Passion and anguish, true love lost and mourned over oceans of time, unrequited love felt so strongly that it drives one to darkness and despair…ah, the horror of love. These sentiments may not appear in the glittery pink and red Hallmark cards littering your local supermarket, but in a year where del Toro’s strange and unusual love story The Shape of Water swept the Oscar nominations, this Valentine’s Day deserves something a little different, a little darker, a little more…gothic.
Gothic isn’t always spiderwebs and haunted mansions or that weird kid in the back of your classroom. From poetic bloodlust to loneliness so crippling you can almost feel your chest caving in, from Universal Monsters and Goblin Kings, from headless horseman to robots, the romances of this list take the phrase “it’s better to have loved and lost” to tortuous new heights. They embody the characteristics of a Victorian era genre full of mystery, desire, and the macabre, more tantalizing and real than a thousand shades of grey.
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We often publish best of lists on this site, but this one is different — this one is more special to me. Ever since I was a little child, I’ve always been fascinated with magic and illusions. After seeing David Copperfield‘s television specials as a kid I was gifted a magic set produced by Fisher Price (which was awesome by the way) and became obsessed with the art form. While I wouldn’t consider myself a serious magician, I do perform a few magic tricks every once in a while for family and friends.
And what initially pulled me into film geekdom is not what you might expect: the old movie magic specials that used to play on television. Those TV shows would show how Hollywood created illusions using, for the most part, practical effects, make-up and miniatures. Not that I didn’t watch movies like every other child, but it was the art of making the impossible possible that is responsible for sucking me deep into the world of cinema.
So come with me as I count down my favorite movies involving magicians in the best magic movies of all time.
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TV companies are going crazy trying to mine film libraries for the next big television series, because why come up with an original untested idea without an established brand name title, right? I almost included the movie to television series trend in my 9 Current Movie and Television Trends I Hate article last month, but I decided it was too soon to make that judgement.
While I’m already tired of seeing the announcements, I really loved Fargo (and I really mean LOVED — it’s my favorite television series of the year), I’m still enjoying Friday Night Lights/Parenthood showrunner Jason Katims‘ About a Boy, and I know many people who really dig Hannibal, Bates Motel, and From Dusk till Dawn: The Series. So it’s hard for me to condemn it at this point. And yes there are also Gotham, Constantine and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but I consider those shows comic book adaptations.
You might be shocked to learn that there are currently over 30 television shows in development right now based on big screen movies. Which are good ideas? Which sound horrible? After the jump, I attempt to rank all of the movies being adapted into TV shows, by concept from worst to most promising ideas.
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A day rarely goes by of late without news on a new film-to-TV development. The latest news is of an Illusionist TV series, based on the 2006 film from director Neil Burger and stars Ed Norton, Paul Giamatti and Jessica Biel. A couple things will be changed, as is so often the case with these film to television transfers, but the core idea is pretty great. Additionally, there’s news on the Westworld show that HBO has been considering. Read More »
To quote Martin Short’s SCTV character Irving Cohen, “years ago there was a thing called a-vaude-a-ville.”
Vaudeville was theatrical circuit in the late 19th century and early 20th century where, for a few cents, you’d go to see a stream of short plays, musical or comedy acts. Many of the earliest film comedians got their start there, like Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin, the Marx Brothers and, yes, all permutations of The Three Stooges.
This weekend sees the release of the Farrelly Brothers’ unfairly maligned film The Three Stooges (it’s good, I swear) and it is absolutely soaked in the seltzer that is the Vaudeville aesthetic. Plot will get yanked to the side (as though with a hook on amateur night) if there’s an opportunity get a laugh from some physical or verbal schtick. If this is in any way your thing, might I suggest some other Vaudeville-inspired films you probably haven’t seen. Read More »
This week, Dave, Devindra, and Adam wonder what’s happened to the careers of Trey Parker and Matt Stone, take sides over Blue Valentine, praise the combination of Werner Herzog and 3D, and discuss the appropriateness of Hunger Games casting. Special guest Tasha Robinson joins us from AV Club. You can no longer listen to the Book of Mormon soundtrack, but you can purchase it on iTunes.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us for our next live broadcast on Sunday, May 22nd at Slashfilm’s live page where we’ll be discussing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
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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.
If you’re lucky, you won’t be able to identify with Blue Valentine. If you’re less lucky, it will remind you a great deal of your parents, siblings or friends. Pray though, that it doesn’t remind you of yourself. There’s nothing more miserable than being proven the futility and fleeting nature of romantic love, unless of course it perfectly encapsulates your biggest life decisions. This film is an all-too-real snapshot of both the best and worst parts of a relationship, which is really just another way of saying the beginning and end of one. It’s half Before Sunrise and half Revolutionary Road, slammed right up against each other to juxtapose the beauty and ultimate folly of one of life’s most fundamental goals: to fall in love and spend your life with someone. Many people will probably take sides while watching Blue Valentine, accusing the wife of being cold and distant or blaming the husband for being immature and without ambition. But that would be missing the point. These are two people, flawed but well-meaning, who made the choices they made and must live with them. They would like things to be different — and they would like each other to be different — but they’re not, and that’s just the way life is. It’s easy to point fingers, but not everything is somebody’s fault. Sometimes people just grow apart, and it takes time (and the mounting conflict that time permits) for them to accept it. Blue Valentine captures this aspect of life better than almost any film I’ve seen. It’s raw and devastatingly real, written and directed with an almost invisible hand by Derek Cianfrance, and acted with incredible earnestness by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. It won’t leave you smiling, but it will get you thinking about your own relationships — past, present and future — and will hopefully help someone out there to think twice before making the same mistakes.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – Deleted Scenes, Making of Blue Valentine, Commentary, and Home Movies.
|BEST DVD PRICE
|Amazon – $16.99
|BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
|Amazon – $18.99
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As the year comes to an end, anybody and everybody are posting their best of the year lists. Most of these lists contain variations of the same 15 or 20 films. To break the mold, some are even posting lists of the best films of the year that you probably haven’t seen. I find that even these lists are filled with the same movies. And if you’re a film geek reading a site like /Film, chances are you know about most of the movies on these lists.
I wanted to do something different and compile a list of the best films of the year that you’ve never heard of. The selections should be movies that (for the most part) none of your family or friends have heard of, and you might even have to do some extra legwork to get your hands on.
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What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 35 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!
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The International Animated Film Society ASIFA-Hollywood has announced the nominees for the 38th Annual Annie Awards, and the DreamWorks feature How to Train Your Dragon leads the pack with more than ten nods. But there’s a caveat; that and the full list of nominations after the break. Read More »