In need of an entertaining cinematic podcast to meet your listening needs? Then tune into Fighting in the War Room
! Previously known as Operation Kino, Fighting in the War Room features fascinating discussions between film critics Katey Rich
), Matt Patches
), Da7e Gonzales
, and David Ehrlich
), offering reviews of current films, as well general cinema related topics. [more inside]
By employing directors with backgrounds in drama, the studios hope action-heavy films will be infused with greater depth. The catch, however, is that drama directors are usually inexperienced at, and thus incapable of, properly handling [the] material that is the film's main selling point .... "The Wolverine" is the latest example of this burgeoning trend. To name just a few examples from the past couple of years, "X-Men Origins: Wolverine" (dir: Gavin Hood), "Quantum of Solace" (dir: Mark Forster), "Skyfall" (dir: Sam Mendes) ... were all brought to the screen by filmmakers whose careers were predicated on dramas or comedies, not action. That fad remains in full effect this summer .... While no studio exec would dare hand over an Oscar-hopeful drama to Michael Bay, the opposite model—Hey, Marc Forster directed "Finding Neverland," so he's obviously the ideal candidate for a Bond film!—now reigns supreme.
Nick Schager writes about action films helmed by a director who is not an action director.
Paul Thomas 'The Master' Anderson or Paul WS 'Resident Evil 5' Anderson... who's the best? There's only one way to find out... ask Armond White
Loudly and with much smashing, FilmCritHulk
has become a major presence in the world of online film criticism with his semiotical essays on storytelling, cinematic principles, and media theory. Starting first on his personal blog
, Hulk now writes for Badass Digest [previously]
(the lifestyle blog corner of the Alamo Drafthouse empire [previously, previously]
) [more inside]
Yesterday, the Village Voice fired J. Hoberman,
long-time champion of independent and experimental film (and its senior film critic of 24 years). Hoberman promises that there's a blog
in his future. The Voice has an archive
of his writing for them since 1998. Here are his Top 10 lists for the years 1977 to 2006
, and here they are for 2007
, and 2011
. Here is a compilation
of his advice for aspiring film critics. A critic who came of age in an era when the lines between "film critic" and "film scholar" were blurrier, Hoberman has also written books about American movies and the Cold War
and the forgotton history of Yiddish cinema
interviews with him
about his work.
, the tech magazine Wired
's section for covering military and security matters, have compiled The Worst War Movies Ever, From Delta Force to The Empire Strikes Back
for your Friday list viewing pleasure.
Simply the Worst.
Film blog Reverse Shot is looking this month at the worst (by various criteria) films of some major directors, including the Coen Brothers' The Ladykillers
, Wes Anderson's The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
, Woody Allen's Anything Else
, and more
Let's Get Critical
is "a new Longform.org
partner site dedicated to surfacing the best cultural criticism on the web."
, Ebert Presents At the Movies
will begin airing full episodes of Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert’s original PBS show
, Sneak Previews
. Taking a break from reviewing movies
, co-hosts Christy Lemire and Ignatiy Vishnevetsky will introduce and discuss the episodes. Hungry for more classic Siskel & Ebert
? Try the invaluable, Ebert-approved SiskelandEbert.org
, a growing archive
of home-taped episodes of Sneak Previews
and At the Movies
. [more inside]
For Roger Ebert, it's a prayer that made him "more alert to the awe of existence."
For Rober Koehler, it's a kitschy New Age con.
For Richard Brody, it perfectly captures the essence of a generation by depicting a character thinking "back to the musings and fantasies of childhood, which are the product of a wondrous and fantastic view of science formed by popular-science books for children and by the commercial artists whose illustrations adorned them."
For Stephanie Zacharek, it's "a gargantuan work of pretension."
For Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, it's "a creation myth in the guise of a crypto-autobiography" that invents a universe of its own only to destroy it.
For J. Hoberman, it's lifeless and dull, "essentially a religious work and, as such, may please the director's devotees, cultists, and apologists."
It spent thirty years in development, three in editing
and, yes, it contains dinosaurs
. The Tree of Life
, written and directed by famously reclusive Zoolander fan
and "JD Salinger of American movies" Terrence Malick
, won the Palme d'Or
at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Tomorrow, it comes out in the United States
. [more inside]
and unashamedly pro-Goldsmith
, Christian Clemmensen has reviewed modern movie scores at Filmtracks
(1944 - 1992) is often cited as one of the greatest film critics. After joining the legendary film magazine Cahiers du cinéma
(which he would eventually edit) at age 20, Daney wrote extensively on the changing place of movies in culture, on directors new and old and on television, war and even sports. He founded the film magazine Trafic
before dying of AIDS in 1992.
Though some of his essays have been officially translated
and a small book of his writings
has been published in English, the vast majority of his work remains untranslated into English
That hasn't stopped a devoted group of cinephiles from taking matters into their own hands. [more inside]
I mean, in these days of indoor plumbing, the toilet is a naturally potent metaphor for everyday repression, for all the bile and rage and memories and sins and other impure thoughts and unclean urges that can't always kept down or flushed away. Every once in a while when the psychological plumbing gets clogged, the load of excrement becomes more than one's psychological pipes can handle, and the shit all comes bubbling back up from below and spews out onto the surface.A survey of plumbing in the movies. Wee bit NSFW in both word and image.
Wes Anderson: The Substance of Style. A video essay in five parts
by Matt Zoller Seitz. (Links go to the text of the essay; click on the embedded video to view.) [via]
On At The Movies
this past weekend Richard Roeper announced: 1) The past 20 years of At The Movies (formerly Siskel & Ebert & the Movies)
is going to be archived for free download online. That's several thousand reviews -- from Adventures in Babysitting
. Unfortunately, the first ten years of of the show was poorly preserved. Ebert writes, "Starting Thursday, Aug. 2, visitors will be able to search for and watch all of those past debates, including the film clips that went along with them, plus the “ten best” and other special shows we did. The new archive will be at www.atthemoviestv.com
, and will be the web’s largest collection of streaming reviews." 2) Roger Ebert will be a guest for an online chat Thursday at 8:00 Eastern (7:00 Central). You can submit questions in advance here
. The chat will be at this link
. (Until the actual archive shows up online, you can enjoy these links
Donnie Darko in his mind's eye. (One little boy, one little man)
A pretty rad article on Donnie Darko, one of my favorite movies.
Critics Gone Wild.
Rarely do entertainment journalists have as fine an occasion to cut loose and shower their barbs as the opening of Gigli: "I fought the urge to punch someone once it finally ended.
" Not that anyone's surprised! Enjoy, if you get a kick out of scalding prose.
Real Cinephiles Prefer Reading "Cahiers du Cinema" to Going to the Movies:
I stopped reading Cahiers du Cinema
- the famously dogmatic French film journal where Godard, Truffaut, Resnais and Rohmer cut their teeth - a few years ago, when it got too arty-farty for its own good. Well
, it's slowly becoming essential again. Their website is trés chic
, intelectually challenging and a welcome antidote to the usual online movie-reviewing clowns. Or is it still a load of pretentious rubbish? (In French, but with a lovely intro, lots of cool stills and a Quicktime interview, in English, with underrated director Paul Verhoeven
"It's like The Day of the Jackal as conceived by Ned Flanders, and produced by the film and video department of a rural Bible college. Hoo boy, is this thing ever an embarrassment." National Review deliciously - and viciously - skewers the movie version of Left Behind
, the Christian fundamentalist Rapture novel.