Robert Altman

Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, and Richard Dreyfuss in "Jaws"

10 Ways ‘Jaws’ Changed Movies Forever

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As we’ve mentioned, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the release of Jaws, Steven Spielberg’s masterful adaptation of Peter Benchley’s bestseller. By this date, the conventional wisdom that Jaws was a cinematic game-changer has taken hold — but like many such pronouncements, those who make it aren’t always clear on the details. In fact, it’s a little bit complicated, because Spielberg’s smash changed the way Hollywood did business in a variety of ways, both for good and ill.
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James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in "The Disppearance of Eleanor Rigby"; John Cusack in "The Sure Thing"

The 5 Best Movies to Buy or Stream This Week: ‘Eleanor Rigby,’ ‘The Sure Thing’

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Your “new” DVD and streaming releases are pretty dire this week, consisting as they do of the dull would-be Oscar contender Unbroken, the charmless Into the Woods, and the merciful conclusion of the Hobbit trilogy. But, as usual, the catalog titles save the day, with two vintage documentaries from Criterion, an off-brand sleeper by Robert Altman, a Rob Reiner sex comedy, and a forgotten but fascinating Wim Wenders odyssey. Plus, Netflix offers a chance to see how two films become one.
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5 Noir Classics That Inspired ‘Dark Rooms’ Author Lili Anolik

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Dark Rooms, the debut novel by Lili Anolik, is the sort of mystery that you will rip through in a night. Early on, narrator Grace Baker quotes Edgar Allen Poe: “The death of a beautiful woman is, unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world.” For Grace, however, it’s not so poetic — her beautiful younger sister, Nica, was murdered on the grounds of their prep school, upending Grace’s life. In the aftermath of the killing, Grace is seeing things through a haze of prescription drugs, a college dropout obsessed with solving the crime.
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Melting Toht Candle from Firebox

20 Awesome Holiday Gifts for the Movie Geek in Your Life

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Well, kids, holiday shopping season is upon us, and Flavorwire is here to help you figure out what to get the most problematic person on your list: the movie geek, the family film fan with antisocial tendencies and cinematic inclinations. Luckily, there’s an abundance of terrific new books, box sets, and paraphernalia for cinephiles; we’ve picked out some of the… Read More

Steve Martin and JohnC andy in "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles"

9 Great Movies to Stream This Holiday Weekend

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As the long holiday weekend looms, the to-do checklist stretches out in front of us: buy food, buy booze, attempt insanely complicated recipe that sounded so delicious in the Times, drink, toss recipe away half-finished and just make a goddamn ham, drink more, order a pizza because the ham couldn’t possibly take that long, drink more, fill up with pizza and go buy a Christmas tree, drink more, leave the Christmas tree half-decorated to deal with the ham we totally forgot about, spend the rest of the night in a drunken stupor trying to decide what the hell to watch on Netflix. Well, we can help with the very last item on that list; watch or queue our suggestions now by clicking the title link.
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Bill Hader Made an Epic List of Essential Movie Comedies; Here’s Where to Stream Them

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We all know Bill Hader’s a funny guy; with the release this month of The Skeleton Twins and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, he’s proving himself a pretty damn fine actor as well. But your film editor was heretofore unaware that Mr. Hader is such a movie geek — at least, that’s the impression I’m left with from his epic list of “200 Essential Movies Every Comedy Writer Should See.” It’s part of the new book Poking a Dead Frog by Mike Sachs, shared in full over at xoJane, and it’s a pretty remarkable (and esoteric) gathering of comedies and seriocomic dramas from the 1920s up to the present day. (And, I might add, there’s a good deal of crossover with our own list of the 50 Funniest Movies Ever Made.) So, with an eye on adding to your holiday weekend viewing queue, we combed through Netflix and Hulu Plus to see how many of Hader’s picks are available for your streaming needs. Links, and a few thoughts on his selections, after the jump.
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Roy Scheider in "All That Jazz"

10 Delightfully Subversive Movie Musicals

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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.
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Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week

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Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.
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Opening title of Nickelodeon's "Hey Dude"

10 Amazing Abandoned Sets from Film and Television

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Nobody ever said growing up is easy, but anyone who came of age in the ‘90s with the occasional eye on Nickelodeon got a gulp-inducing whiff of their own mortality recently, when pictures and video surfaced of the show’s long-forgotten Arizona ranch set. It’s still there, sort of, its abandoned buildings and trashed-out interiors a freestanding reminder that, yes, a television show was here once. But Hey Dude isn’t the only bit of pop culture that left its skeleton in place once shooting wrapped.
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Still image from William Friedkin's "Sorcerer"

10 Potentially Career-Wrecking Films by Great Directors

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If your weirdo cinephile friend is all in a tizzy today, there’s a reason: Sorcerer, the much-maligned, long-neglected, yet freshly re-appreciated Wages of Fear remake from director William Friedkin, is making its Blu-ray debut today (and finally getting a proper anamorphic DVD release as well). When the film was originally released back in 1977, it was a highly anticipated, big-budget effort from Friedkin, the Oscar-winning director of The Exorcist and The French Connection. Unfortunately, its arrival in the moviegoing marketplace was preceded, by about a month, by a little movie called Star Wars, and that picture pretty much lay waste to everything in its path. It’s not a new story — filmmaking careers are made of highs and lows, and even the finest directors have seen falls that were difficult, or even impossible, to bounce back from.
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