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Film

Hey Sweetheart… 10 Films About Looking for Love

Article: Hey Sweetheart… 10 Films About Looking for Love

If love were easy, romantic films wouldn’t exist. In the movies, the quest for love is like trying to swim across a wide, piranha-filled river while arrows are shot at you from all sides. And in the end, whether we win love or lose love, we learn from it. These ten films preach the gospel of perseverance, no matter what the treasure chest of romance ultimately holds.

1.Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen, 1986)
Thanksgiving parties bookend two years of romance, adultery, betrayal, alcoholism, religious mania and hypochondria among a group of erratic New Yorkers. Lesson learned: Love is better when you accept that it is very unpredictable. Also, New Yorkers can be quite neurotic.

What’s Your Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio Movie NOT Directed by Martin Scorsese?

Article: What’s Your Favorite Leonardo DiCaprio Movie NOT Directed by Martin Scorsese?

What’s your favorite Leo role of all time? Maybe the vengeful Amsterdam Vallon in Gangs of New York, or the tough-as-nails U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels in Shutter Island? Wait. He was also amazing as the undercover cop in The Departed and Howard Hughes in The Aviator. Actually, his portrayal of stock-broker Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street was epic as well. What do these modern classics have in common? DiCaprio and Oscar winning director Martin Scorsese! That’s what! So here’s a challenge for you: Pick your favorite Leo movie NOT directed by Scorsese.

So Weird! So Good! Ten Eccentric Characters Only Geoffrey Rush Could Play

Article: So Weird! So Good! Ten Eccentric Characters Only Geoffrey Rush Could Play

Masterful at portraying unusual characters, Australian actor Geoffrey Rush has been an artist, a revolutionary, a tailor and a pirate (among others); he’s been Russian, Israeli, French and British (among others). To top it off, many of these characters are based on real people, making it that much trickier to get them just so. Vote…

MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 3

Article: MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 3

With Mother’s Day on the horizon, we bring you MILFs Part 3: Ten more “Moms In Legendary Films.” This time around, we’re touting moms who hustle and fight for their children ’til the end. Be sure to vote for your favorite MILF in the poll below.

1. Mrs. Gump, Forrest Gump
Sally Field’s Mrs. Gump sets the gold standard for parenting against the odds. She’s a bold champion who cares less about shielding her special needs child from the world, and more about imparting ethics so he can always find his way. To wit: “Life is like a box of chocolate, you never know what you’re gonna get.” The way she sees it, there’s no reason that her son, on the slower side and crippled during his youth, can’t have just as rich of a life as any other child. Clearly her mothering was a success what with Forrest’s college scholarship, his Medal of Honor, his two trips to the White House and his thriving shrimping business.

2. Queenie, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
Benjamin Button’s curious tale matches Forrest’s in sheer scope–his extraordinary life takes him around the world and back again. He too needs a strong-willed, big-hearted mother and he gets one in nursing home worker Queenie (Taraji P. Henson) after his biological mother’s death in childbirth. It’s Queenie who finds the baby, brings him home, and sees through his strange physical maladies to the heart within.

MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 2

Article: MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 2

Happy Mother’s Day! In honor of Good Ol’ Mom, we present you with Part Two of our list of Top 10 MILFs (which translates as Mothers In Legendary Films; don’t get any funny ideas). Part One covered heroic and villainous moms in film: this time around, we’re doing zany, wild, perhaps misunderstood, and beautifully unique moms. Because when it comes to mothers, we’ve all got a different story. Vote for your favorite of these mommas in the poll below.

1. Ed, Raising Arizona
“GIVE ME THAT BABY YOU WARTHOG FROM HELL!”
Holly Hunter made the top 2 moms in this top ten list! Because well, she’s awesome. Aside from Raising Arizona being one of the greatest Coen Brothers’ classics, we just simply love the determination of Ed to be a mother. Who thought that baby-snatching could lead to such much trouble, so much hilarity, so much heartache, and so much brilliant film-making? Ah, the messes we create for ourselves. Classic Cohen Brothers.

2. Ada McGrath, The Piano
“There is a silence where hath been no sound / There is a silence where no sound may be / In the cold grave, under the deep deep sea.”
A woman is cast onto the shores of desolate New Zealand — the loneliest place on earth. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter) is a mute pianist, set adrift in a new world, accompanied only by her daughter. A single mother who passionately loves her child, Ada must learn to protect her daughter without the power of speech. Music as language: music as love — this is one of the most beautifully strange “mom movies” ever made.

What Makes Bill Murray So Memorable? Here Are 10 Scenes for Starters

Article: What Makes Bill Murray So Memorable? Here Are 10 Scenes for Starters

Few American actors are as revered as Bill Murray. The hilarious-serious elder statesman of indie comedy first won our hearts more than three decades ago as a different kind of funnyman, playing a series of lovable buffoons. It’s all genius, and it’s all just added to his enduring sheen of cool. Though it’s really hard to choose just 10, here are our picks for the best Bill Murray film scenes.

MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 1

Article: MILFs (Moms in Legendary Films), Part 1

Mother’s Day might be upon us, but no, we are not going the cheap route and talking about the MILFs you’re used to (although we do love Jennifer Coolidge in everything she does; even American Pie). This list is dedicated to a far more select—and somewhat more matronly—group, namely Moms In Legendary Films. Absolutely everyone out there has something to say about how to be the best mom, and that’s why it’s best to fall back on these sterling examples of maternal heroism (and in some cases, villainy). Whatever the case may be, parenting can be a real bitch, and these women are definitely Mom enough. Vote for your top MILF in the poll below.

Hey Clint, You’ll Never Escape from the Top Ten Movies Behind Bars

Article: Hey Clint, You’ll Never Escape from the Top Ten Movies Behind Bars

In honor of the upcoming season 2 premiere of RECTIFY — the story of a man set free from jail after twenty years — we’re bringing you our Top 10 Movies Set Behind Bars. There are a few surprises on this list, including a vintage screwball comedy, a lot of eggs, Sigourney Weaver with no hair, an anti-James Bond film, and no Shawshank Redemption! Or maybe just a little Shawshank Redemption. You’ll have to read and find out for yourself, and vote for your favorite in the poll below. …And by the way, if you’re intrigued by these films, you might just be intrigued by RECTIFY (season 2 premiere June 19 at 9pm) — which is brought to you by the same geniuses behind Breaking Bad.

1. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
“What we’ve got here… is a failure to communicate. Some men, you just can’t reach.” When a quote takes on a life of its own outside of a movie, that’s when you know that you’re dealing with a stone-cold classic. And speaking of which… no man can eat fifty eggs. Or can he? Cool Hand Luke isn’t just the defining prison movie; it’s also a classic of 1960s cinema. Watch Lucas “Luke” Jackson (Paul Newman) struggle with the intense hardships of life on the chain-gang. Can he escape? Can he survive? Can one man actually eat fifty eggs? If you don’t know the answers to these questions, then you don’t know Cool Hand; so run, don’t walk, to see this film, you wild, beautiful thing, you. …You crazy handful of nothin’.

2. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
“Destroy a bridge or destroy yourself” — that’s the dilemma posed by The Bridge on the River Kwai. The movie features Alec Guinness, William Holden, and director David Lean — and really, what more do you need to know? Lean’s film follows the lives of soldiers in a WWII prisoner-of-war camp, as they are forced by their captors to build a bridge in the middle of the Thai jungle. …To build or not to build? Guinness fights to finish the bridge — believing that doing so will give his men a sense of hope in the middle of a deadly jungle. (On the minus-side, finishing the bridge will also aid the enemy in a time of war.) Meanwhile, Holden struggles just as fiercely to tear the bridge down. Who is right and who is wrong? Big questions, a big, big bridge, and a big, big explosion — it’s all in here.

Mamma Mia! The Five Meanest Moms in Movie History

Article: Mamma Mia! The Five Meanest Moms in Movie History

Film has never shied away from exploring the rich, complicated, and in some cases straight-up creepy connection between mother and child. While normal, lovely moms are all fine and good, some of the most fun moms to watch have been downright crazy–and all the more captivating because of it. In honor of Mother’s Day (Sun., May 11) we’ve picked our five favorite frightening maternal figures. Don’t neglect to send them a card on Mother’s Day.

1. Margaret White, Carrie (1976)
Sure, the cool-kid clique at Carrie’s high school do a number on the poor girl. But the groundwork of psychotic abuse already had been laid at home, where the shy girl’s Christian fundamentalist mother consistently berates her for “sinning.” A bucket of pig’s blood might have been the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But when Carrie rebels — and tears down her town in the process — its anger and resentment toward her mother that drives most of that rage.

How Much More Dark Could These ’80s Movies Be? None More Dark

Article: How Much More Dark Could These ’80s Movies Be? None More Dark

Looking back on that decade of excess and contradictions, it’s clear that our art was just as twisted as we were, tapping into the darkest kind of humor behind all that neon. Don’t believe us? Be sure to catch these darkly comedic ’80s films on SundanceTV.

1. Brazil (1985)
Terry Gilliam’s fanciful futuristic comedy takes a wild dive into a land of bureaucracy, terrorism and, in an indelible image, extreme plastic surgery. It’s a fever-dream kind of dystopia that is simultaneously hilarious and horrifying, making Brazil a true dark comedy classic.

Thelma and Louise, Romy and Michele: The Best Gal Pals in Movie History

Article: Thelma and Louise, Romy and Michele: The Best Gal Pals in Movie History

What does it say about a culture when we expect two women sharing top billing in a film or television show to be arch enemies? How about we forget Hollywood’s stereotypes and take a look at the women duos that actually behave well on-screen, and put the fun back into a functional relationship. Vote for your favorite dynamic female duo in the poll below.

1. Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Baby Mama
Kate Holbrook: I overreacted earlier. I’m sorry…
Angie Ostrowiski: I’m sorry I farted into your purse…

In short, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler created an uproar when they proved they didn’t need men—at all—to entertain us. They are the ultimate BFF power couple.

Daniel Day-Lewis as President, Ed Harris as an Astronaut… American History as Envisioned by Hollywood

Article: Daniel Day-Lewis as President, Ed Harris as an Astronaut… American History as Envisioned by Hollywood

AMC’s TURN has re-sparked an interest in the American Revolutionary War. Who knew George Washington had a team of spies?
But if you’re a history buff who needs more than a single TV show or historic period to stay happy, you’d do well to consult this list of great historical movies.

1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Yes, the storyline revolves around the rescue of the last surviving son of a grieving mother. Even so, Steven Spielberg’s real accomplishment is in the first half-hour of the film: perhaps the most powerful and accurate reenactment of the D-Day invasion and subsequent battle ever. It’s a crucial chapter in America’s twentieth-century identity, and Spielberg (who won a Best Director Oscar) does little to glorify the tragedies.

Giving an Unsung Decade Its Due: The ’90s in Movies

Article: Giving an Unsung Decade Its Due: The ’90s in Movies

Do the ’90s seem less memorable that the ’80s (so rad) or the ’70s (so groovy) to you? Take a moment and reconsider the decade which features some of the most offbeat characters in movie history. Suddenly, the ’90s seem a bit more memorable, right?

1. The Dude (Jeff Bridges), The Big Lebowski (1998)
It’s hard to imagine a more iconic, more offbeat character from the ’90s—or any era—than Jeff Lebowski, a perpetually bath-robed bastion of chillness in search of justice for his peed-on rug (because, hey, “it really tied the room together”). A fan of weed and White Russians, he made bowling an art form and inspired a subculture of devoted fans who still attend annual Lebowski Fests.

2. Ada McGrath (Holly Hunter), The Piano (1993)
The mute woman at the center of Jane Campion’s extraordinary story is one of the most unconventional heroines in film history: a young mother (Hunter won a Best Actress Oscar) who, despite being shipped off to the wilds of New Zealand for an arranged marriage, manages to fall in love (not with her husband) through a shared passion for music and ultimately receives a most unexpected salvation.

Frank Underwood Aside, Which Kevin Spacey Role Suits Him Best?

Article: Frank Underwood Aside, Which Kevin Spacey Role Suits Him Best?

Both audiences and critics are relishing Kevin Spacey’s performance as the ruthless political climber Frank Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards. But this role is just the latest success in the Academy Award winner’s eclectic career. Who can forget him as midlife crisis dad in American Beauty or mastermind criminal in The Usual Suspects? In fact, he’s given so many great performances, it’s hard to narrow them down to a top ten. Still, we tried. Vote for your favorite then tune-in to THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “House of Cards,” Fri., May 2nd at 9PM/8c on SundanceTV.

Power Disfigured: The Most Deviant Political Figures in the Movies

Article: Power Disfigured: The Most Deviant Political Figures in the Movies

Corruption and politics go hand in hand. But in the movies, matters get even more extreme with senators who mind-control and presidents who unleash diseases on the populace. Clearly, House of Cards‘ Frank Underwood would fit right in with the top ten deviant politicians ever to hit the big screen. Find out more about Underwood on THE WRITERS’ ROOM: “House of Cards,” Fri., May 2 at 9PM/8c. Until then, consider his back-stabbing cohorts.

1. Adam Sutler (John Hurt), V for Vendetta
By releasing a plague intended to wipe out “social deviants,” Sutler secures power for his oppressive political party and establishes a fascist regime.

2. Bob Alexander (Frank Langella), Dave
It’s not enough that Chief of Staff Alexander replaces the comatose prez with a lookalike. He also frames the dupe for an S&L scandal he orchestrated.

What Does Wes Anderson Owe to “Harold and Maude” and 8 Other Influences?

Article: What Does Wes Anderson Owe to “Harold and Maude” and 8 Other Influences?

Wes Anderson has been making feature films since the ’90s (Bottle Rocket, Rushmore) so needless to say his influences date further back than that. It’s a testament to this auteur’s considerable talent that although he’s supremely nostalgic, he’s by no means derivative. He doesn’t rob his predecessors. He nods to them. So to begin… (Cue the Futura title card bearing the words Chapter 1:)

Top 10 Movie Couples We Want to Double-Date

Article: Top 10 Movie Couples We Want to Double-Date

Double-dating is harder than regular dating. First of all, there’s two of them and two of you. That’s more potential for problems. After all, you might forgive your own date’s annoying habits (chewing with mouth open, laughing too loudly) because you’re going to get some action later on. But your double date? Hell, no. That means, they better be good company. Here are the top ten movie couples worth double-dating.

More Twisted Than Twister…. Ten Tangled Love Triangles in Film

Article: More Twisted Than Twister…. Ten Tangled Love Triangles in Film

The tangled love triangle is such a cinematic trope that we could probably put together a list for each year (or a list of top ten love triangles with bad ‘80s haircuts… or top ten love triangles starring Reese Witherspoon…). We decided to limit this list to love-triangle films we actually enjoyed (and not in a guilty-pleasure kind of way) — which is why you won’t find the Bella-Edwards-Jacob affair here, despite the ubiquity of “Team Edward” and “Team Jacob” merchandise. Same goes for Pearl Harbor (2001), which attempted to make the love triangle a heroic response to war; or Wild Things (1995), which accessorized the love triangle with hot tubs and champagne (and was really more of a lust triangle, anyway); or Indecent Proposal (1993), which theorized the love triangle as a financial and real estate decision; or My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), which was a terrible movie despite championing off-key karaoke. Let’s proceed.

The Naked Truth: Some Directors Aren’t Afraid of Nudity… Seriously, Not Afraid

Article: The Naked Truth: Some Directors Aren’t Afraid of Nudity… Seriously, Not Afraid

If you spend a lot of time analyzing movie sex scenes like we do, you might find yourself rolling your eyes at how many on-screen couples manage to have sex without ever showing any skin… or who fall asleep with a sheet covering them just so… or who always put on a shirt and underpants when they get out of bed to pee, no matter how raunchy things just got. Where’s the nudity? Where’s the raunch? For further feverish research on your own time, you might want to look up the work of the following ten directors who are very, shall we say, comfortable with on-screen nudity. And we mean the real kind — not the CGI kind. Only after we finished this list did we realize it was entirely male, which we suppose shouldn’t surprise us — after all, most of the nudity is female. But we dug up male nudity — or, at least, equal-opportunity nudity — where we could. You’re welcome!

1. Edward Zwick
Edward Zwick may not have directed as much on-screen nudity as the other people on this list (unless we missed something in 1989′s Glory), but he takes the number one slot because he is the only director on the list, who got naked himself while shooting a nude scene.

Moviemakers Just Can’t Decide If Dictators Are Funny or Frightening

Article: Moviemakers Just Can’t Decide If Dictators Are Funny or Frightening

Dictators have always made great movie fodder. But whether they’re a source of ridicule or revulsion is another story. Take a look at some of the greatest portrayals of dictators in Hollywood history and you’ll see the interpretations are all over the map! Even Hitler (represented four times in the list below) can span from a buffoon to a holy terror. Don’t believe it? Read on.

1. The Great Dictator (1940)
Charlie Chaplin’s first true talking film stirred the nation, and can be considered a significant cultural reference point that served as inspiration to everything from Mel Brooks’ The Producers to Ivan Reitman’s Dave and even Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds. If for nothing else, re-watch this seminal comedy for the climactic speech at the film’s conclusion, a moment when a legendary silent film star steps out of character and truly finds his voice, and a chillingly apt (but sadly ignored) call to action at a pivotal time in history—1940.

Crazy Good! The Top 10 Movie Meltdowns

Article: Crazy Good! The Top 10 Movie Meltdowns

One of the most enjoyable things about movie-watching is that moment when a beloved character loses his/her crackers, even if just for a moment, showing us a whole other shade of person. And as enjoyable as it is for the audience, it’s probably lots of fun for the actors, too. A compendium of raging, comic, emotional and/or heartbreaking meltdowns follows…

1. Entire Cast, Blue Velvet (1986)
As for the best meltdown in this film, take your pick! In the surreal world of David Lynch, every single character seems to be at a different point in his/her own personal undoing, as everyone’s hold on reality becomes increasingly looser. Blue Velvet is the epitome of “on the edge.” As with most of Lynch’s work, this can be considered an exploration of what happens post-meltdown.

2. Hayley Stark (Ellen Page), Hard Candy (2005)
Hayley gives us one long, brutal but very talky meltdown in Hard Candy, a pressure cooker of a flick that never lets up and always keeps you guessing. After a relentless torture scene (not spoiled here), Hayley continues her ravings and revenge fantasy on the roof, literally driving a bland and listless Patrick Wilson to jump clear off it. Can you blame him?

10 Seriously Messed Up Movies

Article: 10 Seriously Messed Up Movies

Spring may seem an unlikely time to crave a messed-up movie marathon, but the trippy films on this list are worth a screening any time of the year. Full of iconic (read: extremely bizarre) scenes and surprising performances from many now “mainstream” actors, these are movies that will get under your skin and stay there. Of course, it’s hard to get too bummed out by a well-told story or a stylishly made film (then again: Dancer in the Dark), but here’s a final warning: these are 10 seriously messed-up stories.

1. Grizzly Man (2005)
Like much of Werner Herzog’s work, Grizzly Man has moments of poetry as well as dark humor. But Timothy Treadwell, the central figure of this documentary, suffers a fate so horrific that it’s shown in the film only via Herzog himself listening to audio of the incident and advising that it be destroyed and never played for anyone ever again. The audio exists because Treadwell documented his life among the bears in Alaskan wilderness; some of the astonishing footage appears in the movie, as Herzog ruminates on the “chaos and murder” he sees in the natural world Treadwell so adores. You may want to chase this experience — or this entire list — with Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World, another nature-related doc with less grisly results.

2. Hard Candy (2005)
Before she was Juno or fulfilling her Woody Allen movie destiny, Ellen Page played a cunning teenager in Hard Candy, which manages to toy with its viewers so much that it appears to tell about five different totally messed up stories before it’s over. It begins queasily enough with Patrick Wilson meeting Page in a public place and bonding over the band Goldfrapp, then gets queasier as he invites her back to her place. But Page, playing on her mini-person physicality as well as her natural ability to seem smarter than her young-looking years, is not who she appears to be. This isn’t a gory horror movie, but your stomach will probably still churn with each plot twist.

Top 10 Movie Gangsters From Real Life

Article: Top 10 Movie Gangsters From Real Life

Where would the cinema world be without gangsters? The gun-blazing standoffs, ballsy bank stickups, mobster massacres 
 They’ve all contributed to some of the biggest moments in movie history. But there’s a special subset of the genre that blurs fantasy and reality, those flicks that portray the bigger-than-life gangsters who were real. Here are ten great…

10 Truly Terrifying Stephen King Fright Flicks

Article: 10 Truly Terrifying Stephen King Fright Flicks

What makes Stephen King movies so scary is how normal their characters can seem at first. They’re writers and doctors, moms and dads, whose lives suddenly take a twisted turn which transforms the familiar into something freakishly frightening. This month, SundanceTV is airing some of King’s creepiest — THE SHINING, CARRIE, CHRISTINE, and CHILDREN OF THE CORN. Below is a top ten list of the horror master’s best.

10 Great Courtroom Dramas Ripped from Recent Headlines

Article: 10 Great Courtroom Dramas Ripped from Recent Headlines

Image from NORTH COUNTRY, featuring Woody Harrelson and Charlize Theron. Some of the greatest movie dramas take place in the courtroom. And some of the best courtroom dramas are based on true crimes. Get inspired (or infuriated) all over again with this list 10 of the best from the last 25 years. Hooked on legal…