This week sees the release of ‘Jupiter Ascending,’ the latest sci-fi adventure from Andy and Lana Wachowski. And while in all likelihood ‘Jupiter Ascending’ will not go down in history as one of the great works of its genre, the occasion of a new sci-fi epic from two of the modern masters of the form seemed like a good time to assess and celebrate the recent highlights of science fiction cinema, which has taken audiences from the furthest reaches of the cosmos to the deepest recesses of the human mind.
Lists - Page 6
Is there anything better than a movie with a great theme song? Arguably, yes. But I’m still fond of theme songs anyway, particularly when said theme song shares an exact title with the movie it’s from. The eponymous movie theme song is a rare and sometimes strange breed; sort of like a hairless sphinx.
Before the first line of dialogue or scene, before the first appearance of the star or opening credit, there are the studio logos. These animated introductions have become ubiquitous (and sometimes, in the era of elaborate co-productions, a bit oppressive), but they are also the way all Hollywood films make their first impressions, and that’s why some directors adapt them to fit the specifications of their particular production. The ScreenCrush staff (okay just me) gets a big kick out of movies that do this well, so we (I) decided to honor the filmmakers who feel the same way with this lengthy (but by no means authoritative list) of our (my) favorites. In rough chronological order (with a few exceptions to group multiple films by one director together), here are ...
Okay, so there was a fair amount of disappointment around the 2015 Academy Award nominations. Everything was not awesome for ‘The Lego Movie,’ robbed of a Best Animated Movie nod, and David Oyelowo’s dreams of a Best Actor nomination vanished when Steve Carell and Bradley Cooper’s names were mentioned instead. ‘Force Majeure’ got snubbed for a Best Foreign Language Film nomination and ‘Selma’’s Ava Duvernay was robbed in the Best Director Category. I just keep looking at the list of nominations and playing “Sad Trombone” over and over again. It’s basically the official theme song of the 2015 Academy Awards.
Speaking frankly, I must confess that got into this whole writing-about-movies business specifically so I could spend my life avoiding things like mathematics and using my brain. But with 2014 winding down, I’ve been taking a look back at the year that was, and considering some of its ups and downs. ScreenCrush has already spent a lot of time on the creative highs and lows of the year, but what about the financial ones? Even if it meant doing some math, New Year’s Eve seemed like an appropriate moment to bust out my calculator and use it to make sense of the box-office numbers of 2014.
The release of ‘Big Eyes’ marks the 17th film of director Tim Burton and one of the biggest departures in his 30 year career as a feature filmmaker. A seemingly straightforward drama about painter Margaret Keane, the movie sees one of the most fantastical filmmakers in the world making a rare trip back down to Earth. To mark the occasion, we delved into Burton’s filmography with one mission: to rank his films from worst to best. Some choices were easy (he’s made some really lousy films) and others were difficult (he’s made a handful of genuinely great movies), and through it all, he proved to be fascinating, often maddening subject. Few directors stoke the ire of movie fans quite like Burton, but when he’s on point, no one can do what he does.
T-minus one week and counting until 2015 —and now that we’ve finally put our 2014 top-ten lists to bed, it’s time to turn our attention to the new year. From the looks of things so far, it should be a good one.
‘Saturday Night Live’ started 2014 as a show that was rebuilding; it ended the year in a noticeable groove that foreshadows, hopefully, many more great things to come. The following 10 sketches represent the calendar year of 2014—which includes the last half of the 39th season and the first half of this current 40th season. So, with that explanation out of the way, here are the 10 best ‘SNL’ sketches of 2014. Like all lists, you will like some choices and not like others.
The Internet Movie Database is a fantastic website. It’s an invaluable, comprehensive resource; I use it almost every day of my life. But the IMDb is also an underrated source of comedy. Every film on the site contains what are called “Plot Keywords”—words or phrases that describe motifs, themes, character types, or plot details. Each plot keyword is searchable, so if you wanted a list of, say, every movie where a character gets hit with a hammer, you just need to go to the “Hit With A Hammer” IMDb keyword page. It’s that simple.
I enjoy reading top ten lists, but I don’t particularly like making a top ten list—which does nothing as far as an explanation as to why I decided to do a Top 147 list (or Bottom 147 list, if that’s more your thing). I covered four film festivals in 2014, so I saw more than 147 movies, but these are the 147 movies I saw that came out in a theater this year. (I realize ‘The Interview’ is now not coming out, but, whatever, it’s on here too.) I am only one human being, so I didn’t see every movie that came out this year—Where’s ‘Noah’? I never saw ‘Noah’—but I think I saw quite a few! Anyway, here they all are. (I only wrote about a few of them because I am not a crazy person.)