Category Archives: Movies

Josh Brolin’s 10 Best Movies

Josh Brolin

Josh Brolin, son of the veteran actor James Brolin, has been following in his father’s footsteps since he first appeared in Goonies over 30 years ago. Brolin has matured into one of the most reliable character actors in Hollywood (even though that character is usually some variation on either an oily creep or an affable modern cowboy, he still manages to make either one work very very well). Brolin has been part of extremely talented ensembles in memorable films like Sicario, Only the Brave, American Gangster, and In the Valley of Elah. A favorite of the Coen Brothers in films like Hail Caesar!, No Country for Old Men, and True Grit, Brolin is capping one of the more memorable summers in recent memories with three big sequels in less than two months. The most memorable film moment so far in 2018 was Brolin’s in Avengers: Infinity War as his uber-MCU villain Thanos’s “Snap Heard Across the Universe” still has comic fans breathing into paper bags.

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Mary Queen of Scots Trailer #1 (2018) *Born to Fight. Born to Power.*

*Text from Coming Soon
Mary, Queen of Scots explores the turbulent life of the charismatic Mary Stuart. Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth 1. Each young Queen beholds her “sister” in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. Determined to rule as much more than a figurehead, Mary asserts her claim to the English throne, threatening Elizabeth’s sovereignty. Betrayal, rebellion, and conspiracies within each court imperil both thrones – and change the course of history.

The cast also includes Jack Lowden (Dunkirk, England is Mine), Joe Alwyn (The Sense of an Ending, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk), Martin Compston (Sweet Sixteen, Line of Duty), Gemma Chan (Captain Marvel), Ismael Cordova (The Catch), Ian Hart (The Terror), Adrian Lester (Riviera), James McArdle (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), and Brendan Coyle (Downton Abbey, Me Before You). Also featuring in the cast are David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) and Guy Pearce (Memento, LA Confidential, The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert).

Josie Rourke, artistic director of The Donmar Warehouse, makes her feature directorial debut on the movie. The producers of Mary, Queen of Scots are Working Title co-chairs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner, and Debra Hayward, all Academy Award nominees as producers of Best Picture Oscar nominee Les Misérables.

Beau Willimon, an Academy Award nominee for The Ides of March and Emmy Award nominee for House of Cards, has written the screenplay adaptation. Mary, Queen of Scots is based on John Guy’s acclaimed biography My Heart is My Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots is set for release on December 7, 2018.

Saorise Ronan in Mary Queen of Scots

Top 10: Musical Movie Moments

CineFix is back after a long hiatus with a brand new list highlighting the 10 best uses of music in movies, instances where music is used inside the film to further the plot…but not musical numbers or scores.  There’s actually a word for this if you want to forgo a rip on your Word-of-the-Day Calendar: Diegetics.  Within this concept are a whole lot of extremely specific uses for music in films: music provided by characters in a scene, contrapuntal scoring (or music provided to underscore a scene wildly out of sync with that particular scene’s gravity; think The Mickey Mouse March in Full Metal Jacket or the closing number from The Life of Brian), songs character choose to play that help define that character (ex: Peter Quill dancing to “Come And Get Your Love” in Guardians of the Galaxy), and a whole bunch of more esoteric musical film categories.  Diegetics, people.

Diegetic sound. Sound whose source is visible on the screen or whose source is implied to be present by the action of the film: voices of characters. sounds made by objects in the story. music represented as coming from instruments in the story space ( = source music)

Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption

In Theaters This Week (7/13/2018): Skyscraper, Hotel Transylvania 3, Sorry to Bother You

Hotel Transylvania 3
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 week brings an extremely eclectic threesome of new wide releases to theaters Continue reading In Theaters This Week (7/13/2018): Skyscraper, Hotel Transylvania 3, Sorry to Bother You

My Favorite Scene: Jumanji – Welcome to the Jungle (2017) “Strengths and Weaknesses”

Making a “great video game” movie has become an annual rite of failure for Hollywood.  For whatever reason, even games that have great storytelling and visuals on home consoles can’t be adapted competently on to the big screen.  Just this year Tomb Raider and Ready Player One whiffed in trying to translate.  I think the best video game movie currently is actually a sequel to a movie based on a kids’ book: 2017’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. 

Welcome to the Jungle uses all the conventions of video games: limited lives, character skills, levels, bosses, NPCs, cut scenes, and more to push the plot along a fast-paced, comedic action roller coaster.  If the plot is thin…..well so are most video games, and every one of the characters is more than aware that they’re trapped within one.  It doesn’t waste time trying to be more than what it is, and mainly the entire jungle serves as a showcase for the movie’s true star: their four leads’ complete and utter dorkiness within their host bodies.  My favorite exploration of the movie/game space is when the four character discover how to read their character’s stat sheets and discover the strengths and weaknesses (mostly weaknesses for Kevin Hart) of their flesh prisons.Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle Poster