Archive for the ‘Film’ category

Top 5 Most Beautiful (and talented and youngish) Actresses Working Today

16/01/2017

Almost five years ago I posted my top 5 most beautiful, talented and youngish (30ish or younger) actresses working at that time and those five actresses remain popular and in demand.  This is my current list which includes only one obvious choice in Emma Stone and in no particular order you are:

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Emma Stone

Best known for La La Land (Chazelle, 2016).  Really got my attention in Irrational Man (Allen, 2015).

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Kristen Stewart

Best known for:  The Twilight Saga (2008-2012).  Really got my attention in Clouds of Sils Maria (Assayas, 2014).

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Jena Malone

Best known for Donnie Darko (Kelly, 2001).  Really got my attention in The Neon Demon (Refn, 2016).

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Carey Mulligan

Best known for An Education (Scherfig, 2009).  Really got my attention in Inside Llewyn Davis (Coen, 2013).

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Mary Elizabeth Winstead

Best known for Death Proof (Tarantino, 2007).  Really got my attention in 10 Cloverfield Lane (Trachtenberg, 2016).

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Honorable Mentions: Margot Robbie, Rooney Mara, Elle Fanning, Anya Taylor-Joy, Alicia Vikander, Rachel McAdams, Felicity Jones

Ouija (White, 2014)

02/08/2016

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Scary opening albeit horror cliche extravaganza (like a 2 sec “ohhh” to remind us that she’s scared and the dusty old doll found in an attic). Movie has decent teen victim perfs esp the UK’s Ovilia Cooke.  Most of the death scenes are effective but completely derivative.  Horrible score.  Barely makes it above water after complete indulgence in said cliches.

** / *****

Films to Watch

29/06/2016
Ava’s Possessions
Battle Royale
Burying the Ex
Capricorn One
Catch 22
Cherry 2000
Event Horizon*
Farenheit 911
Fear and Desire
Grey Gardens
High Tension
Hush*
Inside
Killer’s Kiss
Martyrs
McCabe and Mrs. Miller
Night Moves
Odd Thomas
Persona
Preservation
Raze
Spartacus
Tampopo
The Burbs
The Candy Snatchers
The Cruise
The Firemen’s Ball
The Graves
The Joy of Painting
The Killer (Woo, 1989)
The Killing (Kubrick, 1956)
The King of Comedy (seen it – want a re-watch, it’s brilliant)
The Last Movie
The Sinful Dwarf – this could be difficult
The Thin Blue Line
Toy Story 3
Virginia
We Are Still Here (ehhh?)
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf
Cary Grant marathon
An Affair to Remember
Bringing up Baby
Charade
Gunga din
Holliday
Monkey Business
None But the Lonely Heart
Notorious (seen it)
Only Angels Have Wings
Penny Serenade
Petticoat junction
Suspicion*
Sylvia Scarlett
The Awful Truth
The Philadelphia Story
To Catch a Thief (seen it)
Walk Don’t Run

The Top 100 Films of the 1990s

02/03/2016

THIS – a work in progress.  In reverse order.  For posterity.

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100. The Thin Red Line (1998, Malick)

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99. Girl, Interrupted (1999, Mangold)

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98. Pi (1998, Aronofsky)

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97. American Beauty (1999, Mendes)

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96. Zero Effect (1998, Kasdan)

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95. The Cutting Edge (1992, Glaser)

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94. Ruby in Paradise (1993, Nunez)

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93. Deconstructing Harry (1997, Allen)

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92. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998, Gilliam)

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91. Starship Troopers (1997, Verhoeven)

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90. Following (1998, Nolan)

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89. Before Sunrise (1995, Linklater)

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88. Go (1999, Liman)

Oh, Katie Holmes, how you were so ruined by the xenophobic Tom Cruise.  This is an exciting film that highlights the great Sarah Polley and William Fichtner as a triangular sales rep extraordinaire.

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87. Clueless (1995, Heckerling)

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86. Audition (1999, Miike)

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85. The Straight Story (1999, Lynch)

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84. Everyone Says I Love You (1996, Allen)

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83. A River Runs Through It (1992, Redford)

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82. Leaving Las Vegas (1995, Figgis)

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81. Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993, Allen)

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80. I Stand Alone (1998, Noe)

79. Misery (1990, Reiner)

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78. Slacker (1991, Linklater)

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77. Hideous Kinky (1998, MacKinnon)

Post Titanic Kate Winslet took risks including this film and Holy Smoke – an honorable mention in this list – and good for her.  I’ve had a crush on Kate for years, unrequited.  A sweet film with Julia (Winslet) and her two young daughters as expatriate Brits in 1972 Morocco struggling against a wayward father/spouse.

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76. To Die For (1995, Van Sant)

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75. Cape Fear (1991, Scorsese)

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74. Chungking Express (1994, Kar-wai)

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73. Crumb (1994, Zwigoff)

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72. JFK (1991, Stone)

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71. Rushmore (1998, Anderson)

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70. Saving Private Ryan (1997, Speilberg)

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69. Twelve Monkeys (1995, Gilliam)

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68. Waiting for Guffman (1996, Guest)

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67. Buffalo ’66 (1998, Gallo)

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66. The Remains of the Day (1993, Ivory)

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65. Lorenzo’s Oil (1992, Miller)

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64. Dumb and Dumber (1994, Farrelly Brothers)

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63. Mighty Aphrodite (1995, Allen)

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62. Ringu (1998, Nakata)

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61. Carlito’s Way (1993, De Palma)

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60. The Fisher King (1991, Gilliam)

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59. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991, Cameron)

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58. Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992, Coppola)

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57. Magnolia (1999, Anderson)

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56. Three Colors: Red (1994, Kieslowski)

55. Schindler’s List (1993, Speilberg)

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54. The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Demme)

53. Six Degrees of Separation (1993, Schepisi)

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52. Out of Sight (1998, Soderbergh)

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51. Internal Affairs (1990, Figgis)

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50. Death and the Maiden (1994, Polanski)

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49. Boogie Nights (1997, Anderson)

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48. Felicia’s Journey (1999, Egoyan)

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47. My Own Private Idaho (1991, Van Sant)

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46. Flirting With Disaster (1996, O’Russell)

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45. The Insider (1999, Mann)

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44. Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995, Solondz)

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43. The Ice Storm (1997, Lee)

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42. Grosse Pointe Blank (1997, Armitage)

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41. Affliction (1997, Schrader)

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40. Three Colors: Blue (1993, Kieslowski)

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39. The Cable Cuy (1996, Stiller)

This is ranked way lower than it should be.  I am sure the French love Jim Carrey and that is enough proof for me of his brilliance – which might be gone.

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38. Miami Blues (1990, Armitage)

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37. Fly Away Home (1996, Ballard)

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36. Fight Club (1999, Fincher)

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35. Exotica (1994, Egoyan)

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34. Kids (1995, Clark)

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33. Reservoir Dogs (1992, Tarantino)

32. The Big Lebowski (1998, Coen Bothers)

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31. The Pillow Book (1996, Greenaway)

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30. Wild at Heart (1990, Lynch)

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29. Bottle Rocket (1996, Anderson)

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28. Election (1999, Payne)

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27. The Loss of Sexual Innocence (1999, Figgis)

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26. Husbands and Wives (1992, Allen)

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25. The Player (1992, Altman)

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24. Goodfellows (1990, Scorsese)

23. The Sweet Hereafter (1997, Egoyan)

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22. Heat (1995, Mann)

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21. The Grifters (1990, Frears)

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20. Fearless (1993, Weir)

19. Crash (1996, Cronenberg)

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18. Lost Highway (1997, Lynch)

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17. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992, Mamet)

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16. Jackie Brown (1997, Tarantino)

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15. In the Company of Men (1997, LaBute)

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14. Until the End of the World (1991, Wenders)

This is where it gets to hallowed ground.  This amazing, expansive film by Wim Wenders was originally cut to 18 hours or so.  William Hurt, although an apparent asshole in real life, is great in this role of post apocalyptic 2000s.  Decidedly off tract the film shows a visual flair unseen in other Wenders’ films.

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13. Heavenly Creatures (1994, Jackson)

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12. Fargo (1996, Coen Bothers)

11. Casino (1995, Scorsese)

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10. Safe (1995, Haynes)

9. Short Cuts (1993, Altman)

8. Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1992, Lynch)

7. Pulp Fiction (1994, Tarantino)

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6. Eyes Wide Shut (1999, Kubrick)

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5. The Truman Show (1998, Weir)

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4. The Spanish Prisoner (1997, Mamet)

3. Twin Peaks (pilot) (1990, Lynch)

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2. Happiness (1998, Solondz)

1. Breaking the Waves (1996, Von Trier)

50 Essential Films from the 1970s

18/01/2016

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Grit, music, misogyny, feminist, family, mayhem, horror, disillusionment, loneliness, etc.  These are 50 essential 1970s films that I have actually seen and in random order.  Notice huge gaps like All That Jazz, Dawn of the Dead, Manhattan, or Solaris or films that I haven’t seen enough times like Apocalypse Now and The Godfather (perhaps they aren’t on the list for a reason?).

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Happy New Year!

08/01/2016

I am working on The Top 100 Films of the 1970s by Movie Poster – and they will all be films I have seen!

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Philip Seymour Hoffman (1967–2014)

18/09/2014

The Variety Studio: Sundance Edition Presented By Dawn Levy - Day 2 - 2014 Park City

The Variety Studio: Sundance Edition Presented By Dawn Levy - Day 2 - 2014 Park City

A belated RIP to Philip Hoffman.  From 1991 to 1996,  Hoffmann made his way through stage and screen, completing roles in both Twister (Davis, 1996); and as Scotty in Boogie Nights (PT Anderson, 1997), in both as tension breaking teddy bears. It’s as “Allen” in Todd Solondz’ divisive Happiness (Solondz, 1998), one of the best films of the 1990s, when he lands on me and not for the faint of heart that. His death coincided with an important birthday of mine and I now realize he has a patch on the quilt (so to speak) of my conscience and on that of my generation of artists and for those to come.

Phil Parma, the faithful nurse to a dying Jason Robards in Magnolia (Anderson, 1999) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0175880/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_38

Crowe shows up and Hoffmann plays Lester Bangs, the Rolling Stone writer in Almost Famous (Crowe, 2000) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0181875/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_35

Wilson Joel as a paint huffer in the heartbreaking and very admired (personally) Love Liza (Louiso, 2002) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0282698/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_34

My favorite PT Anderson, Hoffman plays a mad entrepreneur in Punch Drunk Love (Anderson, 2002) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0272338/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_33

Owning Mahoney (Kwietniowski, 2003) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0285861/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_30

Capote (Miller, 2005) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379725/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_24

One of the more inventive films of his career, The Savages (Jenkins, 2007) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0775529/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_22

“And may ye be in Heaven 15 minutes Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” (Sidney Lumet, 2007), his best role and greatest film? Certainly fortelling. (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0292963/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_21

With Streep and Amy Adams in Doubt (Stanley, 2008) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0918927/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_18

The Master (Anderson, 2012), his last masterpiece with PT Anderson http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1560747/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_9

The Last Quartet, a great goodbye (Zilberman, 2012) http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1226240/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_8

_________

“You know the circus performer who spins the plates in the air you know, and he’ll spin six or seven plates in the air? Acting sometimes is kind of that guy spinning all those plates in the air but in your head and in your body.” —– – PSH