Ms. Films Posts

Is there any other animal more beloved in the movies than dogs? For a while horses were in the running, but when you examine the past century of film, it is clearly canines who have dominated. In the lightly amusing Citizen Canine: Dogs in the Movies, Wendy Mitchell writes about the performances of sixty cinematic pooches in their signature roles.

Book reviews

Orson Welles began filming The Other Side of the Wind in 1970. He died fifteen years later, the film incomplete. It was to be his masterpiece, as important to him as Citizen Kane (1941), if not more so. The Making of The Other Side of the Wind, reveals the whole fascinating, frustrating story of its production, up to the present day, where the effort to release Welles’ final work continues.

Over the fifteen years of its production, Welles constantly sought funding, cast members died, marriages were destroyed and everyone involved did everything possible to complete the film. While money was always an issue, the biggest roadblock was its director, who could never commit to an end date, always striving to bring his work even closer to perfection.

Book reviews

Billed as “a gigantic and joyous musical,” part of the appeal of MGM’s Stanley Donen-directed It’s Always Fair Weather is that it often isn’t that way at all. In contrast to the cheerful optimism of the studio’s typical output, this film admits that life can be disappointing and that one time friends can turn out to be insufferable, though somehow it ends up shuffling away with a smile anyway. Now this television-age take on the Hollywood musical is available on Blu-ray from Warner Archive.

Musicals

With The Female Gaze: Essential Movie Made by Women, Alicia Malone’s follow-up to last year’s Backwards and In Heels, the film reporter, host, and writer continues her invaluable quest to promote the work of women in film. Her message is two-fold: she is diligent in promoting the varied and rich works of female filmmakers, but consistently reminds her audience that not nearly enough women are allowed the opportunities in film their male counterparts are afforded.

Book reviews

I’ve always viewed the films that Bette Davis made with director William Wyler as an emotionally charged conversation between actress and filmmaker. There’s something precise about the cinema they made together, as if they are trying to achieve the perfect mix of the authentic and the dramatic. You can sense it in Jezebel (1938) and The Little Foxes (1941), but I’ve found that mood most intense in The Letter (1940), which just made its Blu-ray debut from Warner Archive.

Classic Movies

I don’t know how I got decades into classic film fandom without seeing The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945). Yes, I thought it seemed like it could be excessively sentimental or cutesy (two things which happen to not be true), but I also love Ingrid Bergman in anything and Bing Crosby has grown on me over the years. Fortunately, with the release of its new Signature Edition Blu-ray/DVD of the film Olive Films has helped me to fill this gap in my cinematic experience and opened my eyes to a deeply moving film.

Classic Movies

Every year around Halloween the list-making nerd in me feels the urge to create ‘best of’ lists.
Last year’s attempt in compiling a worthy Top 30 Best Horror Movies list wasn’t very satisfying. The whole list felt rushed, looked lame and I forgot about many films that are important to me.

This year I tried to do it right and… yeah, I admit I feel way more pleased with my Top 30 personal favorite Horror Movies of all time. While you are all waiting for the holiday of all holidays, you might like to pass the time by checking ou my 30 personal favorite Horror Movies of all time.

Horror

When I decided to compile a list of my favorite monster movies, I had no idea how hard it would be. I mean, what is a monster movie? What defines a monster movie? Heck, what is a monster?
Do werewolves and vampires count? Or is it only about creature features? What about aliens? Animals? Halp!

In the end, I decided that a real monster movie contains monsters or creatures with no or nearly no human connection, so there’s no werewolves, no zombies, no vampires, and no transformation stuff à la “The Fly”. It’s all about monsters, animals, kaiju and aliens. Simple as that 😉

Oh, also, it’s not a list about what I think are the best monster movies, but rather about what are my all time favorites, especially in terms of re-watchability and nostalgia. There are movies like “Cujo” or “Gremlins” that may be better movies than some others on that list, but they don’t have the same re-watchibility as my Top 15, or I’m just not so emotionally connected to them.

The great thing is that you can probably watch ALL of these monster movies on a streaming service.  Here’s a great resource for Horror Streaming Services.

Okay, without further ado, here are my Top 15 Best Monster Movies:

Horror

I’m not a hardcore fan of Burton’s work, but I have seen most of his movies, and enjoyed most of them… well, at least most of his his 80s/90s output. He made some neat movies afterwards, like “Corpse Bride” or “Sweeney Todd”, but I’m definitely more enthusiastic about his earlier work. In case you’re curious, here are my Top 5 favorite Tim Burton flicks:

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Original / Remake / Sequel / Threequel / Savage Vengeance

I Spit On Your Grave was released in theaters in 1978. The horror film, about a woman seeking vengeance on four men who raped her and left her for dead, sparked outrage upon its initial release due to its content and subject matter.

Despite the backlash and mixed reviews, I Spit On Your Grave developed a cult following in video stores  and spawned a series of films. This collection included a remake, a sequel, and several sequels to the remake.

Let’s take a look at the I Spit On Your Grave movies in order to understand the good, the bad, and the ugly about the series. This post divides the films into their respective continuities and includes information for the entirety of the franchise

Horror

We movie buffs pride themselves as virtual encyclopedias of movie facts. There are daily discussions on the Geeks floor, debating who, what, where, and when of movies. Debates can get heated when aficionados begin questioning the validity of IMDB. The film industry is riddled with conspiracy theories that have the most research-oriented in the group spending their personal time hunting down the truth behind movie trivia. They dig deep into the history of the production of the particular movie often reaching out to the directors and producers to determine the movie facts you didn’t know.

Movies

Getting his start as a child actor in Hong Kong, Bruce Lee eventually made his way to the United States and opened up several martial arts schools. He was devoted to the art of teaching and was successful. He gained recognition as an actor when he starred in The Green Hornet in 1966. From there, he and his family moved back to Hong Kong where he worked on a number of films. Bruce Lee set the standard as a kung-fu god which others strive to reach. Even after his death, Lee is known as the master of martial arts. With these 10 Bruce Lee movies, you can see Lee from all facets of life: as a writer, as an actor, and as a man.

Movies

Superhero films have been in the limelight for so long it’s hard to forget that just about a decade ago they were something that generally both audiences and comic book fans feared. It was a time before Marvel Studios introduced their cinematic universe and everyone was fighting to play catch-up. Back in those days, superhero movies weren’t connected by shared universes. The idea that you had to wait until the end of the credits for a post-credit stinger was completely foreign.

Reviews

Musical biographies were a popular theme in Hollywood during the Golden Age. Most of these are (apparently) factually inaccurate, but they generally feature a wonderful anthology of a musician’s work. Critics are quick to cast aside many of these films for their historical inaccuracies. But if you’re like me, that’s of secondary importance. If I want to learn facts about a musician’s life and career, I’ll read a book. If I want to see and hear his/her music in song and dance, I’ll watch a musical. Besides, in most cases, I’m more interested in the fruits of their labors than the cold hard facts of their lives. So, just take the story at face value and enjoy some outstanding musical entertainment!

Musicals

They weren’t around long, but their lights keep shining brightly. The planet has been graced by magnificent talents who left us so early, whether they be rock gods or screen goddesses. The most famous musicians and actors who have died tragically young are here.

Many prominent actors stay forever young despite their premature deaths, including Heath Ledger, whose shocking death shook the world in 2008, to Kurt Cobain, who joined the tragic fraternity of stars who died at the age of 27 (including Jimmy Hendrix, Jim Morrison, and Brian Jones).

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