Posts Tagged: At the Movies

It Took 12 Years to Make This 164 Minute Movie

So there's a movie that's like having a child and watching it grow up, but without actually having to have the child, and the watching it grow up part takes less than three hours? Sounds pretty perfect to me.


"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire": Your Eyes Are More Hungry Than Your Games

Once again, Mary HK Choi and Natasha Vargas-Cooper discuss the successes and shortcomings of the current popular cinema: now it's this weekend's box office burner The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.

Mary HK Choi: OK, did you watch the last movie ever again after the theater? I did not. Not even on the plane or VOD.

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: NOPE.

MHKC: RIIIIGHT? No desire, right? Like, zip?

NVC: Zero! And I know why: 1) Zero camp 2) Too much bad teenage acting 3) No hot teen sex scenes. Once you've seen Spring Breakers the world is DIFFERENT. IT IS DIFFERENT NOW.

MHKC: [...]


'The Hunger Games': Bloodless, Sexless and Not Very Hungry

Mary HK Choi: Let us make discussion! First Q: did you read the books?

Natasha Vargas-Cooper: I did not! On principle! I was like, “Make it work for me, Lionsgate."

Mary: RIGHT. Interesting. I did read the books! Second Q: did you read any reviews?

Natasha: NO. Mary, I wanted to love this, love it with my whole big heart I wanted to join a team, a district, pick a teen-lit boyfriend. I DID NONE OF THOSE THINGS. Q for you! Have you seen Battle Royale?

Mary: Of course! Racist.

Mary: Have you read The Lottery?

Natasha: Of course! Racist.

Mary: See, I liked it but that logline [...]


'Breaking Dawn': The Dress, The Vampire, the Fetus and the Headboard

Natasha: Did you love Breaking Dawn? Did you die during it? I DID.

Mary: I mean… CAN YOU EVEN? Because I maybe cannot. I went to a midnight showing on Court Street in Brooklyn with all of the Eighties babies. And we all DIED.

Natasha: !!!!!!!

Mary: We were STARING at each other like we weren't COMPLETE strangers.

Mary: Let's begin with the wedding as this movie does… QUE CELLO.

Natasha: This is the wedding every young girl pictures, right?

Mary: Yes. Outside. With all those plants I can't name.

Natasha: Let me just say, I SWOONED.

Mary: OH IDK what this swoonage refers to because ME TOO 360.

Natasha: [...]


Off to the Movies? Would You Like Some World Peace And/Or Pepsi?

It's only in the last ten years or so that we in the US began seeing commercials before the movie. The exotic and bizarre cinema-going experience in the UK, which once included not only the opportunity to buy cocktails in the lobby and to smoke (usually in the balcony) during the movie (I know, gross, whatever, I am just saying-it was a lot worse on the plane, believe me), has featured commercials for about forever. I had a special fondness for the hallucinogenic Babycham ones ("Nothing sparkles like a Babycham!").


Manic Pixie Dream Mom

If real Manic Pixie Dream Girls existed outside movies and pop culture critiques, eventually, in the course of the male ego stroking to which they owe their being, they’d wind up producing some sons and heirs. Being nubile, impulsive, and brimming with consent is essential to the Manic Pixie dream, so Manic Pixie pregnancy has got to be inevitable. It’s all right. A vital element of male self-obsession has always been the belief that their DNA must abound on the Earth forever and ever. Who better to make this a reality than dream girls already conjured out of male self-obsession?

In maternal form, the trope of the Manic Pixie Dream [...]


"Weekend Of A Champion": Roman Polanski's Elegant Bromance

Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars had long been the only documentary from my infancy that I can imagine watching over and over again, or even at all. I like my early 70s laced with enigma, androgyny and ambiguity and tightly packaged in flamboyant space frocks.

The thought of a non-fictional account of the Monaco Grand Prix shot two months after I was born hardly registers a yawn. I don’t give a lick about the leisure class in couture leisure suits slurping vintage champagne and snorting copious amounts of coke as tiny cars whirl around in a circle spewing bravado in a contest of testosterone on overdrive.

Sure, there’s [...]


The Poetry Of Ally Sheedy: A Look Back

February marked the twenty-first anniversary of the publication of a book of poems by the gifted actor Ally Sheedy. It was called Yesterday I Saw the Sun, and she was famously excoriated for it. Sheedy was then 28 years old and coming off a very bad patch, including a stint at Hazelden; she had picked up an addiction to Halcion during an ill-fated fling with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora, and her friend Demi Moore is said to have scooped up the remains of Sheedy and posted them to rehab by way of an intervention. Terrible business, but the braying press went after her anyway. "Ally Sheedy from bad to [...]


The Shortening Lifespan of the American Movie Theater

What is the actual future of going to the movies? Anthony Lane asks, as "video on demand" begins to bully the poor besieged theater-owners of America. "Showmen like James Cameron, I suspect, will continue to haul us off our couches for the grand, marquee events, but smaller fare may be streamed to us direct, and new films whittled down into just another channel on TV"—and this is a bad thing, he thinks. His argument is unusual, and it's not one that has ever crossed my mind before.


Our National Box Office Nightmare

The bulk of this year’s action and sci-fi films did clever violence better than in previous years but generally failed to develop minority characters. I mean the frequently derided popcorn fare such as Fast & Furious 6, as opposed to the hallowed and equally problematic Chilean Sea Bass fare of films such as Captain Phillips: The Wrath of Khat. A great deal of my fascination with the former subset stems from a desire to see smart, setting-specific violence that draws upon the elements of cinema as much as it does its surroundings. More often than not, this is something beyond the bullet and therefore historically unspecific to the white male [...]


23 Terrific Movie Studio Bumpers

It began in France. In 1895, the Gaumont Film Company (the oldest continuously operated film studio in the world) debuted their “Marguerite” logo, the iconic daisy named after founder Léon Gaumont’s mother. The daisy’s design has evolved since then, and so has the art of “bumpers”—those petite vignettes that announce a production studio’s involvement in a project. Universal and Paramount, the respective second and third-oldest studios in the world, swiftly followed Gaumont’s lead; the latter’s “Majestic Mountain” logo is Hollywood’s oldest surviving bumper, the byproduct of Paramount founder W.W. Hodkinson’s doodle of the Ben Lomond Mountain near his childhood Utah home.

Rarely are they consciously paid attention to, [...]


Early Oscar Season Smells Like Barf

What are you going to see at the movies this weekend (if you're not being held all weekend by the LAPD for exercising your First Amendment rights): the one with the dude with the giant schlong or the movie about the girl who gets paid to be unconscious while old dudes fondle her? USA! USA! Or have you seen Melancholia yet? Apart from the first five minutes, which are A+, and maybe the next 45, which are sinisterly hilarious, it's pretty much like these nine things, which include but are not limited to "overdosing on cement mix and diet tonic water" and "listening to a radio play [...]


The Mechanic's Gay Panic

You’d be forgiven for thinking it the height of silliness to try and tease out some deep cultural truth from the contemporary action movie—an art form in which Sly Stallone mentioning that some kind of vague bad political and/or drug stuff sometimes goes on south of the border passes for trenchant political commentary. But then you may not be a fan of the action movies of one Jason Statham and you may not have had his most recent punch-fest, The Mechanic—an otherwise well paced, competently shot affair, with no wince-inducing dialogue and with plenty of stoic Statham ass-kicking—marred by the fact that the only gay character in the movie [...]