Maitland McDonagh

DVD Tuesday: A Casino, A Heist and Paris by Night: Bob le Flambeur

Bob le Flambeur courtesy Criterion

Bob Le Flambeur A cool stylish and oh-so-French heist thrillerSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkWith Oceans Thirteen opening this Friday I found myself thinking about some of my favorite heist and caper movies et voil224 Bob le Flambeur was one of the first to spring to mind Its this weeks DVD Tuesday pickThe plot is a variation on classic caper themes 50-year-old Bob Montagne Roger Duchesne is a reformed bank robber turned compulsive gambler a flambeur currently down on his luck and sensible enough to know hes getting too old to be living hand to hand But he still has his formidable reputation his silver-fox good looks and his admirers including young Paulo whod love to be just like Bob when he grows up but just doesnt have the right stuff Bob is so effortlessly cool that when he needs a lift home after a night of high-stakes cards the cops give him a lift And he maint read more

Pirates, '70s Hottie P.J. Soles, Bruce Campbell and More Questions!

Bill Nighy in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

Questions about motion capture animation -- is it cheating -- John Wayne PJ Soles and more Send your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkQuestion Ive been reading a lot about the behind-the-scenes technology used to created the tentacle-faced Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest and Pirates of the Caribbean At Worlds End and keep seeing the term motion capture But none of the articles have explained how its different from old-fashioned rotoscoping Can you enlighten me oh FlickChick -- BradFlickChick The difference is computers Rotoscoping is a process invented by animation pioneer Max Fleischer -- creator of Betty Boop -- in 1914 It allowed artists to hand-draw over motion picture footage of real subjects frame-by-frame so that the instantly recognizable weight and flow of real human motion was maintained while the specifics of the image could be changed to the animators read more

DVD Tuesday: Heroes, Big Love, Aliens and Vampires!

Near Dark courtesy Anchor Bay

Near Dark puts a bloody twist on vampire cliches and features a very young Adrian PasdarSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkA hero a big lover and three alien fighters walk into a bar and let me tell you all hell busts loose I love Near Dark 1987 the best vampire film never to use the V word ever made As I was watching the Heroes finale last week I thought this would be a fine time to acquaint or reacquaint DVD Tuesday readers with a very young Adrian Pasdar Heroes Nathan Petrelli a scorching hot Bill Paxton Big Loves Bill Henrickson and dynamite middle-aged murder junkies Lance Henriksen and Jenette Goldstein Paxton who was also in Aliens does double duty in my admittedly gimmicky lead forgive me please Not to mention Joshua Miller son of playwright and Exorcist star Jason Miller and hands down the creepiest movie kid ever Plus the underrated Tim Thomerson read more

Video Vixen Shannon Whirry, Fantasia and More

Questions about Fantasias devil erotic-thriller goddess Shannon Whirrey and moreSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkQuestion I know this sounds crazy but I saw the Walt Disney movie Fantasia for the first time recently and I swear the big demon in the mountain sequence reminded me of someone Something about the hands I think Do you have any idea what Im talking about OonaFlickChick This so doesnt sound crazy to me because theres a familiar actors body language behind the magnificent demon who presides over Fantasia s 1940 Night on Bald Mountain segment set to music by Modest Mussorgsky Its none other than Bela Lugosi 1882-1956 Disney hired Lugosi the Hungarian actor most associated with the movie incarnation of Bram Stokers Count Dracula to act as a live-action reference model for the bat-winged Chernabog The chief animator for the sequence Vladimir Bill read more

DVD Tuesday: Animation vs. Cartoons and the Thrills of Perfect Blue

Perfect Blue courtesy Manga Entertainment

Satoshi Kons Perfect Blue is an animated thriller for grown-upsSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkWith Japanese animator Satoshi Kons surreal feature Paprika opening in theaters on May 25th Ive made his first film Perfect Blue 1998 my pick for DVD Tuesday This psychological thriller about a teenaged pop star trying to become a serious actress seethes with sharp observations about fame the tabloid media image and the commodification and fetishization of young girls Its also a cracking good story Unlike Hayao Miyazaki -- Spirited Away My Neighbor Totoro Howls Moving Castle -- who makes sensitive quietly sophisticated films about the complicated psychological landscape of childhood that can be enjoyed equally if in different ways by children and adults Kon isnt interested in family filmmaking His favorite subjects are mutable identity the vagaries of memory and the complex psycho read more

Rapid-fire Remakes, Deceptive Marketing, Unusual Musicals and More Answers

The Umbrellas of Cherbourg courtesy Koch Lorber Films

Send your movie questions to FlickChick Question Im a great fan of your column I read it religiously every time it comes out Heres my question Ive never been all that interested in musicals I dont dislike them on principle I just never felt very attracted to them but recently I caught up with Jacques Demys The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and it completely knocked my socks off It absolutely blew me away so much so that Im ready to call it one of my favorite movies of all time I was completely hooked on its unusual format Every single line is sung and there are no big numbers like in regular musicals It made the entire movie feel like one long beautiful hymn Is there any other movie that has used this same format Or more importantly is there any other movie that has used this format successfully Oskar Sigvardsson all the way from Stockholm SwedenFlickChick This is an excellent question and one I find especially interesting in that I only caught read more

DVD Tuesday: Pan's Labyrinth and Demons of the Mind

Pan's Labyrinth courtesy New Line Home Video

Send your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkA dark richly imagined fable about the allure and danger of retreating from harsh reality into the world of the mind Pans Labyrinth 2006 was nominated for dozens of high-profile awards in the US and abroad and deserved every one Writer-director Guillermo del Toros best film to date its a perfect mix of horror-movie imagery and sharp psychological insights anchored by 11-year-old Ivana Baqueros astonishing performance as a bookish preteen who seeks refuge from lifes real monsters in elaborate fantasies of mythical creatures and magical quests Set in 1944 in the aftermath of Spains bitter Civil War the same period del Toro explores in his equally haunting The Devils Backbone an earlier DVD Tuesday pick it begins as young Ofelia and her pregnant mother Carmen Ariadna Gil join Carmens new husband Captain Vidal Sergi Lopez at the rural army read more

Directors with the (Oscar) Golden Touch, and More Questions

Clint Eastwood courtesy Warner Bros.

What does Prison Break owe Sometime a Great Notion and more questionsSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie Talk Question I was wondering which director has coached the most actors to Oscar nominations andor wins Im thinking its Clint Eastwood Diane FlickChick Nowhere near Five actors have earned best actoractress Oscar recognition after appearing in Clint Eastwood movies Hilary Swank won for Million Dollar Baby and Sean Penn and Tim Robbins for Mystic River respectively Marcia Gay Harden and Meryl Streep were nominated for Mystic River and The Bridges of Madison County In addition Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman won supporting Oscars for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby Thats a nice track record but pales next to that of William Wyler whose collaborators racked up a whopping total of 36 acting nominations some of them notably Bette Davis for more than one film read more

Ooh-la-la: Make a Date with Les Girls

The Girls of Les Girls

Send your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkI recently had the pleasure of meeting the Finnish-born dancer and actress Taina Elg star of this weeks DVD Tuesday pick the musical Les Girls 1957 Hear me out before you stop reading because you dont like musicals Im not wild for them generally but over the years Ive been steered to some great ones by friends in the know Les Girls is a little gem I discovered on my own and all because someone sent me an Ask FlickChick query scroll down about what had become of the gamine Miss Elg I discovered that she was alive well and living just a few blocks from me and subsequently had a thoroughly delightful phone conversation with her some of which wound up in my answer Then last week I found myself at a publicity event where I was able to meet Miss Elg in the flesh and she was even more charming Right then and there I decided to try to turn a few read more

Animated Vampires, Christmas Movies and more!

Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust courtesy Urban Vision Entertainment

Send your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie Talk Question Are there any animated feature-length vampire movies JoshFlickChick Yes there are but ery few of them are American Overall the US animation industry is geared toward making movies for kids and undead bloodsuckers arent really Disneys cup of tea That said Warner Animations The Batman vs Dracula 2005 is a great idea and a pretty good little picture that as you might have deduced pits the haunted crimefighter in creature-of-the-night drag against the real honest-to-goodness lord of the vampires And Hellboy Animated Blood and Iron 2007 a sequel to Guillermo del Toros live-action feature featuring the same cast in voice roles pits the good demon Ron Perlman against a vampire inspired by real-life bloody countess Elizabeth Bathory 1560-1614 But most of the animated vampire features are Japanese including the stunning Bl read more

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