Times are tough, but that doesn't mean we can't all have a good time at the movies, even if the movies are all about how tough the times are. Poverty has long been a solid catalyst for movie plots, especially comedy plots
With 'Oz the Great and Powerful' in theaters this Friday, it's time for a little refresher course on the world of Oz. If all you know of Oz comes from the films, then you have quite a lot left to discover about this wacky, magical realm. L. Frank Baum wrote fourteen Oz novels and various other Oz relate
Arnold Schwarzenegger was Hollywood's leading action hero for much of the 1980s and 1990s. His body of work is filled with action extravaganzas and fun, high-concept comedies. The release of 'The Last Stand' - Arnold's first starring role in a film in 10 years - has us thinking about Arnold's entire body of work
As far as boldness goes, it's difficult to top the gruesome onscreen murder of Adolph Hitler in 'Inglourious Basterds.'
This big climactic moment might supply 'Reservoir Dogs' with its biggest bit of visual iconography (neck and neck with shots of the crew walking down the street after breakfast), and it's not hard to understand why. The moment sums up all the film has to say about criminal moral codes and the idea of honor among thieves, and it does so while looking incredibly cool.
'Jackie Brown' is more focused on romance and age and money schemes than rampant violence, but when it gets to killing characters, it's certainly not shy. Most of the film's big deaths come as a bit of a shock, but none more so than Louis' sudden gunning down of a nagging Melanie in a shopping mall parking lot.
By the time we get to 'Kill Bill Vol. 2,' we've already seen enough carnage and bloodshed for three regular films, which is why this one smartly goes a bit smaller (that being a relative term).
A lot of people give Tarantino grief for being a bad actor. I generally find him good in non-Tarantino films, but not so great in his own. Even when he does give himself a part, though, it's usually small and easy enough to work with.
Stuntman Mike's successful murder of 'Death Proof's first group of young girls is pretty amazing for the raw brutality of the violence involved (seriously, Vanessa Ferlito's face gets ripped off by a spinning tire). But it's when Mike's second would-be group of victims turn the tables on him that Death Proof really turns into something special.