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5 Favorites #177: 5 Favorite Leading Men, Part I

Every week, we'll pose a new "five favorites" question. You just list your five favorites that fit in that category (preferably in preference order) and you're welcome to discuss and debate the selections and see just how much you do or do not have in common with others. If you want to take a look back at our past articles to comment or enjoy, here is a post set aside to track all of our articles (updated infrequently).

We continue our series of leading men and women with the first of our men, covering the 1920's, 1930' and 1940's. We'll alternate until we get to the modern era.

What are your 5 Favorite leading men of the 1920's, 1930's and 1940's?

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The DVD Report #356

AugustOsageCountyOne of last year’s most eagerly anticipated films, John Wells’ film of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize winning August: Osage County met with mixed reviews at last September’s Toronto Film Festival from which it never really recovered. Part of the problem was the film’s marketing as a dark comedy which it is not.

The film is a heavily corrosive drama about the disintegration of a family. What humor there is in it is of a gallows nature as played up in the film’s trailer and Oscar clips. Although it mines the same territory as Eugene O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , the film doesn’t quite reach the same dramatic heights.

Meryl Streep pulls out all the stops as the matriarch from Hell with fellow Oscar nominee Julia Roberts nearly matching her as her eldest daughter, leaving the remainder of the large cast little to do, despite which several of them have a moment or two in which they shine. Margo Martindale as Streep’s sister and Chris Cooper as her fed up husband both have a strong late scene as do Juliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson as Streep’s other daughters. Ewan McGrgor as Robets’ husband; Abigail Breslin as their daughter; Dermot Mulroney as Lewis’ latest squeeze and Benedict Cumberbatch as Martindale’s timid son have less to do and Sam Shepard as Streep’s alcoholic husband is killed off too early in the proceedings to have much impact. Misty Upham has a nice bit as Streep’s caretaker.

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This Day in Oscar History: April 15 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born

Died

Ceremonies


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Poll: Now That You’ve Seen “Rio 2″

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Now That You've Seen Rio 2...?

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Film Preview: The Other Woman (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 25, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "After discovering her boyfriend is married, Carly soon meets the wife he's been cheating on. And when yet another affair is discovered, all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on the three-timing SOB."

Poster: C- / C / D+

Review: Generic and cheesy. That's the easiest way to describe all three of the posters for this film. The first is the one everyone's going to see leading up to the film's release. No one will care much. The second was the teaser that at least tried something new even if it was featured on a non-descript white background. The third design replaces a good deal of the content on the page with emojis hoping to appeal to very young audiences. It's not going to work.

Trailer: B+

Review: A poster can't always sell a film, but a good trailer will. I'll admit that most of what happens in the trailer is entirely predictable. There are dozens of films about women exacting revenge against the men who spurned them. Yet, Cameron Diaz and Leslie Mann make this one look particularly funny.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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The Morning After: Apr. 14, 2014

Welcome to The Morning After, where I share with you what movies I've seen over the past week. Below, you will find short reviews of those movies along with a star rating. Full length reviews may come at a later date.

So, here is what I watched this past week:

The Mirror Has Two Faces


Looking back at 1996, I can see why many people ignored The Mirror Has Two Faces. This is an unconventional romantic comedy that toyed with conventional archetypes and forged a different path through the overused cliches and tropes famous in the genre. Director Barbara Streisand's third stint behind the camera doesn't idly mimic the traditions of the medium, she does so with purpose and finesse. It's surprising the film was as maligned as it was considering it's a lot better than what's been produced in recent years.

Streisand plays a frumpy philosophy teacher who wants more out of life, but cannot seem to find it. An opportunity to live a romance-less relationship with a idealist mathetmatics teacher (Jeff Bridges) gives her an opportunity to coax the beast out of its shell. Yet, as his unflinching adherence to his belief structure, one which he thinks will ideally lead to the perfect marriage, cripples their relationship while he haplessly misses all the clues that suggest perhaps he is falling in love and that his relationship with Streisand's Rose could be more than he expected.

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Oscar Preview: Weekend of Apr. 11-13, 2014

We had one film release this past weekend with the potential for Oscar nominations.

Rio 2

When the original film was released 3 years ago, we believed it had a long shot nomination at Best Animated Feature, but on Oscar nomination morning, it came away with one Oscar nomination and it wasn't where we expected it.

Brazilian music legend Sergio Mendes contributed a single song to the Rio soundtrack and for that, he was awarded with an Oscar nomination for "Real in Rio." That year was an odd one with only two nominees in the category, a first in Oscar history. The other song, "Man or Muppet," was a de facto winner and Rio didn't have a chance.

Now that we've returned to the Amazon rainforest, we have to consider two categories in lieu of the normal one. While Best Animated Feature is likely out of the question considering the reputation Blue Sky has with the Oscars, the chance of a Best Original Song nomination must be considered. Mendes isn't around this time, yet Tony winners Rita Moreno and Kristin Chenoweth have a couple of songs each and Oscar nominees Siedah Garrett and Carlinhos Brown, who co-wrote the Oscar nominated song with Mendes, are also involved in some of the songs, so it's possible. However, lightning may not be able to strike twice for a film that was evenly disliked by critics.

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Review: Divergent (2014)

Divergent

Rating

Director
Neil Burger
Screenplay
Evan Daugherty, Vanessa Taylor (Novel: Veronica Roth)
Length
139 min.
Starring
Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ashley Judd, Jai Courtney, Ray Stevenson, Zoe Kravitz, Miles Teller, Tony Goldwyn, Ansel Elgort, Maggie Q, Mekhi Phifer, Kate Winslet, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Amy Newbold, Ben Lamb
MPAA Rating
PG-13 for intense violence and action, thematic elements and some sensuality
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This Day in Oscar History: April 14 (2014)

Here's what happened today in Oscar History.

Born


Died

Ceremonies


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Poll: Best of April 2013, Limited

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What's the Best of April 2013, Limited?

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The Inbox (Apr. 5-11, 2014)

Every week, I get several press releases, screening invitations and other notifications from a handful of studio contacts. While I won't be sharing any information regarding my screening invites, some of the press releases might be of interest to my readers, so I thought I'd start sharing them in toto with all of you. These could include new image galleries for various films or important updates to upcoming releases from various smaller studios and art house production companies.

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Weekend Preview: Apr. 18-20, 2014

Below are ten previews for films opening next weekend.
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Film Preview: Tasting Menu (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A couple makes a reservation for the best restaurant in the world for a year later. When the day arrives, they're separated and it is the last night the restaurant will be open. None of them will miss the culinary event."

Poster: B+ (3)

Review: A trio of similar posters that employ older techniques into a visually palatable blend of images. It's so tastefully done that others who try similar things should look to these for inspiration.

Trailer: B+

Review: A delectable premise is carefully crafted into a compelling trailer that entice's the audience's taste buds and their cinematic curiosity.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Film Preview: Make Your Move (2014)

Poster

Additional posters can be found below.

Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "A pair of star-crossed dancers in New York find themselves at the center of a bitter rivalry between their brothers' underground dance clubs."

Poster: C / C+ / C- / C- / C

Review: What's most disturbing (and disappointing) about the first, second and fourth designs is that they take the exact same cutouts of the film's two stars and re-size and reposition them to try and make something new. The backgrounds and color schemes are new in each, but it doesn't make them look any less cheap. The third design is chaotic and visually overbearing, looking more like an attempt to remind the audience of the Step Up franchise rather than to distinguish itself. The fifth design is completely different from the others, thus an improvement, but is far too dark and undistinguished to be of much good.

Trailer: C

Review: Like the Step Up films and other similar movies, the intriguing aspect is the choreography. Street dancing has been plenty creative and each film focuses on trying to be more creative than the last. That creativity is what makes the films engaging. What doesn't is the hokey relationship elements that are pasted together with untalented thespians hoping the audience will be distracted by the dancing and not turned off by the plot.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

Additional Posters

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Film Preview: Kid Cannabis (2014)

Poster


Trailer Link

Release Date:

April 18, 2014

Synopsis:

From IMDb: "An eighteen year old high school drop out and his twenty-seven year old friend start trafficking marijuana across the border of Canada in order to make money and their lives are changed forever."

Poster: -

Review: There was no poster immediately available for my review. Should one become available in the future, this section will be updated.

Trailer: D+

Review: I wouldn't say a film like this is teen-targeted, but featuring teens partying and getting high is genuinely disturbing, especially when it's not adequately treated as a cautionary tale.

Oscar Prospects:

None.

Revisions:

(April 13, 2014) Original

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