(original image via lobbycards)
Anyone else notice the tension between 12 Years a Slave director Steve McQueen and screenwriter John Ridley at the Oscars the other night? I read that there might have been some kind of credit dispute, but not much else.
(original McQueen image via kate-mara)
(original image via lobbycards)
My 2014 Movies: The Thomas Crown Affair (1999, on Blu-ray, home collection)
I could probably go on quite a bit about the fun, bouncy nature of this terrific-looking film.
And I could point out that, even though it’s fun and bouncy, there’s also a strong under-current of the nature of adult relationships. Of trust and hurt. Loneliness. All mature themes for something seemingly so light.
I might suggest that its uber-wealthy lifestyle porn feels intoxicating and enticing, even though I don’t usually tend to be easily lured by such things.
I could wonder if it’s among my favorite roles for both Brosnan and Russo.
And I even could posit that the heist scenes are so brilliantly staged because we’re set up to root for both sides - will he get caught? will she trick him? - so even if these sequences are wildly implausible, we have a stake in them resolving either way, so it’s still amazingly fun.
But why go on so, when instead I can simply say:
My God, do I miss John McTiernan.
I’m not sure you’d even be interested in an endorsement-kinda post from me, but ah well.
I recently started using My Movies on my iPad at home to catalog my DVD and Blu-ray library. What was happening a lot is that my family would be hanging out wondering what we should watch, yet we’d have no easy way to review everything we have, at a glance, to see what would pop out and offer itself for our evening’s entertainment.
This is partially because I group our movies in the cabinet by genre. Kooky!
So I sought a way to make our movies easily referenced, listed, and scrollable, and My Movies really does the trick - and then some.
You enter your movies into its database via UPC code number, so that there’s no need to choose which version of a given movie you might have. Once the app finds the movie artwork that corresponds with the UPC code, you simply tap it and it’s added to your digital library. Instead of entering the code numbers, you can also simply take a picture of the UPC code with your iPad or phone (we entered the numbers manually because I have the first iPad without a camera). The app displays all your movies on a shelf-like interface or other ones that you can choose.
AND! You can follow links from your movies to the IMDB site, categorize movies on a wish list, or classify them as being borrowed or on loan to someone else. And a cool feature for someone dopey like me is that the app lists all the actors and moviemakers in your collection - so if you find yourself staring at the ceiling at 2:48 in the morning and you’re thinking
"Gosh, I wonder how many movies I own with Frankie Faison in them…?"
The app will tell you, lickity split.
(I own two movies with Frankie Faison in them)
(because I know you were wondering)
Anyway, if you’re interested in organizing your home movie library, I quite like this app - and my collection is modestly-sized. I’d imagine for some of you folks out there with thousands of titles, this kind of thing would be pretty useful. I don’t usually purchase apps; I prefer the fun, free ones or the ones I can buy with the gift cards I
steal borrow from my boys - but I shelled out a few bucks for this one because I found it to be well-designed, with robust functionality (you can try a free version, too, but it only holds 50 titles).
For what it’s worth.
My 2014 Movies: Saving Mr. Banks (2013, at the theatre)
I have a soft spot for John Lee Hancock. The director of Saving Mr. Banks has a handful of directing and writing credits for solid, if unspectacular, films with good, strong performances and dependably admirable filmmaking.
But when I worked at Warner Bros., Hancock was frequently spotted around the studio lot due to the hot-writer status he’d gained as a result of the Clint Eastwood/Kevin Costner movie A Perfect World he’d written out of near-nowhere. He was suddenly a hot commodity and my company was working with him on an adaptation of a really interesting book we’d purchased. As a result, he was often in our offices and I was completely impressed and in awe by the fact that a produced screenwriter who was working with Eastwood would lower himself to talk pleasantly and earnestly with all of our company’s staff, including the man at the very lowest sub-basement of power circles - the office production assistant - who happened to be me.
At that time, he was a cool, normal guy. Talkative and friendly. And I imagined him advancing upward through his Hollywood career, wondering if he would retain that unusual groundedness, that affability.
I certainly can’t say for sure whether Hancock’s still a friendly, down-to-earth, man-of-the-little-people or not, but I can tell you that I’m certain that I’ve retained the ability to give him a critical pass on all of his movies that I’ve seen. Just because.
So that lengthy preamble is to explain at least in part why I basically enjoyed Saving Mr. Banks; enjoyed the filmmaking and the performances and the overall feel and vibe to it. Even enjoyed the chopped-up flashback structure, although it had the feeling of inevitability to me, conclusion-wise.