Blog Archives

Oscar Nominations Announced! (90th Academy Awards)


This year’s Oscar nominations were announced this morning, which means that it’s time for everybody to start going to see truly serious cinema for a few weeks before we get back to whatever tent pole event is up next. Here are the films and individual efforts which the Academy would like to draw your attention to.

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July 30: Happy Birthday Christopher Nolan and Richard Linklater


Our two headliners took part in a director’s roundtable discussion sponsored by the Hollywood Reporter a couple of years ago.  Nolan is standing at the left and Linklater at the right, with Morten Tyldum and Angelina Jolie between them, and Bennett Miller and Mike Leigh sitting/kneeling in front.

Christopher Nolan, who is 47 today, was born in England and studied film at University College London, where he was president of the Film Society.  He made a pair of short films during his college years, and a third, Doodlebug, not long after graduating.  He made his first feature on a budget of $6000 that he raised himself.  A tightly paced thriller titled Following, it received very positive reviews, enabling Nolan to then make his first widely-released feature, one which introduced many viewers to the concept of anterograde amnesia.  Memento was a financial and critical success, and brought Nolan an Oscar nomination for screenwriting.

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July 30: Happy Birthday Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hilary Swank

Swank and Schwarzenegger'

One of our birthday headliners is a two-time Oscar winner and the other was crowned Mr. Universe.  You can probably figure out which is which.  Despite vastly different career trajectories, Hilary Swank and Arnold Schwarzenegger have a couple things in common.  They both came from humble beginnings to conquer Hollywood in vastly different ways.  But ultimately, they both ended up as subjects in the “What the Hell Happened?” series.

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Readers Rank the Batman Movies

Batman Posters

For the last couple of weeks, we have been looking back at Batman and Superman movies of the past.  After ranking the movies starring Batman from worst to first, I asked readers to do the same.  Usually, the reader rankings are pretty close to my own.  But we’ve got some big differences this time.  Overall, the votes were spread out more than usual reflecting a general lack of consensus.

Let’s take a look at how the readers ranked the Batman movies.
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Worst To First: Ranking the Batman Movies

Next Friday, Superman and Batman will appear on the big screen for the first time.  Leading up to the release of Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, we’ll be looking back at the cinematic history of the Man of Steel and the Dark Knight.  Last week, we ranked the Superman movies.  So now it’s Batman’s turn.

On the whole, Batman has fared better than Superman at the movies.  But overall, most of his movies still aren’t very good.  Before we get started, a couple of ground rules.  I’m only looking at live action Bat-films.  So no Mask of the Phantasm or Lego Batman.  Also, we’re starting with the ’89 Batman.  The Adam West movie was an offshoot of the TV show anyway.

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Lebeau’s Le Show: Interstellar Review


Daffy and I both caught Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi epic, Interstellar this morning.  So we decided to try something new.  We set out to do a 10-minute episode of Le Show to review the movie.  Instead, we ended up talking about Interstellar for 35 minutes.  The first fifteen minutes is spoiler-free, so feel free to listen even if you haven’t seen the movie.  We give you a warning before we start talking about the ending.

Review: Man of Steel

Man of Steel

This year marks 75 years since Superman’s first appearance in Action Comics #1 in June of 1938.  When he first appeared, he wore a circus strongman’s outfit while performing feats of strength.  The original Superman couldn’t fly.  He leapt tall buildings in a single bound.  Over the years, Superman has been adapted to stage, screen and radio.  He’s been on TV and the movies both in animation and live action.  Not surprisingly, the Man of Steel has changed with the times.  In the post 9/11-era, the original super hero was in danger of seeming outdated.  To that end, Christopher Nolan and David Goyer, the creative force behind the Dark Knight trilogy, have teamed with Watchmen director, Zach Snyder, to reinvent Superman for the 21st Century.

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The Low Down on Superman Movies

Man of Steel

Zach Snyder’s 21st century take on Superman opens in theaters today.  The character, generally considered the first super hero as we know them today, is celebrating 75 years since his first appearance in Action Comics #1.  He helped to kick off the super hero movie genre which has become a dominant force at the box office in recent years.  And by this point, there have been enough Superman movies to form a mini-genre dedicated to the Man of Steel.

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