Longform - Page 9

Big Strides on the Small Screen: Why This Fall Is a Major Season for LGBT on TV

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by Nick Romano October 10, 2014 @ 11:00 AM
ABC/FOX/Amazon
On Thursday, September 25, 'How to Get Away with Murder' lit the blogosphere on fire. The series, executive produced by 'Scandal' creator Shonda Rhimes, featured actors Jack Falahee and Conrad Ricamora in flagrante, fiercely making out with each other before ripping each others' clothes off. The following week, these two were at it again, "only this time, I get to do you," said Ricamora's Oliver. And that's apparently only a steamy preview of what's coming up.

'Birdman' is Excellent, But Michael Keaton is Not Birdman

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by Mike Ryan October 10, 2014 @ 10:19 AM
Fox Searchlight
In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s ‘Birdman’ (which will close the New York Film Festival this weekend and, I'll add, is my favorite movie of the year), Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thomson, a veteran actor whose biggest claim to fame is that he used to be in a series of superhero movies. Now, Riggan is attempting to make his comeback by staging a Broadway play based on a Raymond Carver short story. It’s been lost on no one that Michael Keaton also used to be in a series of superhero movies and hasn’t had the most prolific output over the last 15 years – and is, now, making a comeback (of sorts) with ‘Birdman.’ For his part, Michael Keaton is distancing himself from this comparison, telling New York Magazine, “I related less to him than almost every other character I’ve played, in terms of the desperation.”

The Best 'Dracula' Movie Hasn't Even Been Made Yet

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by Jacob Hall October 9, 2014 @ 3:55 PM
Universal
While it's true that great stretches of Stoker's novel have been explored, transformed and extended by countless filmmakers over the years until every surprise feels like a cliche, there's one stretch of the story that feels fresher than ever. Upon a recent revisit to the novel, it was this portion of the book that most ignited the imagination and felt the most inherently cinematic. And yet, it's the portion of the book that gets overlooked in even the most faithful adaptations.

'Nymphomaniac' Uncut: Notes From a Five-and-a-Half-Hour Long Movie

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by Jacob Hall October 2, 2014 @ 12:54 PM
Magnolia
It's the final day of Fantastic Fest and only about two dozen other people were crazy enough to show up. After a week of movies, parties and other insane events at largest genre film festival in the United States, only a few handfuls of people were ready and prepared to tackle the nuttiest thing on the fest's schedule: the 324-minute director's cut of Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomanaic.' That's no typo: this movie is literally five and a half hours long

'The Boxtrolls' and Laika: The Bad Boys of Studio Animation

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by Mike Ryan September 24, 2014 @ 9:46 AM
Focus
There’s a particular scene in ‘The Boxtrolls’ that truly exemplifies the bravado of Laika – an almost “I don’t give a f---” attitude toward focus groups and the societal norms of what an animated films should be. The problem is, this scene can’t be described in its full detail because it would be considered a spoiler. Let’s just say that, instead of redemption – a theme we see quite often in animated films – a character explodes. He literally explodes off this mortal coil with no chance of any kind of redemption ever again … or breathing, for that matter.

'Friends' At 20: Less Really is More

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by Mike Ryan September 19, 2014 @ 11:47 AM
Getty
It’s always bizarre to re-watch the pilot episode of a long-running television series, especially a situation comedy. Both ‘Friends’ and ‘ER’ are celebrating the 20th anniversaries of their debut over the next few days, but watching the ‘ER’ pilot almost feels like watching a movie. The pace of ‘ER’ came first and the characters were established later (we didn’t get to know too much about Noah Wyle’s John Carter, other than that he was new and that he was scared). ‘Friends’ didn’t have this luxury. The first scene of ‘Friends’ takes place in a coffee shop, so we really have no choice other than to meet these people. And the thing is, in this first episode, these people are kind of awful.

'The Imitation Game' Director on Why He Didn't Cast a Gay Actor: "Sexuality Is Completely Irrelevant"

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by Nick Romano September 10, 2014 @ 9:23 AM
The Weinstein Co.
In case you weren't aware, perhaps because of all the war and code-cracking action at play in the trailers, the lead character in the TIFF 2014 standout and early awards hopeful 'The Imitation Game' is gay. I know, it's nothing like we've seen in the...

'Big Hero 6': Can the Disney Legacy Make This Marvel Superhero Story Stand Out?

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by Matt Patches September 3, 2014 @ 11:28 AM
There was a post-”princess movie” moment where Disney chased the “boy demographic.” It didnt' work out so well; Films like 'Atlantis' and 'Treasure Planet' came and went. Under the current Disney brand, 'Big Hero 6' isn't as aggressively alternative — not with Marvel as an in-house entity — but but the competition raises questions of what the Mouse House can bring to the table. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was basically a cartoon. Guardians of the Galaxy's five-character team had two fully CG characters. The Transformers moves are basically the pixel equivalent of a Stan Brakhage film. And now there's 'Big Hero 6,' a fully animated feature competing with live-action bombast. How will it stand out from the crowd? The Walt Disney legacy, and the idiosyncratic creative process that comes with it.

Revisiting 'Return to Oz', the Bizarre and Horrifying Sequel Your Childhood Forgot

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by Britt Hayes August 29, 2014 @ 8:43 AM
This week marks the 75th anniversary of 'The Wizard of Oz,' the classic 1939 film that stands out in the minds of many as one of the greatest films in cinema history. But what you may have forgotten is Disney's often overlooked 1985 sequel, 'Return to Oz' -- the arguably more faithful but much darker and totally terrifying follow-up that eschewed the musical elements and the vibrant colors to embrace metaphors about childhood trauma and escapist fantasies ... you know, for kids.