Big week for explosive arrows! Last week I reviewed Far Cry 4, one of the best videogames I’ve played this year; I also saw The Hunger Games—Mockingjay: Part 1, one of the best non-movies I’ve seen this year. Readers responded with their thoughts about Ubisoft’s franchises and some deep thoughts about the state of moviemaking. If you want to join the conversation, or just want to tell me I’m wrong, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. READ FULL STORY
Tag: Entertainment Geekly (1-10 of 100)
This is not a rant about anything. I need to clarify that up front, because 2014 has been a horrible year for ranting. But it’s also been great year for very good things that straddle the line between how we used to define television and how we used to define movies.
Is True Detective a miniseries or an 8-hour movie? Should The Knick rank in Steven Soderbergh’s filmography? Fargo and Hannibal transformed well-trod source material into a new kind of remake—half greatest hits compilation, half concept album. Not for nothing, 2014 was also the year that Shonda Rhimes claimed Thursday for old-fashioned weekly TV, with three flavors of throwback procedural (doctor show, politics show, lawyer show) infused with soap operatics.
On the big screen, Hollywood’s embrace of aggressive franchising came up with fascinating new mutant forms of sequel-prequel-reboots. It’s become common to compare the cinematic output of Marvel Studios to television production: Kevin Feige is the showrunner; different directors serve the Marvel vision first and their own vision second; cast members sign seven-picture contracts, the new incarnation of the old TV-actor Faustian bargain. (Steady work = no freedom.) You can feel the TV-ification of cinema in small ways and large. Wasn’t Dwayne Johnson’s Hercules just a more expensive version of Kevin Sorbo’s Hercules? (I mean that as a compliment; Hercules is one of the best watch-it-on-a-plane movies released this year.) Isn’t Horrible Bosses 2 just a renegade from the parallel universe where Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis, and Charlie Day starred in a middlingly popular bro-com on Fox? READ FULL STORY
Let’s pretend there are two Kevin Smiths: Kevin Smith the Film Director, and Kevin Smith the Everything Else.
Consider the latter: Kevin Smith is a podcaster many times over. Take every podcast he’s ever recorded; beam it into space. Someday humanity will be dead, and somewhere, out there, the aliens will have still have years’ worth of Kevin Smith talking, talking, talking. READ FULL STORY
Christopher Nolan made Memento, but he also made The Dark Knight Rises. Great filmmakers can make bad movies: This is not a particularly complicated equation. And Nolan’s new space melodrama Interstellar is not a particularly complicated movie. The science is elaborate and insane, but the emotional stakes are simple: Father loves daughter, father saves humanity.
But Nolan is one of our plottiest filmmakers. (Most films have three acts; Nolan’s movies usually have at least six, usually out of order and/or overlapping.) I attempted to explain the plot of Interstellar, but even I ran up against some impenetrable cosmo-logic. Some readers in the comments offered helpful suggestions. Some readers were angry that people didn’t like Interstellar, a transcendent visually stimulating three-hour odyssey. Some readers were angry that people liked Interstellar, a gooey three-hour snoozefest. Some heavy thoughts on Interstellar, is what I’m getting at.
Let’s dig into the reactions, shall we? (Warning: A million spoilers for Interstellar follow.) READ FULL STORY
EXT. THE DAWN OF TIME – DAY
A proto-human HOMINID kneels on the ground of the prehistoric Earth. Suddenly, a large shadow covers him. He looks up and sees a large rectangular MONOLITH.
A voiceover begins, British.
BRITISH VOICEOVER: The first recorded monolith appeared on Earth 4 million years ago, in the Pleistocene era.
History reduces the 2009 Video Music Awards to the big moment when Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift to talk about Beyoncé. This is one of the most important things that ever happened to Kanye West and Taylor Swift; for Beyoncé, it was something that happened on a Sunday.
I remember much more about the 2009 Video Music Awards. I remember that the show ended with Jay Z taking all the time in the world to get to the stage so he could duet with Alicia Keys on “Empire State of Mind,” a track that already felt destined to become a Hall of Fame New York anthem, insofar as it already felt like Jay Z would be performing some variation of “Empire State of Mind” for the rest of the 21st century. READ FULL STORY
Two weeks ago, in the span of about 24 hours, the universe of superhero movies rapidly expanded in a series of bizarre new directions. First came news that Marvel was actively considering making the next Captain America movie into the next Iron Man movie, in a story arc that would cull material from the mid-2000s mega-crossover “Civil War.”
Coincidentally or probably not, Warner Bros. chose that precise cultural moment to announce that they were planning a whole bunch of DC superhero movies. Wonder Woman? Aquaman? Cyborg? Check, check, checkeroo! Several readers wrote in with their own thoughts on the Marvel and DC Cinematic Universes. (You should, too! Remember, if you want to yell at me for something, my email address is email@example.com.)
Let’s start thing off with Captiron Manmerica: READ FULL STORY
Robert Kirkman likes to describe The Walking Dead as a zombie movie that never ends. But to my eyes, the most interesting thing about the show is how it’s spent five seasons fluttering between different storytelling modes. The show lacks a single setting and makes a point of killing off at least a couple key cast members every season. This can make The Walking Dead feel unwieldy or unfocused, but it also means that there’s an exciting state of constant flux underpinning the show’s basic head-crushing thrills. I’ve always said that original showrunner Frank Darabont most clearly viewed his version of The Walking Dead as a kind of neo-western, with Sheriff Rick as a clean-cut cowboy wanderer set morally adrift in a new frontier apocalypse. READ FULL STORY
My new apartment doesn’t have internet or cable, because I don’t know if I want internet or cable. “Not wanting cable” is so hot right now. This week, CBS and HBO announced their intentions to launch streaming-only services. Pause to imagine your retired grandparents who watch NCIS: New Orleans but prefer NCIS: LA. Now pause to imagine your prodigal-son cousin who stars in a hipster off-Broadway nude-rap opera. (He plays a a cross-dressing hooker named Threeyoncé.) Now pause to imagine that they both suddenly agree on everything—because when the most successful TV network and the TV network so cool that it constantly claims it’s not a TV network both agree that the future is streaming, then “television” as a concept really is just becoming a concept. (Lest we needed further proof: It might feel like Friends is always on TV, but now Friends will literally always be on Netflix.) READ FULL STORY
1999 will always be one of my favorite years for movies. This is partially because there were a lot of great movies released that year, but mainly because in 1999 I was in high school, and as we all know, the world was more important and less terrible when we were in high school. Last week, I took a look at which movies from 1999 had aged well, and asked which had aged poorly. The response was overwhelming, insofar as it’s overwhelming that anyone likes American Beauty.
However, one reader email in particular struck me as a launchpad for an important conversation. Here it is:
Going forward will all movies that have a Caucasian lead in them simply be dismissed as “white dude problems?” Guess I can check off Citizen Kane and North by Northwest from my good movies list.
- P.D. James, crime novelist, dies at 94
- 'Red Band Society' production halted
- 'Assassin's Creed: Unity' fans get an apology
- 'Survivor': Eliminated contestant is...
- 'MasterChef' judge Joe Bastianich to exit
- Netflix: See what's new for December
- Creed's Scott Stapp to fans: I'm 'penniless'
- Drew Carey among CBS 12:35 a.m. fill-ins
- 'Sherlock' first photo from new special
- 'Hart of Dixie' return moved up to Dec. 15