A Zoomorphic Performance: Joaquin Phoenix in P.T. Anderson’s The Master, Daniel Fairfax [more inside]
Introducing Sociology: Tim Kreider's influential 1999 essay (previously) on how Stanley Kubrick's Eyes Wide Shut uses sex and infidelity to cover up a story of greed and murder by the elite gets a brand new afterward by the author to introduce a new site for his non-fiction writing, TimKreider.com
Late in 2013, Guillermo del Toro released a voluminous book, entitled Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions. As he explains in the video, the 256-page hardcover is a selection from his notebooks, where the director developed many of the monstrosities we’ve seen on screen. The Guardian notes that there’s something of da Vinci’s notebooks in del Toro’s records: the small, neat script, mixed in with the wonderfully detailed sketches, combine to give the impression of del Toro doing his best to record the torrent of his imagination before the thoughts disappear. In this post, we include a number of these images.Previously [more inside]
This year marks the 25th anniversary of 1989 Batman movie, which is remembered for everything from the logo "that helped set the course for superhero movies" to the ways the movie was true to the comics, or was really a "noir" update to the 1960s Adam West Batman. While preparing yourself for what may come in the lead-up to the June 23 anniversary date, enjoy Batman: The Making of a Hero documentary, a rare 25 minutes behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, from the folks at 1989 Batman, a fansite dedicated to the movie, and its sequel, Batman Returns. [more inside]
Ranking all the James Bond movies from the universe where Bond faced off against all of Batman's villains
io9: "After making a mere $84 million at the U.S. box office, Star Trek Into Darkness is considered by some to be a disappointment. Perhaps the problem is that it was a touch confusing. To help our readers better understand it, we've compiled and answered these Frequently Asked Questions about the movie." (Maximum Possible Spoiler Warning)
For the release of the Hobbit, Lindsay Ellis of the Nostalgia Chick (previously) has decided to look back at all the LOTR films in order to analyze how they changed genre film-making, expected movie length, extended cuts, the problems of adaptation, and why Eowyn and Merry are made for each other. (Fellowship Of The Ring, Two Towers, Return Of The King Part 1, Part 2) Still need more? Then why not watch Kerry Shawcross and Chris Demarais of Rooster Teeth (previously) try to walk the 120+ mile journey across New Zealand from the filming location of Hobbiton in Matamata to the filming location of Mount Doom, Mount Ngauruhoe in A Simple Walk Into Mordor.
Every Thursday, Film School Rejects posts things "learned from the commentary tracks of an iconic movie": Commentary Commentary [more inside]
In the wake of their grunge-y breakout hit "Creep" and the success of sophomore record The Bends, Thom Yorke and the rest of Radiohead were under pressure to deliver once more. So they shut themselves away inside the echoing halls of a secluded 16th century manor and got to work. What emerged from that crumbling Elizabethan castle fifteen years ago today was a shockingly ambitious masterpiece of progressive rock, a visionary concept album that explored the "fridge buzz" of modernity -- alienation, social disconnection, existential dread, the impersonal hum of technology -- through a mosaic of challenging, innovative, eerily beautiful music unlike anything else at the time. Tentatively called Ones and Zeroes, then Your Home May Be at Risk If You Do Not Keep Up Payments, the band finally settled on OK Computer, an appropriately enigmatic title for this acclaimed harbinger of millennial angst. For more, you can watch the retrospective OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review for a track-by-track rundown, or the unsettling documentary Meeting People is Easy for a look at how the album's whirlwind tour nearly gave Yorke a nervous breakdown. Or look inside for more details and cool interpretations of all the tracks -- including an upcoming MeFi Music Challenge! [more inside]
The art house review/criticism series Brows Held High decided to tackle Nicolas Roeg/David Bowie's 1976 The Man Who Fell To Earth by reviewing it as a karaoke medley of Bowie's greatest hits.
The Onion's AV Club Asks: Just How Prescient Was Hackers Anyway?
The 3D re-release of James Cameron's Titanic prompted Lindy West of Jezebel and Will Leitch of Deadspin to re-assess the movie.
Hey remember Lindsay Ellis' The Nostalgia Chick (previously) and her reviews of all things nostalgic and girly? She's done a lot more since then - Cruel Intentions- Jem! - The Craft - Mulan - and the Ne Plus Ultra of wish fulfillment Meg Ryan movies Kate & Leopold.
"But when a saga popular with pre-adolescent girls peaks romantically on a night that leaves the heroine to wake up covered with bruises in the shape of her husband's hands — and when that heroine then spends the morning explaining to her husband that she's incredibly happy even though he injured her, and that it's not his fault because she understands he couldn't help it in light of the depth of his passion — that's profoundly irresponsible." MetaFilter's own Linda Holmes on the "psychosexual horror-show" that is The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. [more inside]
Monster Shack is a b-movie review site that also contains an extensive collection of classic movie posters, old news reel reviews and an Atari shrine.
The B-Master Cabal is a site that aggregates some of the best bad movie review sites on the web and puts together for themed movie roundtables. Most of the sites focus not only on mocking bad films but also praising obscure horror, fantasy, action and science-fiction. B-Masters Roll-Call! Teleport City covers everything from Turkish spy movies to kung-fu rarities to Japanese whiskey. 1000 Misspent Hours and Counting has in-depth, critical reviews of classic horror and genre films. And You Call Yourself A Scientist! examines who movies handle from the perspective of a female scientist. Badmovies.org features a Marine dissecting crap film with copious quotes and clips. Jabootu.net posts excruciatingly long reviews of excruciating films, and is one of the few sites to cover contemporary trash like Gigli. The Unknown Movies Page unearths films too obscure even for the rest of the cabal. Cold Fusion Video, Stomp Tokyo, and Brain Eater round out the group
You might have thought The Phantom Menace was the worst movie ever made, but no - it's Attack of the Clones. And RedLetterMedia is here to tell you exactly why. Parts one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, and nine.
There isn't a single decent candidate running for office, the homeless guy struck by a car was more fortunate than the auto workers and if you want a grilled raccoon they sure have a deal for you: it's Detroit 2009, The Movie, the chronicle of a rough year from The Detroit News.
The Producer Cites Religious Controversy. The Director points to a recessionary trend against "serious" movies. A new film about Charles Darwin's life ("Creation") is reportedly having difficulty finding a US distributor. ( Creation: IMDB / Official Site / Trailer / Spoiler-laden review from Roger Ebert / LA Times review // Darwin: Previously on MeFi).
Blindspots is a continually-updated collection of movie reviews based around one very interesting concept -- how accessible they are to the visually impaired. [more inside]
Lifetime, Wow! A blog devoted to watching, reviewing, and ranking Lifetime movies, including such classics as Fifteen and Pregnant, Fatal Trust, and Love Sick: Secrets of a Sex Addict.
Mark Kermode reviews Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. "Is that a nest of tables? No, it's Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley having some red hot passionate embrace that is positively teaky." [more inside]
And so it came about, this week, that I gazed at a black screen and saw words so calamitous that they might have been written in my own blood: “Screenplay by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Joel Schumacher.” Anthony Lane reviews "The Phantom of the Opera" in the current New Yorker. Now THAT'S how you pan a movie! Does anyone have any other favorite un-favorable reviews?
"This is frankly one of the greatest films ever made." Harry Knowles reviews "Return of the King."
This guy has hit the nail on the head. I've been marveling at how it was possible to completely screw up the sequels to what I consider the greatest action movie of all time. Matt Feeney has precisely and eloquently pinpointed everything wrong with the Matrix sequels.
The Time Machine opened in wide release this weekend but according to multiple reviews ( including this one) it looks like great-grandson Simon managed to transform a socialist metaphor for the dangers of industrialization into yet another special effects-loaded romantic movie. This seems to be an overall trend in Hollywood to remove the socio-political content from adaptations following The Count of Monte Cristo and Planet of the Apes. Perhaps we should just stick to the book on tape.