Tag Archives: Gus Van Sant

Friday, July 20, 2018

Vote for the best drama movies of 2018; Currently Bette Midler’s “Freak Show” is #5 out of 60

Mister D: So far only about 500 people have voted on this list and Freak Show is starting out in great shape. Let’s keep her in the spotlight. Make sure to go to Ranker and sign up. It’s easy. Then head on over and Click Here to vote. Freak Show Poster Ranker Vote for the best drama movies of 2018… July 14, 2018

Vote for the best drama movies of 2018.

Whether they’re about historical events or fictional stories of romance, tension, and love, the best drama movies of 2018 left viewers inspired and emotional. What were the best drama movies this year? Help decide below. Featuring romantic dramas, coming-of-age movies, biopics, and comedy-dramas, this list of good 2018 shows includes 12 StrongChappaquiddickLean on Pete, and Permission. Good drama films usually feature compelling characters and intriguing storylines, avoiding melodrama in favor of more realistic plot lines and complicated protagonists. Which drama movies of 2018 fit such a description? Vote on this list of 2018 drama movies. Give an up vote to the best drama movies of 2018 and down vote anything you feel is overrated or downright bad.


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12 Strong Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Peña12 Strong (also known as 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers) is a 2018 American war drama film directed by Nicolai Fuglsig. Following the September 11 attacks, Task…more


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Forever My Girl Alex Roe, Jessica Rothe, John Benjamin Hickey Forever My Girl is a 2018 romantic drama film directed by Bethany Ashton Wolf. After being gone for a decade, a country star (Alex Roe) returns home to the love (Jessica Rothe) he left behind.


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Thoroughbreds Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy, Anton Yelchin Thoroughbreds is a 2018 American drama thriller film directed by Cory Finley. After years of growing apart, upper-class teenagers Lily (Anya Taylor-Joy) and Amanda (Olivia Cooke) rekindle their …more


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Final Portrait Geoffrey Rush, Armie Hammer, Clémence Poésy Final Portrait is a 2017 British-American drama film directed by Stanley Tucci. In Paris 1964, famed painter Alberto Giacometti (Geoffrey Rush) asks James Lord (Armie Hammer), the American…more


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Freak Show Alex Lawther, Abigail Breslin, Bette Midler Freak Show is a 2018 American drama film directed by Trudie Styler, based on the novel by James St. James. Despite attending an ultra-conservative high school, Billy Bloom (Alex Lawther) decides…more


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The Strange Ones Alex Pettyfer, James Freedson-Jackson, Emily Althaus Strange Ones is a 2017 American drama film directed by Christopher Radcliff and Lauren Wolkstein. Mysterious events surround two travelers as they make their way across a remote American …more


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Nostalgia Jon Hamm, Nick Offerman, Amber Tamblyn Nostalgia is a 2018 American drama film directed by Mark Pellington. A group of people is connected through a loss.


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The 15:17 to Paris Anthony Sadler, Alek Skarlatos, Spencer Stone The 15:17 to Paris is a 2018 American biographical drama film directed by Clint Eastwood, based on the 2015 Thalys train attack. Three Americans (Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler, and Alek …more


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First Reformed Ethan Hawke, Amanda Seyfried, Cedric the Entertainer First Reformed is a 2017 American drama thriller film directed by Paul Schrader. Grieving over the death of his son, an ex-military chaplain (Ethan Hawke) is further challenged when a young …more


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Leave No Trace Ben Foster, Thomasin McKenzie, Jeff Kober Leave No Trace is a 2018 American film directed by Debra Granik, based on the book My Abandonment by Peter Rock. A father (Ben Foster) and his 13-year-old daughter (Thomasin McKenzie) are living …more


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Every Day Angourie Rice, Maria Bello, Debby Ryan Every Day is a 2018 American romantic-drama directed by Michael Sucsy, based on the novel by David Levithan. 16-year-old Rhiannon (Angourie Rice) falls in love with a spirit named A, a traveling…more


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Disobedience Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams, Alessandro Nivola Disobedience is a 2017 British-Irish-American drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio, based on the novel by Noami Alderman. A woman (Rachel Weisz) returns to her Orthodox Jewish home …more


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Eighth Grade Elsie Fisher, Josh Hamilton, Emily Robinson Eighth Grade is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Bo Burnham. An eighth grader (Elsie Fisher) struggles to finish her last week of classes before embarking for high school.


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The Rider Brady Jandreau, Tim Jandreau, Lilly Jandreau The Rider is a 2017 American drama film directed by Chloé Zhao. After suffering a near-fatal head injury, a young cowboy (Brady Jandreau) undertakes a search for a new identity and what it …more


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Breath Simon Baker, Elizabeth Debicki, Samson CoulterBreath is a 2018 drama film directed by Simon Baker, based on the novel by Tim Winton. Two teenage boys form an unlikely connection with an older surfer (Simon Baker).


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Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot Joaquin Phoenix, Rooney Mara, Jonah Hill Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot is a 2018 American drama film directed by Gus Van Sant, based on the memoir by John Callahan. After nearly losing his life in a car accident, a slacker…more


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Shock and Awe Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, James Marsden Shock, and Awe is a 2017 American drama film directed by Rob Reiner. Journalists investigate the assertions by the Bush Administration concerning Saddam Hussein’s alleged possession of weapons of …more


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A Fantastic Woman Daniela Vega, Francisco Reyes, Luis Gnecco A Fantastic Woman is a 2017 Chilean drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio. Marina (Daniela Vega), a waitress who moonlights as a nightclub singer, is bowled over by the death of her …more


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Lean on Pete Charlie Plummer, Chloë Sevigny, Travis Fimmel Lean on Pete is a 2017 British drama film directed by Andrew Haigh, based on the novel by Willy Vlautin. A teenager (Charlie Plummer) gets a summer job working for a horse trainer and befriends…more


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The Catcher Was a Spy  ...  Read More

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The Rose looks and sounds incredible on the new Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection (4 1/2 out of 5 stars)

Slant Magazine The Rose BLU-RAY REVIEW 4.5 out of 5 BY CLAYTON DILLARD ON MAY 20, 2015 10706763_732352433504456_535004432_n The Rose is a prestige studio film that wants to be mistaken as a cry from the bowels of hell, as an authentic, gritty depiction of the tribulations and toll of fame. The film is anchored by an unbridled lead performance from Bette Midler as the titular rocker, whose legion of fans gravitate to her on-stage presence without realizing the consequences of their devotion. Director Mark Rydell and screenwriters Bo Goldman and Bill Kirby construct a fictional character and scenario that have resonances with the lives of musicians like Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, which were prematurely ended by the same circumstances facing Rose. In effect, that’s part of the film’s problem: It’s too busy lamenting the consequences of myth to realize that its fetishizing of suffering as part of the artistic process only furthers the myth. Although the film opens with a handful of reporters barging into Rose’s childhood home, seeking answers to why her career came to such an abrupt end, the filmmakers display little interest in deconstructing or interrogating the cult surrounding feminine pursuits of stardom (Gus Van Sant‘s To Die For is perhaps the best instance in American filmmaking of this kind of critique). The lack of a cunning and incisive erosion of myth is softened by proficient narrative textures that bolster the film’s bid for hands-on filmmaking, most notably through interactions between Rose, her manager Rudge (Alan Bates), and lover Huston (Fredric Forrest), all of whom Rydell efficiently characterizes through terse dialogue and telling actions. When Rose explains to Rudge that she’s thinking of taking a year off, the interaction is fast and without context; the characters never slip into explaining themselves or stating information that would already be readily familiar to both of them. The exchange is Cassavetes-esque, but Rydell stages it inside of a high-rise, overlooking the streets of Manhattan, adding simplistic visual appeal. Cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond shoots these evenly lit interiors with the same intimacy that’s given to the film’s extensive concert sequences, though the performances are a much wilder, untamed beast, offering the crowd, the stage, and Rose with a characterizing intent that isn’t simply out to revel in the spectacle. After all, The Rose is a period piece, set in 1969, so that when Rose tells an audience to keep preaching “drugs, sex, and rock n’ roll,” it’s an immediately suspicious assessment of the ethos of an era where apathy and bodily indulgence rules. And yet, The Rose is a little late on the draw in its cynicism, almost a decade behind “We blew it” from Easy Rider, or even the indifferent teens of Halloween from a year prior. Rose makes little assessment of politics, and neither do any of her friends and crew. A key scene with established singer Billy Ray (Harry Dean Stanton), in which he bluntly tells her not to cover any more of his music, is the closest Rose comes to confronting herself as an aesthetic, as an artistic choice that fits into a larger tapestry of cultural and social conflict. Similarly, the filmmakers are content to allow the contexts of the period to remain on the periphery; Vietnam shows up sparsely, like when a background radio is heard addressing the conflict or Huston’s divulgence of having been in the army. Yet compared to its New Hollywood brethren, especially in seminal films like Taxi Driver and Nashville, where politics and worries of war are firmly rooted within the proceedings, little about The Rose rises to such a level, instead emphasizing melodramatic conflict and its cast’s method acting chops. On that front, Midler’s performance comprises the bulk of the film’s appeal, especially considering nearly all of the concerts were recorded live, with minimal post-production alterations. On stage, as shot by Zsigmond and a host of other well-known cinematographers that were brought on for the shoot, Midler’s mobility and energy are captured in monochromatic reds and blues, almost too finely rendered for a film that wants to constantly assert its working-class ferocity. To the filmmakers’ credit, they let Rose sing two or three songs in a row, without interruption, not just in the film’s nearly half-dozen concert scenes, but even when she’s off stage, as in a lengthy drag-club sequence. Long takes are used frequently, whether in a seven-minute exchange between Rose and Huston in bed or a staggering high-angle shot that frames Rose in front of a football field while using a payphone, before craning down to capture her in close-up. These visual cues, along with Midler’s presence, give the film an immediacy and dynamism, but the end result is rather superficial, myth-driven, and awards-bait-y, best epitomized by Rydell’s decision to use Amanda Broom’s track “The Rose” over the end credits, perhaps the most surefire way to glimpse the film’s rather thorn-less core. IMAGE / SOUND: The digital 4k restoration and DTS-HD audio mix give this transfer of The Rose new, vivacious life that Fox’s 2003 DVD only hinted at. Colors and sounds are much sharper than before, especially in the concert sequences, despite being shot with nine separate cameras over the span of two full-runs each, are no less luminous than the more intimately composed backstage or hotel scenes. Reds and blacks are delicately balanced, allowing for Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography to achieve a fluidity that Criterion has taken ample care to preserve. Even more impressive, perhaps, is the audio track, which boasts a depth and fullness that reminds just how much of a behemoth Mark Rydell’s film can be when it’s fully immersed within the confines of its sonic soundscapes, anchored by Bette Midler’s ample bravado. EXTRAS: There are a plethora of insights from various members of the cast and crew, though the dearth of appraisals from either critics or historians gives the supplements an unwanted, hagiographic tinge that also accompanied Criterion’s release of The Big Chill. A commentary by Rydell is informative to an extent, as he recounts how the film came into being at 20th Century Fox; though The Rosewas originally conceived as a Janis Joplin biopic, he was adamant that it shouldn’t be seen as such. Rydell also talks up Midler’s performance, explaining how the impressive concert scenes were shot and championing his film as an example of the kinds of challenging material Hollywood studios were making in the ’70s. However, Rydell also disappears from the track numerous times, sometimes dropping out to let the film play for several, uninterrupted minutes. As such, the track would’ve been put to better use as a video essay or interview, the latter of which is alsoincluded, and proves somewhat redundant as Rydell explains to filmmaker Charles Dennis several of the same stories/tidbits already available in the commentary. The remaining interviews with Midler and Vilmos Zsigmond are informative, but a bit too light in terms of insight. Midler explains how she was initially opposed to the project because she was uninterested in tampering with Joplin’s legacy, before describing her movements in the film as panther-like and remembering how encouraging Rydell remained throughout the extensive production. Zsigmond discusses how he filmed the concert scenes and kept Midler in frame throughout, while also divulging the logistics behind lighting 10,000 people during a helicopter shot and his preference for anamorphic framing over 16 or 35mm. Also included are two brief segments from The Today Show following the film’s theatrical release and a booklet with an essay by Paula Mejia that explores more of the film’s historical background, including the idea that Rose is a “composite” of several rock stars and celebrities from the 1960s. OVERALL: The Rose looks and sounds incredible on the new Blu-ray from the Criterion Collection, though more adventurous viewers may yearn for some thornier supplements.
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Friday, August 19, 2011

Five Needless Remakes

Yahoo News 5 most needless remakes By CHRISTY LEMIRE – AP Movie Critic August 18, 2011 LOS ANGELES (AP) — This is one of those weeks is which five choices aren’t nearly enough. We’re talking about unnecessary remakes, which pretty much means … all of them. Rare is the remake that actually improves on the original — this year’s “The Mechanic” with Jason Statham springs to mind. But the original versions of “Assault on Precinct 13” or “The Longest Yard” or “The Taking of Pelham 123,” for example, were just fine on their own, and in their own time. With this week bringing new versions of “Conan the Barbarian” and “Fright Night,” we’re going to focus on movies that never should have been touched. Stop me if you think you’ve heard this one before: —

“Psycho” (1998): ...  Read More

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