RogerEbert550

In the realm of movie criticism, people love absolutes. This movie is better than that movie. This movie is 2 stars and that one is 5 stars, etc. However, if you actually critique movies for a living, you quickly realize not all movies are created equal. There are times and circumstances where films that may not be equal are given similar grades for different reasons. Speaking personally, did I love Man of Steel for what it was and give it a positive review? Yes. Was the grade the same or higher than films on my top 10 of the year? Yes. But Man of Steel didn’t make the list because it served a different purpose than those films.

One person who would have totally understood that is Roger Ebert. Ebert was a big proponent of context in criticism (hence giving a thumbs up to Benji the Hunted but not Full Metal Jacket, as seen in Life Itself) and recommending The Longest Yard and The Honeymooners over War of the Worlds. Below, watch those two clips to hear Ebert explain his reasons for movie review ratings. Read More »

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The Grand Budapest Hotel

Of all the highly anticipated films hitting theaters in 2014, Wes Anderson‘s The Grand Budapest Hotel is one of the first to arrive. Scheduled for release March 7, the film follows the adventures of a concierge (Ralph Fiennes) and lobby boy (Tony Revolori) at a huge European hotel between World War I and World War II. The cast is impressive as always (Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Jason Schwartzman, Jude Law, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan) and as fantastic as the trailer was, two clips from the film are now out. Each is not only filled with the classic Wes Anderson tropes, but a real sense of energy and urgency. Check them out below. Read More »

The Scientist

Thursday marks a pretty momentous occasion in the DC Universe. That’s the day the latest episode of Arrow premieres, with the first appearance of a major character in both the TV universe, and maybe the movie universe as well. We’re talking about Barry Allen, aka The Flash, who’ll have a two episode arc on Arrow starting with Thursday’s episode, The Scientist.

Like the grand comic book tradition of “first appearances” though, Allen (played by Grant Gustin) doesn’t show up fully formed as The Flash. He’s just a scientist investigating a crime. Watch a clip below. Read More »

The Making of Return of the Jedi

Anticipating, debating and dissecting Star Wars movies is nothing new. Thirty year ago, with the final Star Wars film Return of the Jedi just hitting theaters, film critics Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert defended the latest Star Wars film on ABC’s Nightlne with Ted Koppel. Their opposition was critic John Simon, who wrote for National Review and New York Magazine. Simon hated The Empire Strikes Back and Jedi while Siskel and Ebert loved them. At one point, Simon condemns the films for being Disney like and Siskel and Ebert praise that statement. We know what happened some years later.

The discussion then segues into a debate about highbrow film versus movies as pure entertainment. It’s a fantastic look back in time and proof that, three decades later, these issues will never be settled. Especially in the case of Star Wars. Read More »

The Counselor

Of all the dangerous criminals in The Counselor, Cameron Diaz‘s Malkina may just be the iciest. In a new clip from the Ridley Scott-directed drama, she shows her steely side to Reiner (Javier Bardem), prompting even the hardened career criminal to ask, “You don’t think that’s a bit cold?”

But at least Malkina’s femme fatale appeal comes across on her character poster. The same can’t be said for poor Laura, played by the stunning Penelope Cruz in plain-Jane mode. Reiner, Westray (Brad Pitt), and the Counselor himself (Michael Fassbender) all look sleeker, edgier, and just plain sexier than Cruz does. Hit the jump to check out the posters and watch the clip.

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Tims Vermeer

Of all the films that got incredible buzz out of last week’s Telluride Film Festival (12 Years A Slave, Labor Day, Gravity, etc.) one stood out just because it sounded so very different. That film was Tim’s Vermeer, a documentary by noted magicians Penn and Teller. Penn produced and Teller directed the film, which follows inventor Tim Jenison on his attempt to duplicate the famous painting The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer. Jenison surmises that Vermeer may not have painted all his famous works by hand, instead using technology to aide in the creation. By attempting this, Jenison (as well as Penn and Teller) question the very nature of art itself.

Below, we’ve got a clip from the film that makes that above paragraph a bit more clear, as well as some early buzz from noted film critics. Read More »

Danai Gurira Michonne

AMC has been teasing fans on Sunday nights by embedding clips of high interest into their newest show, Low Winter Sun. For the past two weeks, they teased the coming attractions for Breaking Bad. This past Sunday, the network promised a brand new clip from the fourth season of The Walking Dead. However, since not many people are watching Mark Strong’s cop drama, odds are you didn’t see it.

Thanks to the magic of the Internet, that clip is now online. It shows Michonne (Danai Gurira) returning to the prison on horseback only to run into some very bitey trouble. Check it out below. Read More »

American Horror Story Coven logo

Before the premiere of last year’s second season of American Horror Story, subtitled Asylum, FX released numerous odd teaser trailers for the show. These trailers had very little to do with the narrative (which dealt with alien abductions, mutants, and serial killers) but they clued viewers in to the show’s unusual, off-putting tone.

The third season of the award-winning show, American Horror Story: Coven, starts in October. Now it, too, has a frightening teaser trailer. Check it out below. Read More »

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