Category: Features

Girl, I Didn’t Know You Could Get Down Like That

5 Excellent Adaptations of 19th and 20th Century British Literature Featuring Strong Female Leads To establish my status as our resident expert of late 19th and early 20th century British and Russian literature featuring strong female leads, I feel compelled to provide  a list of my favorite literary adaptations of late 19th /a early 20th century feminist(ish) novels. Some might not consider these novels to be feminist, of course, but if considered  against the context in which the novels were written (the source materials were are all written by women, by the by) and the strength and intelligence of...

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Do Girls Really Just Wanna Have Fun?: A Breakdown of the Modern Female Comedy

In recent years, Hollywood has graciously provided us with a noticeable influx in mainstream movies broadly defined as “female comedy.”  While the category is still narrowly represented– certainly more “subgenre” than “genre”– more people are slowly coming around to the idea that women can be hilarious.  Why are there so few of these genuinely funny films that feature females providing the comedic content?  Because it’s an art that until recently, hadn’t been skillfully presented.  Some of the same rules apply to both men and women when it comes to eliciting laughs, but some don’t.  Before the noted rise over...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#85-71)

Introduction Hopefully, our first installment helped to establish what we’re hunting for here, because it’s only going to get more vile with every iteration. And I want you to be ready.  The first segment of our countdown covered multiple genres, animated and live action, gangsters, serial killers and evil spirits.   So I think, if nothing else, we’ve proven that we’re  non-discriminatory in our hate for villains.  Women, men, and… wait a minute…  Did we cover children? 85.  Kevin, We Need to Talk About Kevin Aw, you haven’t seen the movie?  Cute, isn’t he?  Well, marked by the moment...

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Beth’s Guide to ‘Super’ Dating

Fans of the comic book/superhero genre are bound to be delighted with the spring/summer movie lineup for 2014.  With the likes of Captain America, Spider-man, and Wolverine all headlining the most anticipated movies of the next few months, all of the women out there also have some serious eye candy to look forward to.  Ladies, even if you aren’t digging the superhero genre, please heed my advice and make the trip to the theater just to see these men in tights, literally.  In celebration of this wondrous occasion, I thought it fitting to share with you my own personal...

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100 Most Hated Movie Villains (#100-86)

Introduction Well, after a month of being a live website, I think we’re ready to do what websites do:  assume an entitled sense of self-importance and present a pretentiously definitive list.  Consider it a cathartic exercise, an airing of our historical movie grievances.  Let that hate flow out so we can get back to the parts of the film we love. Rules and criteria for the list will be defined as the entries are listed, but generally, we’re working down through villains who are increasingly disgusting, vile, evil, sadistic, hate worthy.  Get your bile ducts warmed up.  Here we...

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5 Failed Tough-Guy Lines

I consider myself an expert on badass movie one-liners for one reason:  I’m a pacifist.  Every day in my normal existence, I encounter instances in which I wish I could come up with an on-the-spot quip of strength, brevity, and intimidation.   In my imagination, I roll through the office like Snake Plissken, leaving a cloud of awesome in my wake.  Say some meeting is taking way too much time.  My impulse tells me I should hit em with “I’ll be back” and bail to the strip club.   Or half the office is mad at me because I...

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A Cinematic Playlist: 10 Examples of Great Pop Music Cues

Music is a powerful cinematic tool. It can accentuate directing, acting, and cinematography to make a great scene better than the sum of its parts, it can elevate a normal scene into an iconic scene, and it can manipulate viewer’s emotions in pivotal turning points. Effective and memorable uses of music are one of my cinema guilty pleasures. A great movie doesn’t have to have memorable music cues, but if it does, it will hold a special place in my heart. I’ve gone on a journey through some of my best film memories and compiled a list of some...

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Hot Fuzz

Overview: Cornetto Day continues with Edgar Wright’s second installment of the Blood and Ice Cream Trilogy, Hot Fuzz. Universal Pictures; 2007; Rated R; 121 minutes. Blood and Ice Cream: After the release of an undisputed comedic masterpiece, the world eagerly awaited what Edgar Wright would use to solidify his status as the best comedy director working today. Wright’s Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy are all standalone films; however, there is a thematic line of growth. Shaun of the Dead is about a boy – in a man’s body – becoming a man. Hot Fuzz is about that man who learns to...

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The World’s End

Overview:  Old friends reunite to reattempt a legendary pub crawl.  Universal Pictures; 2013; Rated R; 109 Minutes. Partaking of a Liquid Repast: For all of its outlandish comedic exploits, for all of its zany science fiction plot twists, and for all of its out-of-this-world elements of cinematic magic, it’s quite astonishing to realize that, in the most evident sense, The World’s End is a movie that catches us on the hook of personal empathy, somehow baited by familiar human experience.  To say that Director Edgar Wright pulls “a trick” to accomplish this empathic investment from his audience is to...

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9 Great Movie Pranks for April Fool’s Day

We all love a good practical joke.  Even our earliest scholars and authors have recounted tales of playful tomfoolery.  The art of pranking has become much more prevalent since methods of mass-communication have evolved.  Matter of fact, one of the first pony express telegraphs ever sent was a simple note: “Suck It.”  It was this act that spawned the phrase “Don’t shoot the messenger.”  Maybe. In more recent times, the great Orson Welles sent widespread panic to the whole nation with his iconic War of the Worlds radio broadcast.  Despite being fooled millions of ways and millions of times,...

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The Raid 2: Berandal

Overview: Following the events of The Raid: Redemption, rookie Jakarta cop Rama must go undercover to bring down the corruption in the city and save his family. Sony Pictures Classics/Stage 6 Films; 2014; Rated R; 150 Minutes. The Violence: Holy shit, this movie is violent! From start to finish it’s a flurry of punches, kicks, gruesome injuries, and graphic deaths. This movie is not for the faint of heart. There is barely enough time to recover from one action set-piece before the next one begins. Viewers should watch this with a large audience as the “Oooh’s” and “Oh my’s”...

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Nymphomaniac, Vols. I & II: The Ol’ Bate and Switch

Overview:  A woman confesses her sexual history to a stranger. Magnolia Pictures; 2014; Unrated; Volume 1 = 145 Minutes, Volume II = 124 Minutes. Volume I Right Off the Rails:  The initial volume of Nymphomaniac opens with a woman left beaten in the street.  Here, Joe is played by Charlotte Gainsbourg (her younger self is played by Stacy Martin)  A stranger, Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård), finds her and helps her back to his apartment where she candidly confesses her nymphomania and its history.  Seligman absorbs the information with a wry, ornery smile.  When Joe confesses having “discovered [her] cunt at...

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12 Literary Adaptations That Need to Happen

Look, I’m going to make this pronouncement on this site until someone comes after me:  When it comes to literary adaptations, sometimes the movie is better than the book! Shawshank Redemption?  The movie is better!  Snow Angels, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, The Shining.  Better movies than books. To Kill a Mockingbird. Damn right I went there. What’s wrong with you literary cowards!  Attack me!  Throw a Nook at me!  Do something! Now, I’m not saying that these hypothetical adaptations would be better than their source material, but these works could make a nice intersection for some of...

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The Hegemony of the Short Film Is No More

My initial thesis was going to be something like, “Short film used to be intended for mass consumption, but over time it became the domain of film school students and the avant garde; a place to prove oneself as a filmmaker.” After doing some research and sampling short films from the past century, however, I realized that my assumption – that earlier short film was not experimental or in any way pushing boundaries as it does today – was totally wrong. Short film as a vehicle for innovation hasn’t changed. What has changed, however, is the audience, and more...

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A Truth Told Lean: The Act of Killing

In 1988, Errol Morris took ownership of a truth.  Morris had set out to make a documentary about Dr. James Grigson.  Grigson was a court psychiatrist whose testimony had helped put over 100 inmates on death row.  A fascinating subject, for sure.  But in his interviews with the doctor and with the inmates against whom Grigson had testified, Morris grew suspicious of the subject, and specifically, developed concerns about one particular case.  Errol Morris went back to the drawing board and refocused his film’s ambition. Morris chased his instinct to its furthest conclusion and used his film to present...

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