Longform - Page 7

‘Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban’ Is the Weird Outlier of the ‘Harry Potter’ Franchise

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by Erin Whitney October 21, 2016 @ 2:33 PM
Warner Bros.
Leading up to the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on November 16, we’re looking back on the series and rewatching one movie each week to see how they hold up.

Ten Years Later, Why We’re Still Obsessed With ‘The Prestige’

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by Colin Biggs October 20, 2016 @ 9:52 AM
Buena Vista
The Dark Knight shattered box-office records across the world and Inception captivated the public in 2010, but an unassuming tale about magicians is the Christopher Nolan film I revisit most. Ten years have passed since The Prestige debuted, and without Batman or Leonardo DiCaprio, the film hasn’t gathered the mass following of Nolan’s bigger blockbusters. Perhaps, movie fans need to watch the film one more time.

This Year’s New York Film Festival Was All About Spotlighting Women

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by Erin Whitney October 18, 2016 @ 8:49 AM
A24/Netflix/Sony Pictures Classics
If you look back on the last few years of the New York Film Festival, you’ll find a common, though unsurprising theme: a lot of male-dominated narratives, often about white men’s woes and triumphs. Last year’s line-up had The Walk, Steve Jobs and Miles Ahead, 2014 was notable for the premieres of Inherent Vice, Birdman, and Foxcatcher, and the 2013 fest debuted Her, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and Captain Phillips. There have been some notable exceptions, like Carol, Clouds of Sils Maria, and Gone Girl, but overall stories about women have been a relegated to the background at the fest. That is, until this year.

Revisiting ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’: Some Good Moments, But Pretty Underwhelming

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by Erin Whitney October 14, 2016 @ 9:34 AM
Warner Bros.
Leading up to the 15th anniversary of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone on November 16, we’re looking back on the series and rewatching one movie each week to see how they hold up.

A Brief History of Scary Movie Clowns

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by Noel Murray October 13, 2016 @ 12:39 PM
For hundreds of years, we lived in a world where clowns were popularly understood to be funny and whimsical ... or, at the least, not absolutely freaking terrifying. Pop stars sang songs like “Everybody Loves a Clown” and “Send in the Clowns.” Parents hired entertainers in colorful satin outfits to do magic tricks and make balloon animals at their children’s birthday parties. Ronald McDonald sold us hamburgers. Emmett Kelly and Red Skelton were TV staples. We had a tacit cultural agreement not just to tolerate clowns, but to look forward to having them around.

15 Years Later, Does ‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ Still Hold Up?

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by Erin Whitney October 7, 2016 @ 5:08 PM
Warner Bros.
The very first Harry Potter movie opened 15 years ago next month. Fifteen years. A lot has changed in blockbuster movies over the past decade and a half – superheroes are now front and center, CG has advanced to remarkable degrees, and remakes, prequels and spin-offs are filling the movie theaters. But J.K. Rowling’s magical world was one of the most original series of its time. Before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone opened on November 18, 2001, the only major movies for kids born in the ‘80s and ‘90s were animated films from Disney and Dreamworks. The 21st Century also brought with it the Star Wars prequels and the Lord of the Rings series, but Harry Potter introduced a whole new era of fantasy blockbusters for kids (Chronicles of Narnia, The Golden Compass, Twilight, etc.). It gave millennials the first major family franchise of their generation.

The One Where Hollywood Keeps Taking Lisa Kudrow for Granted

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by Britt Hayes October 7, 2016 @ 11:31 AM
Sony / Getty Images / HBO / Edit by ScreenCrush
In the decade-plus that’s passed since the series ended, it’s become increasingly clear that Lisa Kudrow was the best actor on Friends. Maybe we were too preoccupied with Rachel’s hair and perfecting our Joey impressions to notice it then, but thanks to the generous gift of hindsight, it seems glaringly obvious now. Despite David Schwimmer’s excellent Juice-fueled turn on The People v. O.J. Simpson, and Jennifer Aniston’s typically solid and, sure, occasionally good roles, it’s Kudrow who has proven herself as the most consistently great actor of the bunch. Why, then, has Hollywood been neglecting her so much in recent years? Why are films like Neighbors and The Girl on the Train wasting her on nothing, throwaway roles with a maximum screen time of three minutes?

Let’s Explain Why Sequels (And Prequels and Reboots) Obsessed With Explaining Stuff Are Bad

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by Matt Singer September 28, 2016 @ 10:33 AM
Universal
The following post contains SPOILERS for Blair Witch, Jason Bourne, Spectre, Ghostbusters, and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. Oh my God, Phantom Menace spoilers! RUN FOR YOUR LIFE!

The Beginning and End of Brangelina in the Clairvoyant and Voyeuristic ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’

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by Matt Singer September 21, 2016 @ 2:16 PM
Fox
Centuries from now, when the world is covered with water and humanity is extinct and the end of A.I. Artificial Intelligence becomes a documentary, the future computers trying to understand our civilization from the pop culture we’ve left behind will scratch their robo-heads at Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Ancient records speak of the rise of some kind of symbiotic organism known as “Brangelina,” and then some years later its dissolution. The robots uncover an enormous amount of fascination in this creature. There are thousands of pictures of this two-headed being smiling, looking glamorous, in front of backdrops festooned with corporate logos. Separately, the individuals that comprised Brangelina made many movies, but they appeared together only twice: In 2015’s By the Sea and in 2005’s Mr. & Mrs. Smith. Then and now, the film is one of the stranger works made in Hollywood in the 21st Century.