If you want to have a great weekend, listening to a bunch of Steven Soderbergh commentaries isn’t a wrong way to go. His tracks are as varied and as entertaining as his movies. While some filmmakers try to retain some mystery about their process or films, Soderbergh goes in the opposite direction. He is an open book.
Soderbergh has recorded so many great commentary tracks throughout his career and I’ve maybe listened to a third of them. My hope is to have heard all of them by some point – tou can learn more than a thing or two listening to him talk over his movies. I’d recommend all the Steven Soderbergh commentary tracks I’ve heard, but here’s four that might not be a bad place to start.
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“In space, no one can hear you scream.”
The often-quoted but terrifyingly true tagline for 1979’s Alien pretty much sums up how scary space is. Space isn’t just vast, it’s also completely hostile to human existence. While our best technology can get us into space, we’ve seen countless films explore what happens when that technology fails. We love to champion films like The Martian or Gravity, which reward viewers with human ingenuity overcoming scientifically improbable odds to survive, but the truth is space kills. A lot.
As Life, the latest film from Daniel Espinosa (Child 44, Safe House), rolls into theaters this weekend, we’re once again reminded that in space, all bets are off. The film’s trailer sets up what’s become a standard formula for space terror: astronauts living on a space station have discovered extraterrestrial life, which in turn discovers them. In this case, we see this alien life form take hold of one screaming scientist’s finger, setting us up for a truly gnarly death.
So, in the spirit of space and its many suffocating terrors, we put together ten of the worst space deaths we could find in film. From Tarkovsky to Corman, there’s something here for everyone.
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Here’s a true win-win situation. Director Steven Soderbergh, whose latest (last?) film Behind the Candelabra premieres May 26 on HBO, has taken to the web to do some good. He’s launched a site called Extension 765 where you can buy original props from films like Ocean’s Eleven, Ché, Traffic and Erin Brockovich with all proceeds going to the Children’s Aid Society of New York. He’s also selling his original photography, many of which are tests from the same films, also for the charity.
Everything is rather pricey, of course, but you’d get a one-of-a-kind item while also doing some good. Read More »
A great American city lays in waste. The odor of sweat, tears and Cheetoes still lingers, as do the crushed hopes of those who hit snooze one too many times instead of getting their butt on line. It will take one full year to recover.
That’s right friends – Comic-Con International, as no one calls it anymore, has just ended and your friends from SlashFilm were in San Diego in full force. We’re there every year, watching successes launch (yay Avengers) and witnessing disasters stumble (not-so-yay Terminator Salvation.)
Then there are other movies. Movies that coulda been a contender but, for whatever reason, just didn’t connect. Here are films that had a presence in San Diego that, we feel, should have been bigger hits. This week will be a little less obscure than usual, but we think it’ll still be fun. Read More »
Tell me if you had a similar experience. Every year when I was a kid my father would wait until I was having the most fun during Memorial Day weekend – I’d either be mid-chomp on a hot dog or about to leap off a diving board – when he’d remind me that, “this weekend isn’t just about having fun, it’s about honoring the dead!”
He was right, of course, and this no doubt could inspire me to guilt you into watching more movies about brave soldiers dying so you can enjoy your freedoms. I thought, however, I’d widen the margin and use this week’s TBMYPHS to discuss cinematic portrayals of grieving.
There, I’ve done it – I’ve out-downered my own father. Have a gloomy, depressing weekend, everyone! Read More »
IO9 has created a handy chart which shows which space movies feature the most common scientific mistakes. It might come as a surprise that Michael Bay’s Armageddon actually fares better than the Star Wars of Alien films. And it comes as no surprise that Apollo 13 and The Right Stuff have been graded a clean bill of accuracy. Hit the jump to see the entire chart.
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Welcome to another edition of Movie Playlist, where we talk to the writers, directors, and stars about their favorite films. I’ve always found the celebrity playlists on iTunes to be interesting. Most everyone in the film business moved to Hollywood after discovering their love of films. And I’ve always love talking to people about their favorite films. So talking to the people who make the movies about their favorite films just seemed like a natural idea.
In this week’s Movie Playlist we interviewed director Brad Anderson, who I first discovered through the wonderful but unseen Boston indie Next Stop Wonderland, which featured Hope Davis and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. In 1997, Anderson was named by Variety as one of the “Ten Leading New Independent Directors to Watch.” His filmography includes Happy Accidents, Session 9, and The Machinist. His television credits include episodes of Homicide; The Wire; The Shield; and Surface. His new film Transsiberian, which hits theaters today, is a Hitchcockian thriller which he also co-wrote.
/Film: I just want to start off saying, I’m a big fan of all your work. I’m from Boston,
Brad Anderson: Oh yeah, really.
/Film: so I’ve been following your career since Next Stop Wonderland.
Brad Anderson: Oh great, wow!
/Film: So this is great, so – I want to talk to you today, I’m not sure if they briefed you but we do a feature called Movie Playlist which basically talks about your favorite movies of all time, or maybe not even just your favorite movies but movies you watch a lot, or movies you love. What are some of your favorite movies?
Brad Anderson: Favorite movies? It runs the gamut, in no particular order and no particular preference, I just caught, anything by Stanley Kubrick, I can watch those movies again and again I don’t know why, but just something about what he invests in his films and the meticulous level of detail, and choreography that I just find as a filmmaker craft of film making is so apparent in his movies that every time you watch them it’s like being taught how to make a movie, so yeah, I just caught 2001 recently again and it’s just like the kind of thing you’re clicking through the channels and you sort of catch a piece of it and you’re like yeah, I’ve seen this about 20 million times and you’re about to switch to another channel and you just find yourself watching it and the next thing you know you’ve watched it all over again.
/Film: 2001 is one of those movies that if you come across on cable, basically you’ve lost three hours of your life.
Brad Anderson: [laughs] Yeah, it’s so amazing to me that movie and all his films, but that one in particular because it’s like, you think about it the way – I don’t know what you’d call it, it’s not a thriller, it’s not a straight out sci-fi film, it’s not necessarily a straight out adventure movie, it’s just a study in visual brilliance, you know, and the way that his use of sound and his use of music and anything by Kubrick.
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