The Results Are In And We Have A Tie!


Last Monday, I invited our readers to tell me what to watch and review this week.  I nominated 12 films and then I invited you to vote.

And vote you did!

Over 1,100 votes were cast and the race was close throughout the week.  Now that the week is over and the poll has been closed, I can officially announce that…

WE HAVE A TIE!

That’s right.  For the first time in the history of this site, our poll has ended with a tie.  Receiving 159 votes each, Much Ado About Nothing and Troll 2 have tied for the top spot.

Well played, Shattered Lens readers, well played.

Well, what choice do I have now but to watch and review both of our winners?

And you know what?

I’m looking forward to it.

Seriously, what could be better than following up a little Shakespeare with a little Troll 2?

Thank you to everyone who voted!

Love you!

*MWAH*

(And look for the reviews soon!)

Here’s Your Chance To Tell Lisa Marie What To Watch!


So, guess what I did this morning?  That’s right — I put on a blindfold, a stumbled over to my ever-growing Blu-ray, DVD, and even VHS collection and I randomly selected 12 films!

Why did I do this?

I did it so you, the beloved readers of Through the Shattered Lens, could once again have a chance to tell me what to do.  At the end of this post, you’ll find a poll.  Hopefully, between now and next Monday (that’s March 24th), a few of you will take the time to vote for which of these 12 films I should watch and review.  I will then watch the winner on Tuesday and post my review on Wednesday night.  In short, I’m putting the power to dominate in your hands.  Just remember: with great power comes great … well, you know how it goes.

Here are the 12 films that I randomly selected this morning:

The Baader Meinhof Complex (2008) — This German film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.  It tells the true life story of the left-wing German terrorist group, The RAF.

The Cat’s Meow (2001) — From director Peter Bogdonavich, this film speculates about the events that led to the shooting of silent film director Thomas H. Ince.  Starring Kirsten Dunst as Marion Davies, Edward Herrmann as William Randolph Hearst, and Eddie Izzard as Charlie Chaplin.

Heavenly Creatures (1994) — The close relationship between two teenage girls (Melanie Lynesky and Kate Winslet) leads to both a vibrant fantasy world and real-life murder.  Directed by Peter Jackson.

In A Lonely Place (1950) — In this film noir from director Nicholas Ray, Humphrey Bogart plays a screenwriter who may (or may not) be a murderer.

Liquid Sky (1983) — In this low-budget, independent science fiction film, an alien lands in New York and soon several members of the city’s underground art scene are vaporized.  Not surprisingly, it all has to do with heroin.

Made in Britain (1983) — A very young Tim Roth makes his debut in this British film.  Roth plays Trevor, a Neo-Nazi who — despite being intelligent and charismatic — also seems to be intent on destroying himself and everything that he sees.

Much Ado About Nothing (2013) — In between The Avengers and Agents of SHIELD, Joss Whedon found the time to direct this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play.

Peyton Place (1957) — In this Oscar-nominated film, the sordid secrets of an outwardly idyllic New England town are exposed.

Pretty Poison (1968) — Having just been released from a mental institution, Dennis (Anthony Perkins) finds himself involved with teenager Sue Anne (Tuesday Weld), who — despite her wholesome appearance — is actually psychotic.

Troll 2 (1990) — A family moves to Nilbog, a small town that is populated by vegetarian goblins.  This movie is widely considered to be one of the worst ever made.

Walkabout (1971) — In this visually stunning Nicolas Roeg film, a teenage girl and her younger brother find themselves stranded and left for dead in the Australian outback.  They try to survive with the help of an Aborigine.

Zabriskie Point (1970) — In this 1970 film, the great Italian director Michelangelo Antonioni takes a look at the 60s counter-culture.  Airplanes are stolen, buildings explode, and orgies magically materialize in the middle of the desert.

The poll will be open until Monday, March 24th.

Happy voting!

LeonTh3Duke’s Favorite Films of 2013


I have to say, this might be the earliest I have ever posted one of these lists. For once I saw everything I wanted to see before the Oscars; and although I haven’t written as many reviews this year, I have loved A TON of what was released. For me, 2013 was one of the better years for film in a while. Which of course makes creating a list such as this so damn hard. But here goes…

…oh, and I should note, this list is ordered according to which films were my favorite/least favorite, not necessarily the best/worst; yes there is a difference if you ask me.

Least Favorite Films of 2013:

5 – “Star Trek Into Darkness” (dir. J.J. Abrams)

5 Star Trek Into Darkness

4 – “Don Jon” (dir. Joseph Gordon-Levitt)

4 Don Jon

3 – “This Is The End” (dir. Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen)

3 This Is The End

2 – “Mama” (dir. Andre Muschietti)

2 Mama

1 – “A Good Day To Die Hard” [Just so happens to be my least favorite AND the worst.] (dir. Satan… Hitler?…no wait, John Moore)

1 A Good Day To Die Hard

Favorite Films of 2013:

25 – “Prince Avalanche” (dir. David Gordon Green)

25 Prince Avalanche

24 – “Drug War” (dir. Johnnie To)

24 Drug War

23 – “The Wolverine” (dir. James Mangold)

23The Wolverine

22 – “Upstream Color” (dir. Shane Carruth)

22 Upstream Color

21 – “The Wolf Wall Street” (dir. Martin Scorsese)

21 The Wolf of Wall Street

20 – “Enough Said” (dir. Nicole Holofcener)

20 Enough Said

19 – “Frozen” (dir. Chris Buck & Jennifer Lee)

19 Frozen

18 – “The World’s End” (dir. Edgar Wright)

18 The Worlds End

17 – “Dallas Buyers Club” (dir. Jean-Marc Vallee)

17 Dallas Buyers Club

16 – “Blue Is The Warmest Color” (dir. Adbellatif Kechiche)

16 Blue Is The Warmest Color

15 – “An Adventure In Space and Time” (dir. Terry McDonough)

15 An Adventure in Space and Time

14 – “Stories We Tell” (dir. Sarah Polley)

14 Stories We Tell

13 – “Much Ado About Nothing” (dir. Joss Whedon)

13 Much Ado About Nothing

12 – “Blue Jasmine” (dir. Woody Allen)

12 Blue Jasmine

11 – “Mud” (dir. Jeff Nichols)

11 Mud

10 – “Frances Ha” (dir. Noah Baumbach)

10 Frances Ha

9 – “12 Years A Slave” (dir. Steve McQueen)

9 Twelve Years A Slave

8 – “Short Term 12” (dir. Destin Cretton)

8 Short Term 12

7 – “Inside Llewyn Davis” (dir. Ethan & Joel Coen)

7 Inside Llewyn Davis

6 – “Museum Hours” (dir. Jem Cohen)

6 Museum Hours

5 – “Stoker” (dir. Chan-wook Park)

5 Stoker

4 – “The Act of Killing” [The BEST of 2013 and possibly beyond.] (dir. Joshua Oppenheimer)

4 The Act of Killing

3 – “Before Midnight” (dir. Richard Linklater)

2 Before Midnight

2 – “Her” (dir. Spike Jonze)

1 Her

 

1 – “Gravity” (dir. Alfonso Cauron)

3 Gravity

 

These last three were honestly neck and neck and neck, and it wasn’t until I was ready to post this list that I bumped “Gravity” up to the top spot, replacing “Her”. As I mentioned above, this was such a great year for film and my favorite could change anytime in the future depending on when you asked me; but at this very moment I have to give it to “Gravity”.

 

(Some of My…) Favorite Performances of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Brie Larson (“Short Term 12”)

– Sandra Bullock (“Gravity”)

– Matthew McConaughey (“Dallas Buyers Club” & “Mud”)

– Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson & Amy Adams (“Her”)

(Some of My…) Favorite Filmmakers and Writers of 2013 [No Specific Order]:

– Filmmaker: Joshua Oppenheimer (“The Act of Killing”)

– Writers: Richard Linklater, Julie Deply & Ethan Hawke (“Before Midnight”)

Favorite Score of 2013 (Ran a Half Marathon To This Sucker):

– Steven Price (“Gravity”)

Lisa Marie Picks The Best 26 Films of 2013


UpstreamColor_KrisJeffEscalator_3000x1277

2o13 was an unusually good year in film.  While there was never any doubt what my number one film would be, it took me considerably longer to narrow down my other favorites to just 25 movies.

Also complicating matters is that a film that I’m very much looking forward to, Spike Jonze’s Her, is not going to be opening here until next weekend.  Because I haven’t seen it, I could not consider it for this list.  If, after I do see it, I feel that it belongs in the top 26, I will add it.

(Update: I have since seen Her and I have modified my original list. — LMB, 1/1o/14)

You may be asking, “Why 26 films?”  Lisa doesn’t do odd numbers, that’s why.

Without further ado, here’s the list!

  1. Upstream Color
  2. American Hustle
  3. Frances Ha
  4. Her
  5. Before Midnight
  6. Blue Is The Warmest Color
  7. Spring Breakers
  8. 12 Years A Slave
  9. Fruitvale Station
  10. Inside Llewyn Davis
  11. The Wolf of Wall Street
  12. Warm Bodies
  13. The Counselor 
  14. Gravity
  15. Blue Jasmine
  16. The Spectacular Now
  17. Much Ado About Nothing
  18. Dallas Buyers Club
  19. The Conjuring
  20. Drinking Buddies
  21. Iron Man 3
  22. Nebraska
  23. The Place Beyond The Pines
  24. At Any Price
  25. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  26. All Is Lost
  27. The Iceman
  28. Frozen

Upstream Color

(Now that you’ve seen my favorites of 2013, check out my picks for 2010, 2011, and 2012!)

Other Entries In TSL’s Look Back At 2013:

  1. Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Novels of 2013
  2. Lisa Marie’s 12 Favorite Non-Fiction Books of 2013
  3. Semtex Skittle’s 2013: The Year in Video Games
  4. 20 Good Things Lisa Marie Saw On Television in 2013
  5. 10 0f Lisa Marie’s Favorite Songs of 2013
  6. Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2013
  7. Necromoonyeti’s Top 10 Metal Albums of 2013
  8. Things That Dork Geekus Dug In 2013
  9. Lisa Marie’s Best of 2o13 SyFy

The National Board of Review Falls For Her


The National Board of Review announced their picks for the best films and performance of 2013 earlier today and the results are a bit … unexpected.

For best picture, they picked Spike Jonze’s Her, a film that has not exactly been seen as being an Oscar front-runner.  Meanwhile, the two presumptive frontrunners — 12 Years A Slave and Gravity — had to make due with just being mentioned in the NBR’s Top Ten list.  Also, it’s interesting to note that the NBR totally snubbed American Hustle which, just yesterday, was named best film of the year by the NYCC.

Despite the impression that one might get from a lot of breathless film bloggers (like me, to cite just one example), winning a critic’s prize does not automatically translate into Academy recognition.  It’ll be interesting to see if the acclaimed but reportedly offbeat Her manages to turn the NBR prize into Oscar momentum.

BEST PICTURE
“Her”

BEST DIRECTOR
Spike Jonze, “Her”

BEST ACTOR
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”

BEST ACTRESS
Emma Thompson, “Saving Mr. Banks”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Will Forte, “Nebraska”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Octavia Spencer, “Fruitvale Station”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Joel and Ethan Coen, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Terence Winter, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST ENSEMBLE
“Prisoners”

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE
“The Wind Rises”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM 
“The Past”

BEST DOCUMENTARY
“Stories We Tell”

SPOTLIGHT AWARD
Career collaboration of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCES
Adele Exarchopoulos, “#Blue is the Warmest Colo#r”
Michael B. Jordan, “Fruitvale Station”

DEBUT DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler, “Fruitvale Station”

CREATIVE INNOVATION IN FILMMAKING 
“Gravity”

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
“Wadjda”

BEST PICTURE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“12 Years a Slave”
“Fruitvale Station”
“Gravity”
“Inside Llewyn Davis”
“Lone Survivor”
“Nebraska”
“Prisoners”
“Saving Mr. Banks”
“The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“Beyond the Hills”
“Gloria”
“The Grandmaster”
“A Hijacking”
“The Hunt”

BEST DOCUMENTARY NOMINEES (alphabetical)
“20 Feet from Stardom”
“The Act of Killing”
“After Tiller”
“Casting By”
“The Square”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILMS (alphabetical)
“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“In a World…”
“Mother of George”
“Much Ado About Nothing”
“Mud”
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
“Short Term 12”
“Sightseers”
“The Spectacular Now”

2013: What Type of Year Has It Been So Far?


2013

We are now at the halfway mark as far as 2013 is concerned.  This is the time of year that self-important film critics (both online and elsewhere) tell their readers what type of year it’s been so far.

So, without further ado — what type of year has 2013 been so far?

(By the way, you can also check out my thoughts from last yearJuly of 2011 and July 2010 as well.)

(Also, please understand that my opinions do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the any other contributor here at TSL.  And I reserve the right to change my opinion.)

Upstream Color

Best Film Of The Year (So Far): Upstream Color (with The Bling Ring, This Is The End, Spring Breakers, Before Midnight, Frances Ha,  Iceman, and Much Ado About Nothing as close runner-ups.)

Best Male Performance Of The Year (So Far): Michael Shannon in Iceman (with James Franco in Spring Breakers as a close runner-up).

Best Female Performance of the Year (So Far): Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha (with Emma Watson in The Bling Ring as a close runner-up.)

Best Voice Over Performance Of The Year (So Far): Steve Carell in Despicable Me 2.

Best Ending of the Year (So Far): Upstream Color

Best Horror Film Of The Year (So Far): Maniac

Most Underrated Film Of The Year (So Far): The Last Exorcism Part 2

Best Bad Film Of The Year (So Far): Safe Haven

Worst Film Of The Year (So Far): Tyler Perry’s Temptation, which was a guilty pleasure up until it turned out that Tyler Perry is apparently a messenger from God.

original

Biggest Example Of A Missed Opportunity For This Year (So Far): Man of Steel, which started out so strong before it became just another series of mind-numbing CGI sequences.

The Get Over It Already Award For The First Half of 2012: Disconnect.  Hey, everyone, did you know that the Internet makes people feel disconnected from others?  If this is news to you, then you’ll probably think Disconnect is a really profound movie.

The Cameron/Fincher Bandwagon Trophy (Awarded To The Upcoming Film That, Regardless Of Quality, Will Probably Be So Violently Embraced By People Online That You’ll Be Putting Your Life In Danger If You Dare Offer Up The Slightest Amount Of Criticism): Elysium

The Trailer That Has Most Outgrown Its Welcome: Elysium

The Sasha Award (Awarded To The Film That I Am Predicting Will Be The Most Overrated Of The Year): August: Osage County

The Stone Award (Awarded to the upcoming film that will probably get  positive reviews based on the film’s political context as opposed to the film itself): The Butler

The Roland Emmerich/Rod Lurie Award For The Film That I’m Predicting Will Be The Worst Of 2012: Could any film possibly be worst than Tyler Perry’s Temptation?

Films I’m Looking Forward To Seeing In The Future (An incomplete list): American Hustle, Anchorman: The Legend Continues, Carrie, Dallas Buyers Club, Foxcatcher, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,  Inside Llewyn DavisInsidious Chapter 2, Nebraska, Only God Forgives, Oldboy, Pacific Rim, Thor: The Dark World, The Wolf of Wall Street

Let’s hope that the second half of 2013 is better than the first.

Seriously, just because the Mayans were wrong, that’s no excuse for bad cinema.

minion

Poll: Which Films Are You Most Looking Forward To Seeing In June?


Last month’s results can be seen here.

As always, you can vote for up to 4 films and write-ins are allowed.

Happy voting!

I know that most people will probably be voting for either Man of Steel or World War Z but for me, June is all about The Bling Ring and This Is The End.

Trailer: Much Ado About Nothing


There’s finally a trailer out about the little film that Joss Whedon made while doing post on his previous little film called The Avengers.

Much Ado About Nothing is a modern and Whedon’s own interpretation of the classic William Shakespeare comedic play. Filmed over the span of 12 days in Whedon’s own Santa Monica home, the film has a cast of Whedom alumni who either has worked with the writer-director on one of his tv series or in his films. The trailer itself has a coolness factor that has to be part jazz used in the trailer and half seeing all the familiar faces Whedon fans have come to know and love through the years like Amy Acker, Alex Denisof, Nathan Fillion and, more recently, Clark Gregg.

Much Ado About Nothing premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival  and will make it’s North American wide release on the date of June 7, 2013.