Our All-Time Favorite Long Takes in Movies


Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “What is your favorite long take in movie history?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team, along with a special guest. This week, we are joined by Life director Daniel Espinosa.

If there’s a long, uninterrupted shot that really blows your mind, please send your thoughts to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our favorite long shots below!

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This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Rent It

Logic and subtlety are the last things viewers should expect from Law Abiding Citizen, an absurdly enjoyable B-movie thriller that critics made the mistake of trying to take seriously. The film is disposable low-brow entertainment, no question. The unfolding of the plot doesn’t yield a single unanticipated turn, nor does it fail to act on a convenient cliché when one is available—and there are many available. Rarely, though, does a thriller embrace its R-rating as fully as this one. It’s amusing how quickly Gerard Butler’s introduction as the sympathetic anti-hero is tossed aside in favor of full-on deranged villainy—even more so when you realize how much more fun it makes the movie. The gleeful maliciousness that the film displays as it continually cranks up the violence is a little disturbing, but it’s in that gratuitous carnage that Law Abiding Citizen earns its place amongst the rest of the compulsively watchable trash that cinema has to offer.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD – An audio commentary, and behind the scenes featurettes. Blu-ray – Includes everything on the DVD, as well as an exclusive unrated director’s cut.

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$14.99 $9.99 $14.77
Amazon – $9.99

Target Best Buy Fry’s
$17.99 $19.99 $19.77
Amazon – $19.99

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monstervsaliensposterIn this episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar and Adam Quigley debate the retitling of The Karate Kid, praise the tremendous new trailer for Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are, ridicule the changed subtitles of Let the Right One In’s home video release, and delve into the merits of Universal Soldier: The Return.  Special guest Matt Singer joins us from IFC.

You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next Wednesday night at Slashfilm’s live page at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST as we review Fast and Furious.

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GeekBomb: The History of Poop in the Movies

Everyone poops. It’s a truism that you can’t deny, and there’s even an entire book on the subject. In fact, there’s a whole slew of books in that department, ranging from What’s Your Poo Telling You? to It Hurts When I Poop: A Story For Children Who Are Scared To Use The Potty. Which based on the title alone scares me, and I’m an adult. For some reason, from childhood to our adult years, toilet humor amuses us for some reason, and that means we’ve seen plenty of it in the movies.

In fact, Oscar nominee Slumdog Millionaire has a pretty extensive and memorable poop scene in it, and we hope that somewhere there’s a propmaster or special effects technician who is proud to say, “I made the poop in Slumdog” and that someone is buying them a beer. Since the nominations came out, I’ve been thinking about all the other memorable poop scenes in movies, for better or for worse, and thought I’d round up some of the best for a Monday morning GeekBomb to get you going. Have your daily dose of fiber and dive in after the break.

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Telluride: Hunger, Helen and a Slumdog Video Blog

Sunday has been dark and dreary at the 35th Telluride Film Festival. The rain stops for a few minutes, and only a few minutes.  For the most part, festival-goers can be seen hiding under umbrellas or the make-shift tents set up outside the festival venues. It’s one of those days where you can see everyone would just rather be in their beds, sleeping in. I mention the mood because this is the feeling I have after my first two screenings of the day. It’s not that they were bad films, they just weren’t for me. And you will notice a theme, both movies contained notable cinematography, both for elegance and annoyance.

Steve McQueen‘s (no relation to THE Steve McQueen) Hunger won the Golden Camera prize for first-time filmmakers at the 61st Cannes Film Festival. The film tells the story of Bobby Sands, an Irish republican maze prison hunger striker. The film is grueling to watch. You should probably know that Requiem for a Dream is one of my favorite films, and I have watched it many times. But watching Hunger is a lesson in depression. Prisoners are tortured, humiliated, and beaten bloody. One of the prison guards regularly washes his bloody bruised knuckles in a sink of water.

The center piece of the film is a 20-or-so minute dialogue scene between Sands and a Priest (seen in the photo above), which takes place in one complete wide shot, with no camera movement or cuts. And if Funny Games taught us anything, it is that if you don’t move the camera during an extended film sequence, it’s all of a sudden considered artsy. And the conversation is followed up a few minutes later with a five minute long shot of a prison worker sweeping a hallway in another non-moving wide shot. Don’t get me wrong, the one strongpoint of the film was the cinematography. But to me, it is the complete opposite of cinematic and screaming “look at me, I’m not moving the camera”. Michael Fassbender’s transformation during the six-week hunger strike is extremely hard to watch. Fassbender lost 35 pounds over the two months which lead up to the hard to watch final sequences.

And the other film was Helen, the feature film debut by Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor. 18-year-old Joy has disappeared, and was last scene walking into the woods. Joy’s coat and personal items were found in the forrest, but the police are hopeful that she might still be alive. They plan a television reenactment of the disappearance in hopes that it might help someone remember more details. But Helen is not about the mystery, and you should know going in not to expect a conclusion. Helen is about Helen, an 18-year-old classmate of Joy’s who volunteers to be Joy’s stand-in for the reenactment. She was picked in a volunteer casting session because she has a strong physical resemblance to Joy.

Helen has been living in the custody of the state since a young child, and currently works at a hotel a few days a week in between school hours. She’s never had a boyfriend, or friends for that matter. Joy convinces herself that she might be able to uncover the mystery of Joy’s disappearance by integrating herself into Joy’s former life. She has dinner with Joy’s parents, kisses Joy’s boyfriend, and so on. And in the process of pretending to be someone else, Helen finds out who she really is, or at least was.  Like Hunger, the most interesting and annoying part of Joy is the cinematography. Malloy and Lawlor love to use simple slow extended dolly shots in almost every sequence. They are done for tonal reasons, rather than for dramatic effect. The shots are both beautiful and elegant but will test the patience of almost any audience.

And this morning I decided to record another quick video blog, again with Alex from FirstShowing, on our gondola ride over the mountain. We talk about Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire, Alex shares his opinion on Flame and Citron, and we go over the Benjamin Button controversy.

[flv:http://bitcast-a.bitgravity.com/slashfilm/trailers/tell14.flv 300 226]