Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Walking Dead: Knots Untie

TWD - Knots Untie

Thank you Jesus!  The diplomatic ninja has given the second half of this season of The Walking Dead a new lease on life.  I hesitate to say the show has gotten good.  But after a disastrous first half of the season in which the show was filled with more fluff than a Build-a-Bear (these are the kinds of references you make when you have two daughters), The Walking Dead has improved.  And we have Jesus to thank for it.

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Kelly Lynch: Naked Lynch

Lynch - White Man's Burden


In this interview from the January 1995 issue of Movieline, Kelly Lynch discusses which of her costars are men, which are boys, what John Travolta eats for lunch and which parts of Patrick Swayze bounced when he ran.

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Isaac Mizrahi: Isaac Does the Oscars

Isaac Mizrahi

In 1996, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi was a hot property.  He had been the subject of the documentary, Unzipped.  In their annual Young Hollywood issue, Movieline sat down with Mizrahi to discuss the state of fashion in general and at the Oscars in particular.  It’s a dishy look at what happens when the world of fashion and entertainment collide.


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LeBlog Readers’ 20 Greatest Best Picture Winners!

Screen Shot 2016-02-26 at 9.27.28 PM

This has been a long, but fun, process and I want to thank everybody who has voted and participated in the comments sections of these articles since we started with the Best Picture winners of the 1930s. I’ve been really happy with the feedback I’ve gotten. After this past summer’s ranking of Disney Songs resulted in some unexpectedly high representation from certain eras, I thought that if I had it to do over again I would have the readers do another ranking after narrowing the initial field. And that appears to have helped this time around.

While we’ll never get everybody to agree on something as subjective as taste in films, I do think we’ve ended up with a pretty legitimate list. There are some slight surprises with some movies maybe being a little overrated or underrated, but as the image above will indicate, some of the undeniable cinema classics are among the very top ranked films on our list. Hopefully nobody will be too dejected or outraged by the final results. We’re going to count down from number 20 to number one as we go. Have a look and then join us at the bottom for some discussion!
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Deep Inside Sylvia Miles’ Shrine to Herself

Sylvia Miles

You may not know the name, but you have seen Sylvia Miles in movies.  She was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Midnight Cowboy despite only having six minutes of screen time.  She was nominated a second time for Farewell, My Lovely in which she appeared for all of eight minutes.  She also showed up in Crossing Delancey, She-Devil and Oliver Stone’s Wall Street and its sequel.  While not exactly a star, Miles left her mark on Hollywood.

In this interview from the February 1991 issue of Movieline, Miles takes the reporter on a guided tour of her one bedroom apartment which she describes as a shrine to herself.  It’s a completely crazy read, people.

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An Oscars Conversation with Lebeau and Daffystardust


Greetings lovely LeBlog readers! As a part of our Oscars coverage this year Lebeau and I decided to try a little conversation on the topic via traded typing. We’ll be discussing our personal favorite nominees, the current controversies surrounding the awards, our expectations of the televised event, and whatever else might just pop into our heads. I’m your Oscars coverage manager Daffystardust and obviously I’m an Oscars enthusiast. Lebeau is less so, but hey, his name’s on the joint so he’s gonna get his say. Hey there Lebeau! What stands out for you about this year’s nominated films and performances?
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Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst of the Decade – 1990’s

Razzies 1990s

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

As part of the twentieth annual ceremony, the Razzies got retrospective.  They came up with two special awards to honor the worst of the 1990’s and two additional awards looking back at the twentieth century – or at least the two decades of the twentieth century covered by the Golden Raspberries.  In essence, this was one final chance for the Razzies to hit their favorite targets one more time.

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This Year’s Costume Design Nominees

cate in red

Hello! I’m Allison, and I care about costume design.  These days I mostly express that by calling out the zany Y2K looks of an old Disney Channel sitcom, but at other times in my life I’ve had the more constructive outlets of costuming theatre productions and teaching costume design and costume history workshops at a theatre camp. I’ve occasionally had to consult my friend Camille’s encyclopedic knowledge of fashion history when designing, so she’s my collaborator for this post as well (which was especially handy when she was brave enough to watch The Revenant, a task I could not stomach).

When it comes to this award, the Oscars love a period piece –  since 1967, only two films have won for contemporary costuming. More recently, over-the-top designs for films like The Great Gatsby and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland have been dazzling the Academy. Perhaps unsurprisingly, then, this category has not been kind to gritty survivalist stories, which is bad news for the beautifully bonkers design of Mad Max: Fury Road and the designated haberdashery of Leo’s suffering in The Revenant. Bear those trends in mind and it seems likely that it’ll be Cinderella’s year, but there are strong nominees that could challenge it on Sunday night.

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Golden Raspberry Awards: 1999

Razzies 1999

The Golden Raspberries started off as an informal joke.  Something for a publicist and his friends to do after the Oscars had ended.  Over time, it has become and enduring and irreverent tradition.  In theory, The Razzies poke fun at the worst movies of the year.  But like any awards ceremony, the Razzies frequently make the wrong call.  We’re going back and looking at the history of the Golden Raspberry Awards one year at a time.

The twentieth annual Razzies nominated the movies of 1999. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and The Sixth Sense were the highest-grossing movies that year.  American Beauty won Best Picture and Hilary Swank won her first Best Actress Oscar for Boys Don’t Cry.  The Razzies partied like it was 1999 even though the awards were actually handed out in Y2K.  And that meant getting jiggy in the wild, wild West.

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This Year’s Best Picture Nominees


This here is the big kahuna. Best Picture. The film that is held up as the best of the year and made to embody that year for the rest of all time. So why is the winner so often overshadowed by another nominee that gains with repeat watchings, or ages better, or simply is better? Why by my estimation are there more than forty nominated films over the years that have been better than the movie that ended up beating them for this honor? Well, group think is part of the explanation. A few of the right people start spreading an opinion and suddenly those around them start nodding along. It’s also fair to say that it’s not always easy to figure out what will age well or be seen as not just out of fashion, but downright corny or offensive by future generations. You can’t expect the voters to be soothsayers. The sooth is not simple to say. You’ll also have to look at it from the other point of view. More than forty of the Best Picture winners actually are tops among the nominated films of the year. By my estimation, at least.

Now let’s have a look at this year’s nominated films!
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Director Nic Roeg Takes Control

Russell - Cold Heaven

One of the strengths of Movieline magazine was that it didn’t just stick to the movies that were hot at the box office.  In the January 1991 issue of the magazine, Martha Frankel had a disquieting talk with cult filmmaker, Nicolas Roeg.

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This Year’s Best Actor Nominees

It’s a sure sign of our sputtering patriarchy that this has often been treated as the second most important award of the night. The traditional structure of year after year of ceremonies placed it after Best Actress and just before Best Picture on the schedule more often than not. The later the presentation of the award, the more important it is. Then last year, with what I remember to be a complete absence of fanfare, all of a sudden Eddie Redmayne was up on stage accepting his award while Best Actress still hadn’t been given out. I haven’t read any particular explanation for the change…if one was even needed. The first thing that springs to mind is that they knew who the winners were going to be and decided to give Michael Keaton a few minutes between losing for Best Actor and going up on stage as an important part of the Best Picture troupe. Or perhaps they just predicted it? Longtime favorite Julianne Moore winning at last for Still Alice certainly made for a more satisfying storyline late in the show. I’m not sure what the order of presentation will be this year, but I’d like to suggest a pre-arranged cycle in which each is given first in alternating years.

Of course, this is the one of the two that has more heat this year.
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Marlon Brando: Brando’s Island

Brando's Island

The private world of Marlon Brando was a strange one.  This Movieline article from February 1991 offers a glimpse into it.  The article was published at a time when Brando was dealing with a family tragedy.  But it is actually comprised of notes taken during an interview in 1978 while the legendary actor was visiting his Tahitian island.

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