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 Tom Cruise and another remake in to close out a weird September that’s been dominated by a clown.
Continue reading In Theaters This Week (9/29/2017): American Made, Flatliners
As someone who loves the English language and watching it get stood on its head and played with, I am also a huge fan of 2007’s Juno. Not only do I think it’s a great and, at times, hilarious movie about the fairly serious subject of teen pregnancy, I think Ellen Page should have won an Oscar for her portrayal of the exasperated, increasingly inflating teen who finds her baby new parents by picking them out of a Penny Saver. I love the rhythms of language Diablo Cody (who did win an Oscar for the script) picks for Juno. When I was a teen, and really still, I think phrasing things the way everyone else does is boring, and am constantly making up new words to fit my needs.
My favorite scene in the film, though, is one that is one of the best father/daughter talks I’ve ever seen in a movie. It’s wise and funny, showcasing not only Page’s talent but that of JK Simmons, who is one of the best additions any movie can make to its cast. Juno’s dad has a pretty realistically bad reaction to the news that she’s pregnant and that’s one of the movie’s most painfully real reminders of how serious this all is, but by the time this scene takes place, he’s calmed down and gives her some of the best advice any father could ever give his daughter. The question is, “Can two people fall in love and stay in love together forever?” Simmons answer is better than any summary I could write.
Last week, we took an in-depth look at Inception (click here to read), one of my favorite films of all-time, and timely since Inception’s director, Christopher Nolan, just turned in the best movie I’ve seen this year thus far in Dunkirk. In my article, I mentioned Nolan’s preference for doing any kind of F/X practically rather than with CGI if it can be humanly done (even when it’s flipping a tractor trailer in The Dark Knight). CineFix, who should be paying me to hype them at this point, doesn’t just make great movie lists, it also has a feature called “The Art of the Scene” where they dissect an amazing scene, show you how it was done and why it works in the film. I almost included this behind-the-scenes piece in my article, but it’s a fascinating look at the rotating hallway fight from Inception. Whereas most directors would have inserted the actors into a CGI environment, Nolan went a very different route. It’s a fascinating look at an amazing scene.
This fight uses no CGI other than to remove the wires Joseph Gordon Levitt and the other actors are wearing. A full-scale hallway was built and then put on a giant gimbal which rotated the room. The fight takes place in a critical moment in the final job, when the van that’s carrying the team around has gone off a bridge, creating a zero-G effect that ripples down the various levels of the dreamworld you see in the map. For Arthur (Levitt), who is in the shallowest level, he loses gravity entirely and the result is an amazing fight scene, made all the more amazing when you know how Nolan and Pfister shot it.
Every other month, we take a look at a movie from the Internet Movie Database’s List of the TOP 250 FILMS OF ALL-TIME. These are movies that transcend a simple “My Favorite Scene” column. These are movies that are hard to just pry five gems from, but we do and examine the film overall. We’re on our fourteenth installment in this series. Click on the link here to check out previous installments from #1 The Shawshank Redemption to #13 Forrest Gump.
Inception is our fourteenth installment in this series, and what a perfect example of a film you simply cannot highlight in one scene. When Alfred Hitchcock was gone, everyone asked who would be the next Hitchcock. When Steven Spielberg lost his touch, people began asking who was the next Spielberg. Christopher Nolan isn’t the next anything. In an age when cinema has become largely cookie cutter, Nolan has risen to become film’s best director, and in 40 years people will be asking who the next Nolan will be. Inception is, in my opinion, Nolan’s best film, and a film so original and yet filled with so many classic elements of different genres that Nolan was able to make his dense script a hook audiences were willing to push themselves to understand. Combined with dazzling visuals, an amazing ensemble, Wally Pfister’s cinematography masterpiece, and a score from Hans Zimmer for the ages and you have one of the best films of the 21st Century. Continue reading Top 5: Scenes from Inception (IMDB Top 250 #14)
Given that they released 25 different covers for their X-Men Days of Future Past issue, it’s not surprising that some interior pictures from Empire Magazine’s X-stravaganza (yeah, that was bad) would leak. It seems so much to cram into one motion picture, all these mutants, but given that Singer is already planning the follow-up, I think he has an arc in mind that will span several pictures. I think this is the last time we’re going to see not only the old guard, but probably also Hugh Jackman in a team X-Men film and everything I’ve seen points to it being one of, if not the most, epic Marvel movie of all-time. I’m particularly intrigued by what they’re going to do with Mystique. I think this is going to be a bad stretch of time for her, and I’m interested to know how they’ll utilize her given they’re lucky enough to have the most popular and one of the most talented actresses in the world playing her. The seventh film to feature Marvel’s mutants will debut in theaters on May 23, 2014.