Steven Spielberg

7 Reasons Why “Miller’s Crossing” is a Neglected Masterpiece

By Woodson Hughes

There is a good argument to be made for the filmmaking team of brothers Ethan and Joel Coen (one a director, the other a producer, both screenwriters) to be as mainstream as cult filmmakers can possibly get. Yes, they have Oscars (and many other awards) and have had box office success (OK, not up there with “Star Wars” or the biggest works of Steven Spielberg, but pretty good for “quality” filmmakers), but almost every film they have made has some kind of cult following.

These cults aren’t always cut along the lines of box office or award success. Yes, “Fargo” (1996) was a big hit and cult item but so was 1998’s “The Big Lebowski”, now virtually one for the pantheon, which is not at all how the film was first seen by reviewers or the public.

Even films such as “The Hudsucker Proxy” (1994) and 2016’s “Hail, Caesar!”, once thought of as misfires, now have passionate defenders (and if one doubts this, cross one of those acolytes). However, there are some exceptions, such as 2003’s “Intolerable Cruelty”, 2008’s “Burn After Reading”, certainly 2004’s remake of “The Ladykillers”… and, very oddly, 1990’s “Miller’s Crossing”.

“Miller’s Crossing” is a period gangland drama (with black comedy touches). It is true that the Coen’s comedies, even the purer black ones, tend to have more of a following than the dramas but the blind eye many turn to this film (admittedly, an early drama for the brothers after notable comedies and their debut, the neo-noir Blood Simple in 1984) is puzzling. However, being a drama doesn’t seem an impediment for such films as the Oscar winning No Country for Old Men (2007) or Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), a film also with an initially cold reception.

The thrust of this article is meant to point out this film’s → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

The 15 Most Criminally Underrated Film Scores of All Time

By David Zou

dead-man-original

Whether it be a Shakespearian drama or Italian slasher, sci-fi action thriller or romantic comedy, the soundtrack plays a detrimental role in whether a film will resonate with audiences or leave them feeling underwhelmed. We hear about director – composer relationships all the time, from John Williams and Steven Spielberg to Krzysztof Kieslowski and Zbigniew Preisner; these talented duos are joined through a common passion for film but most importantly, by speaking the same aesthetic language.

Fruits of these relationships are countless masterpieces of world cinema. One could say that many great film directors partially owe their career to an exceptional composer and vice-versa. However, it is all too often that film composers are hidden in the shadows behind the spotlit cast and the genius of the director, especially when the film they have scored turns out to be a box office flop.

They too, among so many others in the film industry, are undervalued in their contribution to the art and their work is often dismissed and forgotten. Yet it is impossible to imagine great films without the presence of great scores. A composer’s relationship with the director is challenging, but often as decisive as the editing is to the script.

There are many reasons why a score may be overlooked and forgotten. Sometimes scores are lost due to a film failing at the box office, a director’s name not being successful enough or being associated with bad cinema, an unpopular genre, and often times even by their own success. Below are listed only a few examples of criminally overlooked film scores in global cinema. Hopefully they will not be for long.

15. Alexander Nevsky – Sergei Prokofiev

Alexander Nevsky

The one that started it all. Sergei Eisenstein’s historical team-up with enfant terrible of the Soviet classical music → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

All 16 Tobe Hooper Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

By David Zou

poltergeist

After making one of–if not the–most influential horror film of all time, where’s a director to go from there? Tobe Hooper, who passed away on August 27, seemed to spend the rest of his career pondering just that question. After 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre–Hooper’s first narrative feature film–changed the horror genre forever onscreen, it seemed the rest of his career was a long letdown with just a few highlights along the way.

And while he would find great success with 1982’s Poltergeist, there were accusations that it was Steven Spielberg and not Hooper who was the true director. These claims seemed to haunt the rest of Hooper’s career, which went into a downward spiral until its conclusion this year.

But this isn’t to say Hooper didn’t make some fine films in his career. Sure, he made some downright awful films, but the balance seems to tip in Hooper’s favor overall. Part of the misunderstanding some have about Hooper’s career is in many not knowing that he as a prolific television director who helped bring modern horror to the small screen.

His 1979 made-for-TV movie of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot is seen as a minor classic of the genre, while his work on Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, and Masters of Horror are all fine examples of Hooper’s stylistic ability to depict horror in a new, often gory, and slyly satirical light.

Unfortunately his television work won’t be discussed in this article: instead, our focus is on his feature films. Having made sixteen in total, including two very odd choices (considering his regular output), Tobe Hooper was more versatile than many would give him credit for–which hopefully becomes evident as we look at his films from worst to best.

16. The Song is Love

<img src="http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove.jpg" alt="" width="560" height="420" srcset="http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove.jpg 560w, http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove-300×225.jpg 300w" → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

All 16 Tobe Hooper Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

By David Zou

poltergeist

After making one of–if not the–most influential horror film of all time, where’s a director to go from there? Tobe Hooper, who passed away on August 27, seemed to spend the rest of his career pondering just that question. After 1974’s The Texas Chainsaw Massacre–Hooper’s first narrative feature film–changed the horror genre forever onscreen, it seemed the rest of his career was a long letdown with just a few highlights along the way.

And while he would find great success with 1982’s Poltergeist, there were accusations that it was Steven Spielberg and not Hooper who was the true director. These claims seemed to haunt the rest of Hooper’s career, which went into a downward spiral until its conclusion this year.

But this isn’t to say Hooper didn’t make some fine films in his career. Sure, he made some downright awful films, but the balance seems to tip in Hooper’s favor overall. Part of the misunderstanding some have about Hooper’s career is in many not knowing that he as a prolific television director who helped bring modern horror to the small screen.

His 1979 made-for-TV movie of Stephen King’s Salem’s Lot is seen as a minor classic of the genre, while his work on Amazing Stories, Tales from the Crypt, and Masters of Horror are all fine examples of Hooper’s stylistic ability to depict horror in a new, often gory, and slyly satirical light.

Unfortunately his television work won’t be discussed in this article: instead, our focus is on his feature films. Having made sixteen in total, including two very odd choices (considering his regular output), Tobe Hooper was more versatile than many would give him credit for–which hopefully becomes evident as we look at his films from worst to best.

16. The Song is Love

<img src="http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove.jpg" alt="" width="560" height="420" srcset="http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove.jpg 560w, http://www.tasteofcinema.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/songislove-300×225.jpg 300w" → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Bull and Duel in the Sun: Jim Hemphill’s Home Video Picks

By Jim Hemphill

The best new television series of the 2016-2017 season arrives on DVD this week in the form of CBS/Paramount’s Bull: Season One package. A smart, stylish and very funny drama with a killer pedigree — Donnie Brasco and Quiz Show writer Paul Attanasio is one of the show’s creators, Steven Spielberg is an executive producer, and indie auteur Rodrigo Garcia directed the pilot — Bull reinvents and reinvigorates both the procedural and the courtroom drama with consistent verbal wit, visual elegance, and one of the most compelling protagonists in the history of television. The show focuses on Jason Bull (Michael […] → continue…

From:: Filmmaker Magazine

Watch: ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ Gets the Trailer it Deserves for 2017

By Christopher Boone

40 years later, we make contact again.

Steven Spielberg’s 1977 sci-fi classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind has been revisited and re-released multiple times. Columbia Pictures pushed back the film’s original release from summer 1977 to November 1977 because of production issues, but Spielberg reportedly wanted more time and a summer 1978 release date. Columbia needed a hit in 1977, so November it was. In 1980, Spielberg convinced Columbia to give him more financing to tweak the film, and the Special Edition was released theatrically with additional scenes (including the inside of the mothership, per Columbia Pictures’ re-release marketing request against Spielberg’s wishes) and some cuts to the original.

Sony has released a new 4K digital remastered version of Spielberg’s preferred cut into theatres across the U.S.

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From:: No Film School

Watch: Learn the Technique ‘Stranger Things’ Uses to Make Us Love its Characters As Soon As We Meet Them

By Hawkins DuBois

From a diner break-in to a bathroom make-out scene, The Duffer Brothers utilize telling introductions to show us who the characters of ‘Stranger Things’ are.

With a runaway hit TV show, there is always going to be an outspoken minority that repeatedly lobs out the “overrated” insult, but when it comes to Stranger Things even that minority avoided targeting their hate at the show’s leading characters. Right from the onset, Stranger Things does an incredible job of establishing its core cast, even with the challenge of possessing a double-digit roster of key players. Fortunately, the Duffer Brothers know how to leave a good first impression, much like one of the show’s greatest inspirations: Steven Spielberg.

By placing your characters into a sequence of conflicts with each other, we can see each of their unique perspectives bouncing off of each other.​

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From:: No Film School

The 10 Best Simon Pegg Movies You Need To Watch

By Allan Khumalo

Everybody loves Simon Pegg. It’s not only the geeks who have a soft spot for the British actor, but anyone who’s ever seen any of his films. He’s humble, smart and a fine actor who’s provided some of the best laughs in over a decade. You’ll be hard pressed to find another well respected and likable actor (other than Tom Hanks, perhaps).

Heck, the guy seems to be living the dream. He’s worked with his idols Steven Spielberg and George A. Romero. He’s starred in some of his favorite franchises, like ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Star Trek’. He’s chums with the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Peter Jackson, among others. He’s skydived from Tom Cruise’s private jet. And of course, he’s Edgar Wright’s BFF. Not too shabby. Maybe we’re taking it too far, but one can’t help but envy Mr. Pegg, just a little bit.

More seen as a comedic actor, Pegg also has a natural ability to convey drama that makes his brand of comedy even more hilarious. His written and starred in some of the most fun movies in over a decade. He’s a pretty versatile actor who can slip into many different types of roles. He’s also a geek of note who loves to pay respect to anything that’s influenced or paved the way for him.

10. Paul (2011)

Paul (2011)

Pegg and Nick Frost play Graeme Willy and Clive Gollings, two British science-fiction geeks. After visiting Comic-Con they take a road trip through the American Southwest to visit the sites of reported extraterrestrial activity. Ironically, they bump into a real alien voiced by Seth Rogen who’s on the run from the government.

“Paul” never hits the heights of Pegg and Frost’s work with Edgar Wright. In fact, he is sorely missed in this love letter to all things → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema