Today marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Tim Burton's Batman. Let's take a look back all the way to the summer of 1989 when the superhero genre saw a resurgence and the Dark Knight was reborn again for a new generation of moviegoers. Batman came out on June 23rd, 1989 - a month after I was born. As such, Burton's Batman was my cinematic introduction to the character. His take on Batman is special to me mostly because of his approach to the character. Michael Keaton doesn't look like a typical superhero, he looks like an average guy. The great appeal of Burton's take on the character is that anyone can be Batman.
"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool." By now, this quote that Philip Seymour Hoffman utters as rock critic Lester Bangs in the Cameron Crowe film Almost Famous has made countless rounds on the web in the wake of the tragic news of the Oscar-winning actor's death. It's Hoffman's portrayal of a character who isn't too far removed from the strange little career this writer has found (don't presume a comparison of influence or greatness on any level) that has resonated with me for years as I've soaked up every piece of cinema in my vicinity. And it's his absence from film that now gives me a heavy heart. So this is my tribute to Philip Seymour Hoffman.
"Why does Dr. Strangelove want 10 females to each male?" It's time to celebrate a classic. On January 29th, 1964, Stanley Kubrick's war-time comedy Dr. Strangelove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb finally hit theaters, after being delayed from November 1963. That officially makes the films 50 years old today, marking its anniversary of release. The film has since gone down in history as one of the best, and most controversial, comedies ever made. The film has since been restored and released on Blu-ray and has been touring around, but if you haven't ever seen it, today is the perfect day to enjoy this.
The year 2013 is officially in the past. After the annual break on New Year's Day, we're moving swiftly into 2014. Though the holiday in the middle of the week has slowed down the news flow considerably (just like Christmas), next week we'll be back in full swing. But before we get back in the regular news flow and prepare for our yearly jaunt to the Sundance Film Festival next month, this writer wanted to wrap-up our year-end coverage, and say goodbye to 2013 on the big screen. Below you'll find my persona Top 15 Favorite Films of 2013. It was hard cutting the list down to just 30 films, and it was painful to pull some of them off the final list. But that's how you truly pick your absolute favorite films of the year. So here we go!
Winding down our look back at the year in cinema that was 2013, we're finally taking a look at some of the staff's favorite films of the year. This time it's our awards expert Joey Magidson (follow all his Oscar updates here) and The Golden Briefcase co-host Jeremy Kirk chiming in with their best. Sadly, the podcast's other host, Tim Buel, hasn't been able to catch up on some of the more acclaimed movies of the year, so he didn't feel prepared to deliver a comprehensive list (though you can check out his favorite horror films of the year right here). So without further adieu, here's Joey & Jeremy's 10 Favorite Films of 2013.
It's hard to believe that nearly one year ago, we were anticipating the release of films like Man of Steel, Star Trek Into Darkness and The Wolverine. Those summer blockbusters have come and gone (all three of them are available on Blu-Ray and DVD actually), and all three of them were in my 13 Most Anticipated Films of 2013. Now that I've seen all but one of the films on that list (because it was delayed to 2014), it's time to reflect on the movies I was excited about, and see if they delivered. For the most part, there were few disappointments, with one failure and another that lived up to my impossibly high hopes.
After The Golden Briefcase's Tim Buel delivered his picks for the Top 8 Horror Films of 2013, it's time to focus on another specific genre with my picks for the Top 6 Most Hilarious Comedies of 2013. The genre doesn't get its due diligence during awards season (even though the Golden Globes try to shine a light with their Best Comedy or Musical category), so it's only right to acknowledge the best films in comedy each year. Comedy is one of the most subjective genres out there, so this is hardly an objective list, but when taking into account filmmaking fundamentals and general hilarity, these films came out on top this year.
In terms of music in film, 2013 was allover the map. Sure, the summer blockbusters still had their giant, action scores, and the romantic comedies had their coffeehouse music. But the diamonds in the rough eventually presented themselves. This year found some fine filmmakers putting together some equally fine collections of music and song; those albums you can go back to time and time again and be transported back into the theater the first time you experienced it. These are the soundtracks that years from now, we'll be replaying, wearing out, and finding new copies of in used record stores (if they're still around). You may just save them in your iBrain in the future. Anyway, we count down the 10 Best Soundtracks/Scores below!
As 2013 comes to an end, everyone is scrambling to put together their "Best of the Year" lists (trust me, I'm scrambling too). However when it comes to the genre I love, there is a fervent desire in me to make sure people are aware of some of the films I've been enjoying so much this year. Horror as a whole has been seeing a revival in the past few years, predominantly in the independent scene but even mainstream studios are getting it right every so often, and this pleases me. Horror films in the public eye aren't the most seat-packing bookings and often a lot of the great genre work throughout the year slips through the cracks.
As we continue wrapping up 2013, it's time to take a different look at the movies from this year. We've already look at some of the Best Performances of 2013 (for both actors and actresses) and some of the best scenes of the year. Now it's time to dive into poster artwork used to hype these movies up. I've made a list of my choices for what I believe to be the best movie posters of the year. While they're most easily described as just another form of marketing for a studio trying to get an audience into a theater, there are some movie posters that are as beautiful as works of art, and many should be considered as such. So what made the cut?
With only a matter of days remaining in 2013, I find myself having seen all of the year's releases that I felt compelled to see. That realization led me to start considering which films this year had particular scenes that really struck me. Just about every single film of note this year had some sort of memorable scene that will stick with me for years, though I'm sure not everyone will find the same scene as powerful as I did. In fact, while many of the scenes cited are from my favorite films of the year, believe it or not, nine of my top ten flicks have a scene listed below, so it wasn't ten for ten. But sometimes all it takes is just a single scene.
This morning, we debuted my picks for the 10 Best Performances by an Actor in 2013. Now we're continuing the second part of my look at the best performances of 2013, by looking at the big screen turns from actresses. From foreign newcomers like Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue is the Warmest Color to veteran hands like June Squibb in Nebraska, wherever you looked, there was someone giving a performance for the ages. It was a pleasure to watch Exarchopoulos, Squibb, and many other actresses deliver performances we won't soon forget. This year was truly one filled with performances of great note.
The year is almost over folks, and with that brings the deluge of lists that we all look forward to reading and agreeing/disagreeing with from fellow cinephiles. For my part, I'm delivering a two-part look at the Best Performances of 2013, split up between performances from actors and actresses. This was a year full of performances to rave about, so I'm thrilled to be able to give my personal favorites a moment in the sun, starting with just the actors here in this first part. From relative newcomers like Will Forte to old veterans like Bruce Dern (both in the same movie), wherever you looked, there was someone giving a performance for the ages, and it was a pleasure to watch all of them on the big screen throughout this year.