Maitland McDonagh

DVD Tuesday: French Sci-fi Film Renaissance Paints the Future in B&W

Renaissance courtesy Miramax

DVD Tuesday The animated Renaissance unfolds in gorgeous black-and-white and if it owes a debt to Blade Runner well borrow from the bestSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcastHear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide TalkI can never get too much of Blade Runner 1982 but until the next absolutely positively definitive DVD edition comes out which would be Dec 18 with a theatrical preview starting Oct 5 Im recommending Renaissance a black-and-white animated science-fiction feature that owes Blade Runner a deep debt without being a rip-off The year is 2054 and Paris is in thrall to a company called Avalon whose animated billboards promise health beauty and longevity rather than old-fashioned liberty equality and fraternity Brilliant Avalon researcher Ilona Tasuiev has been kidnapped and Barthelemy Karas who rose from the streets to become a top cop is as read more

Film vs. Movie, the Song That Makes the Picture and More

The Seventh Seal courtesy The Criterion Collection

Ask FlickChick The difference between movies and films songs in movies and moreSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcastHear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide TalkQuestion I was wondering Whats the difference between a movie and a film I know that if anybody can tell me it will be you Thank you for your response JayFlickChick Strictly speaking theres no difference Movie and film are literally synonymous But nuance and implication are everything and the word movie the shortened form of moving picture usually implies an entertainment Pirates of the Caribbean 2003 Raiders of the Lost Ark 1981 Charade 1963 Film which curiously is the more literal word coming as it does from the physical material of the medium has come to suggest art The Seventh Seal 1957 LAvventura 1960 The Passion of Joan of Arc 1928 Picture has alw read more

DVD TUESDAY: Blow-up and the Dark Side of the Cool, Swingin' 1960s

Blow-Up courtesy Warner Home Video

DVD Tuesday Alienation miniskirts and Swinging London The late Michelangelo Antonionis Blow-up wraps a mystery in an groovy existential enigmaSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcastHear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide TalkMy tiny tribute to the late Michelangelo Antonioni who died last week on the same day as fellow film great Ingmar Bergman is making Blow-up 1966 the film that spaked many a heated argument about what it all meant this weeks DVD Tuesday pick And of course the photo-shoot sequence featuring star David Hemmings and pioneering superstar model Veruschka regularly turns up on lists of the sexiest movie scenes so theres something for everyone Based loosely on a short story by Argentine experimental writer Julio Cortazar its set in London in the mid-1960s when Londons scene music fashion art clubs was the coolest in the world read more

Which Movie Clichés Are the Worst, and More

Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible III courtesy Paramount Pictures

Ask FlickChick The lowdown on movie cliches Jenny Wright is missing and more movie questionsQuestion Some friends and I were discussing movie clichs the other day and I was wondering which ones you hate the most Some of the ones we discussed were 149 The vehicle chases where they always end up near some train tracks and the pursued just makes it across ahead of the speeding train and eludes the pursuer I mean what are the odds 149 The girl or guy is running away from the axchainsawmachete-wielding maniac jumps in their vehicle and it doesnt start I mean my car almost always starts 149 All bombs are defused with less than 10 seconds to go Just once Id like to see a bomb that had 12 hours left so the hero has time to order a pizza call his girlfriend and then defuse it So which ones really make your eyes roll back into your head Steve Butthead MrossFlickChick 149 The dog that never dies not that I want the dog to die but half the p read more

DVD Tuesday: Hot Fuzz, a Crime Spoof with Real Thrills!

Hot Fuzz courtesy Universal

DVD Tuesday Hot Fuzz pokes pitch-perfect fun at the excesses of Hollywood cop pictures while simultaneously delivering real action How cool is thatThis weeks DVD Tuesday pick isnt profound or obscure or controversial I just loved it Hot Fuzz does for American-style buddy-cop pictures what Shaun of the Dead 2004 did for zombie movies Writer-director Edgar Wright and cowriter Simon Pegg take every clich every stock character every narrative contrivance and give it a sly half twist The result is so close to the real thing a careless channel surfer could go right by without realizing it wasnt while being completely utterly hilarious even more so on a second viewing Pegg plays London supercop Nicholas Angel whose compulsive overachieving has cost him his girlfriend and his job The girlfriend because shes sick of competing with the job and the job because everyone else is sick of competing with Angel and coming up short So to keep peace in the ranks Ang read more

Cigarettes and Werewolves Go Missing, and More

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow courtesy Paramount Pictures

Question I saw and liked Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow but was wondering What was the source of Sir Laurence Oliviers performance Ive always wanted to know JayFlickChick The late Sir Laurence Oliviers performance as Professor Totenkopf dead head in German in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 2004 was digitally built from archival BBC footage of Olivier giving a speech at some fund-raising event The movements of his mouth were manipulated to match the films dialogue and the footage was processed to look like a staticky video holograph The same basic technology was used to alter existing footage of Marlon Brando from Superman 1978 so he could speak new dialogue for Superman Returns 2006 But in Superman Returns the Brando footage looks as real as the rest so its another step toward being truly able to have a living actor appear alongside a dead one the way singers can now do thoroughly convincing duets by integrating their new tracks read more

DVD Tuesday: 300 Spartans at your door

300 courtesy Warner Home Video

DVD Tuesday 300 divided critics and united moviegoers with its stylized vision of free men standing down monstersSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcastHear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide Talk300 was exhibit A when Variety editor Peter Bart launched a spiteful screed against elitist critics earlier this year Critics lambasted 300 and audiences flocked to see it Bart concluded filmgoers seem to be having a great time at the multiplexes critics by contrast may be shopping around for a new line of work Please popular isnt always good But its not always bad either -- I loved 300 and its this weeks DVD Tuesday pick So thereA highly stylized blend of CGI and live action 300 is based on graphic novelist Frank Millers bloody visceral retelling of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC during which vastly outnumbered troops from a coalition of Greek city states -- read more

An Oscar for Potter's Imelda Staunton, and More Movie Questions!

Imelda Staunton in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix courtesy Warner Bros.

Send your movie questions to FlickChickQuestion Ive seen Harry Potter five times now I liked it that much and Im still wowed by Imelda Stauntons portrayal of Umbridge Is there any chance shell get nominated for an Oscar I know the Academy Awards are iffy about nominating actors for roles in sci-fi-fantasy movies which is why I fear shell get no Oscar nomination But do you think shell at least get nominated for a Golden Globe since the Hollywood Foreign Press tend to be a bit more creative with their nominations LisaFlickChick I think the odds that Imelda Staunton will be recognized with an Academy Award nomination for her excellent performance in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix are slim to none because yes the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has a long-standing bias against horrorsci-fifantasy films At least Staunton was was nominated in 2004 for the title role in Vera Drake although she lost to Hilary Swank for Million read more

DVD Tuesday: Ace in the Hole and Tabloid Trash

Ace in the Hole courtesy Criterion Collection

DVD Tuesday Ace in the Hole lays into the public appetite for sensation and the tabloid media machine that feeds it 55 years later nothing has changedSend your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks on the Movie Talk vodcastHear Maitland on the weekly podcast TV Guide TalkAs soon as I got my first VCR I began waiting for Billy Wilders lacerating Ace in the Hole 1951 to come out on video Never happened And why its taken so long to come to DVD when you can choose from multiple editions of all manner of junk is one of lifes little mysteries But its finally here courtesy of the Criterion Collection so goodbye combing listings for the rare TV showing or ponying up for someone elses made-from-TV bootleg The anti-hero of Ace in the Hole which was also released as The Big Carnival and tanked under both titles is Charles Tatum Kirk Douglas a bastard of a disgraced big-city newspaperman looking for a way bac read more

Splitting up Grindhouse on DVD, The Wicker Man, and More

Rose McGowan, Kurt Russell in the "Death Proof" segment of Grindhouse courtesy Dimension Films

Send your movie questions to FlickChickSee Maitland McDonagh and Ken Fox review this weeks new flicks in Movie TalkHear Maitland on the weekly TVGuide Talk podcastQuestion What do you think of Weinstein Company releasing Death Proof and Planet Terror on separate discs a month apart Im disappointed It was great seeing the films back-to-back with trailers and advertisements Do you think there will be a bigger edition coming out a few months later as studios often like to do Do you think its a good move JasonFlickChick I love Grindhouse witness my review and frankly I think its really going to find its audience on DVD I truly believe that a big part of the reason it did so poorly in theaters is that people werent willing to commit to spending three hours in a movie seat That problem goes away when youre at home and can pause to get a drink stretch your legs use the bathroom or whatever In real grindhouses you could at least take a break during the traile read more

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