A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug. Stars Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen and Richard Armitage. Dircted by Peter Jackson.
After becoming infected with the virus that killed superstar Hannah Geist, Syd March must unravel the mystery surrounding her death to save his own life. Stars Caleb Landry Jones, Sarah Gadon and Malcolm McDowell. Directed by Brandon Cronenberg.
Determined to make her own path in life, Princess Merida defies a custom that brings chaos to her kingdom. Granted one wish, Merida must rely on her bravery and her archery skills to undo a beastly curse. Directed by Mark Andrews, Brenda Chapman.
The heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed. Stars Sacha Baron Cohen, Anna Faris and John C. Reilly. Directed by Larry Charles.
Transplanted to Mars, a Civil War vet discovers a lush planet inhabited by 12-foot tall barbarians. Finding himself a prisoner of these creatures, he escapes, only to encounter a princess who is in desperate need of a savior. Directed by Andrew Stanton. The film opens wide this Friday. In the meantime, enjoy this exclusive 10 minute clip.
Well, it should be no surprise that this is my other favorite Christmas movie. Ladies and Gentlemen, the perennial holiday classic, It’s A Wonderful Life. It’s ironic how this is the film we associate with the holidays the most became not only does Christmas not factor in until the third act of the film, but the majority of the film is an incredibly dark film about a man contemplating whether or not his life has had any real meaning. A life of thwarted opportunity and never achieving ones dreams, which culminates in hands down the worst Christmas Eve ever. While I would never in a million years entertain the notion of someone remaking this film, if Lars von Trier were to announce that his next film would be an adaptation of this film, I would definitely be interested in checking it out out of sheer morbid curiosity. I mean, Emily Watson pleading to God to hear his voice through her in Breaking the Waves has the same emotional frequency and impact that James Stewart’s “I wanna live again!!” has. And both films do end with church bells ringing (although Capra at least has the good sense of putting it in his production company logo). This clip from the film I chose because it’s not only the thesis of the film, but it’s the moment where the weight of his wish finally hits him as he sees his mother, who was always warm and supportive throughout the film, is now a bitter old crone. Unlike the Clark Kent method of disguise used on Mary later on, this is the one character transformation in the alternate reality that has some actual weight. It’s a powerful message in hands down the most powerful Christmas movie ever.
Hey Everyone. This week on Clip of the Day, in the lead up to Christmas Day, we’re going to look at scenes from my two favorite Christmas movies. First up, we have National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Of the dozens of terrible “Celebrating Christmas at home with the wacky family” comedies that get pumped out, this reigns over them all with not only it’s humor and jokes (which finds the right balance between realistic and over the top), but it’s surprising pathos, courtesy of a script from the late, great John Hughs. Choosing a scene from this film is like trying to pick a favorite track from one of your favorite albums. There’s so much great comedy in this film that it’s hard to pick your personal favorite moment, since it might change depending on your mood or time and place. But this clip I chose since it capture how overboard people can go to in celebrating the holidays. For pure laughs, this was always the one to beat for me.
Hey Everyone. In honor of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows coming out this weekend, today’s Clip of the Day comes from what I feel is one of the more underrated Disney films and one that’s gotten some love of this site already, The Great Mouse Detective. While the Robert Downey Jr. films are crowdpleasers, and the 2nd series of the current Stephen Moffat run of Sherlock Holmes on BBC is one of the more anticipated seasons of UK television, I always felt that this film is a great primer to introduce kids to Holmes. And since Sherlock Holmes has been endlessly copied, ripped off, homaged and parodied through film and television endlessly, why not let Disney take a crack at it?
Today’s Clip of the Day comes from a film that I’m pretty sure will end up on all of our Ten Best lists at the end of the month. Martin Scorsese’s latest masterpiece, Hugo. If The Muppets made me sing along to ‘The Rainbow Connection”, then Hugo literally made me swoon. I’m not kidding. I put my hands on my chest and sighed in adoration and love to what Scorsese did with this film. Not only is this the most beautiful love letter to movies since probably Day for Night (still haven’t seen Cinema Paradiso), but is without a doubt the most thoughtfully constructed children’s movies to be made in an extremely long time. One that doesn’t talk down or pander to its audience or takes narrative short cuts, but speaks honestly and directly as well as making sure that every tiny piece of it works. It’s a children’s film that is actually about something. And this clip helps to establish and solidify the theme of the film of finding one’s place in the world. How being a part of a giant machine working together isn’t a punishment but a validation.
Today’s Clip of the Day is another mash-up. In anticipation for the flurry of “Films of 2011″ montages that tend to come out at the end of the year, today’s clip is the montage”2010: The Cinescape”. The latest in this series, courtesy of Matt Shapiro at Schnappy Productions, this was my favorite of the films of 2010 compilations that came out at the end of last year. I loved it’s use of “Dustland Fairytale” by The Killers (which I used in my three part “Best of ” episodes of the podcast). I loved the symmetry of its shots and it’s tempo. And while it used clips from Tron: Legacy a bit too much for my tastes, I liked that he used clips from all kinds of films (not just the blockbusters), both good and bad (which justifies the inclusion of clips from Skyline and Avatar: The Last Airbender). When people whine and moan about how this year was “the worst year for movies”, I always point them to montages like this to remind them of how good any particular year can be if you only look hard enough. I can’t wait to see what he comes up with for 2011.