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Friday, August 22, 2014

Courtesy of SLIFR: Professor Dewey Finn's Ostentatiously Odd, Scholastically Scattershot Back-to-School (of Rock?) Movie Quiz

by Tony Dayoub

And now for another elucidating exam by that spectacular cinephile, Dennis Cozzalio, up since August 15th at his wonderful blog, Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule. Visit his site to post your answers. My answers appear after the jump.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Movie Review: Frank Miller's Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (2014)

by Tony Dayoub

Less dense than its already thin predecessor, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For feels like a vast improvement nonetheless. Almost a decade ago, Sin City seemed almost revolutionary in the way it capitalized on then innovative digital technology that allowed directors Robert Rodriguez and Frank Miller to shoot their movie on virtual, green-screen sets. Based on Miller's own graphic novel series, the film carried a certain irony. It was a black-and-white film noir homage with a stripped down, DIY sensibility despite hosting a cast of hip actors and utilizing cutting edge filmmaking techniques.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Movie Review: Calvary (2014)

by Tony Dayoub

Both film noir and philosophical exploration of the current state of Catholicism, Calvary is curiously resonant in spite of, or maybe because of, its fusion of widely discordant elements. Reflecting its fractured nature, Calvary could be said to work as either a black comedy or a grim drama, a character study with a definitive central performance by Brendan Gleeson as Father James or an ensemble piece featuring the eclectic cast of oddballs that make up his congregation. Whatever the case, it is quite powerful in all respects, setting out to delineate the beleaguered priest and his not so loyal flock through a passion story of a sort, propelled by an arresting opening scene.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Movie Review: Land Ho! (2014)

by Tony Dayoub

While it hasn't been too hot a summer around most of the U.S., a bracing dose of clean, icy winds might still do you some good. The Icelandic road comedy Land Ho! is just the kind of small indie ready to usher them in. In just about every way, it is the antithesis of the majority of films currently playing in theaters. It stars two relative unknowns, Earl Lynn Nelson and Paul Eenhoorn as Mitch and Colin, two ex-brothers-in-law on a journey through Iceland's beautifully austere countryside. That's it. No explosions. No chase scenes. No sexual situations... save for Mitch's incredibly raunchy jokes.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Movie Review: The Expendables 3

by Tony Dayoub

Anyone looking for The Expendables 3 to provide summer's final hurrah at the box office might want to look elsewhere. Where the first Expendables played like a shaggy, small-scale reprieve from career oblivion for former action stars Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, and Jet Li, this one feels like it's lining up the burial plots. Where the second and best film in the series raised the stakes by bringing in Jean-Claude Van Damme as its villain and Chuck Norris as comic relief, The Expendables 3 overplays its hand amassing a cast of has-beens and future never-will-bes of such an unwieldy size that few get a chance at making any kind of impression.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

RIP Lauren Bacall

by Tony Dayoub

"I remember my oldest son, Steve, saying to me once, 'I don't ever remember seeing you with an apron on.' And I thought, 'That's right, honey, you did not.' That was his concept of what a mother should be."
- the once shy, quiet Betty Joan Perske, who made her mark in the world as the hard-talking, politically active, outspoken, alluring actress, Lauren Bacall

Recommended Films - The Big Sleep, Harper, Murder on the Orient Express, Misery, Dogville, Birth

And an even better list of titles I haven't seen but should - To Have and Have Not, Dark Passage, Key Largo, Young Man with a Horn, How to Marry a Millionaire, The Cobweb, Written on the Wind, Designing Woman, Sex and the Single Girl, The Shootist, The Fan, The Mirror Has Two Faces, Manderlay, The Walker