Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Lucky 13

A great many films to discuss....

Halloween
dir: David Gordon Green
scr: David Gordon Green & Danny McBride & Jeff Fradley
adapted from: characters created by John Carpenter and Debra Hill
seen: Cinerama Dome at ArcLight Hollywood

This Halloween fan was satisfied. In ignoring all but the first film in the series, the filmmakers both explore the trauma of Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis, both gutting and bad-ass), and how that trauma is dismissed, re-interpreted, or forgotten by the world's mythologizing of a serial killer and his crimes. As a fan of true crime podcasts and docs, it hit close to home.

VenomFirst ManA Star is Born, and more - after the jump...

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The First Eight Months: Part Two

We're playing catch-up. Did you read the 17 capsule reviews from yesterday? Well, we've got more today, starting with...


Crazy Rich Asians
dir: Jon M. Chu
scr: Peter Chiarelli and Adele Lim
adapted from: the novel by Kevin Kwan
seen: AMC Burbank 16

A Chinese-American professor visits her Singaporean boyfriend's homeland for a wedding - only to learn that he is the scion of the country's wealthiest family, and now must guard herself against the friends and foes who question her intentions and suitability. Sexy, hilarious, heart-wrenching. Watch Constance Wu struggle to fit in as both an American and a "commoner"; behold Michelle Yeoh as she fights to not lose her son; worship Gemma Chan as she holds her head high against the pettiness around her. Costumes, production design, music like something out of a dream...or Ross Hunter's Hollywood. The most beautiful people you've ever seen on screen. I cried while talking about it the next day. It's so good!

16 more after the jump, including Mission: Impossible - Fallout, Christopher Robin, Hereditary, and more....

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

The First Eight Months: Part One

As of Sunday night, I have finally seen fifty (50) movies released in the United States in 2018. We haven't talked about the films of this year since April, so why don't we use this occasion to rectify that?

Previously written about (16): Annihilation, Are We Not Cats?Black Panther, The Death of Stalin, Fifty Shades FreedA Futile and Stupid Gesture, Golden Slumber, Little Forest, Love, Simon, Paddington 2, The Princess and the Matchmaker, Ready Player One, Red Sparrow, Tomb Raider, Unsane, The Young Karl Marx

But you know what I haven't written about, until now?

Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again!
dir: Ol Parker
scr: Ol Parker, story by Ol Parker and Richard Curtis and Catherine Johnson
adapted from: the original musical play Mamma Mia! conceived by Judy Craymer and written by Catherine Johnson
seen: Regal LA Live 16

As Sophie deals with continuing her mother's legacy, we flashback to how young Donna came to Greece and collected her dot-dot-dots. This is not deep entertainment, but by God, Parker knows just how to deploy an ABBA new-mom ballad for maximum emotions. The dancing is great. The cast is having a ball. I saw it twice.

Brief notes on 16 other films - including Solo: A Star Wars Story, BlacKkKlansman, and Incredibles 2 - just after the jump...

Friday, August 10, 2018

The 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part Three

At last, the final day of the 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards.

Make sure you check out Part One and Part Two, as well as the complete list of nominations and the Top Ten.

On with the show!

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Ivan the Terrible, Part Two: The Boyars' Plot
Vasili Goryunov, makeup artist
2. Li'l Abner; 3. The Human Condition: No Greater Love

Yes, the greasy, matted hair and beard of Ivan is back, but there are some new looks to gawk at here. Like the massive Kris Kringle beard of one boyar, or the new goatee sprouting from the chin of Vladimir Staritsky, or the young Ivan'sMarilyn Quayle flip...

In second, the character-specific wigs and prosthetics for Li'l Abner. In third, the dirt and wounds of The Human Condition: No Greater Love.

Best Production Design, Best Actress, Best Picture - and more! After the jump, I mean...

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards: Part Two

Yesterday, the 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards began with Best Costume Design, Best Actor, and more.

We continue with six more categories!

The full list of nominations here.

And now - on to Best Supporting Actor.

Best Supporting Actor

Martin Landau as Leonard
North by Northwest

2. Stephen Boyd in Ben-Hur; 3. Sô Yamamura in The Human Condition: No Greater Love; 4. Murray Hamilton in Anatomy of a Murder; 5. Joseph N. Welch in Anatomy of a Murder

When Edmond O'Brien presented the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, he called the category "the best picture-stealer". That was more or less my criteria for this win. As the faithful, coded-gay assassin Leonard, Martin Landau is eighth-billed in the credits and number one in my heart. Landau is the one who gives Leonard a motivation beyond blind obedience to a cause, not with words, but with a walk and a glance and a sneer and the right pauses in the right places. There's a reptilian menace in his physicality, lithe but dangerous. It's a scene-stealer, a movie-stealer - it's the Best Supporting Actor performance of the year.

In second, Stephen Boyd's spurned former friend, armed with superiority and a broken heart. In third, Sô Yamamura's veteran, balancing his survival skills with what he knows to be right. In fourth, Murray Hamilton's cautious and loyal bartender proves a worthy opponent for James Stewart's defense attorney. In fifth, Joseph N. Welch's folksy, occasionally befuddled judge.


After the jump: Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Sound, and more.....

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

The 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards: Part One

The 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards will be unveiled over a period of three days.

The full list of nominees here.

We start today with Best Costume Design.

Best Costume Design

Black Orpheus
Isabel Pons

2. Ivan the Terrible, Part Two: The Boyars' Plot; 3. Li'l Abner; 4. Some Like It Hot; 5. Imitation of Life

Everyone just looks so sexy, and that's before the party starts! The colors and designs that come out of the Carnaval costumes are the centerpieces: the veiled Eurydice, the armored (albeit in a way that still compliments his toned chest) Orfeu, the skeletal Death. It's breathtaking.

In second, the royal robes become part of the plot in Ivan the Terrible, Part Two: The Boyars' Plot. In third, the comic book colors - capital-c Costumes - in Li'l Abner. In fourth, the dresses fit for all shapes, sizes, and sexes in Some Like It Hot. In fifth, the fashionable gowns and practical housecoats of Imitation of Life.


More, including Best Actor, Best Original Song, and Best Visual Effects, after the jump....

Saturday, August 4, 2018

The 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards Nominations

The nominations for the 1959 Retro Hollmann Awards are here! 63 films screened, 27 nominated across 18 categories. The order of the presentation of categories was decided by random drawing - Best Picture is somewhere in the midst of it all.

The nominees are....after the jump.