Film Frets
13

Reckoning With 'Thelma & Louise'

Carrie Frye: Maud! I rented Thelma & Louise a few weeks ago, and it was, weirdly, only on rewatching that I realized why every so often I get an irresistible urge to rent an aqua convertible, conscript a few female friends for the trip and just drive… south, west, wherever: it's because of Thelma & Louise! It should have been the obvious source of the daydream, but I had lost track of the full extent to which this movie had hardwired my brain. It's been 21 years since it came out—it is now old enough to walk into a bar and order a Wild Turkey straight up and a Coke [...]

5

Why We Need Best Supporting-Supporting Actor & Actress Categories

This might sound a little nuts at first, but hear me out: the Academy needs to add another Acting category. I know, I know: the ceremony is already too long, and actors already get too much attention, and there are entire subsections of film workers not being honored at all.* And certainly I believe that the Academy should recognize the best of everything from trailers to end credits; as “a professional honorary organization dedicated to the advancement of the arts and sciences of motion pictures,” it should recognize dedicated professionals in all the different fields that make up movies. Why not recognize the people behind particularly striking title sequences [...]

24

'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' Is My Favorite Movie Of 2012

"Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end."

Some people think of that quote as belonging to Paulo Coelho. Others to John Lennon. A special few, however, know it as the oft-spoken adage of Sonny Patel, owner of a fictional hotel in Jaipur, India. As someone who believes The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to be the best movie of 2012, the fact that I fall into the latter category should be no surprise. It should also be no surprise that many people choose not to believe that I'm serious about loving it as much as I [...]

19

The Future Looks Back On 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story'

It is December 20, 2007, the day before the release of Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Jake Kasdan, Judd Apatow, and John C. Reilly are sharing a beer, excited, expectant. There is a puff of smoke. A young woman appears in their midst. She is nondescript, but their attention is drawn to her dress. Peplum silhouettes aren't in. Not… yet. Apatow immediately senses she is from the future.

The Woman: I am from 2013.

The Three Men: Let's just totally accept that without asking a bunch of questions, and assume you're here to tell us about "Walk Hard." It's a hit, right?

The Woman: It is not. You are [...]

13

Hollywood, Stop Botching Your Third Movies

Ewoks. Tina Turner. Religious space prisoners. Sofia Coppola. Here is where we sit for a moment and gravely reflect on all the horrific things that can go wrong when an otherwise amazing trilogy hits its third installment.

I'm not the first to notice that Hollywood has trouble with third acts—although I refuse to believe Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome clocks in at 81% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Return of the Jedi brings up the rear of the Star Wars trilogy with a startling 79% (A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back easily top 90%, I think we can all agree that it's Empire or GTFO). The Godfather [...]

32

How Did 'Forrest Gump' Ever Beat Out 'Pulp Fiction' For Best Picture?

Brian: George C. Scott, loveable old grump that he was, famously called the Oscars "a two-hour meat parade," as well as "offensive, barbarous and innately corrupt." It's hard to argue with any of that, but it makes me nostalgic for the days when the Academy could get it over with in a mere hundred and twenty minutes.

Brad: The Oscars officially died for me in 2002, when Ron Howard somehow won Best Director for A Beautiful Mind over Robert Altman and David Lynch, who were nominated for Gosford Park and Mulholland Drive.

As the Oscars draw near, the second in a series about our strong movie opinions, past and [...]

28

How 'Minority Report' Trapped Us In A World Of Bad Interfaces

Pocket

I wish I could get away with charging my clients a fee for every time they say "Minority Report" to me. I’m a commercial artist in L.A., and 90% of commercial art is shutting up and giving the client what they want. That means I spend a lot of time trying to repackage Steven Spielberg’s vision of the future: floating graphical windows with video hovering in them, typography flickering and animating in response to actors’ actions, interfaces appearing and disappearing when fingers reach out to poke them. In short, building a virtual iPad interface, hovering in front of the actor using it. In [...]

83

'Crash': The Most Loathsome Best Picture Of Them All

Mallory: Has Crash suffered enough? Sure, it won homecoming queen at the Oscars, but then no one would let Crash sit with them at lunch for the next eight years. Ta-Nehisi Coates named it the worst movie of the decade; Natasha Vargas-Cooper referred to it as a "white guilt manipulation-a-thon." Even Slate wouldn't throw it a contrarian bone. It's The Most Popular Girl That Nobody Liked.

Anne Helen: No, it has not. This movie needs to keep suffering, because it will not stop hurting us. When it came up on Twitter the other night, someone suggested it's a PowerPoint presentation posturing as insight—and that feels true. [...]

18

The One Edit That Would Make 'North By Northwest' Perfect

North By Northwest is fantastic. Can we agree on this? I hope so. If you disagree, you're probably a perfectly nice person, but I'm afraid you are factually incorrect on this point, and I'm not going to deign to argue with you. Sorry. "Propulsive" is a word that has been beaten to death by movie critics, but really, the plot gets underway immediately—Cary Grant is kidnapped less than four minutes after the opening credit sequence ends—and does not really let up for the next two wonderful hours.

As the Oscars draw near, the first in a series about our strong movie opinions, past and present.

Because North By [...]