Ever since Sofia Coppola released The Virgin Suicides in 1999, she has been one of the most consistently talked about directors in the world of independent cinema. Arguably the most prominent female director of her generation, her films incorporate a variety of personalities and span from 18th century France to 21st century America, all while retaining a signature style that remains all her own. From the rococo Versailles of Marie Antoinette to the dreamlike 1970s Michigan of the Lisbon sisters, technicolor modern day Tokyo and Hollywood’s lush Chateau Marmont, her atmospheres are just as much a part of the films as the characters themselves. For the fourth installment of Team Video’s Directors Series, Allan and Nicole discuss a mutual favorite and her impressive body of work. Download, stream or listen via iTunes.
March is kind of a bummer, isn’t it? I mean, its great in a lot of ways, don’t get me wrong. Saint Patrick’s Day is nice (if you’re Irish and/or like drinking). Sometimes Easter is in March (and if not, April is by then fast approaching). The weather isn’t yet the wretched heat of summer and no longer the brutal chill of winter. But still, its not yet summer vacation (for you students) nor is it time for that much-needed string of holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) for those lucky enough to work in an office. Sometimes the box office can be a bit dull too, given the lull between the end of Oscar season and the start of the big summer blockbusters. For this reason and more, I present you with…
Five reasons why I seriously cannot wait for The Hunger Games (March 23)
1. The book is incredible.
If you haven’t read the book yet, I am not going to talk myself blue in the face trying to convince you why you should. I’ve done that to enough of my friends and really, they are the ones missing out, so I’ll just save myself the effort from now on. It’s sort of like trying to get someone to start watching Doctor Who. You can drive yourself crazy talking it up for months, knowing how much the other person would love it if they just took a break from watching garbage like Grey’s Anatomy to watch an episode or two, eventually just trying not to write them off completely for ignoring your well-intentioned harassment. Life is too short though, and you’re better off just letting people do their own (stupid) thing.
2. The trailer.
Guess what? The trailer looks awesome. If you don’t agree with me, you probably didn’t read the book yet. See above.
3. The soundtrack.
So far, I have only seen her in X-Men: First Class, but her performance in that was pretty excellent. She certainly has the outside look of Katniss down, judging by the movie art and the trailers. Here’s hoping she gets at what’s beneath the surface as well.
5. WOODY HARRELSON <3 HAYMITCH.
The whole movie could be a complete wreck (which I doubt) but it would still be worth seeing for this alone. When I was reading the book, I had no knowledge of the casting choices, so I didn’t picture the characters as any actors in particular. Once I finished the book and began to look up everything I could about the upcoming film, learning that Woody Harrelson would be playing Haymitch Abernathy was like being hit with a ton of bricks (in a good way). Not only is he one of my favorite actors, but he is flat out perfect for the role.
2011 was filled to the brim with a great selection of high quality films, television shows and albums. While this was beneficial to the Team Video staff in terms of the entertainment we received, it also made it a little difficult to compile our end of the year best-of lists. Never fear, for we took this task quite seriously and have combined forces to present you with a comprehensive account of the things from the past twelve months that you absolutely must watch or listen to. Bethany and Allan clash on Midnight In Paris, Allan and I lose our minds over Drive, and opinions on Bridesmaids are all over the board. Bonus points to me for including three entries involving David Tennant! Check out the podcast streaming, download it or listen via iTunes. Happy New Year, and here’s hoping 2012 is even better!
Isn’t it nice when a movie surprises you? I will admit straightaway that my initial reason for going to the theater to see Fright Night was the one and only 10th Doctor, David Tennant. Remakes are not usually the most stellar examples of cinema, with horror entries in particular leaving a bad taste in my mouth given some especially disappointing recent titles. I thought that, at best, Fright Night would be a relatively painless 106 minutes to be endured in exchange for the chance to see my favorite actor on the big screen. Instead, what I experienced was one of the most enjoyable times at the theater in recent memory. Not only was Tennant remarkable to watch in the role of Peter Vincent, but I was also struck by the fantastic performance of Colin Farrell as Jerry. The talent of these two actors alone would be enough to save even the most potentially disastrous of films. A perfect mix of tense horror and slick humor, Fright Night is one of my favorite films of the year. If my fawning alone is not enough to convince you, check out this clip below from one of the movie’s best scenes.
At the close of every year, I like to take a quick look at all of the music related titles that have been released. From concerts and music video collections to biopics and unauthorized biographies, 2011 has seen its fair share of titles that are well-deserving of space on my DVD shelf (and probably yours too)!
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! From Thanksgiving Day until the new year’s bells (or pots and pans) chime, the holiday season is officially in full swing. Sure, there is plenty of hassle that mars this festive time: elbowing through bustling crowds of shoppers, agonizing over finding and being able to afford the perfect gift for so-and-so, having to endure certain family members who you would prefer to avoid… We’ve all been there. However, there’s plenty of joy to be found as well: classic Christmas songs on the radio, driving through neighborhoods full of blinking lights and inflatable Spongebob Santas, delicious homemade (or store-bought) cookies and other treats… If all else fails, you can always drown your sorrows in some egg nog (I recommend Silk Nog with a splash of Johnny Walker Red)! Anyway, one of my favorite things about this season is the wealth of holiday movies, specials, commercials, etc. all over TV and the internet. I’ve got the newspaper listings tacked up to my refrigerator and my DVR is locked and loaded. Like the classic song made famous in Bruce Willis‘ Armageddon, I don’t want to miss a thing. (Is it stuck in your head now too? Yeah, you’re welcome.) Recently I saw a delightful Christmas trailer courtesy of the BBC, which I will now share with you. This is quite a star-studded affair, but what I am really interested in is Doctor Who‘s Matt Smith and Karen Gillan, decked out in gorgeous reindeer sweaters, playing Twister with a Cyberman! If this jaunty clip doesn’t get you in the Christmas spirit, I’m not sure what will. And if you don’t already watch Doctor Who, may I suggest adding The Complete David Tennant Years to your wishlist? Now there’s a gift you can enjoy year-round.
If you were still on the lookout for the perfect song to get you in the mood for celebrating tonight, boy have I got what you are looking for. Yes, I can hardly resist dancing along to the “Monster Mash” and “The Blob” is an undeniably fun time. However, I’d like to cast my ballot for Tim Curry‘s “Anything Can Happen On Halloween” as a modern day holiday classic. This song appears in The Worst Witch, a film which is criminally underrepresented in the usual yearly October viewing lists. The film stars Fairuza Balk (who would later go on to star in The Craft) as a young witch at a magical boarding school who manages to mess up nearly every spell she attempts. The highlight of the movie is when The Grand Wizard (Tim Curry) shows up to regale an audience of swooning witches, students and teachers alike, with a tour de force tune that details the various things that could happen on this unpredictable holiday. Enjoy!
Recently, the Team Video crew decided to begin the endeavor of discussing various directors and their bodies of work. Given the excitement around here for the upcoming Blu-ray releases of Pulp Fiction and Jackie Brown, Quentin Tarantino seemed the natural choice for our inaugural episode. Sit down with Allan, Journey, and Nicole as they examine the man with a cinematic flair like no other. From the groundbreaking Reservoir Dogs to the epic Inglourious Basterds and everything in between (like the oft overlooked Four Rooms), no stone is left unturned in the analysis of Tarantino‘s directorial output. Check out the podcast download, streaming or on iTunes.
We all have movies that we were a little obsessed with as children, right? That is one of the finer qualities in children: the tendency to completely geek out over the things that they like, often to the dismay of parents forced to see/hear the same DVD (or VHS, in my day) over and over and over… Admittedly, I had many such cinematic obsessions (some more embarrassing than others, in retrospect) but one movie I think a lot of us can (or should) still stand behind is The Lion King. I think my young self may have had just about every piece of Lion King merchandise in existence (remember that awesome Sega game?), and if it is possible to have a crush on an animated character, I did. (Full disclosure: It was Scar, but really who can resist the combination of pure evil and Jeremy Irons‘ voice? I never said I was a normal kid.) Needless to say, I am delighted that this gem will finally be hitting the shelves on Blu-ray next week. As I haven’t seen the film since childhood, I am especially looking forward to the nostalgia of it all. It doesn’t hurt that instead of watching it on my old 20″ TV/VCR combo, I will finally be enjoying it in high definition on a television of respectable size and most likely with a bottle of cider to commemorate this fine autumn season. Hakuna Matata!
As my fellow Whovians already know, BBC America will be airing the mid-season premiere of Doctor Who this Saturday at 9pm Eastern. Judging by the title – “Let’s Kill Hitler” – Lt. Aldo Raine and his Basterds aren’t the only ones in the business of messing around with Nazis. Unfortunately my enjoyment of this episode will be delayed as I am still relatively new to the magic that is the Doctor. Up until a few months ago, I had very little knowledge of the show when repeated mentions by two of my favorite podcasts – Horroretc and Nerdist – led me to finally sit down and start with Series 1. Needless to say, I was done for at the start, immediately drawn into this world of time travel and adventure. Currently at the beginning of Series 4, I have been ardently watching the episodes in order to catch up and watch the new series in real time. I am honestly a bit anxious to say goodbye to the 10th Doctor, the endlessly brilliant David Tennant. Although I liked Christopher Eccleston quite a bit (you never forget your first Doctor), I’ve become strongly attached to Tennant and am wary of his regeneration into Matt Smith (who I have admittedly heard lovely things about). In any case, enjoy the trailer below (which I am still avoiding due to spoilers) and if you haven’t started watching Doctor Who – you need to start now. Seriously. I’m sorry, but there is no way anything you are currently watching is even half as good. Start with Series 1 and if you aren’t hooked by “Father’s Day” then we should probably not be friends anymore.