Longform - Page 9

How Disney Turned a Cute, Talking Animal Movie Into an Commentary on Race Relations

by Mike Sampson March 2, 2016 @ 2:58 PM
Walt Disney Animation
As the story goes, corrupt government officials intentionally introduced a dangerous drug into marginalized minority communities resulting in increased power for politicians and law enforcement through the manipulated fear of the middle class. This narrative has been the subject of a number of popular conspiracy theories over the years concerning the CIA’s alleged involvement in the crack cocaine epidemic among the African American community in the mid-80s. It’s also the plot of the 55th Disney animated movie starring a group of cute, talking animals.

The Coen Brothers and the Intolerable Cruelty of Expectations

by Matt Singer February 11, 2016 @ 8:03 AM
Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, Josh Brolin, and George Clooney on the set of ‘Hail, Caesar!’ / Universal
The Guardian tells me Hail, Caesar! is the Coen brothers’ “biggest bomb since Intolerable Cruelty” 13 years ago. CinemaScore, which polls opening night moviegoers and translates their reactions into letter grades, gave Hail, Caesar! a C-. Dirty Grandpa

Requiem for a Movie Theater (And Maybe All Movie Theaters?)

by Matt Singer January 28, 2016 @ 8:41 AM
Bryan Bedder, Getty Images
The Ziegfeld Theater isn’t much to look at from the outside. True, it has that old-fashioned marquee, with the little light bulbs and the name “Ziegfeld” written in perfect cursive, as if God himself signed his name to a building. But otherwise its exterior is totally nondescript; maybe even ugly. It’s a bland gray and black box amidst the offices and hotels on 54th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. It’s not attention grabbing. It’s easy to walk by without giving it a second thought. And clearly thousands of people do exactly that every day; the theater has been losing money for years (over $1 million annually, according to The New York Post). Although the theater’s leaseholder, Cablevision, has made no formal announcement, today is apparently its last day as a functioning movie theater. After tonight’s 10PM showing of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the Ziegfeld closes forever.

Why Did ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ Drug One of Its Heroes Into Joining the Team?

by Kevin Fitzpatrick January 22, 2016 @ 4:25 PM
The CW
‘Legends of Tomorrow’ got off to a strong start with last night’s premiere, but one moment from the series debut seemed to stick out as especially ill-devised. Namely, why the hell did ‘Legends’ think it necessary for Victor Garber’s Professor Martin Stein to drug and kidnap his Firestorm partner into joining the mission, and how in the world did the others laugh that off?

Where Marvel’s ‘Jessica Jones’ Could Go in Season 2

by Britt Hayes January 17, 2016 @ 7:36 PM
Marvel / Netflix
Netflix and Marvel delivered one hell of a perfect story with Jessica Jones’ debut season, exploring trauma, consent, rape culture and empowerment via a narrative in which Krysten Ritter’s eponymous hero faces her past demons in the form of David Tennant’s sleazy super-villain Kilgrave. As many fans have pointed out, Season 1 is such a contained, perfect story that many felt they’d be satisfied if Netflix didn’t renew the series. But with the company officially announcing Season 2, we can’t help but wonder where that might take our hero next. We have a few ideas.

Celebrating the Invisible Artistry and Great Direction of ‘Spotlight’

by Matt Singer January 14, 2016 @ 11:06 AM
Open Road Films
The 2016 Academy Award nominations have just been announced, but Tom McCarthy’s Spotlight has been the frontrunner for months. It was anointed the film to beat for Best Picture way back in September, when it debuted to rapturous reviews at the Toronto International Film Festival. Sure enough, when John Krasinski and Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs revealed this year’s nominees, the drama about the Boston Globe reporters who revealed a sex-abuse cover-up within the Catholic Church earned six nods, including Best Supporting Actor and Actress, Best Original Screenplay, Best Editing, and Best Picture. According to most experts (and Google search results) it’s sitting in pole position heading into the home stretch of awards season.

Why Can’t an Animated Film Be Nominated For Best Director at the Oscars?

by Mike Sampson January 12, 2016 @ 11:01 AM
Getty Images
There’s a director who has been nominated for six Oscars. He even won once. His 2015 film was a critical and commercial success. It made over $350 million and has a 98 percent on Rotten Tomatoes.
There’s another director who has been nominated for...