Jessica Chastain’s 10 Best Movies

Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain is one of the most underutilized leading ladies in Hollywood.  I’m not sure why Chastain doesn’t get more vehicles, but when she does, she’s absolutely riveting.  She’s creating strong, complex characters in films like Molly’s Game, Zero Dark Thirty, and Miss Sloane.  She’s also been a critical part of some of the best ensembles in recent memory in The Martian, The Help, and Interstellar.  Chastain excels at creating layered characters that exude strength and vitality and her presence on the screen is the equal to any actress of her generation, so hopefully more quality opportunities will come her way as her career continues to progress. Continue reading Jessica Chastain’s 10 Best Movies

Site Note: My Favorite Scene Going Bi-Weekly!!!

Christopher Walken on SNL

While I have no more cowbell for you (pause for sighs and boos), I do have more awesome movie scenes.  “My Favorite Scene” is the oldest column in the nearly five-year history of Killing Time.  I’ve written over 240 of them, but I haven’t even scratched the surface of the movies I want to take a look at.  For Tuesday’s column, I try to pick a movie that has some relevance to a star or a film coming out that weekend.  This keeps the films pretty much in the 5-10 year past ballpark.  That’s fine, but I never get to go back further and that’s what the Saturday installments will largely do: examine great scenes from films a little further back.  I’ve already plotted out 2018’s entries, and I’m really excited about the line-up of films we’ll hopefully get some discussion started on.  Some of these I’ve examined in my every-other-month IMDB TOP 250 columns, but those films can’t get enough revisiting.  The first Saturday entry, The Shawshank Redemption,is already up!

My Favorite Scene: The Shawshank Redemption (1994) “Rehabilitated?”

By turns brutal and beautiful; crude yet wise in a way few pieces of art ever attain, The Shawshank Redemption has grown and grown in popularity since it’s release over 20 years ago.  When it was released in 1994, it was overshadowed for recognition by “Gumpmania” as Forrest Gump took most of the glory that year, but over time the film has grown so in stature that it is now the highest rated film of all-time by users on the IMDB’s Top 250 Films (click here for a more in-depth look at the film).

The parole hearings were a recurring plot device to show both the changes that Otis “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) underwent in his decades in prison and the passage of time.  This occurs at the very end of the film when a weary Red is dragged one more time in front of the parole board and with withering weariness delivers one of the best monologues Freeman’s ever gotten.  It’s the tired wisdom of an old man desperate to speak sense to his younger self, bereft of the hope that a future is possible.  Whatever Red says the final time, it sets him free and on a path to Mexico and a reunion with his best friend.

Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption

Top 10: Saddest Superhero Movie Deaths

 

For comic book characters, death isn’t quite the final condition it is for the rest of us.  It’s more of an annoying flu that sidelines them for a few years at most before they find a way to kick it.  WatchMojo has put together a list of the 10 saddest superhero deaths in which the condition stuck (it also included supporting characters on the list, and given the subject matter it goes without saying that this is a SPOILER intensive list.

Most of the entries come from films outside the MCU and DCEU, both of which have been pretty merciful to characters so far (unless they were underdeveloped villains).  I have a feeling that the MCU’s mercy, at least, is going to change with Avengers 3 & 4 in a big way, but most of the entries on this list come from X-Men, Spider-Man, and pre-DCEU Batman installments.  While I agree with a lot of the choices (and the rule that no one resurrected should be included), choosing The Amazing Spider-Man 2 or X-Men: Apocalypse over Watchmen struck me as a particularly grievous oversight.  I definitely agree with #1, but I think there should be two entrants from Logan on the list.  What traumas did you find left out?  Let’s grieve together, people!

Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2

In Theaters This Week (1/12/2018): Paddington 2, The Commuter, Proud Mary

Vera Farmiga and Liam Neeson in The Commuter

Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  This weekend sees another Oscar contender go wide and three 2018 films, two of which definitely scream JANUARY RELEASE: BEWARE! Continue reading In Theaters This Week (1/12/2018): Paddington 2, The Commuter, Proud Mary

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