BY MICHAEL ATKINSON
Stanley Kubrick: The Masterpiece Collection includes 2001: A Space Odyssey.
Call it Stone Age materialism, but I still think movies are worth owning in physical forms you can hold, shelve and collect, and therefore worth giving as gifts. Fuck the Cloud -- who knows when Hulu will get sold to Google or when Netflix decides to narrow down its catalog to 16 shitty studio movies, or when somebody's licensing runs out, or when somebody just kicks a plug and the movies you were hoping to watch or rewatch just vanish. Not to mention, how far out are we from letting the Internet just tell us what to watch, allowing us to select only between two different Marvel sequels and then insisting we suck its Cloud-schwanz out of gratitude for "convenience"?
You own a movie, or get one for Festivus, and it's fucking yours. Here're suggestions for givables this quarter. Get busy.More »
We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a strange story about Giles Corey, who famously said, "More weight!" as stones were laid upon him during his witch trial. The end of the year is sort of like that for film critics, who are pressed upon with all the Very Important Movies of the Year. Your hosts Alan Scherstuhl, Stephanie Zacharek, and Amy Nicholson run down many of the movies coming out soon, including:
Courtesy of the Alamo Drafthouse's Website Apparently, Paramount Pictures said "Fuck No!" to the Alamo Drafthouse's plans to screen Team America: World Police in place of The Interview on Sat., Dec. 27th.
The Alamo Drafthouse in Richardson captured the attention of an angry America by scheduling a screening of Team America: World Police in place of The Interview starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that was canned by Sony Pictures. Now it appears that Paramount Pictures doesn't want America to see the other movie that made fun of another North Korean dictator.More »
Sony's decision not to release The Interview on Christmas Day due to hackers threatening violence seemed inevitable. But the shock still hasn't worn off. That some group of idiots could intimidate and bully a major motion picture studio into shelving a multimillion dollar motion picture seems unbelievable.
It's even more unthinkable that the movie that would test our mettle and the strength of freedom of speech would be a movie starring the guys from Pineapple Express.
As Bonnie Tyler once belted, we "need a hero" and in a small way we've found it right in our little corner of the globe. You know it as the Alamo Drafthouse. The Richardson-based Drafthouse announced that they will instead screen a movie that once pissed off another North Korean dictator called Team America: World Police.More »
"My Dream Breakup" on Inside Amy Schumer.
By Inkoo Kang
TV continued to unmoor from its origins and transform into something else this year. No longer tethered to a specific appliance, a particular kind of storytelling, or even commercial concerns, "television" now feels like an increasingly obsolete word.
But that's a discussion for another time, for we've come to celebrate TV, not mourn it. Among the bajillions of hours of programming that's constantly available, here are the 10 shows, miniseries, and films that really stood out:
Sundance Selects Marion Cotillard, was voted best actress in this year's film critic's poll.
What kind of circle is time again? A year after blowing the doors off our annual critics’ poll, golden boy Matthew McConaughey won just a single vote for his turn in the loudest movie of the year, Christopher Nolan’s tears-in-space effort Interstellar, which has tied with the unprescient Transcendence as 2014’s worst film. (Transcendence dreamed that Johnny Depp’s character would take over every screen in the world — that didn’t happen.) But his margin of victory lives on, this year in the form of Marion Cotillard, who wins best actress twice: first for the Dardenne brothers’ vote-gathering drama Two Days, One Night, then besting second-place Scarlett Johansson (Under the Skin) with her turn in James Gray’s glorious melodrama The Immigrant, available now on Netflix streaming because Harvey Weinstein doesn’t believe Oscar voters will bite.
By Amy McCarthy & Jaime Paul Falcon
You poor people, you're on your way home for the holidays, and the reality that you can't steal away to the bar every night sinks in right around the time your mother insists that you actually talk to your grandparents instead of just left-swiping idiots that you went to high school with on Tinder.
You are most certainly doomed to some "quality" time with the family that's spent on a couch watching those same damn holiday movies that your family insists on watching every year in the spirit of "togetherness" or whatever. We know this feeling, and we know it hard. In honor of the fact that you won't have near enough booze to make through one more viewing of Christmas Vacation, we've put together the ultimate guide to holiday classics for you to share (or not) with grandma when she suggests Elf, again.
At the very least, it's better than listening to Uncle Ted talk about racism in America while chugging cans of Old Milwaukee. Good luck this holiday season, dear readers, and remember. Drinking a bottle of wine all by yourself may be a classic sign of alcoholism, but you can't be embarrassed by your family if you don't remember seeing them at all.
Warning: the following content contains little to no holiday cheer.More »
BY INKOO KANG
Despite its sumptuous displays of feudal opulence -- cavalries, silk gowns, all the naked female extras money can buy -- Netflix's Marco Polo feels distinctly like scraps. Turgid, fatuous and humorless, the streaming site's newest series is a grave miscalculation of what has made Game of Thrones, its obvious model, such a TV phenomenon. Marco Polo borrows from the HBO institution its most sensationalistic and/or problematic qualities -- its unforgiving violence, aggressive male gaze, exoticizing of non-Western cultures -- while neglecting the nuts and bolts that make Thrones great: its urgent plotting, vivid characterizations and meticulous world-building.More »
We begin this week's Voice Film Club podcast with a Thomas Pynchon story, before hosts Alan Scherstuhl and Stephanie Zacharek of the Village Voice, and Amy Nicholson of LA Weekly, move onto Paul Thomas Anderson's movie adaption of his novel, Inherent Vice. It's "in some ways a godawful mess, indulgent in a way a less-respected director would never be able to get away with. And it's two and a half hours long not because it needs to be, but because it can be," writes Stephanie Zacharek in her review. The middle movie this week is Chris Rock's Top Five, a movie that we love. Skip to 21:20 to hear that segment. The show wraps up with Exodus, starring Christian Bale. "The only way Bale's Moses could be the humblest man alive is if the rest of the planet were killed," writes Nicholson in her review. Do Alan and Stephanie agree?
Chris Rock in Top Five.