Saturday, November 29, 2014

#Netflix in December 2014 - The Attrition Continues

Netflix is continuing it's monthly attrition of classic movies.  There are a total of 22 movies from the 70s or earlier that are leaving. They are being replaced with mostly newer films, the most notable being The Wolf of Wall Street (2013).  The oldest film coming in for December is Shelly Long in Troop Beverly Hills (1989).

Leaving Netflix on 12/1  
1941 (1979)
The Apostle (1997)
Audrey Rose (1977)
The Believers (1987)
Better than Chocolate (1999)
Blood & Chocolate (2007)
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2008)
Chaplin (1992)
The Choirboys (1977)
The Cockeyed Cowboys of Calico County (1970)
Coffee and Cigarettes (2003)
The Cold Light of Day (1996)
The Constant Gardener (2005)
Count Yorga, Vampire (1970)
Cry-Baby (1990)
Dirty Dancing (1987)
Double Indemnity (1944)
En la Cama (2005)
Event Horizon (1997)
Eye for an Eye (1996)
Fairy Tale: A True Story (1997)
First Knight (1995)
Five Easy Pieces (1970)
Foreign Student (1994)
Free Men (2011)
Funny Lady (1975)
The Ghost and Mrs Muir (1947)
The Girl from Petrovka (1974)
Going Berserk (1983)
The Great Waldo Pepper (1975)
House of Voices (2004)
How to Frame a Figg (1971)
I’m Not Rappaport (1996)
Imagining Argentina (2003)
Invaders from Mars (1986)
Ishtar (1987)
Joe Gould’s Secret (2000)
Joe Kidd (1972)
Johnny Mnemonic (1995)
Killer at Large (2008)
King of the Hill (1993)
Lonely Hearts (2006)
Magic Trip (2011)
Magicians (2007)
Mission: Impossible III (2006)
Minnie and Moskowitz (1971)
Monkey Shines (1988)
Mr. Mom (1983)
‘night Mother (1986)
Night of the Creeps (1986)
An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
Opal Dream (2006)
The Other Side of the Mountain (1975)
The Other Side of the Mountain, Part 2 (1978)
Our City Dreams (2008)
The Paper Chase (1973)
Paradise Alley (1978)
The Parole Officer (2001)
The Pirates of Penzance (1983)
Prairie Love (2011)
The Presidio (1988)
The Promise (1979)
The Proposition (1998)
Reds (1981)
The Return of Count Yorga (1971)
RoboCop 2 (1990)
School Ties (1992)
The Sci-Fi Boys (2006)
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Spice World (1998)
Star Trek: Generations (1994)
Swashbuckler (1976)
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
They Might Be Giants (1971)
The Untouchables (1987)
The Vampire Lovers (1970)
Walker (1987)
Year of the Horse: Neil Young & Crazy Horse Live (1997)
Young Sherlock Holmes (1985)

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Interstellar (2014)

Christopher Nolan's new film interstellar cowritten along with his brother, Jonathan Nolan makes you consider three big topics: humanity, ethics, in the future of civilization.  The story comes across too realistic to be science fiction and begins with footage leading you to believe it could be a docu-drama.  You will be pondering deep thoughts throughout the movie and long after the credits roll down the screen.

The storyline is set in modern times or at least in the very near future. Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, who had aspirations of being an astronaut and had studied to be in engineer. But the need for engineers has gone to the wayside as humans now our focus solely on providing food to eat. The world population has dropped dramatically and so have the variety of foods that can be grown in the earth. Most humans now are surviving just off of corn hello. McConaughey's daughter Murph (played young by Mackenzie Foy and grown as Jessica Chastain) notices some strange things occurring in her room. This then leads them to the discovery that they're being sent messages for by the coordinates to a secret location for what's left of NASA. The government has done away with the NASA program years prior focusing all of its budget on feeding the country. However there's a small group of NASA scientist to continue researching space development. Cooper is in invited to take part in mission to reconnect with several astronauts who had gone out earlier, exploring potential new planets for humans to live. Cooper promises his family that he will return from this once-in-a-life time journey to save all mankind. The overall moral to the story was that beyond science love truly does transcend all dimensions in all aspects of time.  The other message was a social commentary on environmentalism, which rings strongly for California, where we are experiencing a serious drought and provide provide 75% of America's produce. 

McConaughey was believable as a father who is driven to do what was best for his family. Once again we are also forced to sit through Anne Hathaway making her sad crying face with having tears dripping every other scene.  My favorite work in the film was by Bill Irwin who brings a full dimensionality as the voice of TARS, who is an artificial intelligence robot most similar to R2-D2 in his job and yet the opposite of HAL from 2001.

The film runs close to three hours long. This amount of screen time is necessary to take you on the journey which at times feels like it's in real time. Especially considering the astronauts are experiencing relative time at one minute for every seven years on earth. In some ways this actually makes the movie feel like its an even longer running time than 169 minutes.
I was able to experience the film in IMAX (digital projection) which provided a very large screen as well as heavy sound elements which enhanced the overall experience of the movie. I am a fan of the technical stuff, so when I heard the movie have been shot mostly in 70 mm film I was quite eager to see how it would look present on the screen. Shooting the movie on film gives a certain depth and visual quality that you don't see anymore with digital films and this movie did not disappoint.

The movie is running in 70mm IMAX in about a dozen theaters around the country and I say it's worth catching. In SoCal, this includes the TCL Chinese Theater, the Edwards Irvine Spectrum and Edwards Ontario Palace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Turner Classic Movies and Disney: Unite!

You wonder what took so long! When the Disney/MGM Studios (now Disney's Hollywood Studios) opened, the center piece attraction was the "The Great Movie Ride" which highlights some of the most famous film moments in silver screen history.  Disney had negotiated rights to use many of MGM's greatest cinematic moments, including the Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain.  The MGM library ended up in the possession of Turner Broadcasting in 1986 and Turner Classic Movies went on the air in 1994 and now its quite full circle.
  The Great Movie Ride is set to receive a TCM-curated refresh of the pre-show and the finale.  The finale will feature an all-new montage of classic movie moments, which has been updated over years but will now get a glossy major makeover, expecially with more access to classic movies. The TCM-curated refresh is set to launch by spring.    Treasures from the Disney VaultThe part that is equally exciting to me is that TCM will launch Treasures from the Disney Vault, a recurring on-air showcase.  This is similar to the Vault Disney program that ran on The Disney Channel in the early 2000s.  These programs have been sorely missed and many are not even available currently anywhere. Programming will include such live-action Disney features as Treasure Island (1950), Darby O'Gill and the Little People (1959) and Pollyanna (1960); animated films like The Three Caballeros (1944) and The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949); classic nature documentaries, including The Living Desert (1953) and The African Lion (1955); made-for-television classics, such as the Davy Crockett series; special episodes from Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color; documentaries about the studio, including Walt & El Grupo (2009) and Waking Sleeping Beauty (2010); and animated shorts, such as 1932's Oscar®-winning "Flowers and Trees."
It is likely that some of the other animated features could be presented at a later time.  And unlike the current Disney Channel format, they would not be broken up with spot breaks and announcements.  These could be given all new introductions by Robert Osborne and Leonard Maltin, just think of it!

Treasures from the Disney Vault is scheduled to premiere on TCM Sunday, Dec. 21 at 8 p.m. 

The big opening night of the showcase will include the holiday and winter animated shorts "Santa's Workshop," "On Ice" and "Chip An' Dale," followed by The Disneyland Story. The night will also include The Reluctant Dragon, Disney's 1941 film that combined a live-action tour of the Walt Disney Studios facility with animated shorts; Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier (1955), a compilation of the first three episodes of the iconic series starring Fess Parker; the Oscar®-winning documentary The Vanishing Prairie (1954), part of Disney's True Life Adventure series; the rarely seen Third Man on the Mountain (1959), an Alpine tale starring Michael Rennie and James MacArthur; and Perilous Assignment (1959), a documentary about the making of Third Man on the Mountain. Did you know that the Matterhorn ride at Disneyland was inspired by Third Man on the Mountain?