cut, and others that weren’t around in 2005 (with the 14-year age in the back of our minds). Some of our choices are classics, others act as a gateway to other selections in that genre, and the rest are just damn good. These types of lists are all subjective, so we want to hear your picks as well. What would you add to our essential teen watch list? Share below in the comments section. … Read More
Backlash is a funny thing. It’s always been present in popular culture, but it feels as though it’s become particularly prominent over the past few years, an unavoidable step in any celebrated film, band, book, or television show’s penetration into the cultural landscape: first comes critical acclaim, then financial success, then ubiquity, and then the inevitable backlash from those who object (or who have turned, perhaps because of said popularity and/or ubiquity). Sometimes, the pendulum swings back and the backlash fades — but often, the negative connotation is what sticks, and that’s what becomes the lasting perception.
This week’s 3D rerelease of Titanic got us thinking about backlash, and how often we find ourselves defending movies that were, at least in the beginning, critical and popular hits, but have since fallen out of public favor. Thus, we’ve collected ten movies that the worm turned on — but that we’re standing by, damnit, and we’ll tell you why. Check them out after the jump, and add your own in the comments. … Read More
Now that we know that screenwriter Diablo Cody (of Juno and Young Adult fame) is officially turning our beloved ’80s teen series Sweet Valley High into a musical movie, we’re getting a little excited. Yes, we’re ready for this movie to be the worst/best/most depressing/campiest thing ever. Yes, we can’t wait. So we couldn’t help but speculate as to who might slip into the roles of Enid, Lila, and the famous pair of blonde bombshells known as the Wakefield sisters, especially since the musicality of the project limits the field of young actors and actresses quite a bit. Click through to see who we’d cast for the musical film, and let us know if you agree or disagree with our choices in the comments! … Read More
Hold on to your childhoods, 20- and 30-somethings, because they’re in Diablo Cody’s hands now. In case you haven’t heard, the Juno and Young Adult screenwriter’s next foray into adolescence will be a big-screen adaptation of Francine Pascal’s middle school-staple Sweet Valley High novels. But that’s not all — last night at the Critics’ Choice… Read More
Young Adult, the dark comedy starring Charlize Theron that re-teams Juno director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody, went into wide release last weekend (after hitting a few screens the weekend before), and now that it’s out, we’re again in the odd position of wanting to talk explicitly about the film’s ending — specifically about its closing scenes, which are (for our money) where Young Adult stops being a good movie and becomes a great one. Of course, not everyone sees movies within the first three days, so we’ll wait to get into this further until after the jump — where you’ll find some thoughts on the closing scenes from us, and from director Jason Reitman. So, y’know, duly noted, spoiler warnings, etc., etc. … Read More
In retrospect, last week’s gift guide for movie geeks was seriously lacking in one important element: it needs more Criterion. The Criterion Collection, as you presumably well know, is the preeminent home video label for film nerds, lavishing their second-to-none skills of restoration and supplementation on titles both well-known and obscure. So yes, a week-late addendum: if you’re shopping for cinephiles, a title or two from the Criterion Collection should do the trick.
Alas, which titles? At 600+ films (and growing monthly), sifting through the collection is a daunting task. Thankfully, the label is more than happy to help out; one of the most enjoyable time-killers on their site is their section of Top 10s, in which film fans from across the spectrum — directors, screenwriters, actors, cinematographers, comedians, critics, etc. — select their ten favorite Criterion titles, often with concise mini-reviews for each. After the jump, in a bit of meta list construction, we’ve picked out ten of our favorite folks from that page, and a few of their recommendations as well. … Read More
For over two years now, Diablo Cody has been involved in a big-screen adaptation of Francine Pascal’s beloved Sweet Valley High series. And just as we were about to give up hope of it ever happening, Cody has given indieWIRE a promising update: “That is moving forward,” Cody told the site.… Read More
Welcome to “Trailer Park,” our regular Friday feature where we collect the week’s new trailers all in one place and do a little “judging a book by its cover,” ranking them from worst to best and taking our best guess at what they may be hiding. We’ve got six new trailers this week, and — for the first time in the feature’s history — they all look varying degrees of worthwhile. Check ‘em out after the jump. … Read More
Today at Flavorpill, we were obsessed with the YA fiction-inspired poster for Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman’s latest film collaboration, Young Adult. We wished that we could be as popular on Facebook as Jesus is. We lost ourselves in New York Magazine’s “Encyclopedia of 9/11.” We wondered what Shepard… Read More